Instagram 101: The recipe for a soaring strategy

A successful Instagram marketing strategy takes more than just posting pretty pictures. It is the product of a thoughtful, well-defined plan based on clear goals and measurable results.
29 March 2018

Do you have a strong Instagram strategy? Source: Pexels

If you are trying to grow your brand, then there is no doubt that you are familiar with the need for creating a solid social media campaign.

Whether you’re a bag-selling boutique, a sea-side sandwich shop, or a fitness fanatic selling delicious dietary plans, you want people to fall in love with your brand.

A platform that every brand should be using in order to get your flirt on with your audience, is the picture-sharing platform, Instagram. With over 800 million active users, the app is a breeding ground for potential customers.

But with over 60 million photos being uploaded onto the platform each day, how can you ensure your content is being noticed?

The use of trending #hashtags

The power of a hashtag often goes unnoticed, but when used effectively they can really gain exposure for your brand. They allow you to be a part of wider conversations online and make you more discoverable.

Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags in one single post, and it would be wise to use all of these. Although it may sound like a lot, the more you hashtag, the more eyeballs you get on your post.

Hashtags are a great way to increase brand exposure and join trending conversations. Source: Shutterstock

A great approach is to use trending hashtags. There are websites available such as Hashtagify that allow you to instantly identify top hashtags to accelerate your business growth, brand awareness and marketing effectiveness through hashtag marketing.

Tying your content with trending hashtags is a great way to get your content in front of a wider audience.

Instagram carousel posts

Though you may be tempted to post multiple shots of the same product from different angles, spamming your followers feed will only lead them to unfollow you.

But the good news is that in recent months Instagram has released a “carousel” feature that allows users to post multiple photos or videos in a single post. This means that you can showcase your product with as many angles as your heart desires, without spamming your follower’s feed.

Use Instagram stories

If you haven’t started using this feature yet, then it really is time to start!

The stories feature enables you to post photos and videos which can be viewed within a 24 hour time frame; much similar to Snapchat.

Some brilliant use-cases of Instagram Stories for your brand are the announcement of product launches, flash sales, and other offers you have on. Furthermore, you may want to consider uploading some behind-the-scenes company footage. This will show your audience your authenticity and build stronger connections.

By utilizing mentions, links, and hashtags in your stories you can drive your audience to your website or branded hashtags. The stories feature is a great way to reach and connect with your audience without having to constantly flood your feed with posts.

Repost user-generated content

While you may spend a significant portion of your time and efforting creating original content to share, have you ever considered the power of reposting others’ content on Instagram?

Sometimes brand content can look too staged and pristine. On the other hand, user-generated comes across as more intimate, reliable, and trustworthy which of course is of value to your brand.

You can encourage your customers to take selfies with your products, and in return, they can win a special place on your Instagram feed.

Global fashion company, Asos, encourage customers to post selfies wearing their products along with the hashtag #asseenonme. This increases brand exposure across the platform using customer advocates.

Mustard mood 📸 @asos_barbara 🔎 1164671 #asos #asseenonme

A post shared by ASOS (@asos) on


Following on from the benefits of re-posting user-generated content, is the effectiveness of harnessing influencers.

Influencer marketing has grown from one of the hottest trends on Instagram to a proven marketing channel which is delivering real and valuable results for brands. Did you know that influencer marketing delivers 11 times higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing?

Many companies are leveraging the use of influencers to promote their products and service. Source: Shutterstock

While the power of influence traditionally laid in the hands of celebrities, now regular people like you and me are gaining influence online based on their opinions and perspectives.

This truly has widened the opportunity for marketers to tap into people with influence to help promote their brand.

With social algorithms putting a stronger emphasis on user sharing, it has been reported that 48 percent of marketers in the US are planning to further increase their budget for influencer-focused campaigns.

Statistics are your new best friend

When it comes to creating a successful marketing strategy, the magic is in the numbers!

Your company should set up an Instagram Business profile- it’s free and comes with many attractive benefits sure to set you on your way to marketing success. What’s to lose right?

One of the built-in features includes the ability to access business insights. This gives your brand actionable information to guide your strategy. For instance, who are your main followers? What time and day does your post gain the most engagement?

You can then use this information to create compelling content aimed at your main audience, as well as posting at the right time in order to gain maximum exposure. What’s even great is the ability to now schedule your posts with an Instagram Business profile. So no need to set a 2 am alarm to post that photo!