Although using stock photography is a great way to build quality Instagram posts, to really build authenticity into your brand you need real-time content. When potential customers or clients are viewing your Instagram page, you want to provide them with a glimpse into the people behind the brand and the company culture. Real-time videos such as Instagram live or posting a short video via your smartphone are unfiltered and 100% raw. By posting real-time video content and company culture photos, you’re adding the human element to your business which in turn adds value and a genuine connection to your brand. What will set your brand apart from the others is showing the real people and real stories that drive the success, camaraderie, and creativity of your business.
Mix it Up
Instagram makes it extremely easy for its users to post a variety of photos and videos directly from their smartphones. Simply open up the Instagram app, press the add button, and scroll through your photo and video library to select the content you wish to publish. It really doesn’t get much easier than that! The advantage of being able to publish content so easily and quickly is that you don’t have to spend a ton of time creating and editing the content prior to publishing. This also builds in the authenticity we talked about above. By utilizing different types of content, you’re going to attract different audiences by showing different sides of your business. Yes, creating and scheduling content ahead of time is great, but don’t rely on that content alone to grow your business. Be sure to include daily ad-hoc content that shows who you really are.
Engage with Others
Engaging with other Instagram users, brands, and influencers are just as important as the strategy you use to post on your own Instagram profile. It’s not all about you. The Instagram algorithm actually looks at your engagement with other users and profiles to determine your ranking in the Instagram feed. It builds value and signals to the Instagram algorithm that your profile/brand is worthy of ranking higher than others that might not be engaging as much. Take the time to respond to comments on your own posts with an actual response, not just an emoji. Be sure your responses are a minimum of 3 to 4 words. By responding this way ensures that you’re not a bot, but a legitimate profile with something to share. Also, take the time to scroll through other accounts within your industry. Be sure to like their posts, leave them comments, and engage in active conversations. By taking the time to engage with others on Instagram, they’re more likely to not only engage back with you but follow your profile and share your content.
Pay Attention to Your Links
Even though Instagram does not allow you to link to websites or other profiles within your posts, you have an opportunity to do so in your bio. In addition to the 150 characters of text that you’re allowed to have in your bio, you are also able to include a link. You can link to your main website page, your latest blog post, or a link service such as Linktree. Linktree allows you to create a single custom link that links to a page with your branding and a list of links for readers to choose from. Instagram Stories are also another avenue to explore for linking off the Instagram platform. The downside is that the stories only last for 24 hours before they are gone.
Tell a Story
This goes back to the first thing we talked about, which is building authenticity into your business. Telling a story will attract more people to your business and get them engaging with you. By creating stories behind the content that you post, whether video or photos, you’re going to elevate your business by cutting through all the noise on Instagram. Bottom line is that you’ll stand out amongst your competitors. Instagram Stories are a great platform for telling stories. By incorporating video or stringing together multiple photographs, you’re able to create a montage of content for your followers to watch and engage with. When its all said and done, you’ve created a connection with your audience and provided them with a visual experience.
Look for Real Engagement
While it’s nice to see a steady increase in likes and followers, those are just vanity metrics that don’t provide you with the true story of your business’s reach in your industry. Rather, look for indicators of real engagement such as others commenting on your posts and sharing your posts. These two metrics alone, commenting and sharing, give a much better indication of how well you’re doing on the Instagram platform. While Instagram began as mainly a B2C platform, it has grown into a robust marketing tool for B2B businesses to invest in. When utilized correctly, it will offer your business great potential and growth. If your business is not using Instagram, take the time to browse the platform, and see what others in your industry are doing.
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