In the world of digital marketing, things are constantly changing. Sometimes it’s for the best and other times it’s not.
Instagram is a great place to market your business and gain more brand awareness. Whatever product you offer, Instagram can help push it to the right people.
This versatility has its advantages and disadvantages. The pro is that it's a trusted and proven way to do marketing; the con is that you’re not the only one with access to this space, so you have loads of competitors.
The large amount of competitors on Instagram is enough to make you question your business decisions. It's important to know that an Instagram page doesn’t show the full story.
Many things go on behind the scenes that you may not know. What you're seeing is the result of an Instagram strategy or the absence of one.
Social media marketing has practically skyrocketed in the last few years. You either join the bandwagon or simply be left behind in the dust.
To beat the competition and take the top spot, you need to have the best Instagram strategy and content. Small brands typically find it harder to usurp that top spot due to their competition with larger brands.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a few approaches you can use to stay ahead of your competition.
Steal from them
“Good artists copy, great artists steal.”
When competing with others, it's important to know where you stand at times.
What're your strengths and weaknesses when compared to others? These are questions you need to ask yourself daily. And when you’re done, carry out this same analysis on your competitors to discover what they’re doing. What makes them so successful or what has made them fail.
When you know the strengths and methods they use, you can now implement those methods in your own IG strategy.
For instance, your competition hosts a trivia competition each week, thereby boosting engagements. Why not think of something similar, like a puzzle they have to solve? The competition can help you grow.
The overall idea is to adjust and make improvements every step of the way.
Know your target audience
When you take up Instagram marketing, the one thing that should be at the back of your mind is your target audience. Who're you selling to?
Be very realistic when thinking about this because it'll affect how you do business in general, so do it without sentiments. Know the type of customers that will want to use your product/service and define them by age, gender, race, location, and even religion (if that applies).
Don’t waste time trying to appeal to everyone. Start with a small audience then grow over time. This is a great way to get one up on your competition.
Advertising is one of the core parts of marketing. If you're trying to reach people who aren't your followers or those outside your reach, you need to advertise.
Instagram advertising helps you reach out to users outside your circle, thereby increasing your audience and brand awareness.
To run a successful Instagram ad, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
Use high-quality visual content that will grab the eyes in one glance.
Have an optimized landing page with a great call to action. When people see your ad, it should inspire them to take action and patronize you. If they decide to do that, your landing page is the first thing they’ll see, so make it an excellent one.
Tailor your ads to the audience you wish to attract.
Influencers are people with a medium to a large following. They can influence their fans/followers toward a particular decision.
Influencer marketing is commonplace today. We see brands reaching out to social media personalities with a large following. These brands look for influencers who fit their target audience.
The thing is, influencers are one of the best routes to build brand trust. Followers can see someone they relate to using your product/service and this can go a long way. Find an influencer with a large following and you’re good to go. Your marketing will go through the roof.
Well, not exactly! We have micro-influencers, too. These personalities have fewer followers who are usually more engaged. A micro-influencer with 5,000 followers could be more profitable for your business than a mega-influencer with 200,000 followers.
Always be consistent and professional
Being professional in all your dealings has nothing but positive effects. Coupled with consistency, you already have the keys to success.
When it comes to social media marketing, consistency can be achieved by regularizing your posts. You don’t want to be that brand that just posts every other day. Create a content calendar to help schedule posts. This will go a long way in making you more consistent.
Consistency will help you stay relevant in the minds of your audience, so you don’t give them the opportunity to forget you—not even for a second.
Regular posts coupled with the right hashtags make for one of the best strategies in Instagram marketing. Stick with a pattern or opt for a unique style, then you’re good to go.
Leverage your media
Instagram revolves around pictures and videos. This is what the app was built for. So when uploading content, keep the quality of your posts in mind.
Put up high-quality photos and videos, and it becomes a testament to the quality your brand puts out. Thankfully, Instagram's compression tool won't reduce the quality of any post.
And instead of using pictures taken on a phone, why not invest in a professional photographer and take your branding to a whole new level? These are some of the sacrifices you need to make when starting a business.
Quality photos with Instagram filters and great captions; this is the recipe for success.
Use analytics tools
Tracking growth and metrics is an essential part of SMM. You need to know what works best for you and what doesn’t. But checking all these metrics manually can prove time-consuming and tedious. This is where analytical tools come in.
You can use these tools to analyze how your business is doing and also spy on your competitors. Some of the top tools to use are Phlanx, SproutSocial, SocialBlade, Google Alerts, SocialMention, and Fanpage Karma.
Using these tools to see what your competition is up to, you'll pick clues about their strengths and weaknesses. The idea is to adopt the good and abandon the bad, and market more strategically.