media update’s Taylor Goodman takes a look at three ways your brand can up their Instagram game. 

As we live in the digital age, one thing is clear: consumers love visual content — be it beautiful photographs, gifs, videos or short-form clips.

Visual storytelling has proven to be a majorly successful marketing strategy, with video flourishing on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and YouTube, boasting millions of users respectively. 

Aside from being aesthetically pleasing,  visual content is well suited to the consumer that is always on the go and doesn't have time to read lengthy posts or emails from their favorite brands. 

Enter Instagram — the perfect portal for visual marketing. With 13% of the world's population using the app, it's no surprise to see marketers jumping at the opportunity.

Now, without further ado let's look at three ways brands can improve their Instagram presence:

1. Ensure your feed is consistent  

When it comes to building an easily recognisable brand image and growing your reach, consistency is key

Firstly, it is important that your brand has a consistent voice on Instagram, and in order to determine this, you need to know who your audience is.

This is because, when it comes to communicating with your audience, one size does not fit all. For example, you would not use the same tone when communicating with Gen Zers as you would when you’re talking to baby boomers. 

Once you know who you’re speaking to, you’ll be able to tailor your vernacular and messaging to suit them. If your audience is on the young side, you can use trendy slang or memes when posting. 

If you are consistent in your messaging, consumers will begin to pick up on and recognise your voice. And, as they become more familiar with your brand, your audience will begin to understand who you are, what you do and why you do it.  

This recognition will help your audience to become familiar with your brand, and with time, it will help to build authenticity and brand loyalty for your business.

Another area where consistency is crucial is with your content — specifically on a visual platform like Instagram. 

Being consistent with your content does not mean that you have to post the same thing everyday; rather, it is about creating an aesthetically pleasing feed. You can create consistent visuals by sticking to a colour scheme and using the same or similar filters on your posts. 

Having a uniform feed attracts consumers, as people are generally attracted to appealing visuals. This shows your followers that you care about your image enough to put time into curating an aesthetically pleasing feed, instead of just posting the first thing that comes to mind. 

2. Have a dedicated hashtag

It comes as no surprise that hashtags are a great tool to utilise when you are trying to grow your social media presence. 

On Instagram, you can create a dedicated hashtag that is specific to your business, and when users click on it, they will see all of the posts that have used it. However, if nobody uses the #tag, there will be nothing for users to scroll through if they are trying to find out more about your brand. 

To avoid this, ensure that you promote your hashtag across all your platforms. Ensure that it is displayed on your profile, website and that you utilise it on your other social media platforms, like Twitter or Facebook. 

If you want to take things a step further,  utilise your hashtag offline. Print it on your receipts, packaging, print ads — anything you can think of to get the word out. 

3. Advertise your posts

One of the simplest ways to increase your following and get better engagement on your posts is by promoting them

On Instagram, you can advertise through:

  • photo ads
  • video ads
  • carousel ads
  • stories ads
  • explore ads
  • shopping ads, and
  • collection ads.

The simplest way to buy an Instagram ad is within the app.You can do this by choosing the post you want to promote, then tracking the number of impressions and interactions you get.

Additionally, Instagram offers precise targeting options. This allows you to target the exact audience you want based on location, demographics, interests and behaviours. 

There is also the option to target custom audiences, which are customers you already know, based on their contact details. You can then target lookalike audiences based off of this data. 

When you promote your post, it will have a sponsored label at the top and a call to action button at the bottom that will read either ‘learn more’, ‘download’, ‘install app’ or ‘shop now.’  

Do you have any secret tips for boosting your Instagram presence? Let us know in the comments section below.

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If you want more in depth social media insights, then be sure to check out these South African social media stats for 2020
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy