Instagram becomes more popular every year, attracting even the attention of digital marketers from traditional companies that don’t typically use photo-driven marketing campaigns. For most business owners and brands marketers, this means that they need to employ increasingly creative strategies to reach their SEO and market visibility goals.
Once you’ve successfully set up an attractive Instagram business account and gained some traction in your Instagram marketing strategy, the following advice will help you take your SEO Instagram marketing efforts to the next level.
Hashtags and Keyword Research
This is a time-tested, successful SEO tip that is applicable to the social media platform. Instagram is certainly no Google. All the same, it has a search function, with the most popular search tool being the hashtag. Think of the words in front of the ‘#’ symbol as keywords. To get the widest exposure, you need to use hashtags that attract the most searches and are also relevant to your posts.
Hashtags have one great advantage over traditional keywords: you can load numerous (up to 30) hashtags on your post. You need not worry about naturally integrating them into your content. It is completely acceptable to simply list them at the end of your post. Pro tip: you can post your hashtags in a comment and leave your captions looking clean.
The trick is figuring out which hashtags are useful for your posts and how many you should use. Unlike traditional SEO where you have a Keyword Planner, Instagram has none. You have to do a bit of research and exercise some good judgment in determining which hashtags are both popular and appropriate for your followers for Instagram.
It’s a good idea to search your hashtag ideas and find out which Instagram users use them. Use tools such as Websta to find the most popular hashtags on Instagram to help you come up with some ideas. As you research hashtags, filter them by location to determine which hashtags potential customers in your area are using in order to benefit from local SEO.
Note that you can always create your own hashtag unique to your brand, but keep in mind that such hashtags typically work for huge brands. Nevertheless, running a contest on Instagram and having your followers use your unique hashtag can help it gain some traction.
Holding Instagram Contests with Prizes
This Instagram marketing technique is popular and you might have used it yourself. It is however important to mention because too many companies hold contents on Instagram and don’t offer prizes. Great prizes will give your contests a lot of mileage on the platform, so invest some money to make your contests worth participating in.
There are a number of ways you can run an Instagram contest. Whichever way you use, don’t lose sight of the reason people are on Instagram in the first place. Put enough thought into image quality and the relevance of the hashtags. For instance, you could ask your customers to upload a similar post and offer a prize for the picture with the most likes.
Walter Moore has worked as a social media strategist in the SEO industry for 7 years. He has written numerous articles and blog posts on topics related to social media marketing, including gaining visibility by leveraging followers for Instagram.