It’s quite staggering the way the user base for Instagram has grown from 90 million in 2013 to 1 billion in 2018. It’s not hard to see why marketers like you and I give Instagram the special treatment in our marketing strategies.
Instagram is a quick, fun and most importantly engaging platform that offers a huge potential of leads generating conversions. Add to it the fact that every 8 out of 10 users on the platform follow a business and you can’t deny the wonders Instagram can do for your brand.
Obviously you have a sound Instagram marketing strategy in place so that you can make the most of what this social media platform offers.
But it’s not immune to problems right?
Surely you have faced some. And have looked for solutions to fix them too. In fact, you’re still looking for them. And that’s why you’re here. I’ve got to say, you have come to the right place!
Today I’m going to touch upon the Instagram problems marketers face and how to fix them-
Problem #1: Focusing on growth rather than engagement
The common consensus among marketers is that more followers is equal to more customers. Sadly, that’s not the case. Unless you take active measures to convert the followers into customers, they won’t. Which means having more followers is pointless.
What matters more than an increase in the number of followers is engaging the number of followers you already have. If you serve them well, they are bound to turn into loyal customers.
One simple way of increasing audience engagement is to figure out why your followers follow your brand’s Instagram page. To discover their reasons, you will need to talk to them. Talk to your followers. Reply to their comments. DM them if you need to. And follow on the polls you conduct.
Now of course if you try it for the first time, you might find that not everybody is replying to you. Don’t be disheartened. There’s a fix for that too. All you’ve got to do is send multiple DMs or comment multiple times so people take notice and get the urge to respond to you. You’ve got to get their attention, fellow marketers!
Engaging with the people on your followers list is the key to understanding them and where they come from. This understanding can come in handy when you want to help them via your products and the services you offer.
And that’s how you get more customers, my friend. Establish a personal connect, make them feel like you know and understand them and they’ll be compelled to purchase from you.
Additionally of course, another way of increasing engagement is to know the best time to post. Yes Mondays and Wednesdays and Fridays are all different with regards to interactivity and engagement. The following graph does tell a story.
Problem #2: Purchasing Instagram likes
Well, not just likes, followers, comments, regrams. All of these are for sale on the web. Purchasing them might feel tempting to establish your brand as a popular voice in your niche. But it’s one of those forbidden things you shouldn’t do.
No, not just because it’s expensive. It’s actually a TOTAL WASTE of both your time and money.
Buying Instagram likes is not going to make a popular or well-loved brand. It’s going to do the exact opposite. The social media police is quite vigilant these days. Instagram takes stern action against brands that buy likes and followers. You could get banned.
Besides, bought followers and likes can make your brand look shady and defeat consumer trust.
You know you can get likes, followers and regrams organically right? It’s not that difficult. In fact, there are many ways to do that.
One of the simplest ways to get Instagram likes is to create engaging content. Content that inspires, entertains, informs or educates is bound to be a hit with your audience. And if your audience likes the video, you will get more hearts and followers.
You can also optimize the photos you put up to get more traction. Just ensure they are aesthetically pleasing with the right location tags and a catchy caption. Hosting giveaways or contests, putting up humorous posts and including CTAs in every post are some of the other ways you can try to get followers and likes naturally.
Problem #3: Not using the hashtags the right way
Hashtags are like the backbone of Instagram posts. You have to add them in each post. And luckily, now you can even add them to your bio and make them clickable as well as actionable.
However, the problem with hashtags is that most marketers still do not know how to use them optimally. There’s a tendency to dump posts and bios with as many hashtags as possible – which might seem like the right thing to do in theory but it is not so in practice.
The above study clearly indicates that more hashtags does not always mean more engagement. In fact, the graphs suggests that lesser hashtags contributes to more engagement.
Why? First things first, adding hashtags in your bio does not influence the search results on Instagram in any way. No matter how many of them you stuff in there. So when a person is searching for a particular keyword, the hash-tag added in your bio (or your bio for that matter) is not going to show up in search results.
Moreover, if you use highly popular hashtags, which other brands have used extensively as well, you will be driving traffic away from your page. Also, if your hashtags sound amateurish, you will likely discourage new followers from joining your team.
Too many hashtags can lead to too many problems. The easiest way to fix them is to avoid using hashtags in your bio altogether. If you must use hashtags though, ensure you only use single branded ones that are directly linked to your brand’s identity.
As for hashtags you put up in your post, make sure you use relevant ones only. They should be specific and lead people to your posts instead of driving them away.
Problem #4: Co-marketing with the wrong influencers
Teaming up with influencers is a great way to get increase awareness for your brand. It’s good publicity! However, working with the wrong influencers can have an adverse impact on the reputation of your brand as well as the followers you have.
Not much effort goes into becoming an influencer these days. A person with even as little as a thousand followers can become an influencer, which means almost anybody. Teaming up with an influencer like that is not going to do your brand any good. All that will happen is that you’ll lose a couple of hundred bucks in paying the influencer.
That’s not to say that you solely choose your influencer on the basis of the number of followers they have. As I said before, followers and likes can be brought. And what’s the point of tying up with an influencer who only has fake followers on their account.
Besides, choosing an influencer that doesn’t exactly belong to your niche but is very popular can also spell trouble.
Perform a thorough background check before you zero in on an influencer for your brand. Check if they enjoy a good reputation, if their followers are real and if people really trust their opinion and recommendations.
Also, ensure the influencer’s values match yours and that they belong to your niche. As a general rule, avoid going for influencers with a very large following. People are smart enough to know that major influencers run quite a few paid campaigns too. So, target influencers with a following of about 10,000 to 100,000.
Problem #5: Putting up posts with no strategy
Saving the best for last (not that problems are great to have, don’t get me wrong), putting up Instagram posts without a direction is, well, problematic. Posting random content is not going to get you anywhere, even if it’s funny or witty or engaging. All that random posts will do is drive your audience away. Trust me on that.
Okay, so if random posts are out, what do you post? The ones that align with your overall marketing strategy and brand image.
If you’re still lost, you can mine your existing data to develop your marketing strategy. Just make use of Instagram Analytics. Use the tool to analyze the posts you have put up so far and see what’s worked and what hasn’t.
You should analyze as well as compare the response of your audience to the types of posts you have put up so far (images, videos etc.), the topics you have touched on and the goals you achieved with each post. Look for common patterns among them to get a clear idea if your previous strategies have worked. That’s how you will get a solid idea of what kind of posts did well and got your audience to engage with your brand.
Now that you know what kind of posts did well, you can devise a new strategy that centers round it. That way, you will be able to ensure that the content you put up strikes a chord with your audience and gets them to respond positively to your brand.
The face of Instagram marketing is changing. It’s not as simple as it used to be, and problems are bound to arise. And that’s okay. All you’ve got to do is change with the changing times and find viable solutions to your problems. That’ll keep you on the right track and safe from glaring errors in your Instagram marketing strategy.
About the Author: Aditya is the founder of Digital Polo a unique design company that provides unlimited design work for a simple, affordable fee. Branding is simple if you know your way around the design bit of it. Through Digital Polo, Aditya has provided ample reasons to brands across the globe to buy into this claim.