The Ultimate Guide To Instagram Marketing For Business

Welcome to ‘The Ultimate Guide To Instagram Marketing For Business!’ I’ve spent about 4 months learning and perfecting my Instagram marketing strategy and then spent another month or so creating this guide.

This article is long but it’s literally everything you need to know about Instagram marketing for business.

If you have any questions at all feel free to shoot me an email (luke@lukebender.com) or request a FREE consultation to work with me personally to help you achieve your Instagram marketing goals!

All The Entrepreneurial Opportunities On Instagram

There are so many opportunities available for everyone on Instagram, whether you own a business or not.

Instagram is a massive social media platform that you can use to your advantage to either grow your business or start one. Here are a few things you can do using Instagram:

  • Increase brand awareness and sales for businesses.
  • Book more clients for service-based businesses and raise your rates.
  • Build an audience and become an influencer in a certain niche.
  • Increase credibility and awareness for your personal brand.
  • Grow an email list and audience for your blog.
  • Start a niche account on Instagram, then form it into brand/business.
  • Showcase your skills to level up your career and get a better job.
  • Create and grow a niche account and use it to make money through paid shout outs. (Influencer and niche pages allow you to work with brands and receive free product or money)
  • Raise awareness about a certain issue or cause.
  • Learn how to do Instagram marketing and then get paid by businesses to run their account or consult them.

Pretty cool huh?

It’s amazing what’s possible on this platform! If this get’s you excited then I highly encourage you to really focus on learning the following information. It contains everything you need to know about Instagram marketing for business and how to make one of these opportunities work for you!

Why Instagram?

Instagram just reached 500 million users with 300 million active daily users, and the engagement is higher than any other social media platform.

Instagram has been making many positive changes to ensure a great user experience as well as maintain it’s status as a marketing platform for businesses.

Here are the most important changes made by Instagram in 2016.

New Look and Logo — Instagram rebranded itself in 2016 with a new logo and cleaner, sleeker interface.

Manage Multiple Accounts — You can add up to 5 accounts on the app and easily switch between them without logging in and out.

Up To 60 Second Videos — Video is huge in marketing and social media these days and Instagram is making sure it doesn’t fall behind on this trend. You can now upload up to 60 seconds of video on Instagram.

Business Profiles — This is a massive change made by Instagram to ensure that it continues to be a useful marketing tool for businesses. Business profiles are great, they make it easier than ever to review analytics and create ads right on the platform.

API Changes — Instagram changed its API recently which means it’s more difficult for 3 party apps to integrate with the platform. This is a good change because it eliminated some spammy software that was integrating with Instagram.

New Algorithm — This change stirred up quite a reaction among marketing experts and users alike. Instagram’s feed is no longer chronological, there is an algorithm that places the best photos in your feed at the top. This is based off many factors including engagement and which users you like to engage with the most. I actually like this change because if you know how to create good content that gets high engagement, your photos will definitely be seen.

Zoom In On Photos — You can now zoom in on photos in your feed to get a closer look. That is all.

Instagram Stories!!! — Think Snapchat but with more reach! This feature is very similar to Snapchat but it’s way easier to get views on your story while building an audience. Snapchat is great for certain things but unless you already have a huge audience I wouldn’t use it for marketing. That’s one of the reasons I love Instagram is because you can build an audience on the platform so I’ve switched to doing all my stories on Instagram. I only use Snapchat now for sending snaps and messaging close friends.

Is Instagram right for you?

You first need to figure out what you actually want to accomplish with Instagram marketing. From the opportunities I listed above, what is the one that you want to achieve? It’s important to have your specific goals in mind before you start anything.

Figure out if your ideal audience is on the platform. Search relevant hashtags in your niche (or desired niche) and see if people are consistently uploading pictures to that hashtag.

You can also search for large/popular Instagram accounts in your niche by viewing the most popular posts on those hashtags.

If you can’t find any large Instagram accounts with high engagement, your ideal audience might not be on the platform.

Instagram does have a slightly younger audience with the older crowd jumping on board slowly but surely.

Know Your Niche

If you’re going to be successful with Instagram marketing for business you must have a clear and specific niche. If you have a business then you already know what that is. If you just want to start a niche account you must decide that first. Be specific in the beginning and then expand later if you want.

You must know your audience extremely well. This is key to targeting them. Know what accounts they follow and engage with and know what type of content they like.

Content strategy

You must create good looking content! Instagram is an image focused platform, you will not succeed on the platform if your content doesn’t look good.

Use these tools to help you create good looking content.

Typorama — Create quote images.

Wordswag — Create quote images.

VSCO — Photo editing app.

Snapseed — Photo editing app.

Canva — Web and mobile app to create custom images.

Try out a few of these apps and see which ones you like best.

Good quote pictures always do well as long as they’re motivational, inspirational, funny, or provide some type of value to your audience.

It is highly recommended that you create original content. Create quote images with your original quotes and use your logo or username on your pictures to brand them. Work towards developing a certain style that people can recognize and be drawn towards.

Post stuff about your real life to create an authentic, personal connection with your followers. It’s always important to be yourself, and don’t try to be someone you’re not, people will notice. If you’re a business just be aware of what you want your brand to look like and stay true to the authentic feel or your business. Remember, these pictures still need to look good! Develop basic photography skills if you need to. You don’t need a fancy camera to get started, a smart phone will work just fine. Here is a good article to help you improve your smart phone photography skills if they’re not up to par.

If you are struggling to find inspiration about what type of content to create you can do some research on the popular pages in your niche. Figure out what’s doing well on Instagram and then create similar content but with your unique style.

For more inspiration, you can scroll through the discover page which displays all types of different content that is doing well on Instagram.

You may also consider using User Generated Content (UGC) if you are a business. This works well for businesses with cool ecommerce products. Encourage your customers to use a certain hashtag when they post a picture on Instagram using your product. This allows you to then scan that hashtag and find the best photos that your customers took and then use them on your page and be sure to tag that person in the picture. Instagram users love to be featured on brand’s profiles so once you start doing it people will notice and start posting more pictures of your products and tagging them. I highly recommend that you mess around with UGC and see if you can make it work for your business, it has tremendous potential.

Optimize Your Profile

Your bio section needs to clearly state who you are and what you do. Someone needs to immediately understand what your business or Instagram page is all about.

This section also needs to let people know about your website or your lead magnet. Put the name of the lead magnet in the bio if you have one and then put the link to it in the website field.

If you have an online store just put your website in your bio. You can track clicks to your website if you have a business profile or you can track clicks using some sort of URL shortener. I use Google URL shortener and it works just fine.

Now when people view your profile they will immediately know what you do and if they will be interested in your stuff.

Give a call to action such as “Click the link to order” or “Download my FREE ebook.”

Be specific and very clear with this information. I see so many business profiles that are so general and vague that I have no idea what they do even if I try to figure it out. Don’t be one of these people.

Here is a good example from @sugarbearhair of how to optimize your profile.

PRO TIP: Write out your bio in a note on your phone and then copy and paste it into your bio. This will allow you to have several lines of text as shown in this example. When writing your bio section on Instagram it does not allow you to hit return to create another line.

How Often You Should Post

When you’re just starting out you should post at least once per day. I don’t like to post more than once per day because I don’t want to annoy the people who follow me with too much content. Also, it’s difficult to create good content to the more you post, the more you need to create.

Many other Instagram experts will say that you need to post multiple times per day, I don’t agree. I believe you need to focus on targeting and growth over posting several times per day.

Once you gain some followers and momentum you can pull back and post every other day or every couple days.

What To Do After You Post

You should use 10–30 hashtags related to your niche on every picture. To find the right hashtags to use just search for one that is related to your niche and then at the top of the search you will find many related hashtags. You can also go to large accounts in your niche and see what tags they use on their pictures.

You can also use the website or app call tagsforlikes.com to find the best hashtags for your niche.

Compile a list of 10–30 hashtags and save them in a note on your phone so you can copy and paste them easily.

Do not post the hashtags in the caption, post them in the comments. Instagram will then hide them so your post looks clean and not spammy.

Tag any related brands in your post. Sometimes brands will view this pictures that they get tagged in and like or comment on them. When big profiles comment or like your picture it’s more likely to end up at the top of your followers feed. Even better, if your picture is really good a brand might reach out to you and want to feature your picture on their page.

Growth Tactics

(MOST IMPORTANT PART OF INSTAGRAM MARKETING)

You need to lay down your pride and follow a bunch of people. I call this a “follow frenzy!” Following people is the absolute best way to get people to follow you. Some Instagram marketing experts will say that you just need to like and comment on a ton of people’s pictures to get followers, I have not found this to be true.

When you follow someone they will receive and notification and will most likely view your profile and then decide if they want to follow you back. This is why your profile needs to be optimized and your pictures need to look good.

But you can’t just follow anyone! Targeting is key, you need to find the right people to follow! Instagram allows you to find the exact type of person that will be interested in your account. Remember, know your niche!

Find popular/large pages in your niche by utilizing the search feature. When you search a certain word such as fitness, fashion, cars, ect., you will find the top accounts easily. Find large pages with at least 500K followers. Here is an example where I search the word “vegan”

When you find one you can easily find several more by clicking the drop down arrow to the right of the follow button on an account. This will allow you to scroll sideways through all of the suggested accounts so you’ll never run out of people to target.

Make sure you know all of the large Instagram accounts in your niche.

When you know these pages, go to their most recent picture, click on all the people who have liked it, and start following those people. This ensures that you are getting targeted people to follow you who are actually engaging on the app.

You can also do follow frenzies on popular hashtags in your niche.

Here are some examples:

#luxury, #fitness, #beachlife, #travel, #vegan, #businessman, #motivation, #food, #makeup.

These are all huge hashtags that pictures get uploaded to constantly. All you need to do is scroll through the most recent ones, like pictures and then follow the people posting them.

Try to follow only real people, not brands, companies, or niche pages.

Follow around 300–400 people per day, and unfollow the same amount. If you follow or unfollow too many people too quickly you’ll get blocked. Try to space out your follow frenzies and unfollow frenzies throughout the day and don’t do more than 200 in one hour.

Instagram has daily follow and unfollow limits which are around 800 for accounts older than 3 months. Do no more than 500 follows and unfollows per day if you have a brand new account. If you hit the limits Instagram will temporarily block you from following or unfollowing more people.

You need to then download an app called Followers For Instagram, which looks like this:

This allows you to view all of the people who aren’t following you back. So about 24–72 hours after your follow frenzy just go into the app and unfollow all of the people that didn’t follow you back. You can unfollow 200 at one time on the app and then you should wait about another hour before unfollowing more people

When you unfollow the people that don’t follow you back it allows you to keep the amount of people that you’re following down so you can continue doing more follow frenzies.

At some point you’ll need to unfollow everyone because Instagram only allows you to follow 7,500 people at once.

If you feel weird about following people to get followers that’s fine, just know that if you don’t do this your account will never grow and your competition will blow you away because they are doing this. Following people is the number one way that accounts grow, if you’re not doing this you won’t win on Instagram.

You can also try doing some share for shares. Find accounts in the same niche with a similar amount of followers as you, then you post one of their pictures on your account and they post one of your pictures on their account. This allows you to expand your reach and get in front of another account’s followers. This doesn’t really work that well until you have a lot of followers. Also, I don’t really like doing this because it’s supporting the competition, I’d rather just do follow frenzies, they work much better.

Advanced Growth Strategies

NOTE: These are ADVANCED tactics that require you to spend money or have the right skills if you want them to work for you. I’m just letting you know all the other options out there, you need to do more research on your own before attempting to execute one of these strategies.

Contests / Giveaways — These can work well if done properly. People are always stoked at a chance to get something for free. This works especially well if you have cool ecommerce products to give away. Usually these go down by telling your followers in the caption to tag 3 friends to enter the contest. Or you can partner up with another company or niche page and both run the contest and tell your followers they need to follow the other page in order to enter.

Paid Shoutouts On Large Accounts — This works well but it will cost you. You can pay large accounts in your niche to shout you out on their page. Just direct message them or email them if they have an email in their bio and let them know you’d like to pay for a shoutout and ask how much their rates are. Never take the first price they say, make a lower offer but not too low. I would only really recommend doing this if you have products to sell. If you have a good sales funnel that you know converts you can test paid shout outs promoting a lead magnet or sale of ecommerce products on large accounts and see how much you make versus how much you spend for the shout out. Always test out different accounts to see which one works best.

Influencer Marketing — This strategy is so new in marketing right now that only a few people really know how to use it properly. It can be incredibly powerful for certain ecommerce companies, I’ve even seen it work for people who sell services like hair stylists and teeth whitening. Here are a few examples of companies who have used influencer marketing to build their Instagram accounts and generate millions of dollars in sales:

Sugar Bear Hair (@sugarbearhair)

Frank Body (@frank_bod)

Live Lokai (@livelokai)

Instagram is probably the best platform for influencer marketing. Basically, you need to find influencers in your niche or just super popular people on Instagram who’s followers might be interested in what you have to sell. You then reach out to the influencer and see if they would like to try your product or service for free in exchange for them posting about it on Instagram. Smaller influencers might post for free if they really like the product, however, big-time influencers will cost you. If you find something that really aligns with your target customer and has a highly engaged following it might be worth it to pay the influencer a few hundred bucks to post about it.

Automation — This is the final tactic and involves buying and using software to fully automate the following and unfollowing process. The best software out there for this is called FollowLiker and it costs about $100. It’s not easy to use and has a major learning curve if you want to use it properly without getting your account banned by Instagram. You can buy the software here and learn how to use it by reading this tutorialand watching this YouTube video.

When Someone Follows You Back (Optional)

When someone follows you back you can immediately create a connection with them by sending a direct message thanking them for following and use their name!

Example: “Thanks so much for the follow Jon!”

This does 4 key things.

  1. It creates a stronger and more personal connect with your followers.
  2. It might spark further conversation where you can invite them to take action and sign up for your email list or join your Facebook group.
  3. This communication with your audience allows you to get to know them better, what they are struggling with, and the language they use.
  4. Gives them another chance to look at your profile and possible click the link in your bio.

This tactic works well, however, it’s a lot of work.

Expected Results

There you have it, ‘The Ultimate Guide To Instagram Marketing For Business!’

By implementing these strategies you should be able to gain anywhere from 50–150 highly targeted, real followers per day.

If you have a good lead magnet and landing page you should be able to generate 1–5 leads per day into your business completely for free.

If you have an ecommerce store you should be able to generate clicks to it and make sales if your website and products are good.

At the same time you will be growing your audience, building brand awareness, and increasing your influence. Because Instagram’s engagement is so high this is going to be very valuable in the future if you stay consistent. When you build an audience and keep them engaged you can then promote new product launches or sales when you have them.

Implementing these strategies will take some time at first but after you do them for awhile you will be able to execute them quickly. Expect to spend about an hour per day in the beginning working on your Instagram marketing. When you get better you might be able to get it down to 30 minutes per day.

If all of this is insanely overwhelming and you would like to work with me personally to help you grow your business using Instagram, or start a business on Instagram just request a FREE consultation here, or shoot me a casual email at luke@lukebender.com!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram >> @lukebender

Good luck!

FYI: This article was originally published on my website, The Ultimate Guide To Instagram Marketing For Business

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