Social media is one of the most powerful tools for inbound marketing; platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn have the potential to generate leads, drive sales, expand your business, and build a brand. There’s another yet extremely powerful tool which is often shunned by marketers or used inadequately. It’s known as Instagram.

Everyone has heard of Instagram, but few realize the amazing benefits of this social platform. Although there are various organizations and brands utilizing this tool to promote their products and/or services, many do not know the proper techniques of doing so. Unlike Facebook and LinkedIn, Instagram works differently as it allows you to share engaging content in the form of hashtags and pictures with the world.

How can you use this tool effectively for inbound marketing? Here’s how.

Use Instagram Hashtags

Hashtags are like the beating heart of Instagram; similar to Twitter, you should incorporate hashtags with your content. In case you are wondering, a hashtag is a short, sweet, and insightful description of a video or picture. They function like keywords and if applied correctly, you can reach to a wider audience and increase your sales. Practically, there are 3 types of hashtags.

  • General Hashtags: These types of hashtags work on a wider scale and focus on a particular video or picture. For instance, if you want to advertise women’s footwear specifically heels, using a hashtag like ‘#stylish #red #highheels’ will enable you to obtain followers who will be interested precisely in your red heels.
  • Specific Hashtags: If you are inclined to promote and expand your brand, these hashtags can be handy. They are usually very specific and are custom-made.
  • Trending Hashtags: Used to describe major situations and events, for example an election. However, you can implement them in your brand campaigns during product launches as well.

Create Interesting Content

This is the rule for any social media platform and remember that without engaging content, you will not be able to receive any new followers and customers. Therefore, you should develop high quality, jaw-dropping, and intriguing content which will keep your followers on their toes. If you keep repeating the same content, they will eventually get bored and lose interest in your brand.

Don’t Be a Salesman

Trying to hard sell and adopting a salesman approach with your followers will never work, especially on Instagram. Instead, create suspense and mystery. For example, if your brand is launching a new service or product, you can provide a short sneak peek or teaser through a picture or video about your upcoming product. This will keep your followers intrigued and their interest in your brand will peak.

Give Your Followers Due Credit

Customers are the driving force behind your brand and they give recognition and popularity to it. Hence, you should return the favor and always give them due credit whenever possible. For instance, if you want to use or share a picture owned by someone who follows you as well, acquire their permission first in writing. Doing so will increase the trust and reliability between your followers and your brand.

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