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Tips to Drive Awareness & Grow Your Instagram Audience

Instagram reportedly has over a billion active users per month and 500 million daily Instagram stories. There are 130 million Instagram users in the US, and the average browsing time for a visitor is 53 minutes per day. Instagram is second to Facebook in terms of users, and there are now more than 25 billion business accounts on the platform. If you’re not using Instagram, you may be missing a significant opportunity to grow your brand, your audience and increase sales. Here we will explore some tips for creating memorable Instagram ads and campaigns. 

Will Instagram work for my business?

Instagram is an essential platform for any sized business. An active Instagram presence and consistent posting can help build your brand awareness. Instagram also now provides for e-commerce sales via their “Shop” tab on the Instagram home dock. Customers can purchase directly from you or your shoppable posts, which let you add tags to the products shown in your photos that link to the description, pricing, and a “shop now” button that links to your online store. It is reported that 72% of Instagram users have purchased products on the platform. Whether your goal is brand building, audience building, or sales, Instagram is a platform that can work for you. 

  • Stories are a great way to show your audience who you are. Live stories can show behind-the-scenes peeks at your company and people, helping to build rapport and make you relatable.
  • Partnering with the right influencer can give your brand a significant boost, and Instagram ads are a key to extend your reach and find new customers. You can target a lookalike audience and collect data that will help you collect data that will be usable on other platforms. 

Create a Killer Instagram Campaign

The key to a killer campaign on any platform is to be very clear on your marketing goal and who your target audience is. There are several types of goals that can be met on Instagram. Every element of your campaign must be aligned and focused on a single specific and measurable goals. Your strategy may be the longer-term purpose of being on Instagram, and a campaign is a sprint that is shorter and more intense. Here are some types of Instagram marketing campaigns. There are several broad categories of campaigns that can be optimized for different goals and tactics. 

  •  Awareness campaign – Instagram is an excellent platform for increasing your brand’s visibility with new audiences. Think about using it to showcase new products and show what is exciting and different about your brand. 
  • Sale or promotion – Instagram can be a powerful place to run sales or promotions with special discounts or offers for your followers. Provide a unique discount code just for your followers. Holidays and certain times of year are a great time are an excellent opportunity to run flash sales-driving pre-sales before a launch or to move seasonal inventory.
  • Drive engagement – There are many ways to run contests that will support your goals. For example, if your goal is to expand your reach, the contest would ask users to tag a friend, and asking them to enter through a form will grow your email list. 
  • Product launch – If you’re launching a new product, create camping to build anticipation and excitement. You can show off the benefits and value of the product. 
  • User-Generated Content – User-generated content provides social proof that can make your product soar. You can have them showing how your product is used and what it meant to them. Create a unique hashtag to tie the campaign together. Use compelling content in other campaigns, as users love to see their content used by a brand. 

Top Instagram Tips 

Here are some tips to help you optimize your use of Instagram. 

  • Use the tools created for business users. The tools are much like those on Facebook. Insights will let you view impressions, engagement data, and a breakdown of user demographics like age, gender, location, or active hours. Use this data to perfect your Instagram campaigns and to help you target other platforms. This provides the best view of how users are interacting with your content. 
  • Create sponsored ads. Ads have become quite prevalent on Instagram. You can promote just one ad or multiple ads using the carousel format. You can promote beyond your audience to a similar audience to increase the reach of your ads. Use ads that are engaging to your target or use your best posts in the form of an ad. There are several forms of sponsored ads, including photos, video, carousel or dynamic ads, Stories or Stories Canvas. 
  • Use Instagram Stories – Instagram Stories can be very useful in lead generation. They come in a slideshow format that shows for 24 hours. A user clicks on it to view. They are displayed at the top of a user’s timeline, where a user will look first. Experiment with various formats like photo, video, live video, or Boomerangs. Use a Boomerang that plays on a loop. You can have unlimited Stories at any time. 
  • Develop an interactive, branded hashtag. Interactive hashtags are a great way to encourage engagement. Customers can use that tag to post their own user-generated content. Users can then search through all posts relating to your brand. Hashtags are free, and every time it is used, your brand is being exposed. Consider using your slogan or tagline if you have one. 
  • Think about when you are posting. Over-posting can turn off your audience and can make them unfollow you. You must post consistently so you can stay in their newsfeed. Try to post only on peak days and times. You can find this info in your analysis. Typically, Mondays and Thursdays are the best days, and Wednesdays and Sundays are the worst but check your brand’s data. Mornings from 8-9 are typically a great time to post. Use a scheduling tool to set these post times up.
  • Track the metrics that matter to your brand and goals. You can only improve your campaigns when you understand their performance. Measurable results will tell you what is working and what isn’t. There are three key metrics that you should analyze. The number of followers is often considered a vanity metric. It is, but the growth rate is important. That growth rate will tell you if the content you are posting and your time you’re posting at is right for you. Next, average engagement is important. Look t the average engagement percentage of total followers and average engagement of each post to see how your page performs. Finally, look at your CTR, which will tell you how many people are clicking through to your site. The average CTR on Instagram is .94%. Work on improving this critical metric. 
  • Cross-promote your posts to build synergy. To get a good start on building your Instagram followers. If you are engaging through Twitter, Facebook, or even email, encourage your followers to check out your Instagram content. You can share some of your Instagram posts on the other platforms as well. Facebook owns Instagram, so Instagram, so cross-posts to Facebook do well. 
  •  Honor and express your brand consistently. As on any social media platform, have a strategy and a brand personality. Avoid random posts. Try to show a personality that resonates with your audience. Use images, colors, and fonts tied to your brand, and avoid anything that is off-brand. You want your followers to associate certain characteristics with your brand. 

Instagram is the place to go for image sharing, and you should do what you can to capture some of that vast marketing opportunity. Take advantage of the free tools, use the platform’s features, and be consistent in using Instagram to grow your audience and make sales. Not sure where you want to start with your social platforms? C&I has the expertise to get you the viewership you’re seeking. Give us a holler and let’s make you a social superstar.

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