Instagram boasts of 500 million daily users on their platform. Influencers and users alike use Instagram to share their favorite products and give a glimpse of their daily lives.

People even use Instagram to find new products to try. This makes the platform useful in your internet marketing strategy. To get the most out of the Instagram platform, you need to understand how to use it. 

If you take the time to learn the tools and tips available, Instagram can turn into a cost-effective option to promote your brand. 

How to Use Instagram for Internet Marketing

Before you get started with any social media platform, you need to do your research. This includes research into marketing trends, platform trends, and customer demographics.

It's good to know who you're connecting with to make the most of the platform. For instance, Instagram users are 68% female. 59% of those are between the ages of 18-29.

While this doesn't mean you can't target other demographics, it's important to know how to target the audience you want. You also need to know how to use the tools available to target them.

Visuals Lead in Instagram Marketing

Before you start posting, you need to find good tools to create appealing visuals. Instagram offers some editing tools for your visuals, but you'll get the best results with content that's already polished. 

You want branded content along with snapshots to engage more users. With the right visual editing tools, you can create consistency between the different content.

Make sure your visuals create a clear message since Instagram deals with visual over written content. You want your pictures and videos to tell a story.

Create a Business Profile

If you don't already have an Instagram profile, you can start with a business profile. If you already have a personal account, you can easily change it to a business profile.

A business profile offers easy access to contact info for your business. This also allows you to publish ads and access analytics tools. These marketing tools are not available with personal profiles.

Keep in mind, you can't make a business profile private. This means you want to take care with personal info you share on your profile.

Make Use of Those Analytics Tools

Your business profile gives you access to measurement tools, and you should make use of them. These analytic tools help you fine-tune your marketing strategy. This gives you access to important information about customers and content.

You can use the tools to check out the demographics of your followers and those that access your content. You can also check out the success of different posts. This includes learning the times when your content proves most effective.

These analytics tools also help you track ad success. This will help you determine which content to use for ads and how they're converting.

Determine Peak Posting Times

If you post too often, you'll annoy followers. If you don't post often enough, people will forget about your brand. If you don't post at the right times, your content can go ignored.

You need to do your research to determine which days and times when you'll have more engagement. You can use the analytics to help you determine this.

Make your posts on the days with the most engagement. Keep your posts to one or two per day at peak times.

Make Hashtags Part of Your Instagram Marketing Strategy

Almost every social media platform makes use of hashtags, but Instagram corners the market on hashtags. People can search or even follow hashtags to keep up with trending topics or topics of interest to them.

This means it's helpful to know the most competitive hashtags for your niche. Pay attention to the tags that prove most popular. Then, mix and match the hashtags to better target your market.

You can even set up a hashtag for your brand. You should be careful with this option if you don't already have a large following. It doesn't hurt to get something set up though.

Become a Team Player

Collaboration provides opportunities to reach a wider audience. Collaboration can take the form of working with others in your industry or working with influencers. You can also take advantage of user-generated content for a wider audience.

If working with others in your industry or with user-generated posts, make sure you ask permission to use the content. You can create contests to create excitement around user-generated content. Have them post to a brand hashtag, then use the #regram hashtag and tag the user to share the visuals.

You can also partner with influencers to share your products. Seek people with a large audience to share pictures and/or videos of your products. This will both get your products in front of more people and increase your Instagram following.

Take Advantage of Contests

Contests can generate enthusiasm for your brand and increase your following. You can offer a simple, appealing prize to those who participate. You should also encourage followers to share the contest with others.

Make sure you provide a short time to participate so people don't lose interest. You should also make the contests easy for participation. For instance, likes for a chance to win.

Contests can take on many forms. You can do a hashtag or selfie contest for instance. This provides an extra marketing tool that people get excited to participate with.

Make Use of Video

Video has taken over the internet. This includes Instagram marketing. Videos prove easy to make and watch and hold attention longer than written content.

When creating videos, make sure your brand comes out clear early on in the video. Provide a clear call to action with your video, and make them short and sweet. You should also look into multi-media options.

Video works great for ads. They're also good for stories. You can play around with your options to find what works best with your audience.

Create Sponsored Ads

Sponsored ads are one of the benefits of a business profile. You can use your most popular content, or create ad-specific content, to reach a larger audience. 

Sponsored ads allow you to set a budget, and set up the preferred demographics for your content. Since Facebook owns Instagram, and the interaction rules are similar, you can combine the ad with Facebook to get more out of the money you spend. 

When creating ads, you want to use teasers to get the most out of Instagram ads. Don't push sales, but tease products and offers with good-quality visuals.

You can even create a shopping ad so people can purchase directly from Instagram. In fact, 72% of Instagram users have purchased a product they've seen while scanning the platform. If nothing else, teaser ads make it easier for people to share your content.

Make Use of Stories

Instagram stories are posts that last 24 hours. You can combine several visuals to share for limited access. These get posted at the top for mobile-users, making your post easier to find.

These work well for limited-time offers or sneak peeks. You can also use stories to try out new content. You can even tag other followers for collaboration opportunities.

Use Content Managing Tools

If you use social media for marketing purposes, you'll want to set up a content management tool. These tools allow you to schedule posts, including appropriate hashtags, so you can plan ahead.

You can pre-schedule contests or promotions with management tools. You can also mix your content among several social media profiles to get the most out of your marketing materials. These tools also offer their own analytics tools so you can better monitor your content progress.  

Link Your Website

Instagram gives you another opportunity to promote your business website. Not only can you share content to this platform, but you can provide a direct link to your website in the bio.

This provides another way to determine what content generates the most interest. This also offers another way to provide ease of contact so customers know how to find you.

Make Use of Keywords in Your Bio

Your bio should tell people who you are and what you do in simple but interesting terms. Make sure your brand is easy to recognize in your bio and make sure you use keywords that will make you show up in searches.

Just as your website makes use of keywords, so does your social media bio. With the right keywords, people can find you when searching for products or services that you offer. You also want to make them stand out so you don't have too much competition.

Social Media to Other Online Marketing

Instagram and other social media platforms provide one way to take advantage of the internet for marketing purposes. These sites should take part in your overall internet marketing strategy, but you need to take advantage of all the platforms.

Do you need help developing your digital strategy? Check out our helpful marketing bundles to get the advice and ideas you need to succeed online.