Instagram marketing: how to increase your brand's engagement in 2019
As of June 2018, Instagram boasts 1 billion users worldwide. Half of those users are active daily users, making IG one of the busiest social network.
Despite that, you may have noticed that your IG posts are getting less and less engagement. However, these are the facts we know:
- Instagram decided to prioritize the moments you cared about in 2016
- They opted to put friends and family first in 2018.
- Around the same time, IG announced an improvement on users’ feeds to prioritize fresh and timely posts.
- In January 2019, they acknowledged the growing concern that they are limiting an image’s reach to 7% of a user’s followers. And that’s it.
While the latest “update” leaves a lot of us confused and in-between, there are still ways on how you can maximize your brand’s engagement through Instagram.
Advertise your products on Instagram like the best brands do
Use Instagram stories stickers as conversation starters
Nowadays, Instagram engagement is more than likes and comments. It now includes IGTV views, people who follow your official hashtag, engagement on your IG stories, and more.
Sure, your photo’s reach is limited to 7% of your followers. Not to mention that your organic reach declines the more accounts a user follows. But it is not the same thing with Instagram Stories.
More than 400 million people are posting and watching IG stories daily. This makes it an ideal new channel to drive engagement for your brand. And you can use IG Stories stickers to encourage followers to communicate with you. As a result, you get to build a community that feels connected with you on a personal level.
Here are some ways to you can Instagram Stories stickers as a conversation starter:
- Question sticker: Conducting AMA (Ask Me Anything) session allows your followers to get to know you and your brand more. You can even ask your followers questions to get an insight into your audience.
- Poll and vote stickers: The same with asking questions, you can use Poll and Vote stickers to ask your followers’ opinion. For example, you can ask them which suitcase lock they prefer: Key and padlock, cable lock, or with number combination?
Write longer captions
Did you know that you can write an Instagram caption up to 2,200 characters?
By writing a long and engaging caption, you get people to spend more time on your post. This can have a positive effect on how your Instagram post performs in the algorithm.
So, how can you write an engaging post? According to Instagram expert Jenna Kutcher, the secret sauce is telling the story behind a photo.
“Your captions shouldn’t just be adjectives strung together but more lines of a captivating story that leaves your followers eager for more. There is power in telling stories!”
When you tell a story, you open up to your followers. This allows you to remind them and yourself of your brand, your goals, and your mission. These are things you cannot say in a one-liner caption and couple of emojis.
The only caveat is that Instagram’s editing box may not be easy to use. That’s why it is advisable to write and schedule your Instagram post on your desktop or laptop using free IG scheduling apps.
Make sure your IG story is optimized
Instagram Stories is a great channel to share spontaneous posts and behind-the-scenes. But that does not mean you should not optimize it.
There are three elements you can add on your IG stories to boost exposure and engagement:
Mentioning other people or brands’ account is a great way to showcase collaboration and user-generated content. It is similar to giving credit where it is due.
Meanwhile, people and brands you mentioned will be notified that they were included in your stories. This can lead to them thanking you, reposting your post, or even sharing your IG stories with their followers.
As a result, you get to build a community and expand your stories’ reach.
Instagram stories are searchable by location. So when you a tag a location and someone looks for it, your stories become part of the search results.
While it is essential to add hashtags on your Instagram posts, it can also have the same impact on your IG stories.
Lucky for you, there are ways to add a hashtag without ruining the aesthetics of your post:
- Use the color tool to choose the one that compliments your stories.
- Type out the hashtags and pinch them to appear smaller.
- Hide it with a GIF or image sticker.
Schedule your Instagram stories to boost views
Just like with Instagram posts, timing is essential when sharing your stories. That said, it is necessary to check your IG analytics to learn when is the best time to post.
However, you need to set up your Instagram Business account first. Once it is up, and after some time of posting IG stories, you can now have access to your analytics and some data to look on.
Tap the bar chart icon found at the top-right corner of your profile page to access Instagram Insights. Under the Audience tab, you will find a ton of information about your audience, including when they are most active. This can help you discover when is the best time to post Instagram Stories for better views and engagement.
And then post galore!
In case you run out of ideas on what to post, Nikki Canning advises to “post your stories at the same time each day.”
This can ensure that you have active and daily IG stories to continually engage your followers.
Share details about your brand
These days, consumers expect more than beautiful product shots from brands and businesses. Your mission and the people behind your brand also matters to them. And Instagram is such a great channel to share and open up about your business.
For example, you can post when you are hiring for new staff, when your website is undergoing a revamp, celebrating a significant company milestone, or if you launch a new feature and why it matters to your customers.
When you do this, you are sure to make your followers feel that they are connected with your brand. Thus, they will actively follow and engage with you.
Know how hashtags impact your content
It is essential to have an effective hashtag strategy on your Instagram marketing campaign. And as mentioned earlier, hashtags help optimize your IG story.
Here’s how you can build an effective hashtag tactic:
- Categorize your hashtags based on the topics or subject matter that your brand covers.
- Visit Instagram Insights to see how many impressions your post gained using particular hashtags.
It is essential to understand which hashtags are driving the most exposure for your site. That way, you will know how you can drive more engagement for your brand.
Make it fun
Finding the right mix for an engaging Instagram Story takes time and lots of experimenting. However, it does not mean that you cannot have fun. You could also delegate the work you have to do to focus on the things you do best.
More and more brands are using IG Stories to add elements of humour on content that they post. However, you still need to be aligned with your brand’s theme and tone. It is not all the time that memes can fit into a business’ personality.
What’s cool about Instagram is that makes your business look less intimidating. It allows you to connect with your followers on a personal level. And with these strategies we have mentioned, you are sure to boost engagement for your brand.