There are over 1 billion active Instagram accounts worldwide, with more than 80% of these following at least one brand and over 200 million users visiting as least one business profile each day. No doubt, Instagram is experiencing continuous growth, and with the right strategies in place, imagine how many followers you can gain this year.
Beyond posting appealing photos and videos along with optimized content, here are a few more things you need to start doing in 2019 if you want to beat the competition and win more fans on Instagram:
Invite Influencers to a Getaway
It started in 2018, when certain brands like Benefit Cosmetics and Revolve took some hand-picked Instagram influencers with millions of followers on a vacation instead of merely sending their products to these influencers to be featured on a sponsored post in their feeds and Stories. Of course, these getaways would involve giving these popular personalities products to try on so they can post about them as they are enjoying their amazing retreat.
This way, the posts about their products are more authentic, with photos and videos taken as these influencers are having a blast on their trip, not just as unboxing and product reviews that we are used to seeing. The hashtag for Benefit Cosmetics’ campaign, #OutOfThisWorld, is now at 335k posts; while Revolve’s campaign hashtag #RevolveAroundTheWorld is currently at 65k posts.
Start Posting Vertical Videos on IGTV
Vertical videos are definitely gaining popularity, and with IGTV, you can post longer videos up to 10 minutes maximum and even longer, for up to 60 minutes, if your account is verified. IGTV was just recently launched in June 2018 and since then, a lot of celebrities and influencers have embraced it and begun creating personalized content for their viewers.
So, how do celebrities and brands used IGTV? For Jamie Oliver’s IGTV channel, this is where the expert cook shares his awesome recipes for an average of just 5 minutes. NatGeo’s IGTV channel is an amazing source for information about wildlife and scientific breakthroughs. Just how many users actually watch these videos on IGTV? One episode on NatGeo, The Story of a Face, which aired on August 16, 2018, has as much as 2 million viewers as of this writing!
Set Up Shopping on Instagram
A recent study shows that about 70% of consumers worldwide prefer to shop online, social media channels included. In fact, according to a Forbes article, one brand has increased its revenue by 8% since Instagram launched its shopping feature in March 2018, allowing brands to tag up to five products in a post.
You can easily add the shopping feature on your posts. To start setting up product tags, go to your profile then tap the Get Started alert at the top of your profile. You can also tap Options or the gear wheel. Next, tap Products then tap Continue. Choose a product catalog to connect to your business profile, then tap Done. Now, to start tagging products in your Instagram posts, tap Tag Products from the Share screen then tap the products that you want to tag in the photo. Enter the names of the products you want to tag, then select them as they appear in the search box. Tap Done then Share.
The new shopping feature, along with your link in bio and the swipe up feature on Stories, is a great way to sell your products or services to the 1+ billion Instagram users who spend around 53 minutes each day on this social media channel. By September 2018, Instagram rolled out a shopping explore tab as well as shopping in Instagram Stories, and 90 million Instagram users have been tapping on posts each month to see the tagged products.
Add Your Instagram Stories in Highlights
Instagram Stories is a great way to engage with your followers on a more personal level. Here, you can post as often as you want and as casual as you can get because the posts here only last for 24 hours, then they’re gone forever. Unless you add them to your Highlights, which is a great way to organize the Stories that you want your follower to be able to access at any point in time.
Creating Instagram Story Highlights is very easy and will take less than a minute. Simply go to your Instagram profile and tap Story Highlights just below your profile and then tap New. Select the stories you want to add, enter a title for your Highlights, and choose a cover photo. If you want to edit or remove a highlight, tap and hold that highlight on your profile.
So, how can you apply Highlights to your business? If you are a restaurant, you can categorize your menu with Highlights, setting up one for beverages, entrees, desserts, and so on. For a fashion brand, you might want to set up a Highlight for each collection. A sports goods store could have a Highlight per sports type, such as basketball, golf, baseball, tennis, etc. You may also want to include a Highlight for payment options, delivery options, store branches, operating hours, or new arrivals.
Be Relevant on Instagram in 2019
All these strategies are designed to help you get ahead of the game this year. Instagram has been evolving over the years and so your brand also needs to evolve with the ways you use this social media channel, so you maintain your relevance to your target audience.
While posting visually appealing photos and videos with quality content and hashtags remain to be very important in engaging current followers and attracting new ones, there are so many new features that business profiles can use to reach more users and increase engagement with their existing followers, as well as increase their sales revenue.
That being said, take note of these Instagram strategies for business profiles, start applying them on your brand’s account, and be consistent in using these. Don’t forget to check your analytics so you can track and monitor your account’s development.