Marketing on Instagram is a cutthroat venture, full of competition, but now entirely impossible.
We go through 21 steps that you can follow in order to create a successful Instagram marketing campaign in 2022 and beyond.
There are more than 1.16 billion viewers on Instagram, and this is why it is a great platform for marketing your brand.
In the year 2021, the number of users on Instagram grew by 76 million, and this is why it is a platform that you cannot ignore when it comes to the potential for reaching out to the masses.
Statistics show that 9% of all Instagram users follow at least ONE Business account.
Although the platform tends to favor B2C businesses, 36% of B2B decision-makers are on Instagram, looking for new services and products to use in their own businesses.
Whether you are just starting out, or have been a marketer on Instagram, this cheat sheet of 21 small steps will help you improve your chances of getting noticed on the platform.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and jump right into the deep end.
Start by Setting Up an Instagram Business Account
Before you can begin using Instagram for marketing, you must have an Instagram Business Account or an Instagram Creator Account.
If you have a Personal Instagram Account, jump on to step number 3 to convert it into a business account.
Step 1: Download Instagram
- Go to the App Store or Google Play and Download Instagram. In some cases, it comes included with your device when you buy it.
Step 2: Sign Up
- Open the Instagram App.
- If you are using iOS, tap on “Create New Account”.
- If you are using Android, you can sign up with your email or your phone number.
- Enter your email or phone number and then click on “Next”.
- Create a user name and a password for your account.
- Fill out your profile and then click on “Next”.
Step 3: Switch your account type
- Go to the top right side of your profile and tap on the hamburger icon.
- Tap on “Settings” followed by “Account”.
- Tap on “Switch to professional account”.
- Tap on “Business” and then follow the prompts to complete this step.
21 Instagram Marketing Tips for 2022 and Beyond
#1: Create a Business Account
If you want to get the best out of Instagram marketing, then you MUST use a business account, which opens up a lot of avenues for you to maximize your campaign efforts.
There are several features that come with a business account, that you cannot access using a personal account:
- Instagram insights
- Instagram advertisements
- Instagram shopping
- Contact Information
- Call-to-action button which you can place on your profile
- Primary and Secondary inboxes for private messages
You may also use an Instagram Creator account, which comes with its own benefits for Instagram content creators and influencers, but if you want to get the best results, you should use an Instagram Business Account.
If you have not got one yet, jump back to the section above and create one or convert your existing account into a business account.
#2: Identify Your Goals
The only way you can get the best marketing milage from any social platform is to clearly define your goals right from the get-go.
There are various goals that you can define for your Instagram Marketing Campaigns:
- Increase brand awareness
- Creating an online footprint for your business
- Generating new leads
- Positioning your business as an industry leader
- Selling products and services straight from Instagram
- You may also combine some of these goals together.
The main point here is that you must be very clear about where you want your Instagram Marketing campaigns to take you, otherwise you could easily lose your way.
#3: Identify your Target Audience
When you are thinking about marketing on Instagram, you must be very clear about who you want to reach.
You must have an understanding of your target audience demographics:
- Instagrammers between the ages of 18 and 29 are the most active.
- Instagram is much more used by urban residents than suburban residents within the same age groups.
- The largest number of Instagram users come from the United States.
Given these demographics, one cannot be faulted for thinking that Instagram is the best tool for reaching out to urban residents in the United States who are between the ages of 18 and 29.
However, you need to go beyond these demographics and research who else you can reach on Instagram. In some countries, it is now becoming a great tool for people to showcase their new products and services.
You must do your due diligence and find out exactly who you will be targeting using your Instagram Marketing campaigns.
#4: Create a Wonderful Profile
Instagram gives you 150 characters to write your bio, so make the best use of your word. Convey the best first impression for your brand and let potential followers know why they should be bothered with following your Instagram Account.
Now, this is quite a lot to say within that small space given on your account.
To beat this limitation, you may use the other fields in your Instagram profile to showcase other aspects of your brand, and thereby let people know more about your products and services.
Some of these are:
- Your Name – this is made of 30 characters and is included in search
- Your User Name – this is your handle and can reach a limit of 30 characters; the User Name is also included in search.
- Your website – this s a URL that people can follow; you can change it as many times as you want.
- Category – you can use this feature to tell people what your business is all about without using the bio characters.
- Contact info – this is self-explanatory; how do people get in touch with you.
- Call-to-action buttons – this is a great way to get your Instagram followers to interact with your products and services without ever leaving the app.
#5: Select the Best Image for your Profile
If you are using Instagram for your business, then you should use your logo as the profile picture.
Using a logo creates recognition from your prospective customers and gives credibility to the marketing campaigns that you conduct.
Ideally, your Instagram profile photo should be 110 x 110 pixels in size, which is cropped into a circle.
However, the image is stored at 320 X 320 pixels, so you should upload one in this size so that it fits well on all devices.
If you have a square logo, you may have to create some empty space around it so it is properly displayed within the circle.
#6: Create Attractive Content
Instagram is a platform for visual content, so your content has to look great in order to get traction. It does not mean that you invest in professional cameras and the like; you can simply use your mobile device, but make sure the videos and images are very sharp.
The composition, lighting, and focus should be your first priority at the bare minimum.
If you are using infographics and animations, make sure that they too are very clear, easy to read, and catch the eye.
Make sure that your attractive content is compelling in some other way. For instance, having an image that does not tell a story will not work well, like one that has a story to tell.
Storytelling in still photography has become very important in getting people to interact with images.
If you are not sure about how to go about this, here are some things that you could try out:
- Quotes and Text-based images – Play with text and create visually stunning images, even without the use of photography.
- Behind the scene – you can create content that shows what goes on behind the scenes in your business. This could be at your storefront, manufacturing process, or even how you take your tea.
- User-generate content – this is a great way of getting people to interact with your brand. Get them to create their own content using your products and services.
- Tutorials – You can use these to show people how to achieve certain goals, and this can be very engaging.
- Instagram Reels – These are video snippets that are used to showcase products and services. We shall discuss them further down in this cheat sheet.
- IGTV – Instagram videos can only last for a maximum of 60 seconds, but if you want to create longer ones, use IGTV.
Always bear in mind that your content must be compelling if you want it to inspire people to interact with it. This way, they are more likely to share your content and this increases your reach considerably.
When you create content to share on Instagram, make sure that it is worthy of a share and not just a quick like.
#7: Define Your “Look” on Instagram
When you have made up your mind about the main content that you will place on your Instagram account, you need to know how it should look like.
This is where you create the aesthetics of your Instagram account, knowing how color influences the buying decisions of your audience.
Color also affects how people perceive your brand.
You must make sure that you have a consistent look across all your Instagram posts. This makes it easy for your followers to identify your content.
Lightroom presets are a great way to unify the look for your Instagram account.
If you find an Instagram account with a preset that you would like to adopt, you can ask them if they would sell it to you. There are various accounts that sell their presets.
#8: Craft Excellent Captions
Yes, Instagram is a visual medium and everyone is interested in seeing what your videos and images are all about.
However, you cannot ignore the importance of captions.
Make sure that your captions are consistent across all your posts, and should be in keeping with your brand voice.
You can create captions of up to 2,200 characters, so make sure that you use them to their maximum potential – if you have a lot to say, then say it rather than make a quick quip.
Note that only the first two lines of your captions will appear in the news feeds without tapping on “More” so make these the most meaningful.
Here are some of the lengths that you should have for your Instagram captions, based on their proposed use.
- Organic Posts – a maximum of 150 characters
- Instagram advertisements – a maximum of 125 words
Always make sure that the extra text that you add is worth the effort. The caption should be relevant, informative, and entertaining.
#9: Effective Use of Hashtags
On Instagram, Hashtags are used to increase findability and visibility.
You have the option of using up to 30 hashtags in one Instagram post, but it does not mean that you should stuff your posts with hashtags.
The recommended number of hashtags to use is anywhere from 5 to 10. If you use more than these, your posts will start to look like spam and it can turn off your potential followers
You can also turn off users when you use hashtags that are not related to the content that you are posting.
In order to effectively use hashtags on Instagram, make sure that:
- The hashtags are relevant to the post
- They are specific to your niche
- You avoid like-swapping and follow hashtags such as #like4like or #ollowme
#10: Engage with your Audience
You must engage with your audience if you want to create meaningful engagement; quite a funny way to look at it, right?
Whenever you post quality content, people are bound to interact with it and leave comments. Make sure that you reply to these comments and engage your audience.
If you ignore comments and refuse to interact with other people on Instagram, then you will be very lonely in the long run, and fail in your outreach campaigns.
At the bare minimum, respond to comments made on your posts. Also, try to look for accounts to follow and comment on too. This way, you increase your visibility without having to promote yourself.
If you are tagged in a post, take the time to see what it is all about, and then comment or share the post.
You may also choose to pin comments from your loyal fans, which only serves to make them comment more in your future posts. This is a great way of keeping conversations going throughout all your posts.
With this kind of interaction, you build meaningful relationships with your fans, who are tired of bots and trolls.
#11: Use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories is a feature that is used by a majority of businesses on Instagram, and the results they get are fantastic.
Most of the stories viewed on Instagram are created by businesses. They are a time-tested tool for conducting Instagram marketing campaigns.
Instagram stories have a life of only 24 hours before they disappear. These stories are raw and real and do not have the hallmark of curated video.
This is why people love them since they are spontaneous and fun.
If you want to get the best use out of Instagram Stories, then here are some things that you should keep in mind:
- Tell a compelling story – although Instagram Stories are supposed to be in the moment, you can try to script them a little bit to tell a great story.
- Think quickly – You must convey the message within the first three seconds by using several short scenes.
- Give Value – You should use these stories to give useful information or links to your viewers.
- Use CTAs – Instagram provides you with “Swipe Up” overlays for when you want to show outside links on your content. Use text CTAs to tell followers why they should actually swipe upwards to reveal the links.
- Be consistent – consistency is key to keeping your brand recognizable, as we mentioned earlier. The same case goes for Instagram stories; make sure you have consistency in the language and feel of your stories.
- Share as much as you can – make sure that you share content that you have been tagged in, especially if it is relevant to your niche. This is a great way of sharing UDC, and at the same time thanking your fans for interacting with you.
#12: Boost your Bio using Stories Highlights and Covers
Stories Highlights Covers are a bonus feature that you can use to add more information to your bio.
These are highlight albums, which you can pin on your bio and which do not disappear after 24 hours.
The albums appear at the bottom of your bio and you can create a custom cover for each of them.
This gives your followers options to follow and get to know more about your business.
For example, if you are a fashion accessories store, you can have highlight albums for handbags, bracelets, earrings, etc., and each would have its own unique cover. If anyone wants to see more about your handbags, then they can access the information from the highlight section for handbags.
#13: Use The Gift Card Button and Sticker
Instagram allows you to sell gift cards directly from your Instagram Story or profile. This is a great way of creating engagement with your fans and also allowing them to support a cause that is dear to you.
It is very easy to add a gift card button to your story or profile.
- Go to your profile and tap on “Edit”.
- Go to the “Public Business Information” section and then tap on “Action Buttons”.
- Under “Select a Button” choose “Gift Cards”.
It is also very simple to add a gift card sticker to your story.
- Choose the photo that you want to use in your story.
- Then go and add the gift card sticker.
If you cannot find the gift card sticker, then simply start a search for “Gift Cards” and they will pop up if they are available in your geographical region.
Whether you use a Gift Card Button or a Gift Card Sticker, you need to use a partner provider, such as Square to sell the gift cards.
When you try to add Gift Card stickers or buttons, you will have the option of choosing your selling partner.
#14: Create Mystery and Anticipation using Countdown Stickers
The countdown sticker is a great way of building up anticipation and mystery ahead of a product or service launch or any other event that you want to host.
This is a great way of letting your fans mark their calendars ahead of an important event.
There are online stores that use the stickers to build anticipation for new products being launched, and these are usually sold out within a few hours due to this kind of anticipation.
This is also great for products that quickly sell out – the loyal fans who follow the Instagram business account get the first chance at buying the products.
#15: Use Instagram Live
With Instagram Live, you can connect with your fans in real-time, allowing for meaningful conversations. There are various ways in which you can add a lot more value to your IG Live posts:
- You can collaborate with an influencer or industry expert so you can have a conversation together that will benefit your audience. You can do this using the “Add Guest” option.
- You can offer a live “Behind-the-scenes” look at your company processes.
- You may use IG Live to host a workshop or give a tutorial
- You can use it as a question-and-answer forum
- You can have an interview with a team member from your business
- You can talk to one of your customers or clients in a manner that relates to others interested in your products and services.
#16: Learn to Sell Through Instagram Shop
This is one of the reasons why you need an Instagram Business Account – Instagram Shop does not work on Private accounts.
With this feature, you can create an Instagram Shop, where you can sell products directly to your audience without them having to leave Instagram.
When activated, you will get a “View Shop” button directly added to your Instagram Profile Page. This makes it easy for fans to get to your products without having to read any posts.
There is also a Shop tab added to the Explore Page, which allows users to look for products that they want, or see new offerings from shops that they have already interacted with in the past on Instagram.
Every month, more than 130 million Instagram users shop on the app. This means that there is a willingness for people to buy directly from brands that they follow. You can tag shopping products on IGTV, Instagram Stories, and also posts.
Note: If you tag products in your Instagram Stories, then you should turn on “Auto-Highlighting”. This ensures that all these stories are stored in the highlights section and they will still be available for people to see even after the 24-hour lifespan of Stories is passed.
#17: Learn How to Use Instagram Reels
Instagram has added a new feature to their marketing tools called the Instagram Reels, and these can be found on the Explore Page.
These are short, multi-cut videos that were created to answer the TikTok challenge.
Instagram Reels are short and spontaneous and are used to make brands stand out from the competition.
#18: Know When to Post for Maximum Impact
They say that there are specific times when it is best to post on Instagram based on the niche that you choose.
For example, if you are dealing with short holiday deals, then you should post towards the end of the week when people are looking for places to visit over the weekend.
Statistics have shown that there are the best times to post based on the niche that you are in:
- Retail – Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 12.00 Noon
- Professional Services – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9.00 AM to 10.00 AM
- Media and Entertainment – Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12.00 noon to 3.00 PM
- Pharma and Healthcare – Wednesdays and Sundays at 9.00 AM
- Personal Care – Thursdays and Fridays from 1.00 PM to 3.00 PM
- Technology – Mondays and Tuesdays from2.00PM.
- Travel and Tourism – Fridays from 9.00 AM to 1.00 PM
- Foods and Beverages – Fridays from12.00 Noon
- Education – Thursdays from 4.00 PM to 5.00 PM
- Non-profit – Tuesdays from 10.00 AM to 4.00 PM
- B2B Commerce – Thursdays from 4.00 PM to 9.00 PM
#19: Cultivate Influencer Partnerships
If you want to increase the reach of your brand, while bolstering your credibility, you should try and cultivate mutually beneficial partnerships with influencers within your niche.
Research shows that more than 50% of daily Instagram users have made a purchase simply because the product or service was hyped up by an influencer they follow.
A great way of doing this is to have what is called an Instagram Takeover.
This is where you give your Instagram Access to an Influencer, who does all the posting for a short period of time, such as a weekend.
If you are running a recipe blog, you can invite chefs and personal food enthusiasts to take over your Instagram for a weekend, where they share their recipes on your posts and Stories.
This way, you are able to create credibility by the fact that ex expert chef has taken over your account for the weekend, and also expose your brand to the chef’s usual followers, who become your new audience.
#20: Use Instagram Adverts to Expand your Audience
One of the best ways to get noticed by new people is to use Instagram Adverts. You can use the demographics that you have about your target audience to create targeted ads.
Some features that should define your advertising campaign are:
- The location of your target audience.
- The demographics of the target audience, such as age, gender, etc.
- The interests of your target audience.
- The behaviors of your target audience when they are on and off Instagram.
- You can also use the custom audience information of the people with who you already have a relationship with and see how these can be used to rope in like-minded people.
Advertise on Instagram Stories, Feed and Explore Page.
#21: Analyze and refine Your Instagram Marketing Campaigns
As happens when you carry out a marketing campaign on any platform or channel, you must analyze the data and see whether you could have performed better using different features.
There are several ways in which you can analyze Instagram Data so you can fine-tune your next campaign for better results.
Instagram insights are a powerful way of getting a broad look at how your campaign performed.
For those who hate analyzing data, this is something that you must learn to do if you want to get the best ROI after conducting marketing campaigns on Instagram.
Instagram has been a dominant platform when it comes to sharing visual content.
The site has over a billion users on a daily basis, and it is time that you took up your share of these people.
Start off by building a business Instagram account, and then use the free tools available to promote your brand.
The steps that have been listed above are a sure way of getting people to interact with your brand and drive the goals behind your Instagram Marketing efforts.
Be creative when you are generating content for your Instagram Marketing Campaigns – the more creative you are, the better the engagement you will get from your target audience.
Also remember to work with influencers in your niche, where they can help you get more exposure for your products and services.
Let influencers take over your account for a few days, take a rest and watch the magic happen.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on your performance indicators and fine-tune your campaigns accordingly.
Finally, if you have any insights that you can share with us, kindly add them in the comments section of this article.