Innovative marketing is essential if you’re an entrepreneur. You probably know that social media is a big component of an effective marketing plan. However, you might feel confused or overwhelmed by the prospect of navigating the ins and outs of these platforms, or even which ones are the most effective for reaching potential customers. Many business owners are unaware of just how much growth the photo-sharing site, Instagram, has gained over the years.
These days, there are around one billion active monthly users. The sheer volume of people interacting on the site make it a valuable marketing tool for nearly any type of company. Take a look at these eight ways an entrepreneur can use Instagram to make money so you can begin to take advantage of the growth potential this powerhouse platform can offer.
- Get Strategic
If you want to see Instagram growth, it’s important to understand your posts can’t be random. You need to consistently add new content to your feed, and you should have an end goal in mind when creating your posts. Content strategy refers to the development of social media posts in a way that aligns with your company’s brand in a way that seeks to meet specific end goals like creating awareness, driving traffic or generating leads.
You want to always maintain a consistent brand voice that your audience can relate to and trust, while also cultivating engagement. Be prepared to tweak and adjust this strategy as needed based on performance monitoring.
- Make It Visually Appealing
What some entrepreneurs forget is that Instagram is all about the visuals. After all, it is an image sharing site. Your content must be interesting enough to catch the eye of followers as they’re scrolling through their feed. That means your photos have to be clear and sharp. Blurry images just won’t do.
You don’t have to be a pro, but you should at least learn some basic photography tips or invest in hiring someone to shoot your images. Take a look at what your competition is sharing to get some idea of what works and what could use some improvement. Refer to your content strategy when planning your photos to be sure your images support your intended goals.
- Engage Your Community
Social is the name of the game when it comes to social media. The whole point is to make connections, generate conversations, show a company’s human side and build excitement around your brand in ways that simply aren’t possible through the use of traditional media outlets. You always want to reply to comments or questions from your followers, as this provides a foundation for engagement.
Find new Instagram followers through your competitors or by searching relevant hashtags. Like and comment on their stuff. They just might give you a return follow. Keep the engagement going through fun and creative methods. Sponsor contests, give a tour of your business headquarters or offer fans’ only promotions.
- Pay Attention
Once you begin to gain followers and to create engagement, be sure to pay attention to the messages you’re receiving. Take note of what is well-received and what flops. Try to recreate patterns of success in future posts. Take follower feedback seriously and make every effort to rectify mistakes or give users what they’re asking for. Make adjustments as needed if you want Instagram to work in your favor.
- Promote Yourself
Don’t be afraid to self-promote, as long as you do it sparingly. You can do so through formal channels like Instagram ads. These are great because they can be targeted to certain demographics that are relevant to your business. You can also cross-promote your Instagram content to your other social media channels inviting your fan base in these locations to check out your Insta feed. Get creative. It’s all good, as long as it’s not spammy.
- Harness the Power of Video
A lot of folks are intimidated by video, but it truly is a powerful medium for sharing your message. People watch social media videos now more than ever, and they have great potential for ROI. Remember, you don’t always have to be the face of your video marketing. So, don’t stress if you’re camera shy. Feel free to enlist your team to get creative. You could also feature your products or share customer testimonials.
- Check Your Analytics
Instagram Insights is a tool that allows you to view your profile’s Instagram analytics. You can see demographics such as follower location, when your followers are active and which posts receive the most activity. This information can help you to make crucial marketing decisions with regard to content and advertising. By monitoring your analytics, you’re able to test out your promotions, ads, and content to see what works best for your brand.
- Make It Easy to Shop
Finally, with a business account, you can actually make some of your content shoppable right from Instagram. If you have a tangible product, you can sell it directly through your posts and in Instagram Stories. Tagging products in your posts and adding stickers to your Stories is easy. These simple steps let your fans make purchases with just a few clicks from Instagram. When it’s this convenient, the likelihood of making sales increases.
Using these suggestions can help you, as an entrepreneur, make more money with Instagram. It will take some practice, along with a bit of trial and error. Soon, you’ll see your profits begin to rise, as you cultivate and engage brand new fans.