Instagram Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide

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Karen Lin

Instagram Growth | Jun 14, 2024

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Social media has completely revamped the way businesses and brands go about marketing. Instagram marketing and other forms of digital marketing on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Google are quite popular today. The reason for this is not far-fetched. They have the capacity to effectively reach millions globally.

However, it is important to note that only some manage to get it right. Making consistent sales on Instagram goes beyond launching the platform and buying ads. Much thought and work go into developing an effective strategy.

Today, it’s clear that many brands are taking Instagram more seriously than ever. Of course, they aim to boost sales, increase reach, and generate online engagement and leads. For context, research estimates that 71% of US-based businesses use Instagram.

Nevertheless, use does not equal success. There are plenty of things to learn. In this article, you’ll discover all the essentials and strategies you need to market effectively on Instagram. You’ll also learn how to use it to boost your page and your business sales.

Why Should You Use Instagram Marketing?

Instagram is a staple for several SMEs and large enterprises for marketing campaigns. The reasons aren’t quite glaring when considering its massive user base of more than one billion active accounts. All these users interact with the app’s features, including Reels and Stories. They happily scroll through their timelines to interact with their favorite brands and pages.
In fact, what Instagram thrives at, is consumer engagement.

A pair of glasses, tablet, and coffee

Here are some stats demonstrating how much Instagram users interact with the app and how many businesses have gained from it.

From the stats above, it’s clear that Instagram users are keen on following brands and businesses that display products and services that interest them.

If you’re a business owner or influencer, here are some reasons why marketing on Instagram significantly benefits your brand.

Any Kind of Business Can Thrive via Instagram Marketing

It doesn’t matter what the size of your business is, whether you run a small enterprise or a large corporation. Any kind of business can thrive by marketing on Instagram. Instagram has several users with varying interests and needs, so you’re sure to find your own audience across all industries.

The right Instagram marketing strategies can boost brand awareness and connect you with your target audience.

Instagram Marketing Makes Your Brand More Relatable

Many businesses don’t thrive simply because they’re not relatable. One way to draw brand awareness is to prove to your audience that you’re more than a faceless brand. For instance, the features of Instagram Stories and Reels help you display your business’s personality better.

With Stories and Reels, you can make behind-the-scenes posts of the faces and processes of your brand. On the other hand, Instagram Live provides an alternative to brand awareness. It allows you to schedule live events and broadcast them in real time to your audience. This provides an opportunity for live questions and answers to better market your services or products.

Instagram Marketing Helps You to Better Engage With Your Audience

Customer engagement is a crucial aspect of conversion, and this is an essential marketing strategy. Instagram is a great engagement platform that allows you to interact with your audience daily as they share opinions and feedback.

A happy audience

If you have an active account that engages with the audience, you can reasonably expect this to translate to more likes, comments, and shares. Ultimately, this boosts your brand’s visibility and sales.

Instagram Marketing Helps You to Monitor Competitors Closely

Another crucial, often underrated marketing strategy is the ability to monitor what your competitors are up to. Instagram allows you to closely watch the competitors in your active niche to see their mode of interaction with their followers. You can see what they post and the frequency of their posts.

You can then optimize your own marketing strategy by taking inspiration from their achievements and learning from their failures.

Understanding the Instagram Algorithm: What Lies Behind Instagram Marketing?

Instagram icon on an iPhone

If you’re an Instagram marketer or influencer, you may have wondered about the app’s inner workings. It is vital to note that Instagram marketing relies on certain structures and algorithms. Most digital marketing platforms have in-built mechanisms that rank content according to the likelihood of users interacting with it.

Instagram switched its old chronological feed system with an algorithm in 2016. This algorithm determines how content is ranked on the platform. You may wonder why the switch was necessary. To start with, Instagram was becoming massive, and it took a lot of work to keep track of all shared media content. In fact, a report indicated that users were missing up to 70% of their feeds with the old system.

As such, it became important to develop a new content ranking system that displays posts on feeds that are relevant to the user. Instagram’s algorithm relies on five factors, which are:

1. Interest

This algorithm predicts how much a post will catch your fancy. In Instagram marketing, likes are a way to assess how much a post will rank on a user’s feed. The algorithm bases its predictions on past behavior on similar posts.

Suppose a user likes and clicks on a post of a particular category. In that case, more similar posts from that category will rank in the person’s feed.

2. Timeliness

This implies that Instagram prioritizes recent posts over older ones. Refrain from assuming this is a reversal of the old style. Post relevance is still very important. However, Instagram will give preference to new posts over old ones.

3. Relationship

This signal implies that posts are ranked according to how users interact with them. For instance, certain accounts will appear on users’ feeds if they regularly comment on their posts or tag them in photos. The Instagram algorithm assumes users’ relationship with these accounts implies a “family and friends” situation. As such, Instagram will rank these posts more highly on users’ feeds than others.

4. Frequency

This implies that users who use Instagram more frequently will have feeds that closely resemble the previous ranking system. The primary idea is to display the best posts since the user’s most recent visit. This is a crucial point to note for Instagram marketing purposes.

5. Following

This algorithm is the alternative to the one highlighted above and applies to users who use the app less frequently than others. In this scenario, users’ feeds will be ranked and sorted according to what Instagram thinks they prefer. If the user follows many accounts, the algorithm will sort the feed according to their preference. As such, they won’t view all content posted by every account.

How To Carry Out Efficient Instagram Influencer Marketing

With Instagram users averaging 28 minutes daily on the app, it’s already clear that the audience is there. What is left is to find the best ways to tap into this traffic and make your brand stand out from the rest. You can achieve this feat when your Instagram marketing technique is right. Below are six tips you need for an effective Instagram influencer marketing strategy.

Branding and marketing

Instagram Marketing Tip #1: Switch to a Business Profile

Before you draft an Instagram marketing strategy, you must ensure that your account is suitable. That is, you have to switch to a business profile. Instagram offers two kinds of accounts for users – a regular one and a business account. It’s easy to switch your current profile to a business account. Switching from the former to the latter is seamless and accessible via Settings.

Man holding a business paper

If you’re wondering how a business account will be of benefit, here’s why:

  • There’s a contact button on your profile page that allows followers to reach you directly. This is similar to what you’d typically have on a website
  • It grants your brand genuine credibility

A business account has several interesting features that allow you to take your Instagram marketing efforts to the next level. For instance, you can set up ads without accessing the Meta ads platform. Additionally, analytics tools, known as Insights, are similarly within reach. They grant you real-time stats regarding your posts’ reach and impressions. These metrics are key to understanding your audience.

Instagram Marketing Tip #2: Optimize Your Business Account Profile

Designing with focus

Your profile reflects your brand, so it’s essential to make sure that you spend time developing the overall look.

If you do it well, you can create a great first impression for users that land on your profile. This will increase their chances of engaging with your page. In Instagram marketing, choosing a color theme is the first step to optimizing your business profile. Afterward, you must pay attention to lighting to ensure that the post aesthetics have the right effect.

Another tip for achieving a gorgeous aesthetic is keeping your posts spaced out and consistent. Finally, include keywords in your bio and include correct business information there.

Instagram Marketing Tip #3: Develop Your Content Strategy

Person brainstorming Instagram marketing strategy in a journal.

Effective marketing on Instagram is highly reliant on your content strategy. It’s not enough to simply make random posts and expect maximum interactions. There’s a science to making and publishing content that determines how successful your digital marketing strategy will be.

  1. Post Performance
    For starters, you must identify the best-performing posts for your audience type. Do they interact better with standard picture posts? Or do the Reels and Stories drive more engagement?
Instagram logo collage

There are also other post categories to consider, depending on what your audience finds appealing. For instance, you may choose one or a mix of:

  • Reposted content from other users
  • TutorialsProduct photos
  • Promotional posts
  • Motivational quotes

    You should also note that having a healthy mix is better than simply sticking to one post type.

2. Videos
In Instagram marketing, if your audience prefers videos to still photos, you must use Reels and Stories correctly. Reels allow you to publish as much as 15 minutes of a video. However, you should always go for a much shorter piece. This is because almost 20% of the world’s 4.18 billion active mobile internet users use Instagram daily. This implies that most Instagram users access the platform on mobile and prefer much shorter content.

3. Images
In Instagram marketing, the visual appeal of images is crucial. Ensure that you understand the essentials of design before producing your content. Here are some tips to note:

  • Dark themes don’t perform as well as lighter ones
  • Some white space for the background is always advisable
  • Contrasting textures appeal greatly

    Additionally, you should stick to writing creative and captivating captions rather than generic ones.

Instagram Marketing Tip #4: Grow Your Instagram Follower Base as a Part of Your Instagram Marketing Strategy

This is one of the trickiest aspects of an effective Instagram marketing strategy. Some people choose to simply pay for followers. However, this isn’t advisable, as the Instagram algorithm can detect and delete these followers.

If you’re serious about gaining more followers, you’ll have to devote considerable time and energy. Here are some tips for you:

  • Use a recognizable and searchable username
  • After optimizing your business account profile, start posting regularly.
  • Follow accounts linked to your business or the services and products you provide
  • Interact with other users frequently and meaningfully
  • Create unique covers for story highlights
  • Add multiple photos to your IG story
  • Learn to post at the best possible time
  • Create a Facebook page and link your account to it

Instagram Marketing Tip #5: Use Hashtags for Instagram Affiliate Marketing

Hashtags are the soul of Instagram posts and are very important as far as Instagram affiliate marketing is concerned. Hashtags are the extras you link with your post captions.


Any time users click on an Instagram hashtag, they can view all public posts using it. Even better, a new Instagram feature has enabled users to follow hashtags like they’d follow accounts. When you use them correctly, hashtags are a great way for your audience to find you from anywhere in the world. It’s not enough to litter your posts with random hashtags – that’s hashtag abuse. Instead, it is important to follow certain hashtag rules to get the best from them. Some of them include the following:

  • List your branded hashtags on your business account profile.
  • Don’t use too many hashtags – between 8 and 11 hashtags are enough to do the trick.
  • Use hashtags for different purposes such as general appeal, contests, periodic, and entertainment.

Instagram Marketing Tip #6: Use an Instagram Marketing Service

If you have a budget for marketing on Instagram, it is preferable to use it to hire an Instagram marketing service. This is way better than just purchasing followers.

Doing this can help your business account by optimizing your promotions. The right team of experts promoting your content directly to your target audience will manage your account. As such, your brand presence will grow quickly with more viral content and increased engagement and interactions across all your posts.

Final Thoughts: An Effective Instagram Marketing Agency Boosts Sales

Marketing your brand on Instagram takes a lot of work, especially if you aim to achieve organic results.

There are numerous factors to consider, and navigating them can be challenging if you lack the necessary know-how. That is precisely why you need an Instagram marketing agency like Path Social. They help you build brand awareness and connect better with your target audience.

Path Social uses an AI-targeting algorithm and a team of digital marketing experts to organically build your brand followership. Ultimately, this raises your engagement levels and increases your sales significantly.

Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today with Path Social!