Instagram marketing 101

By Malisa Rawlings on December 7, 2022

By Malisa Rawlings on December 7, 2022

If you have a business that needs more exposure and brand awareness, Instagram might be for you. Whether you’re operating a franchise or running your own small business, the visual appeal of Instagram to many people is undeniable.

Let’s look at what Instagram is used for, how to know whether or not your business should be on Instagram, tips for photos, captions, and even hashtags, and finally, we’ll touch on influencer marketing.

What exactly is Instagram used for?

Not super familiar with Instagram? That’s okay!

Instagram is a social media platform that allows users to upload photos and videos with captions, hashtags, and other visual content. It can be used both for personal use as well as promotion of brands, businesses, products, services, and anything else a person might want to market.

When compared to Facebook or Twitter, it’s much more visual. However, it is actually owned by Meta, the parent company of Facebook. So there are some integration capabilities there, including connecting your Instagram business account to your Facebook business page.

When compared to LinkedIn, Instagram is much more fun and informal. It’s a place to relax and not be too serious.

What businesses should post on Instagram? 

While any business can use Instagram, not every business should use Instagram.

Instagram is often used to post visuals of events as they happen. As such, if you have events, it can be a great fit. If your products or services are inherently visual, Instagram can be a great fit. And if you are involved in the culinary arts in any way, that type of content does really well on Instagram.

Here are some types of businesses that would likely do well on Instagram:

  • Public speakers
  • Real estate
  • Restaurants
  • Food trucks
  • IT
  • Health and wellness
  • Lawn care and landscaping
  • Marketing (of course!)
  • Fashion
  • Travel
  • Beauty and skincare

Of course, those are just examples. But hopefully, you get the idea.

How to take good Instagram photos

Naturally, good photography and good visuals are a huge part of success on Instagram. Here are some quick tips on how to take good Instagram photos:

  1. Find a good location with interesting backgrounds or lighting.
  2. Use a tripod for stability and to avoid blurry photos.
  3. Experiment with different angles and perspectives.
  4. Use natural light whenever possible.
  5. Shoot in burst mode to capture more shots quickly.
  6. Edit your photos using some sort of editing app.
  7. Practice a lot!

Above all, be patient. If you keep working at it, keep educating yourself, and keep practicing, you’ll get better over time.

Captions, emojis, and hashtags on Instagram

Captions, emojis, and hashtags are important elements of any Instagram post. They allow users to find your content, as well as give potential customers more insight into your business. When writing captions for Instagram, it’s important to keep them concise and to the point. Try to limit yourself to about 150 characters or less – this will ensure that people can read your caption without getting bored or losing interest.

Emojis generally create more interest and engagement on Instagram. If you’re not comfortable with emojis, use a tool like the Emojipasta Generator to get some ideas while you get started.

As for hashtags, research what other businesses in your industry are using and try to use relevant and popular hashtags as much as possible. This will help you get more reach on each post.

When using any hashtag, be sure to look it up to make sure it doesn’t already exist and means something other than what you intend!

Influencer marketing with Instagram

Finally, it wouldn’t be a guide to Instagram if we didn’t talk about influencer marketing.

There’s a common misconception that influencers are just people sitting on their phones all day. To keep being an influencer, they have to act like business owners. Brand deals and sponsorships are the core of their income. At their base level, influencers are marketers. So why not have them help you market your business?

Is influencer marketing right for your business? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is your ideal target audience well-defined?
  • Are you having trouble reaching that audience?
  • Do you have a flexible timeline?
  • Do you have the budget to bring on a spokesperson?
  • Are you willing to risk that investment without knowing the ROI ahead of time?

If so, then influencer marketing may be a good fit for you! Some tips to know about influencers:

  • Often they don’t work on exact timelines. You’ll need to be flexible.
  • Make sure you utilize a contact with them.
  • Larger influencers can be thousands of dollars, while micro-influencers can charge much less and be more targeted.
  • Of course, they can’t guarantee that their audience will buy your service or product.

Need help on Instagram?

What are you waiting for? Dive in!

Oh, are you nervous about running your own Instagram account? Do you have enough to do already and want some help from an online marketing company?

Producing content to get engagement can be tedious and time-consuming. We would be happy to talk with you and see if we’re a good fit to help you.

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