A beginner’s guide to Instagram Marketing: 5 tips to establish your brand on Instagram

Instagram has grown leaps and bounds over the last few years and has become the go-to social network for the internet generation. One can’t really argue with the numbers:

  • Instagram has more than 400 million active users. On an average day, 80 million photos are shared and it cloaks up 3.5 billion likes every day.
  • 8% of brands are on Instagram. By 2017, this is predicted to rise to 70.7%
  • If we look at the top 100 brands in the world, 90% have an Instagram account 96% of US fashion brands are on Instagram
  • Over a third of Instagram users have used their mobile to purchase a product online– making them 70% more likely to do so than non-users.

What makes Instagram perhaps the most important and brand-friendly channel of user acquisition and engagement for any brand is the inherently visual nature of the platform. According to a recent study by Forrester, Instagram drives more engagement than any of the other major social networks, beating out Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn.

At the same time, Instagram marketing is a tough nut to crack. Many brands and seasoned marketers often struggle to create an effective brand presence on Instagram. To help beginners and advanced Instagram users alike familiarize themselves with the platform, we’ve put together a list of 5 of the lesser-known tips to grow on Instagram.


Having an optimised profile is the first step to create your presence on Instagram. It is crucial to ensure that your profile follows all the best practices and effectively reflects the identity of your brand.

  • Username: Having a unique and recognisable username makes it easy for your users to find and remember.
  • Bio: Keep it short and sweet. Use your brand slogan or tagline (e.g. Nike’s “Just Do It”). Alternatively, you can write or two about who you are and what you do. As far as possible add a call-to-action (Pro-Tip: Include coupon code in the bio).
  • Profile Image: Profile picture marks the identity of your brand. Brands generally use their logo (preferably sans any text) as the profile image.
  • Homepage Link: Adding a link to your description section will make it easy for followers to go straight to your website.
  • Connect with Facebook: Cross-promotion across networks helps you in growing your follower base.
Example of “asos” Instagram profile


  • Instagram is synonymous with visual content: photos, selfies, videos. Accounts with the highest number of fans tend to post 2 or 3 photos per day on average.
  • But it is not just the quantity of the photos that matters. Being a visual social network, your brand is defined by the quality of your posts. As far as possible, your images must be unique, high resolution and needless to say, appealing.
Everlane has cracked Instagram with appealing and high quality content
  • If the bunch of your posts are salesy, that is coupons codes and promotions, your users and followers are most likely to ignore them. Also important is the fact that you not just post the images relevant to your brand but invoke an emotion and tell a compelling story.
  • Filters are an important part of an Instagram post. Instagrammers love filters. In fact, according to a recent study, Hefe, Lo-Fi, Nashville, Brannan, and Kelvin filters generated 4.5% to 5.6% more engagement than the average Instagram post!
  • Emoji are fast becoming a universal method of expression: nearly 50 percent of all captions and comments on Instagram now have an emoji or two.


  • Hashtags allow Instagrammers to discover content and accounts to follow. That is why it is absolutely necessary to create a hashtag for your own brand a monitor on a regular basis (#yourbrand).
  • You can dramatically boost your follower count if you can cleverly ride on the wave of a trending hashtag,
  • Before including hashtags in your posts, you can do a quick analysis to determine which hashtags to use.
  • Hashtags used by others in your industry
  • Hashtags that are the most popular (by volume of posts)
  • Hashtags that are the most active (trending)
Bloom & Wild makes intelligent use of hashtags
  • A study by Piqora involving 150,000 users found that 73% of brands on the photo-sharing network use too few hashtags, which means they’re not getting as much engagement as they should. The same study says that adding 7 relevant hashtags can boost “Likes” by up to 23%! And fortunately, coming up with 7 hashtags is pretty easy.
Top Tip: If you would like to avoid adding too many hashtags to your caption, you can also add hashtags as comments.


  • Instagram is a social network that rewards you most when you are proactive. Simply posting content is not enough, particularly in the initial days when you have a low follower count.
  • To start with you can search for the hashtags your prospects are likely to use. Identify the users you want to engage with. You can start with liking their photos and then following them.
  • You can also comment on their posts as they follow you back and drop a line in a non-spammy manner.


  • The ultimate goal of marketing is to convert followers into loyal customers. That is where user generated content (UGC) comes into play. More 65% of consumers seek out user generated content before making a purchase decision.
REI Instagram account is full of high quality user generated photos
  • Collect best UGC and get the rights of the content (photos, selfies, reviews, etc.) created by your customers to use it in your paid marketing efforts for better conversion rates.
  • Two most effective ways to create high quality UGC are:
  • Incentivizing and reward users for sharing their photos with your brand.
  • Photo contests: Instagram hashtags make it easy for to collect photos from followers around a theme, and many brands have had success and fun using this capability to host photo contests. Instagram has a great blog post with some tips for organizing successful photo contests.


Incent Social’s Instagram marketing suite helps you create compelling brand stories and build a strong community around your brand. With our app, you can now incentivise your customers to share their photos, selfies, endorsements on Instagram and publish them as stunning shoppable galleries. You can learn more about us here.

This post was originally published here.

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