I’m super excited here because I have a very important and beneficial article for you today. My goal is to provide you with some thought-provoking content that inspires you to act differently than ever before.
We all know that Instagram is an extremely powerful platform for brands and business owners, but as the app changes, it’s hard to keep up with what you should and shouldn’t be doing. In this article. I promise you’ll have a crystal-clear outlook on Instagram and a solid strategy to start implementing.
So, before we dive in, I want to get the elephant out of the room today. I am not going to tell you how to get more likes and followers. In fact, those things don’t matter to me. Instead, what we will be talking about is the bigger picture of Instagram, what we should truly be focusing on, and what’s going to make the biggest difference in both our day to day and long-term efforts.
Remember, Instagram should be treated as a marketing tool and part of your entire business funnel, not a standalone method for building your business. Other important elements of your funnel might be a website, an email list, and a monetization method such as affiliate links, digital products, or your own merchandise.
By switching, our focus from vanity metrics to something more meaningful. Not only are you going to see a boost in your personal enjoyment on Instagram, but the actual bottom line of your business. And yes, by that I mean making more money. Who doesn’t want that? So, let’s get started.
My method for using Instagram as a marketing tool that can generate hundreds of potential customers every single month is made up of five parts.
1. Have a Plan
The first part is to have a plan. A plan is going to guide all of your efforts and make the outcome much more fruitful. So, the first thing I want you to do is to ask yourself what is your primary goal with Instagram? Hint, it shouldn’t be to grow a following.
I want you to think bigger than that. Is it to get traffic to your website, build up your email list, make sales of your product or service, decide what’s important for you and write it down? This will be your new motivation when it comes to Instagram. Every piece of content you create and every caption you write will have this overarching goal in mind.
2. Identify & understand your target market
Part two is to identify your target market. Not sure who they are. Well, you’ve got work to do. Knowing who your target market is one of the most important elements of any business. Without this information, all the time you spend on creating content, writing captions, choosing hashtags, and dishing out likes and comments will all be wasted.
Instagram can be a very time-consuming platform, so we want to make sure that everything we do has a purpose. So, what exactly is a target market? Well, it’s the person you believe is going to benefit from your content and your offerings the most. This will be different for everyone depending on what your business or brand represents, but it is super important that you flesh it out. So, before you say that yours is a 35-year-old woman and head off to the next step, I want you to stop and dig way deeper than that.
You want to identify as much information about this person as possible including their age, gender, marital status, annual income, education level, hobbies, and even personality traits. Why? Well knowing if your target market shops at Walmart versus Gucci can make a really big difference in the vibe of your content, the tone of your captions, and the way you price your products, which brings us to part three.
3. Creating strategic content
Creating strategic content by deeply understanding who our target market is. Making content becomes so much easier. Each photo you take and caption you write should speak directly to that person. It should provide value and offer a solution to that person’s problem.
The idea here is that if we create content for a specific demographic, were going to naturally attract that person to our feed while them with our content. Because it sounds like it was made just for them and easily convert them into real paying customers. If we do the opposite and create random content with no real direction, were going to attract a mix of people that don’t end up taking the actions that we want.
4. Engage with your target market regularly
So, to make sure that we’re consistently getting the right people to our feed, we need to implement part four which is to locate and engage with your target market regularly. This is something that should be done daily and lucky for you. It doesn’t have to be hard, especially since you know exactly who your target market is, finding them on Instagram, will be a breeze.
One easy way is to think about the Instagram accounts your target market may already be following. Go to those accounts, click on one of their recent posts then hit the liked by button. This will open up a list of engaged users who fall into your target market. From there, you can easily leave a few likes and comments on as many accounts as you have time for.
What this is going to do is send those people a notification and encourage them to come over to your feed. Generally, when someone new likes or comments on your content, you were instantly intrigued by who they are, right? And remember we created content specifically for them. So once they’re there, they’re going to be pleasantly surprised and prepped to take the next step in our funnel. Which brings me to the last part of my method.
5. Encourage meaningful activity.
Part five is to encourage meaningful activity. Far more important than likes and followers are actions like website clicks, post shares, and DMS inquiring about what you offer. So instead of posting a picture and hoping that you get more likes than last time, I want you to be using calls to action that asks your audience to do something that’s going to help your primary goal and send your audience to the next step of your funnel.
For example, encouraging them to click the link in your bio to check out your website’s newest blog or latest offering, or asking them to send you a DM or email so you can chat with them one-on-one. These actions are so much more powerful than a like or follow and put you in a position to better build yours like know and trust factor. If you haven’t heard of this before, it’s what makes people buy from you.
When someone is continually exposed to your content, has spoken to you one on one and has received some sort of value from you, they begin to trust you. And a long-term connection can be built with every action they take on your account, the connection, support, and trust they have for you grows. And that makes them much more likely to invest in you than anyone else on Instagram.
So, by having a plan, understanding who your target market is, creating content specifically for them, and encouraging them to take actions that really matter, you’re going to utilize Instagram in a significantly better, business building way than ever before. And trust me, just because you’re focusing on website clicks doesn’t mean your followers and engagement aren’t going to rise. They absolutely will and it will simply act as the cherry on top of all your efforts.
How to Measure Your Instagram Marketing Success
So now that you know my framework for using Instagram as a real marketing tool, we need to know how to check in on our efforts and accurately measure our success. Previously, you may have to gauge your success by how many likes or comments you got, but I want you to forget about that.
Instead, I want you to keep track of two main things.
1. Audience insights
The first thing is your audience insights. To check these, navigate to your profile, hit the hamburger icon in the top right, and select insights from there. Toggle over to the audience tab. This is where we can tell if you’re attracting your target market to your feed. Go back to all the details you wrote down about your target market and cross-reference them here. Are they coming from the right country? Are they the right age and gender? If so, awesome. You can’t really ask much more than that if they aren’t quite right. That can mean one of two things.
One. The content you’re creating is actually speaking to a different demographic and you might want to consider making them your target market instead of, or two, you’re missing the mark on your engagement efforts and you need to switch up the accounts you’re using to locate your target market. Keep tweaking your engagement strategy and content creation until you see your audience insights are on track.
2. Activity interactions
The second metric we’ll use to measure our success is activity interactions. I mentioned these earlier. There are things like website clicks, post saves, post shares, swipe ups, DMS and clicks on your email, text, or direction button. Remember, these are most important because we’re using Instagram as the starting point of your marketing funnel.
Once our target market lands on our feed, the next step we want them to take is moving over to your website, getting on your email list, and eventually buying your offering, so to keep track of your activity interactions, head back into your insights and toggle onto the activity tab. From here you can see how many websites clicks, emails, and calls you got in the last seven days. You’ll also want to navigate to each individual posts and click the view insights button to see how many shares save and website clicks they generated.
I suggest keeping track of these in an Excel document so you can watch your growth or determine which posts are performing better. This data will help you hone in on your Instagram strategy even more and drastically increase its ability to funnel potential customers straight to you.
So remember, having a ton of followers isn’t the goal here. Getting the right people to your feed and taking action is instead of stressing over how many likes your posts are getting, divert your energy to finding and engaging with your target market. These actions will make a significantly larger impact and will set yourself up for future success. If you’re not sure what the next steps of your funnel should be, think about this.
So, to quickly recap my five-part method to using Instagram as a marketing tool is, one, have a plan. You should always be working to achieve your primary goal, to identify and understand your target market. This is the person we’re creating content for. Three, create strategic content. You can save time and see better results by creating content specifically for your target market, for engaging with your target market regularly.
We cannot solely rely on the algorithm to send us traffic. We also need to generate it and five, encourage meaningful activity. Focusing on website clicks and DMS will help lead your audience to the next step in your marketing funnel.
If you follow this simple framework, I promise you not only will you feel better about your time spent on Instagram, you will actually begin to see a positive return on your time invested in the app.
I hope you’ve learned something new. I hope you are starting to think about Instagram differently and are leaning away from the importance of likes and moving towards the importance of interaction and using Instagram as a true marketing tool.
Thanks again! I will come back to you with a new article soon on how you can promote your business.