Instagram Marketing: The Ultimate Guide

Instagram has been around for almost a decade, steadily growing in popularity as millennials came of age and made Instagram their channel of choice for sharing photos with friends. 

In 2012, the service was bought by Facebook for $1 billion a move that seemed laughable to some industry insiders at the time but now looks like an absolute steal. 

The power of social media is no longer up for debate: it’s clear that Instagram is one of the most effective mediums available to businesses that want to reach consumers where they’re already spending time online. 

Whether your business is brand-new or you just need a refresher on how to optimize Instagram marketing, look no further than this guide.

7-Step Social Media Marketing Strategy (and Guide) – YouTube
1. Master the art of Instagram marketing strategies.
2. Leverage the platform’s visual nature for success.
3. Engage with followers through creative content.
4. Utilize hashtags effectively to expand your reach.
5. Incorporate user-generated content for authenticity.
6. Monitor insights to measure and refine your efforts.
7. Experiment with Instagram Stories for real-time engagement.
8. Collaborate with influencers to amplify your brand.
9. Consistency is key to building a strong presence.
10. Stay updated with trends and algorithm changes.

Why Instagram Marketing Is Important

Instagram is the second most popular social media platform in the world. It’s a visual platform, a mobile platform and it has over 1 billion users who spend more time on Instagram than they do on Facebook.

Instagram is also a social network with a community of influencers that you can build relationships with by following them and commenting on their content. 

These influencers are useful for word-of-mouth referrals to your business as well as recommending your products or services when they post about them.

Plus there’s also plenty of opportunity for paid advertising on Instagram if you want to boost your reach even further or target specific audiences using hashtags

Learn how to navigate the complexities of Instagram marketing to reach your target audience effectively. Our comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about the ins and outs of Instagram marketing for business success.

How To Set Up An Instagram Business Account

To set up an Instagram business account, you’ll need to complete the following steps:

Create a business profile. To do this, you’ll need to decide on your username and password for your new account. You can choose something short and simple or something more elaborate (e.g., @instagram_marketing).

Set up a business email address that will be used for communication with people who reach out to you via Instagram DM (direct message) or email. 

This way, when someone reaches out privately through direct message on Instagram and asks how they can get started with marketing on Instagram.

They can send their question directly back to you by replying directly from the DM thread instead of having to send another email message which could take more time than necessary!

Posting On Instagram

Posting on Instagram is a great way to build your brand and engage with your audience.

When you post on Instagram, make sure that the content you share is consistent with the image you want to portray. If your whole brand is about making healthy choices, then only posting about fitness will not do justice to it. 

Instead, create different kinds of posts that are relevant for both fitness enthusiasts and people who want healthy recipes – this way everyone can relate to what you’re posting! 

You can also try out engaging strategies like posting quizzes or polls occasionally so users feel like they’re part of something bigger than just looking at pretty pictures – even if they don’t have an account themselves yet!

New to Instagram? Avoid these common pitfalls. Discover the 18 biggest mistakes beginners often make on Instagram, and make sure your marketing strategy is on the right track.

Contests And Giveaways

Contests and giveaways are a great way to get your followers involved in what you’re doing. You can use them to promote a new product or service, build brand awareness for your business, or simply make sure that people know that you exist.

A contest is exactly what it sounds like: an online competition where users have to do something in order to win some kind of prize. 

The most common type of contest involves sharing an image on social media (like Instagram) and tagging the brand who created it in order for users to be entered into a drawing for free products or services.

There are many different types of contests you can run on Instagram, but here are some ideas:

Staying Engaged With Your Followers

We’ll start with the basics, which is staying engaged with your followers. 

You can do this by responding to comments and questions that they have posted on your page, being active on Instagram Stories (the platform’s equivalent of Snapchat), and engaging with influencers who are relevant to your brand.

Here are some more tips for keeping people interested in you:

Post regularly! People want to see new content from brands they follow all the time—it keeps them coming back for more instead of losing interest after a few days pass without any posts.

Use hashtags! It helps people find your photos or videos when they’re searching those topics or related words, allowing them to engage further with what’s going on at your company/event/etcetera…

Use location tags! Location-based searches were one of the first ways people could browse through IG content before algorithms became widely used; 

Now it’s even easier because there are already so many filters available that show up whenever someone uses their location (like “New York City”).

User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) gives you the opportunity to connect with customers on a more personal level, which can lead to increased brand loyalty and higher sales. 

A survey conducted by social media monitoring platform Sprout Social found that 92% of consumers trust UGC more than branded content, making it an essential part of your Instagram marketing strategy.

One way brands use UGC is as part of their product descriptions on eBay and Amazon. When consumers see other shoppers’ authentic opinions about a product, they become more likely to purchase it themselves. 

For example, when searching for a product on eBay or Amazon, you might see photos posted by other shoppers instead of stock images from the manufacturer or seller those photos have been vetted by real customers just like yourself!

Ready to master Instagram marketing? Dive into our comprehensive guide to being an Instagram marketing master and unlock strategies to elevate your brand’s social media game.

How To Measure Success On Instagram

How do you know if your Instagram marketing is successful?

You can’t really tell by the number of likes, follows, or comments. You need to look at other metrics to determine how well your account is doing.

Engagement rate: This measures the total interactions (likes/comments/shares) on a single post divided by followers. It’s one of the best ways to measure engagement because it takes into consideration all interactions, not just likes and follows.

Engagement ratio: The engagement rate divided by impressions (the total number of times an image was viewed). This tells you how many people interacted with your post compared with how many times it appeared in feeds (even if they didn’t click on it).

Instagram Analytics And Other Tools

Analytics are an important part of the Instagram marketing process. They can help you measure your success and identify opportunities, so it’s important to use them correctly.

There are many analytics tools available for free on Instagram, but we’ve found that Iconosquare is the easiest to use. It offers a simple interface that breaks down your data into easy-to-understand charts and graphs. Here’s an example from our account:

When you open up Iconosquare, click “Analytics” at the top of your screen:

Understand Your Business Goals

Before you begin a marketing campaign, it’s important to understand what you’re trying to accomplish. 

What are your business goals and how can you measure success? Are there relevant milestones or benchmarks that will help you stay motivated and focused on achieving those goals?

While many marketers set out with lofty goals like “grow my following by 100%,” it’s important to break down these goals into more manageable chunks. 

For example, if the big picture is growth maybe this means increasing followers by 41%, or doubling engagement from the previous month.

Looking to leverage Instagram for business growth? Explore our collection of 21 tips and tactics to make the most out of your brand’s presence on this visual platform.

Identify And Track KPIs

In Instagram marketing, KPIs are the metrics you want to track. They’re the indicators that show you whether or not you are achieving your goals.

Let’s say for example, your goal is to increase sales of your brand’s clothing line by 25% per month over the next six months. 

You could set up KPI targets like “increase engagement by 50% in two weeks” or “get 10 new followers every week” and then monitor them regularly with tools like Iconosquare and Sprout Social.

Research Your Audience (Lookalike Audiences)

With lookalike audiences, you can reach people who are similar to your current customers. 

Instagram suggests that you find new customers by going beyond your existing audience and targeting those who might be interested in your business because they’re similar to the people already buying from you.

Lookalike audiences are a good way to find new customers, but they’re not the only tool for this kind of research. If you have an email list or customer database, use it! You might be surprised how much information about your ideal customer is already sitting on paper (or in a computer).

Identify The Customer Journey For Instagram

Identify the customer journey for Instagram. The first step in developing a comprehensive Instagram marketing strategy is to take a deep dive into your customers’ experience with your brand. 

By doing this, you’ll be able to identify key touchpoints and help guide their path toward becoming an advocate of your business.

Develop an actionable plan. Identifying where you’re going to reach each of these audiences will inform how you can use Instagram as part of your overall marketing strategy. 

In addition, it’s important to think about what content you’ll share on each platform at different times in order to optimize results and increase engagement levels over time (i.e., creating more than one post per day).

Launch and optimize your Instagram marketing strategy

Create A Content Plan

The first step to creating a content plan is defining the problem you want to solve. Before starting on a solution, it’s important to understand what that problem is and how the solution will look when it’s done. 

That way, you can make sure your efforts are focused on making things better for your audience without getting distracted by side projects or unnecessary tasks.

So let’s say your goal is to get more followers for Instagram (which is completely reasonable). Great! First thing’s first: figure out what number of followers would be considered successful. Is 500 per month great? Is 1,000 per month even better? 

If so, how many likes do they need? You know what else might help? Some quick math: 1/3 of people who see my post click-through into my bio link; another 2/3 don’t click through but still see the post after scrolling past. 

So if I want 100 new followers every day (and that’s quite ambitious), then I’d need around 3 million impressions per day not an unreasonable target at all!

Enhance your B2C marketing strategy with the power of visualization. Our article offers 14 tips to boost your B2C marketing results by visualizing data and ideas for more impactful communication.

Plan Your Creative Development

Your content calendar is the foundation of your Instagram marketing plan. It’s made up of your social media posts, which should be planned out in advance so that you can post on a regular basis and keep your audience engaged with consistent quality content.

Create a content calendar for each month, week, and day

During this step, you need to figure out what type of content you want to create on Instagram whether it’s photos or videos, and how often you’ll share it with followers. 

For example: A good rule of thumb is to post three times per day; however, if that seems too much for you or if there are certain days when it doesn’t make sense (like when everyone else at work is taking vacation), then adjust accordingly. 

Some users prefer posting every two hours while others prefer posting every five minutes! Be careful not to go overboard though because that could get messy fast!

Develop An Actionable Plan

Before you start building your Instagram strategy, it’s important to define your goals. Is your goal to build awareness? Are you trying to get more leads and sales? Or are you looking for more traffic on your website?

Once you have an understanding of what success looks like for your business, then it’s time for the next step: deciding what type of content will help achieve those results.

What Kind Of Content Do I Want To Create?

Think about the kinds of photos and videos that people engage with most on Instagram. Do they like funny memes, inspirational quotes or interesting articles about current events? 

The type of content you choose should align with their preferences so that they’re more likely to engage with it and stay engaged with it over time.

Launch And Optimize Your Instagram Marketing Strategy

Instagram is growing at an unprecedented rate. It’s the fastest-growing social network with 1 billion monthly active users, and it’s estimated that 65% of those users are under 35 years old. 

If you want to reach this audience, you need to establish a presence on Instagram. Here are some tips for getting started:

Choose your username carefully. This is one of the most important decisions when starting out on any platform! The first step in launching any social media account is choosing what name it will be under. 

You can use whatever name you like but try not to choose something generic like “BestProductsOnline” as other brands may already have accounts with similar names (and therefore would receive less traffic). 

You will also want to make sure that no one else has already taken that username so search around before making your choice official! Create interesting content As with any other piece of online content such as blogs or articles; if people don’t find it interesting then there’s no point! 

The goal here should always be creating unique pieces which relate closely back over time; so keep track of relevant news stories that break during this period (i.e., elections) as well as holidays, etc… 

Then create posts which tie these topics together in some way – whether it’s through humor/memes or more serious commentary depending on where exactly within their target market sits.”


Overall, it’s important to remember just how crucial Instagram is to your overall marketing strategy. You can use it to tell your brand story, build an audience, and generate sales and it’s a great way to get your customers engaged with your content. 

That said, remember that you don’t need to do this alone! Doing research on competitors and keeping an eye on analytics will give you a better idea of what works for other companies in terms of Instagram strategy so that you can see how much time and effort they put into their efforts compared with yours. 

If there are gaps between these numbers, consider if spending some more time or money on content creation could help close them up!

Further Reading

HubSpot: Instagram Marketing Short Description: Explore HubSpot’s comprehensive guide to effective Instagram marketing strategies for businesses.

Later: Instagram Marketing Training Short Description: Enhance your Instagram marketing skills with Later’s training resources covering various aspects of the platform.

Power Digital Marketing: Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing Short Description: Dive into Power Digital Marketing’s ultimate guide for insights on mastering Instagram marketing strategies.

And here’s the “FAQs” section with questions and answers:


How can I improve my Instagram engagement?

To boost your Instagram engagement, focus on creating visually appealing content, utilizing relevant hashtags, engaging with your audience through comments and stories, and posting consistently.

What are some effective strategies for growing my Instagram following?

Consider collaborating with influencers, hosting contests or giveaways, using Instagram ads, leveraging user-generated content, and optimizing your profile to attract and retain more followers.

What types of content perform well on Instagram?

Content such as high-quality images, behind-the-scenes glimpses, user-generated content, educational posts, and visually appealing videos tend to resonate well with Instagram audiences.

How can I measure the effectiveness of my Instagram marketing efforts?

Use Instagram Insights to track metrics like engagement rate, reach, and profile visits. Additionally, consider using link tracking tools to monitor the performance of links in your bio.

What role do Instagram Stories play in marketing?

Instagram Stories offer a dynamic way to connect with your audience in real-time. Use Stories to share updates, promotions, behind-the-scenes moments, and interactive content to engage your followers.