Instagram was a simple entertainment app a couple of years ago, but in 2018 it transformed into a giant marketing platform. It even won the affection of 13% of the Earth’s population in 8 years of online presence leading to a 10 times higher engagement rate than Facebook. Also, this year, Facebook is expected to generate 6.8 billion dollars revenue solely from the Instagram advertisements.
Let’s figure out how social media marketing looked like in 2018 and which SEO tactics might help you hit the highest rates of engagement on Instagram.
1. Turn to Instagram Business Profile
Launched in 2010, Instagram has been developing extremely fast. In 2012, it had a user base of 80 million when Facebook bought Instagram for over 1 billion dollars. Since then, Facebook was looking for a marketing strategy that would generate revenue through Instagram. Thus, in 2013, they launched ‘Instagram promoted post’ to allow brands to advertise on the platform. Such sponsored posts can be created through Facebook’s Business Manager system, which now has many different styles of campaigns available to run. This historic upgrade is what you need to increase your engagement rates.
2. Create Instagram Business Account
If you haven’t done it yet, start working on it as soon as possible! Creating a business account adds plenty of useful functions, for example, an access to the Insights page. Relying on the information it provides, you can plan your Instagram content strategy – get to know your target audience, their active hours, promote your IG account, and raise revenue, etc.
“Testing personal and a business Instagram account has shown a huge difference in usability. Business option helps to track the content easily and renovate it for the audience any time when it’s required. We also utilize all functions of Instagram promotion and this year our audience increased twice”- says Ashley Johnson, a content creator at Skillroads.
Let’s look closely at the benefits of a business profile:
* Contact button: Once you switched to Instagram business account, this button appears in your profile, enabling your potential customers to reach you in a much faster and a more convenient way.
* Analytics tools: Now you can use Insights – Instagram impressions, reach, and followers information to monitor the engagement on your page.
* Promotion: It’s impossible to advertise your profile without switching to a business profile— it’s accessed through Facebook’s advertising tools.
* Call to action button: Encourage your readers by adding call-to-action buttons under promotions.
3. Deliver to the Right Person at the Right Time
The appropriate time to post largely affects the engagement rate. Check Instagram Insights to figure out when your audience is most active. Some experts claim 8 am – 9 am or 2 pm – 5 pm works out for your first post and 2 pm for the second one. By the way, the best day to post on Instagram is Thursday at 3 pm, while Sunday is the least engaging.
4. Use Instagram Optimization
The two main areas that effect Instagram SEO are your handle and account name. The handle is the “@” name that must clearly reflect your niche or carry the company’s name. To find a perfect match, write down 20 keywords, combine some of them and stick to the best one. Instagram identifies your content depending on your username – your posts won’t be displayed in Explore section if your username doesn’t fit with your content. Next important unit of Instagram SEO is your account name, which is located under the photo. It must correlate with your username and specify the industry you’re working in. It’s your account name that Instagram will check when people type words or put emoji in the search engine.
5. Get Noticed Using Hashtags on Instagram
Together with the location, names of people, brands, and companies, Instagram hashtags are an inevitable part of Instagram SEO. Instagram is a search engine itself. Using hashtags on Instagram builds your brand awareness, connects you with the target audience, and allows participating in the conversation related to brands, projects, and products within the industry of your work. According to the latest studies, posts with hashtags have 12.6% more engagement, and 7 out of 10 hashtags are brand related. You must become a part of this community. Create branded hashtags yourself or with the help of analytic tools. They track hashtags, choose the best ones for your profile, show how hashtags are being used including the top bloggers. When you use top Instagram tags such as “business,” “fitness,” “follow me,” etc. your posts will be listed among millions of similar ones. Instead, use a mix of trending and industry-specific hashtags. As for the number, don’t place more than 7 under one post.
6. Use Giveaways as SEO Strategies
Shockingly, but contests are hosted by approximately 2% of Instagram accounts. Throw the hat into the ring – map out an effective contest strategy to boost your Instagram engagement rate. Research has shown that accounts that run Instagram contest grow 70% faster. Look through all Instagram contest ideas to find what fits with your profile and opt for the best. The prevalent giveaways are like-to-win, comment-to-win, tag-to-win, or photo challenge contest. It depends on what task you give to the participants. Draw up rules that benefit you and don’t forget to follow official guidelines. One of the most effective tools is requesting to follow your profile. Next, the gift truly matters. Nobody would be interested in useless baubles such as black socks from the nearest Walmart. Be creative! You may partner with others to offer something really valuable (3-days trip, for example).
7. Create An Impressive Bio
On Instagram, people read your biography instead of titles and decide if they’re interested. Make sure your bio is inviting and eye-catching. Try implementing some selling text techniques in your profile description. Your content is your product – you must persuade customers to buy it or at least to become your regular reader. In addition, check Instagram bio ideas with emoji to make your page even more attractive.
8. Take Advantage of Instagram Sponsored Ads
Now it’s time for serious deals. Partnership with influencers ensures maximum performance and energetically boost your sales. Usually, a famous person recommends your service or product on their Instagram page and raises awareness of your company. Research best influencers in your industry or contact famous personalities, ordinary people with solid engagement. However, Forbes recommends to be vigilant and keep track of blogger’s reputation you are dealing with. Once something goes wrong, your reputation goes down as well.
Be ready to pay a hefty price for promotion on 100k+ range profiles. Consider working with micro-influencer instead. Remember that it’s all about engagement, not the number of followers. Thus, someone with 1000 followers may be even more effective than the one with the 10k audience.
9. Don’t Limit Yourself To Photographs
We live in a visual age – it’s hard to impress people with pictures only. Make a professional video to appear in front of followers charmingly. The best video format for Instagram is MP4 that should include some technical specifications such as 15MB max size, 60-second length, 1080p width, etc.
10. Enable Instagram Posts on your Website
Put a link to your Instagram account on your official website. Encourage people to have a look at it adding some engagement invitation like “don’t miss our last giveaway”. The latest update, which is trending on Instagram right now, is a nametag. Create a funny one and place it on the website. Every Instagram user may scan it and go right to your account.
11. Create Blooming Stories
Instagram stories are scaling the rankings this year. Use sponsored stories as an Instagram advertising tool to appear with your product in front of potential customers. In addition, be creative posting in usual stories. There are millions of styles and ideas you can use to make your stories stand out. With recent updates, you can promote your posts in stories and notify followers using GIF “NEW POST” about updates on your profile.
12. Add a Link to your Stories
Those Instagram accounts which reached 10k followers may place a link to any website/YouTube video, etc. in stories. The only challenge left is to persuade your follower to swipe up. For this purpose, make a live video asking to swipe up or upload attractive and encouraging Instagram pictures and videos.
13. Become an Impressive Writer
Never create content aimlessly. Tell stories, develop your individual writing. Every blog has its purpose. Whether you sell refrigerators or make kitty videos, you should aim to solve a problem, give a piece of advice, interact with followers in a particular way. Tailor your content to the readers’ needs. Focus on how you can help. To make your text noticeable in a streamline, always divide it into paragraphs or create your own syntax.
14. Use Other Social Media to Promote the Product
Social media tips like cross-promotions are very fruitful for both engagement and advertisement. More social exposure— more interaction. You should cross-promote your Instagram posts and use dedicated hashtags on all social media channels you are active on. Services like Hootsuite and IFTTT carry over your posts to other accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). It will not only increase exposure but also save your time and money as long as you create content for all accounts at a time.
Don’t limit your Instagram into a one-trick pony. It was a couple of years ago when one style photo and texts could attract new followers. Today, the best Instagram marketing strategy is diversity. Go behind the scenes, show work-in-progress, and behind the scenes pictures and videos, share the company’s news, create a sense of community on your page, and use different colours.
Appreciate every follower you already have, pay attention to the feedback you receive. Developing your SEO marketing strategy is tricky, but with willingness and perseverance, you can achieve desirable results.