People seriously love Instagram. Over 52 Million photos are shared each and every day, and that number is on the increase. So to gain the most out of this popular social platform, you need to think smart about your campaigns and the images you are going to share, as well as constantly realizing that Instagram has to be part of your overall strategy and search engine optimization package. Content is still king for the most part but it’s never been more important to consider social signals when preparing your content, and by using some of the simplest methods we are going to show you here you can be competing with the Instagram high rollers in no time.
So remember, words are not the only way people can find your website these days. You can get visitors from Google images, YouTube, Pinterest and any number of other social media websites because of the power of the image. With this said, the one social media website that is definitely catching the attention of SEO pros and internet marketers alike is Instagram. But before you jump on the image bandwagon, let’s see if we can get to know Instagram a little better first so we can increase benefit to your brand to gain awareness whilst increasing your fan base.
Instagram is primarily a platform for sharing your photos and people love to see other peoples’ photos. It gives you the opportunity to be creative with your photos, to show your artistic side and hidden passion. Don’t be afraid to experiment with techniques or subject matter to gauge how your viewers will react. Try funny, creative, intriguing, emotive, possibly controversial images and test which types get you the results you’re after…..
Keyword Research on #Hashtags
It still amazes me how many people ignore this basic yet powerful technique – and whilst Instagram may not seem like a traditional search engine, it’s #hashtag search function is the most common search on Instagram, saving the user hours of trawling and finding relevant content in seconds.
So it’s mega-important that you utilize the hashtags that are getting the most search volume and are relevant on your photos for maximum exposure. There is no limit to the amount of hashtags you can add, so don’t be shy, without the need to worry about keyword stuffing you can ‘hashtag away’ and is seen as a perfectly acceptable practice.
Now unlike the Keyword Planner you have for Google, there isn’t one for Instagram, but Websta is a GREAT free online resource for checking out the Top 100 Hashtags on Instagram, giving you the latest trends and allowing you to incorporate some of the popular results within your posts. Just head over to Websta for some inspiration and see what others are using most often.
You can also filter by location, which is paramount if your business thrives on local marketing and allows you to see what your potential customers are hash-tagging – so flip it and use it!Another cool idea is to try and create your own unique hashtag and start a following or trend, don’t just use this hashtag alone but always incorporate it amongst some others to give it some momentum. Or why not run a contest and ask people to use your specific hashtag to win a prize…..
Hold a Hashtag Contest for Prizes
I have seen this used before on Instagram with great success as a fantastic way to build engagement AND get your hashtag rolling, giving away prizes seems to go along with users of Instagram, and by spending a little money and offering a fantastic freebie could really get things moving (one campaign I know of gained over 2000 followers by offering a simple discount voucher to a store).
So time to get creative, always remembering why users like the app in the first place. So try to put a focus on images and hashtags, maybe asking your customers (or just your followers) to post their best photo (you can choose a category if desired or just leave it to their imagination) incorporating YOUR hashtag in the description – ‘best picture’ or ‘most likes’ wins ??
Here’s a cool competition example from Travel Country;
Apply Instagram’s Business Tools to Track Results
For many businesses, Instagram is all about connecting with the audience through stories, relevant photos, utilizing the right filters, and getting the images out to the right people, and then the next step is often paid advertising.By using Instagram’s features that have been specifically created for the business user, you can track and follow your metrics for certain (or all) posts, giving you an instant insight as to how your promotion is being received by your targeted audience.
This data will include number of impressions, engagement and shares, reach, insights and more, all at the swipe of your screen. You can find these metrics by navigating to the Campaigns section of your account, and below is an example of how it might look like for your business….
And lastly, some bonus tips;
** You can put a link back(or URL) to your website within your profile, but that’s it. Links in a caption or a comment will not work, so it’s important to remember that Instagram is the place to increase visibility and improve the image of your brand—NOT to improve your SEO through link building or to promote web content.
** You have to be willing to take pictures. You don’t have to hire a professional to do this as long as you can produce quality images that utilize your brand on a frequent basis. The more “natural” your pictures look, the better response you’ll get. If it looks like an advertisement, people aren’t going to be drawn to your website.
** Determine whether or not the brand you’re promoting is visually engaging on its own, is it engaging and compelling viewing? If not, figure out a creative way to incorporate it in pictures and images.
** Utilize the profile information to promote your company with a photo of yourself, or a logo representing the brand. Above all, people still like to buy from people…..
** Don’t forget to include a link to your website on your profile! If Instagram users like your content, they’ll probably want to know more about it, so show them exactly where to look!
** Remember to link your Instagram account to your Facebook page
To link your Instagram account to your brand’s Facebook Page, you first need to be an admin of that Page on Facebook.
To link your Instagram account to a Facebook Page:
- Go to your profile and tapin the top right.
- Scroll down and tap Linked Accounts, then select Facebook.
- Your Instagram account will link to your personal Facebook Timeline by default. To link to a Page instead, tap Facebook and choose a Page that you manage.
iPhone or Windows Phone
Go to your profile and tap in the top right.
- Scroll down and tap Linked Accounts, then select Facebook.
- Your Instagram account will link to your personal Facebook Timeline by default. To link to a Page instead, tap Share to and choose a Page that you manage.
** Use Instagram’s 60 Second Video Feature – Perfect for….
(Authors Note; Yes, now 60 seconds – as of April 2016 – used to be just 15 seconds)
i. Answering your customers’ questions quickly and efficiently. Make a list of the most frequently-asked questions and use Instagram shorts to answer them.For example, show how simple your product is to set up. Shoot step-by-step installation video segments and add narrations if necessary to give your viewers additional helpful information about your product.
ii. Shooting videos of recent work you’ve completed for clients to create a video ‘look-book’ for potential customers to browse through. From a coffee shop proudly showing the skill of their barista, to a salon boasting client makeovers, the uses are endless!
iii. Highlighting special offers or events – 60 seconds should be ample time to promote your special offer or event with video. Then you can flip the camera view mode to add a personal message to the recording of your product special. Remember to use the description field to highlight and strengthen the video message and then add a hashtag to track conversions or extend your reach.
iv. Give your brand the human touch – people still like to buy from ‘people’, and with Instagram videos you have the opportunity for your brand to achieve this in bite-sized, easily digestible nuggets that showcase your personality and style. This can obviously help differentiate your company from its competitors.
- Embed Your Instagram Videos and Photos on Your Website
Adding engagement triggers on your website using videos or photos you upload to your Instagram account will help boost your SEO. Maybe you hosted a contest and wrote a post about the winning photos on your website to add to your brand story. The more likes or shares that you get, then more than likely your SEO rank will improve. The good news is that the process is really quite easy;
To get an embed code for an Instagram photo or video, you’ll need to visit the post on the web:
- Go to http://instagram.com/[username]
- Click on the post to expand it
- Click “…” in the bottom-right corner and select Embed
- Copy the embed code that appears and paste it into your web page’s HTML
By following some of the simple techniques above and remembering to #hashtag your photos or videos each time (and include some keywords in their description) you can increase rankings in the search engine each time. The more engaging the image, the more likely you are to receive comments and this in turn will help with page ranking, SEO and gaining followers who will share your image further and obtain you even more likes and comments. So maybe now’s the time to get creative and start incorporating Instagram into your online business and online marketing, capitalizing on this awesome free revenue stream with potentially a whole new group of customers and followers just waiting to hear from you….
Want to fast-track your Instagram business like the pro’s??
Check out 28 year old Instagram ‘Wonder Kid’ Brent Albins
amazing strategies here ;
He literally showed us how to crush it on Instagram in less than 30 days
and obtain 17k genuine followers in under 3 weeks !!
Mark Hartfree is an Author, prolific
Blog writer, World Traveller and Online
Entrepreneur who divides his time between
the UK, South America & the Costa Blanca
Coastline in Spain.
His spare time is taken up between his
children and volunteering for local charities.