I recently took HubSpot’s Developing an End-to-End Instagram Marketing Strategy For Your Business course which I found to be very insightful. For my reference, and yours, I’ve highlighted some of the Instagram marketing insights I took away from the course.

The best ways to use Instagram to market your business

  • Brand awareness
  • Customer delight
  • Customer loyalty and retention
  • Attracting new prospects
  • Directing sales for B2C companies
  • Advertising

How to perform competitive analysis on Instagram

  • If you already know your top competitors, start with searching for their Instagram profiles. If not, try searching for terms related to your business or industry to find similar accounts.
  • Conduct a quick audit of related accounts to see what types of posts are getting the highest amount of engagement, what popular hashtags they’re using, what kinds of captions they’re writing, how often they’re publishing, and how often they’re growing.

Best practices for marketing your business on Instagram

  • Don’t buy followers.
  • Be authentic and participate as an individual vs. an invasive brand.
  • Provide more than pretty pictures. Your followers want value, information, or entertainment.
  • Be consistent with cohesive content.

Optimizing your business profile on Instagram

Five things to keep in mind when optimizing Instagram business profile:

  1. Having the right username (recognizable and easy to find)
  2. Having an awesome avatar photo/brand logo
  3. Make sure your subtitle has SEO. In the bio/subtitle you want to include industry/business keywords.
  4. Make sure your bio says who you are, what you do, and why you do it (use snappy IG language)
  5. Call-to-action with link you can track as your URL

Business profiles on Instagram give you access to:

  • Instagram highlights.
  • Additional contact fields in your bio.
  • The ability to boost posts with advertising.
  • The ability to include links in Instagram stories (if you have 10,000 followers).

Getting around the Instagram algorithm

  • Post when your users are most active.
  • Consider creating an Instagram pod.
  • Work with influencers, and have them tag you.
  • Consider advertising.

Tips for developing great photos on Instagram

  • Natural light is best.
  • Have a clear point of interest.
  • Make use of strong shapes, lines and bold colors.
  • Use burst mode.
  • Try different angles.
  • Take advantage of white space.
  • A lens attachment can provide width and perspective.
  • Try portrait mode.
  • Make sure text in photo is legible (if used).
  • Quality is better than quantity.
  • Be consistent and post regularly.
  • If you use stock photos, make sure they are high quality.
  • Be descriptive in captions.
  • Ask questions to boost engagements.
  • Be careful about hashtag usage.
  • Great photos depend on great edits. Snapseed and VSCO CAM are great options.

How to get more Instagram followers for your business

  • Never buy followers.
  • Post when your audience is online for more visibility/engagement.
  • Post consistently.
  • Provide great visuals.
  • Engage in real conversation.
  • User-generated content is a great way to increase reach.
  • Host contests that require a follow of your account.
  • Look for internet holidays where you can insert your products and services into the broader discussion.
  • Steal from your competition – following, liking, and commenting on competitor’s profiles.
  • There is no get followers fast scheme.

Hopefully this quick summary is helpful in getting you started with your business’ Instagram marketing strategy. If you’re interested in taking the course yourself, all you need is a HubSpot account (free!): HubSpot’s Developing an End-to-End Instagram Marketing Strategy For Your Business

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