By Walter Moore

How effectively do you use Instagram to market your business? Many people still consider this social media platform as a simple photo sharing site that serves no real purpose for businesses. In reality, Instagram is now being used as a potent marketing channel by the world’s top brands. It not only helps increase brand awareness and user engagement, but it can also improve business conversion. Let’s discuss how you can achieve the same results through some simple yet efficient strategies.

Link Instagram profile

You cannot add links to your photos, captions or comments on Instagram. So, the only way to get your followers redirected to your site is through the profile bio. You must make use of this linking feature effectively to reap any best results. The primary link you can add to your profile is the company’s website URL, and it can be the landing page, product page or blog page. You also have the option to change this link frequently. So, you can make it specific to your latest posts or special offers and new products when you release them. If you are planning a contest and want people to find more details, provide the link to the page on the bio section. You can revert it to the home page once the contest is over.

Keep a track of the number of visitors redirected from Instagram

Monitor traffic that comes from the social app so that you can better plan your strategies. However, Google Analytics doesn’t recognize Instagram traffic that comes through mobile devices. This may cause confusion while you check analytics. The best fix for this is to use the trackable link on the Instagram profile. Instead of putting the complete URL, you can use a or Bitly, which allows to track clicks. You can use a trackable link for each of the Instagram URLs. This way, you can get an accurate assessment of the volume of traffic, directed to your website or blog from Instagram.

Tell your business story through pictures and videos

Instagram is the right place where you can effectively showcase your business stories, products and services through images and videos. No matter what product or service you are promoting on the platform, you must always showcase it to the users in their most familiar environments. This will help them relate to your content.

You can also post user-generated content (UGC) to increase engagement and connectivity. This adds a lot of value to your business as these may act as original testimonials for you. There are reposting apps, which will allow you to give the credit to the original users, but will show your audience how others get along with your products.  The use of UGC is one of the most powerful and rewarding marketing tactics on Instagram.

Companies that don’t sell tangible products can also use Instagram to effectively showcase their services and get more instagram followers. They can simply take the photos and videos of customer interactions, service outputs, key employees at work, or call to actions to navigate to their website.

Effectively use text overlays

Another great way to earn likes and shares to your Instagram photos is to add apt text overlays on the images. While you are sharing user content, tips, promotions, offers, or simply trying to brand your picture, always ensure that people don’t miss out your message as separate text. You can use the simple designing tools such as Photoshop or PowerPoint to create text overlay. There are many online sites like PicMonkey or Canva that you can try for the same purpose. Make sure you don’t ruin the quality of the images with this, and set perfect alignment of text. You can use text overlay to list the price of products and user instructions, or advertise a limited time offer, off season sales etc.

Use straightforward Call to Action with captions

You can use the “post caption” option to convey your message clearly to the audience. Post caption is the very first comment that appears right underneath the image. Irrespective of the number of additional comments that will be added later, the parent caption will remain the same and will always be visible on top of other comments.

You shouldn’t ever leave this area blank. It should be made descriptive to complete the message. It is not meant to simply describe the picture. You can share relevant and valuable information or important business messages in this section. You are allowed to put up to 2200 characters. However, it is best to limit it to 200 to 300 for comfortable reading.

Add #hastags

To make the best use of captions and comments, always include relevant and easily understandable hashtags with each post. It will not only help to increase the reach, but will also enhance engagement and visibility. Always use hashtags, which are relevant to your business and target audience. Avoid the most popular hashtags as well as the fully irrelevant ones as these will not help your brand’s level of acceptance. You can try to use 10 to 15 hashtags with each post. There is also the option to add up to 30 hashtags, but you have to apply it cautiously and rarely.

Having a well-defined Instagram marketing plan will help you stay ahead of the increasing competition. Instagram is not known as an ad platform, and the users can’t drop in active marketing links into the posts. However, strategic marketers know how to use this platform to their advantage. Try to create content that is different from the other social media sites to get your Instagram followers engaged. Increased engagement leads to more brand awareness, and enhanced brand awareness results in better conversion.

Walter Moore is a renowned author who used to post articles on the leading technology blogs. With a large number of Instagram followers, he also shares the tips and tricks of Instagram marketing through his posts.