With over 28.4 million users in the UK alone, Instagram is an incredibly valuable marketing tool for businesses wanting to connect with their audiences in 2022.
When leveraged correctly Instagram can become a powerful tool for business growth, driving revenue along the way. But, before all of that, you need to start engaging your audience segments.
Engagement is any interaction that your audience has with your Instagram post or profile. This includes but is not limited to comments, likes, shares, saves, profile visits, button taps, and sticker interactions.
We would recommend tracking your engagement rate which is the number of engagements on a post divided by the number of followers your account has. Multiply this figure by 100 and you have your engagement rate. Carry out this test across content types to identify the content that engages your audience most.
This is really important. Too many businesses fail to properly understand their audience. Often we ask business owners who their target audiences are and they will give us a very broad description of their ‘perfect’ customer or client. The reality is that targeting a broad audience is often very inefficient.
Instead, businesses should spend time identifying multiple audience personas in order to fully understand their interests, needs, wants, and objectives. Content directly targeted towards these desires and behaviours will yield more engagement than a broad approach.
Before you even think about posting on Instagram you should always follow the rule that everything you post should add some sort of value. Now that you know how to understand your audience personas, you can start to create high-quality content that improves their lives.
This can be done through a number of methods. You might offer a solution to a pain point, or break down an industry myth for example.
If your audience finds your content valuable, they are much more likely to engage with it. Remember to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and try to think like them, instead of thinking from your brand’s point of view.
If you are not already using the Instagram Story feature, why not?!
Instagram Stories offer huge growth potential for businesses. The format of stories lends itself to more engaging content. You can add multiple photos and videos which display as a slideshow for 24 hours.
Popular ways to interact with your audience via stories include how-to guides, using Instagram’s engagement stickers, and sharing ‘behind the scenes’ moments throughout your day.
Recently Instagram unlocked the link feature on stories in a game-changing update for users. Traditionally this feature was reserved for accounts with 10,000+ followers but is now open to all accounts.
It is all about Reels at the moment. This relatively new feature is Instagram’s answer to TikTok and it is being heavily promoted by the algorithm.
That means you can achieve huge reach and engagement from short format videos. Reels are suited to a range of content, but product previews and reviews always perform well.
The creative nature of Reels means that they often take longer to produce. But like TikTok, nobody is expecting studio standard videos, and your time creating is rewarded in views, followers, and engagement.
Audiences like to be told what to do, which is why call-to-actions are an important component of your Instagram posts.
By adding simple CTA’s to your copy you can rocket engagements such as click-throughs on stories.
The most popular call-to-actions are; learn more, buy now, book now, find out more.
We’d advise you to use them as much as you can. Even in posts where you are not able to link you can direct your audience to take action with a CTA like ‘link in bio’.
Collaboration is all the rage in 2022 and it is no different on Instagram. IG has introduced features where you can collab with other brands in order to grow your community.
Collaboration on Instagram means two different accounts can share the same post and benefit from the accumulation of engagement across both accounts.
This feature is very popular with brands that are utilising influencer marketing and the rewards can be huge.
The importance of user-generated content (UGC) is set to increase further in 2022 and it is something you should build into your brand’s online marketing strategy.
User-generated content is content specific to your brand that is created and published by your customers. This could be through a number of methods but by far the most popular is video.
This type of content provides ultimate social proof, or digital word of mouth because it is customer-centric.
Gaining UGC is easier than you expect. Try asking a question on Instagram Stories, or setting up a custom hashtag to start receiving UGC.
This engagement tactic has been around for a while but it is as important as ever. If you post consistently on Instagram it alerts the algorithm that your account is active and notable. This will help to boost your engagement rate.
However, don’t be fooled into posting lots of low-quality content. It is more beneficial to post quality content once a day than spamming your audience with multiple posts a day that present little to no value.
Creating valuable content takes time, so we would recommend using a content schedule to create posts in advance. This will allow you to post valuable content often.
There is no denying that Instagram can produce unrivalled value for businesses when utilised in the right way.
Having the time and expertise to be able to produce consistent, high-quality social media content can be a challenge for brands.