If you were one of the many people who thought Instagram would never take off, then you were wrong. Instagram hit 1 billion users worldwide in June 2018, with 23 million of those being in the UK according to statista.com. This means that Instagram is an essential part of your marketing strategy that you simply cannot afford to ignore.

At Christchurch Creative we achieved the holy grail of Instagram marketing when we hit 10,000 followers. This means we can access the direct website link, which is fabulous. In this blog post, we’ll outline why that’s important and share our top Instagram marketing tips.

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Why it’s important to increase your followers

Increasing your followers helps to improve your brand awareness and also helps you establish yourself as an expert in your field. In 2018 Richard Brunson, co-founder of Click Funnels, said, “Instagram is the most important platform to grow for your business.”

Achieving 10,000 followers

When you reach 10,000 followers on Instagram, you receive a direct web link. With a direct web link, you can directly link anything you share straight to your website, rather than just saying ‘follow the link in my bio’.

Instagram marketing tips using your social media for business

How to increase your followers?

It’s all very well talking about the importance of increasing your followers, but how do you do that?

Who is your ideal follower?

First things first, in order to attract your ideal follower, you need to know who they are.  How old they are, where they live, whether they are male or female etc. Most importantly, what do they want? When you know what they want you are in a better position to give it to them.

Follow your ideal followers

The first and most obvious way to gain followers is to follow others. When you follow someone, there’s a good chance they’ll follow you back.

Instagram marketing tips Our Instagram feed

Engage with your ideal followers

Another way to target your ideal followers is to engage with them by commenting on their posts or sending them a direct message. Beware of automated messages though. There is nothing more off-putting than receiving a generic copy and paste message. Add something personal if you can, that demonstrates you have read their posts.

You can also share your ideal followers’ posts using an app such as repost.

Get your bio right

Until you reach the magic 10,000 follower mark, your bio is the only place you can have a direct website link. It’s imperative therefore to make sure you include your URL in your bio. Your bio should also include your company name and / or the name of your brand, a good reason why people should follow you and a definitive call to action. Click here to read our Christchurch Creative bio on Instagram.

What to share

You can share your own photos, videos, images you’ve created in Canva, stock photos and reposts. You can repost using an app such as repost as we’ve already mentioned. You can also create Instagram Stories, which leads us nicely on to our next point…

Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are a great way to increase your followers.  Facts tell, stories sell as the old adage goes and Instagram stories provide the perfect platform to tell your stories.

According to Instagram on their second birthday, Instagram Stories were being shared by over 400 million users every day.

So what are Instagram Stories?

Instagram stories allow you to share content that is only available for 24 hours. Instagram give stories priority by positioning them at the top of your feed.

Making the most of Instagram Stories

You have a few words to entice people on to your website, so it’s important to get those words right. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Ask yourself what they want. Remember to sell benefits rather than features – “sell the sizzle not the sausage” as they say.

You can also tag people, including your ideal followers, in your stories. They will then be more inclined to follow you and so will their followers.

Whether you’re sharing your own content or using other people’s content, make sure it’s relevant, interesting and useful to your followers. Encourage engagement on your posts by asking questions.

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According to Hubspot “an Instagram post with at least one hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than a post with no hashtags”.  Hashtags enable you to get your content in front of your target audience.  If someone searches for a particular topic such as ‘instagram marketing tips’ for example, if you’ve used #instagrammarketingtips in your post, you’re more likely to go to the top of the search results.

You may notice that when you start typing a hashtag in Instagram it lets you know how many posts there are with that hashtag. For maximum impact it’s best to choose hashtags that have somewhere between 10,000 and 50,000 posts. If you use hashtags that have too many posts yours are likely to get lost. Incidentally #InstagramMarketingTips has 19,026 posts.

You can add up to 30 hashtags to an instagram post, so make sure you maximise that by using all 30.

We hope this blog post has given you some useful Instagram marketing tips. If you’d like us to produce an Instagram marketing strategy for your business then please do get in touch.