Turn Instagram into a Visual Marketing Machine

Apr 17 2015

It’s no secret that visuals can have an incredible impact on a brand’s marketing results. Images and videos capture audience attention, increase retention rates and encourage customer engagement. Brands and consumers alike are flocking to visual social media platforms like Instagram in record-breaking numbers; at the end of last year, Instagram announced that they had surpassed 300 million active users. It’s predicted that consumers’ appetite for visual content will only continue to grow. A good Instagram strategy starts with more than simply posting a pretty photo of your product or service. We’ve outlined a few of our favorite Instagram tips to incorporate into your 2015 marketing plan.

Tip 1: Take Advantage of the Website Link in Your Bio

If you are using Instagram to promote an event, sell a product or link to a landing page, you may have noticed that the platform does not support clickable links in the captions of your photos. In fact, the only section that supports clickable links is in the “website” portion of your profile’s biography. Savvy marketers can take advantage of this feature by highlighting a link in your profile’s biography and rotating links as campaigns change over time. Post a photo with a call to action that instructs your audience to “click the link in our bio” to drive traffic to your website or a landing page. Your CTA could be incorporated into your photo caption and commentary, location tag or designed into the image itself.

instagram_exampleExamples via @starbucks, @birchbox, @chalenejohnson

Tip 2. How Many #Hashtags?

It’s important to consider the quality and quantity of hashtags for your Instagram strategy. Including the right hashtags will allow relevant users to discover your brand and expand the reach of your Instagram post.

Ever wonder how many hashtags are appropriate to use in a post? While including a lot of hashtags can expand the reach of your post, if too many are included, you can come off as “spammy” to your audience. According to a 2014 study done by Piqora, the magic number of hashtags to include in each Instagram post is seven. Including seven hashtags generated up to 23% more “like” engagement.

instagram_hashtagsSource: Social Fresh

Tip 3: Leverage User Generated Content

Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame! Build brand loyalty by featuring fan photos on your brand’s Instagram feed. Promote user generated content (UGC) by encouraging fans to submit photos using a branded hashtag. Regram your favorite photos to your own channel and be sure to mention and thank the fan in your caption. You can monitor your campaign’s success and popularity based on the number of submissions under your branded hashtag.

Do you have celebrity sponsors? Encourage them to regram your content using your branded hashtag and share images of themselves promoting your product or services on Instagram. This is a great way to reach a large audience quickly and build the credibility of your brand on Instagram.


Example via @REI; #REI1440project

There’s no time like the present to embrace visual marketing and capitalize on captive Instagram audiences. Just like other social media channels, managing an Instagram community requires commitment and dedication. With the right strategy, management team and creative eye, Instagram “likes” can turn into profitable leads.

Do you need help launching a visual marketing campaign or developing an Instagram strategy? Get in touch—we’d love to help.

Ready to Read on? Learn tips on another visual social platform: Pinterest.

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