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Dominate Instagram and create ‘Money Posts’ that effortlessly turn your fans into customers WITHOUT being ‘salesy’ or spammy
Visual content is very important for the Instagram audience but great images will only help you raise brand awareness. If you want your followers to become consumers the sure way to drive conversions is with captions. In our case, conversions would refer to a follow, an email entry or a bio link click but also a purchase.
Helping to frame your images and providing the right context for your audience, your short captions are extremely important because they need to grab people’s attention and make them click for more. With the latest updates for Instagram, followers can’t see more than two or three lines of your captions so make sure you have a really great copy.
Learn to love hashtags
Hashtags- for all those who don’t know what they are- act as a hyperlink to other similar posts that are sharing the same tag/keyword, by adding a pound sign to that specific text/keyword. If you want to discover a new account with the same theme or similar content on a platform, the hashtag is a sure way to do that, this is why it’s important to use it in every caption. Make sure your hashtags are readable, don’t stuff too many (30 is the max) so you won’t turn users away and always include your branded hashtags in your headlines.
What are branded hashtags? They are brand-specific tags and they can help you grow a community around your company/brand. You can even encourage your audience to use your branded hashtags so you will have also user generated content. You can also get inspired by searching the competition or the top influencers in your niche. Using their hashtags, you will generate more exposure and gain faster more followers while in the same time get closer to these influencers.
Using popular hashtags, that have millions of searches will help you maximize exposure and market your product/services better. Try to blend also with less popular hashtags that will give you a chance of popping up in people’s searching, and save these hashtags so you can copy paste them for other posts.
When and How to Post
On Instagram, you need to make some research to figure out when and how to post because it depends very much on who is viewing your content and when they are on the platform. So, start gathering data and as you start building the strategy, post as often as possible for all time zones, especially if you have a multinational company and check the analytics.
We would suggest you to start with 20 images to have a foundation on your feed and then post at least once a day. Of course, the more you post, the quicker you’ll grow and see results. Don’t forget that the content needs to reflect the brand values, to be high quality and targeted on your audience.
Scheduling Instagram content
If you want to stay away the daily hassle of posting on Instagram, you can always remain consistent by scheduling your posts.
There are tools like Later, Grum, Planoly and Schedugram that you can use to schedule your content reviewing the posts before posting, even from the desktop of your laptop. Some of these apps will also send you notification before posting. The important thing is to post constantly, find a reasonable routine and stick with it. Nobody is asking you to be a posting machine but the idea is not to have days without content so if you can’t keep up with this activity, scheduling will be just perfect.
HOW TO DEVELOP AN ENGAGED INSTAGRAM FOLLOWING
As we were mentioning before, on Instagram quality is more important than quantity so, if you want your business to grow on this social network by engaging users that are really interested in your brand, we’re here to tell you all the hacks.
Except the cardinal rule of creating relevant content and having consistency, you can grow your followers base by applying these methods:
Follow for Follow- even if this manual method can be time consuming, if you want people in your niche to follow you back, you have to start pressing that follow button. There is an etiquette on Instagram that says it’s pretty rude to unfollow people after they follow you but if you did follow them and after several days, they are not following you back, then you can do it.
There are all kind of apps that will help you keep track with your followers/unfollowers. More than this, you can leave valuable comments on the competitor’s Instagram accounts or tag friends/ask questions that users are usually interested in and see who is engaging with your posts. Follow them also.
Share for Share (shoutouts) -even if it might sound strange for you, this method works on Instagram. So if you want to grow, you will have to help your competition and other accounts in the same niche, so you can grow together the number of followers.
How does this work? You will have to mention in your caption a specific Instagram user and they will do the same for you. This way, both of you will benefit from exposure, brand awareness and access to new users.
But if you’re new on the platform, in case you are expecting to collaborate with a successful account, you should start contacting others after you have at least 2000 followers.
Other way, they won’t be interested in your brand, unless they’re paid. You don’t necessarily need to offer them money, buy you can offer up your live bio link proposing multiple shotouts for the price of one.
How do you choose the right S4S account?
First of all, approach the accounts with the same number of followers and similar target demographics and offer to post an image with their username tagged in your caption. They can either share your photo, either do the same, tagging you in the caption. When choosing the photo, make sure is one of the best performing visuals and make sure you’re creating a strong call to action that encourages users to follow you.
You can also approach shoutout groups (Instagram engagement pods) like GroupMe, Slack etc. that like and comment to each other’s content to increase the organically the number of followers.
There are also Paid shotouts when you pay to be tagged in a caption, which you can even write it yourself. Before deciding to pay an account for your post, check out what is their engagement ratio. Choose a ratio of 1% to 3%. For this, you have to review their last 10 images so you won’t pay to an account that doesn’t have followers or has just bot followers. Use an app like Social Blade to see the legitimacy of their account as well.
Our recommendation is not to commit to great expenses until you’re not sure who you’re working with, if the content is right and that you’ll have the best audience.
The Cost of Shoutouts
There are some guidelines that can help you to understand the whole idea behind the sponsored posts, but mostly it is up to you how much you want to spend and what expectations you have in return. What we can tell you is that a sponsored post should be directly proportional to follower count.
Usually, the accounts that have less than 2000 followers, charge on average around $125 on a post and the ones that have more than 250.000 followers charge around $400. You can also pay $1000 for a shoutout if the account has more than 1 million followers.
When negotiate the post, try also to get the maximum exposure in the money you pay. Also, it’s important that you’ll always test the paid shoutouts, so you will know if you should work with that account in the future or not, depending on the engagement the post drives.
Another great way to increase the number of your followers are the giveaways but until you run a contest to offer giveaways, you should at least have around 10.000 followers, so you’ll know you will gain the best engagement. Asking people to share and engage with your content for a chance to win your prize can get you lots of exposure, if the prize is creative and interesting.
You can again partner with another account related to your niche and run a contest alongside. People usually want free stuff so this will bring both brands more exposure by sharing their audience.
What would users need to do? They have to follow the account, tag a friend, follow the partner’s account and leave a review or a comment on another social media.
Genuine, Regular Engagement
The purest way to grow on Instagram is to drive organic traffic and authentic audience. If you stay engaged with your audience and interact with them through comments, emoji, people will respond to your attention.
HOW TO CONVERT INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS TO PAYING CUSTOMERS
This is one big source of frustration when you need to use Instagram for your business purposes. Even if the platform is great for driving traffic and revenue, if you have to pay customers to follow you after you spend so much time and effort to build your account, it can be annoying.
For an ecommerce businesses, an effective “bridge” might be product shots with links to the online store or to a landing page that offers a discount or a special offer in exchange for an email signup.
Most modern marketing can be organized into the AIDA sales funnel model: Awareness, Interest, Decision, Action.
Awareness -related to how many users have seen your content;
Interest- as the funnel narrows, so will your numbers;
Decision - it represents the users that click on your link. Things escalate from looking at photos to the potential of earning revenue.
Action- how many people end up completing your desired action- The converting Instagram followers.
In conclusion, regardless of your end goal, cultivating a healthy Instagram sales funnel means that you have to drive your audience through each step of the process. Changing your perspective and viewing your Instagram as another marketing funnel will help you stay focused and remember your end goal: To use Instagram to convert your audience and drive revenue.