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The Complete Guide to Instagram Marketing

Did you know that Instagram has around one billion monthly active users? People of all ages with all types of interests use the platform daily. Therefore, it makes it a fantastic place for businesses to reach their target audiences.

How? Through Instagram marketing.

Nowadays, social media marketing is one of the most popular strategies used by marketers. Instagram is the second most popular social media platform in the world (after Facebook), which is why it is no surprise that it has so many incredible features to help brands reach their goals.

So, if you are looking for a guide to help you navigate the ins and outs of Instagram marketing, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know to create and launch effective campaigns.

What Is Instagram Marketing?

Through Instagram, businesses can advertise products or services, generate brand awareness, and connect with their target audiences. Instagram marketing refers to the process of using the platform to achieve these marketing goals through paid and non-paid strategies.

Depending on your specific business goals, Instagram marketing can help you launch a successful social media marketing campaign.

Getting Started

The first thing you need to get started with advertising on Instagram is creating an account. To be able to advertise using the platform, you’ll need to have a business profile. You will need to connect a Facebook business page to your Instagram account, so make sure to have that setup as well.

Make sure your profile is properly set up, and that you add all the information you want to display. Add a relevant profile picture (your logo is always a good pick), a nice bio, and any contact information you wish to show.

Remember that your profile is the first thing your audience is going to see, so make sure to take your time to set it up nicely so that your business makes a good first impression.

Once you have a properly set-up profile, it is time to start creating a strategy for your first campaign.

Setting Goals

Just like with any other marketing campaign, it is important to start by setting specific goals. Knowing what your desired outcome is will make it easier to figure out a course of action for your campaign.

To make sure your goals support a successful marketing strategy, you have to make sure they are SMART:

  • S=specific: identify exact numbers, deadlines, and milestones
  • M=measurable: make sure that your goals can be tracked
  • A=attainable: keep your goals realistic
  • R=relevant: make sure your goals are aligned with your industry as a whole, as well as your own business’ values
  • T=time-bound: your goals should have a specific time frame/deadline

Here’s an example of a SMART Instagram goal: “Sell 1000 units of my product in one month through my Instagram marketing campaign.” This goal is specific, it can be measured, it can be accomplished, and it has a timeline.

Defining Your Target Audience

Once you know exactly what you have to accomplish, you have to figure out the best audience to help you achieve this. Because Instagram has so many users, the chances that your specific target is on the platform are very high.

A good way to define your target audience is by thinking of them as one or a few key personas. When you clearly define who you want your content to reach, it will be much easier to create content that speaks to them.

Determine their age, gender, location, interests, desires, and pain points. With this, you’ll be able to create a much more targeted content strategy that will actually interest the public you are trying to connect with.

Studying Your Competition

While you should never replicate your competitors’ strategies, studying what they are doing is a good way to determine what works within your industry and what doesn’t.

By evaluating your competition, you’ll be able to determine which hashtags are working, what captions bring more engagement, etc. Furthermore, you’ll be able to catch any missed opportunities and create a campaign that addresses things that your competition didn’t think about.

Take a look at what is working for them, and brainstorm ways in which you could improve those strategies. Again, nothing looks worse than a copycat, so make sure you only draw inspiration and don’t replicate any of their content.

Looking at your competition will help you determine your own strengths and weaknesses, and will also allow you to identify any opportunities and threats. Evaluating your competitors is not only good to determine how they are doing, but also to see where you currently stand.

Creating a Strategy

Once you have your goals, target audience, and an idea of what your competition is doing, it is time to create a strategy.

Instagram is a visual social media platform, which means that all your marketing efforts will be achieved through the use of images and videos. Therefore, you need to make sure that your strategy is full of beautifully curated content.

Here are a few tips to create a successful Instagram content strategy:

Focus on Branding

Your Instagram feed should be completely aligned with your brand’s aesthetic. Therefore, you should make sure that all the content you create for your Instagram marketing campaigns is consistent.

See What Your Audience Likes

Instagram allows you to post content using a few different formats. Experiment posting on all of them, and take note of what your audience engages with the most. If your followers interact a lot more with Instagram Reels than with regular videos, make sure to incorporate more of them as you plan out your content.

Track Performance

As a business account, Instagram gives you access to a dashboard of insights.

Instagram lets you see metrics like:

  • Reach: Total number of accounts that saw your content
  • Impressions: Total number of times your content was displayed to Instagram users
  • Engagement: Number of interactions your content has received

These can be very helpful when trying to figure out what posts are working. To create a successful campaign, do more of what is working, and get rid of (or adjust) what is not.

Create a Content Calendar

Once you get an idea of the types of posts that work best with your brand, consider creating a content calendar so that you always have things to post. Planning all your content ahead of time is a fantastic way to make sure you never run out of ideas.

Paid Strategies

With Instagram, you can advertise your brand using paid and unpaid strategies. If you have a budget for it, paid Instagram strategies can be a game-changer for your business.

There are many ways in which you can pay to promote your content on the platform. The following are some of the ones marketers swear by:

Boosting Your Posts

If one of your posts is doing well organically, a good way to keep the momentum going is by paying to boost it. Instagram allows you to do this directly on the app.

On the bottom right corner of the post you wish to boost, you’ll find a “promote” button. All you have to do is click on it, and follow the instructions.

Creating Ads Through Facebook

Instagram is owned by Facebook, which means that businesses can use Facebook’s incredible ad dashboard to create campaigns for Instagram. Through your Business’ Facebook page (the one that is connected to the Instagram account), access “Facebook Ads Manager,” and follow instructions to create your Instagram ad campaigns.

Working With Influencers

Creating ads is a fantastic way to reach a lot of people on Instagram. However, another great strategy is to work with influencers.

Look up influencers that reflect your brand’s value, and reach out to them. Paying an influencer to promote your business is often a fantastic way to reach your target audience through someone who they already trust.

Unpaid Strategies

If your budget is limited or if you want to try to get the most out of Instagram marketing organically, there are a few strategies that you can apply for free. The following are some of the ones that are proven to work the best:


Instagram hashtags are a fantastic way to get more people to see your posts organically. A lot of users on the platform use hashtags to find specific content.

Instagram lets you put up to 30 hashtags on each post. If you want your content to reach a lot of people organically, it is recommended that you use them all.

There are a lot of different opinions when it comes to how to use hashtags on Instagram. A good rule of thumb is to stick to relevant hashtags that have between 10k-1 million uses.

Community Management

A great way to ensure that your target audience returns to your page is by interacting with them. Spend time every day engaging with your audience. Reply to all comments and messages, and establish a good relationship with your customers.

If your spend time engaging with your target, you will create a community that trusts your brand.

Showing Up

If you are not paying for your content to be shown to your audience, you need to make sure that you constantly show up on their feed. How? By being very consistent about your posting schedule.

Make sure to post several stories throughout the day, and be consistent about the content that you post on the feed. Check out your insights, and make sure to pick posting times when you know your target audience will be active on the platform.

Understanding the Algorithm

Even if you have created a fantastic content strategy, there is still a chance that your posts won’t perform the way you want them to. That is why it is extremely important to understand the Instagram algorithm.

The goal of the algorithm is to deliver relevant and entertaining content to each user. The algorithm does this by observing each user’s activity and evaluating the data. This gives the platform an idea of what each account is interested in and shows them specific content accordingly.

To businesses using Instagram, this can be a blessing and a curse. The algorithm can become a negative thing if it determines that your content is not relevant. However, it can also be a great thing because it will encourage you to keep creating content that your target audience will genuinely like.

If you feel like your posts are not being shown to enough users, it can be an indicator that you need to reevaluate your strategy and come up with content that your audience will be excited to see.

The only way to truly “beat the algorithm” is by creating content that has value. Focus on coming up with posts that provide benefits to your followers. Try to always stay away from spam-like content.

Put Your Strategy to the Test

At the end of the day, the best way to figure out if your strategy will work is to put it to the test. If you follow this guide, chances are that you’ll come up with an Instagram marketing strategy that helps you reach your business goals. Focus on creating high-quality content, and combine it with paid and unpaid strategies to ensure it reaches as many people as possible.

If you enjoyed learning about all the benefits of Instagram for businesses, make sure to check out the rest of our content for more tips and tricks.

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