The best Instagram marketing tips come from top-performing digital agencies. As an agency, you need to produce results in order to retain, grow, and deliver high-profit margins for clients.
And the benefits of having a strong Instagram marketing game for attracting new agency clients are undeniable.
Instagram has over 1 billion active users, 500 million of which use features like Stories every day to quickly update their followers.
It’s hard to believe that Instagram used to be the younger, immature sibling of Facebook where people would filter pictures of their dinner.
It’s no surprise that businesses and agencies have adopted Instagram as one of their main revenue-generating tools.
Today Instagram has over 2 million advertisers and 25 million business profiles, making it hard to imagine not including Instagram as a large part of your overall marketing agency growth strategy.
So, how can you best use Instagram to make money for both your clients and your agency? Start with these Instagram marketing tips from top digital agencies:
- New Instagram messaging tools for business
- How to create a great Instagram bio
- Add a strong call-to-action to your Instagram bio
- Do not buy followers
- Partner with Influencers to amplify campaign reach
- How to use Instagram Stories for business
- Create high-performing Instagram ads
- Use actionable Instagram hashtags
- How to increase engagement on Instagram
- Sell products on Instagram Shops
- Track Instagram KPIs and key metrics
- Use the best Instagram marketing tools
- Learn from the best Instagram business accounts
- Use Messenger bots for remarketing and engagement
Instagram Marketing Tips #1: NEW Instagram messaging tools for business
Announced by Facebook in late October 2020, the Messenger API now supports Instagram messaging.
With Facebook Messenger API support of Instagram, businesses can scale messaging communications, start more conversations, follow up instantly with alerts to notify live agents to jump into the chat.
This is a big deal, with many implications.
Most notably for business, adding messaging to Instagram will create a 3.3 billion user mega-network that accounts for roughly 43% of the world’s population on one messaging platform.
Additional benefits to marketers should be crystal clear:
- Reach Instagram’s 1 billion users
- Capture leads and follow-up automatically
- New ad formats and even better targeting
So, how can your agency take advantage of this huge chat marketing opportunity?
Jump on these brand new Instagram messaging tools in MobileMonkey! The Instagram Beta program just launched on October 20th, 2020.
Limited spots are available so apply ASAP and use partner code UNICORN to get on the Instagram messaging beta list.
Instagram Marketing Tips #2: Optimize Instagram bio
We may have gotten a little ahead of ourselves with the first Instagram marketing tip for agencies.
One of the first things you’ll want to do for your clients is to optimize their Instagram bio.
As simple as it may seem, an Instagram bio plays a critical role in establishing your brand presence. It shows people who you are and what you sell.
You can also use the same space to tell them why they should care about your business and its offering.
You have 150 characters to tell people what the profile is about, what your brand offers and why they should follow you.
So you don’t have much to work with, which makes it even more crucial to plan ahead and perfect your Instagram business bio.
Follow this checklist in order to assure your client that you’re creating the best Instagram bios for their business:
Have a clear goal for each bio
In order to create a great Instagram bio for your client, you need to know what your clients want from Instagram.
Is it to show off their brand’s personality? Is it simply to maintain a visible Instagram presence? Or do your clients want to use Instagram to promote their latest products and offers?
Regardless, each Instagram bio you create needs to serve a purpose. And don’t forget that it’s perfectly normal to have multiple Instagram handles tied to a single business. The point being, you don’t need to jam everything into one bio.
For example, Nike doesn’t have just one Instagram business account. They have many, such as Nike Skateboarding.
If you do promote sales and recent products, be sure your team is ready to regularly update those clients’ bios and ensure their info is up to date.
Additionally, plan for this and set client expectations for more complicated Instagram accounts that require extra time and resources.
Put your brand personality on display
Instagram is an expressive environment. So you really want to show off your brand language and tone on Instagram, possibly more so than on other social platforms.
But this can be difficult considering the limited number of 150 characters allotted. So work with your client to match their brand personality through some trial and error.
Additionally, some businesses may also add relevant emojis if that kind of approach fits the brand personality.
Include relevant hashtags and profile links
Instagram lets you add clickable hashtags and profile links in your bio. So make the most of this to direct customers to your other Instagram handles or to relevant, tagged content.
The option to add profile links is great for agencies that manage multiple accounts.
As for hashtags, adding them to your bio will let you direct your audience to tagged user-generated content. For example, try using a branded hashtag to collect user-generated content, as Canva does with #canvalove.
Alternatively, you could also use branded hashtags to promote a specific campaign or a product launch.
Check out how OnePlus uses the hashtag #OnePlus8T to promote the launch event.
Make Instagram bios clear and precise
As mentioned earlier, your main Instagram bio should be able to convey what your business does or what it offers. This way, people can easily read and process information.
Formatting such as line breaks and spacing makes it easier to read and emphasize important information at a glance.
You could use a pipe or vertical bar to space out your info like in the following Instagram business profile example.
Notice how thredUP skillfully uses lists in its bio, using emojis as a bullet point.
Test different formatting to see how they impact overall profile engagement for your clients.
For more great Instagram bio examples, check out some of the best Instagram business accounts here.
Instagram Marketing Tips #3: Include a strong CTA (call to action)
Although we’re still technically discussing your Instagram bio, a strong CTA deserves its own spot on the list of Instagram marketing tips.
There’s no point in creating an Instagram account for business if it doesn’t contribute to your client’s KPIs.
So make sure people know exactly what to do when they visit your client’s profile by including a CTA in the bio. Ahrefs makes this crystal clear by literally points at their CTA with an emoji.
You can be very specific with this depending on the goal of the Instagram account.
For example, you could invite people to visit your website, shop your feed, read your latest blog post, download your new guide, or even share their own photos using a branded hashtag.
If your clients insist that their Instagram follower count is important, you can even use a CTA such as “follow us” in order to receive updates from your client’s brand.
Instagram Marketing Tips #4: Do not buy followers
It’s tempting to buy Instagram followers. And if you’re an influencer or wannabe influencer, that could even make sense.
However, do not buy Instagram followers for your clients under any circumstances. Both you and your client will ultimately be disappointed in the results. Not to mention you could have your account suspended, which would not be a fun agency-to-client conversation.
This should go without saying, but there are still some agencies out there doing this.
When you start working with a new client, it’s also a good idea to check if their followers are real before you get started. Fake followers can seriously hinder results.
There are negative consequences to buying fake followers and likes on Instagram:
- Instagram catches you and purges your account
- Engagement numbers will fall
- Revenue will not increase
Lastly, your clients and Instagram users can easily tell if you have a fake follower base. And they absolutely will call you out on it. Not a good look for any brand.
Instead, build an authentic following that generates high engagement on Instagram over time. Your clients will thank you for it!
Instagram Marketing Tips #5: Partner with influencers to expand campaign reach
A much better alternative to buying Instagram followers and likes is to partner with influencers.
And whether or not you dislike the Instagram influencer scene, if you want to reach potential customers on Instagram, the fastest way to do that is through influencers who have already built a large following.
In fact, when it comes to millennials (the largest demographic on Instagram by age), only 1% of them trust advertisements. However, 33% of millennials trust blog reviews for their purchases.
Plus, influencer marketing is earning businesses $6.50 for every dollar spent – an ROI that your agency could stand on if attained.
So, if you partner with the right Instagram influencers, you can get any client brand out in front of their target audience.
Here’s an example of how Tom’s of Maine, an all-natural ingredients toiletries company, used micro-influencers to get macro results:
Tom’s wanted to increase brand awareness among health-conscious buyers by encouraging people to try their products and talk about them on social media. Tom’s focused on micro-influencers, who then encouraged their followers to publish their own posts.
This strategy created a snowball effect that reached 4.4 million potential customers in the first three months of the campaign.
Key takeaway: It’s easy to think more followers equals better reach, but that’s not always true. In many cases, a group of micro-influencers is more affordable and more effective than a single “macro” endorsement.
Furthermore, your clients’ existing customers might not be influencers, but you can still use their posts to influence people to buy products by collecting user-submitted photos.
Lastly, if you’re wondering what to charge clients for an influencer marketing campaign, here are the average cost per one-thousand followers and engagements, according to Buffer:
- $10 per 1,000 followers
- $250 – $750 per 1,000 engagements
As an agency, start building as many meaningful influencer relationships across different target audiences as you can. It won’t be long before you have an influencer army that you can rely upon for nearly any client.
Instagram Marketing Tips #6: How to use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories aren’t new. However, they are underrated in terms of using Instagram for business.
With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram Stories are a great way to expand your reach and increase engagement. In fact, 68% of people become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in a story, according to Ipsos.
And although they’re only live for 24 hours, Instagram Stories can easily be saved and reused at a later point.
Here’s an awesome example of how @HydroFlask, an insulated water bottle company, created ads in Instagram Stories and realized an 80% increase in revenue.
To increase awareness and sell more products, Hydro Flask worked with performance marketing agency SocialWithin to run ads in Instagram Stories.
The digital agency followed best practices and created engaging, well-branded, vertical videos promoting upcoming sales, new color releases, and created anticipation for a limited-edition Escape Collection.
Ads in Instagram Stories gave the brand a full-screen canvas to tell a short story in a creative way.
To reach the right audience, the team showed the video ads to lookalike audiences based on its most valuable customers. To increase the potential audience size, even more, the team also layered in various interest-based audiences that aligned with the Hydro Flask brand and its ideal customers.
Between November 2018–February 2019, Hydro Flask earned the following compare to the previous 4-month period:
- 12,000 purchases
- 80% increase in revenue
- 16X return on ad spend
Want to be able to share a success story like this with your clients? Talk about your all-time rhetorical questions. 😜
There are also a number of other features included in Instagram Stories, such as Questions and Polls. These Instagram marketing tools are highly useful when using Instagram for business, particularly to increase engagement and brand awareness.
Instagram Marketing Tips #7: Create high-performing Instagram ads
According to Instagram, 60% of people say they discover new products on the platform, and 20% of users visit a business profile every single day. Plus, 33% of the most popular Instagram Stories are shared by businesses like yours.
Similar to Facebook ads, Ads placed in the Instagram News Feed and Instagram Stories are a big part of the Facebook Ads ecosystem, providing competitive ROAS (return on ad spend) for advertisers.
What advertisers should really latch onto is the fact that Instagram uses Facebook’s demographic data to serve up ads to the appropriate parties. This makes the tool super valuable for advertisers looking to target a niche audience because Facebook already has a strong history and thorough demographic targeting options.
Consider using Instagram interactive ads. Interactivity adds a whole new dimension to the world of Story ads on Instagram that help bring people closer to brands.
Interactive ads in Instagram Stories, starting with the polling sticker, allow businesses to be more engaging and playful in order to build better connections.
As for Instagram Story ads, here are some rules of thumb:
- Instagram Stories have the lowest CPM and CPC by placement in the Facebook ads system.
- Instagram Stories video creative can be up to 45 seconds (or actually, 15-second videos stitched together)
- The call-to-action in Story ads is to “swipe up” to view a webpage with more info.
- More organic-looking content, that looks like it was filmed by a friend on their phone and uses text and GIF stickers native to Stories, gets better results than high-production-value video.
Lastly, check out the Top 7 Facebook Ad Hacks of All-Time from recognized Facebook Ads expert and MobileMonkey Founder, Larry Kim.
Instagram Marketing Tips #8: Use actionable Instagram hashtags
The great thing about a good hashtag strategy is that it can be leveraged across other social networks like Twitter and Pinterest. However, hashtags are key to Instagram and are the perfect way to get your client’s audience to engage with their brand.
A good example that Instagram recognized was by Nike, who started a movement with their #runfree campaign.
As you can see, Nike was able to generate over 600 thousand posts with this hashtag campaign. Check it out for yourself and click through your favorite images to get some inspiration for your client campaigns.
Smaller brands in your agency portfolio can leverage hashtag campaigns as well. Take Infatuation for instance, a trendy restaurant review site, which has generated over 20 million posts using the hashtag #EEEEEATS.
Infatuation created an online food community for “anyone who is serious about food, but doesn’t take food too seriously,” according to their site.
So why is this hashtag so successful? For starters, amazing looking food pictures never hurts, but Infatuation also creates engaging, geo-targeted content around their posts, such as the following:
Instagram Marketing Tips #9: Increasing engagement on Instagram
As an agency, you need to emphasize to your clients that audience engagement on Instagram is far more important than gaining followers.
Vanity metrics are for lazy marketers – end of story.
On Instagram, more engagement makes the algorithm happy, which is what’s going to make your clients happy in return.
When posting to the Instagram feed, you have the option to post photos or videos.
You also have the option to post up to 10 photos and videos at once in a singular post, complete with a scrolling feature that allows followers to scroll through each photo or video in the set.
This is something that you can use to your advantage: Consider using the opportunity to post up to 10 photos or videos at a time as a chance for unique content creation.
Here are a few content ideas that tend to get great results on Instagram:
- Behind-the-scenes content of your client’s business
- Posts that show a business volunteering, talking at conferences, and interacting with the public in a leadership role in general.
- Actionable posts, such as tutorials
Make sure that you’re combining your use of photo and video content when using these ideas.
Here’s an example of a business that does this very well:
The above example is called “Happy Hour with Sophia.” It’s literally just a video of Sophia making a super cool cocktail. That’s it. And it has 3,700 views. Amazing, right?
Bon Appétit Magazine has a wildly popular YouTube channel on which different Bon Appétit chefs (with big personalities!) cook popular foods, try out recipes, or taste-test different items.
Bon Appétit frequently shares clips of these videos on their Instagram.
These videos serve multiple purposes: they are educational, as the audience can learn from them; they build brand trust, as the audience loves the personalities of the chefs featured; and they draw users to Bon Appétit’s various social media platforms.
As we already discussed, another great tactic to boost engagement on Instagram is to curate user-generated content that you can reshare on your own profile.
This can be done in a number of ways:
- Through a hashtag campaign in which you encourage users to include a specific hashtag in their posts.
- Searching for images related to your client’s industry.
- Monitoring your notifications to see when users share posts that tag or mention your client’s business.
- Searching for images related to your client’s business.
Curating and sharing user-generated content lets followers know that you like to interact with their content and aren’t simply a robotic presence on Instagram.
This builds brand trust and loyalty, helping to increase customer satisfaction rates.
Once you have a bunch of ideas for content to share on your clients’ Instagram profiles, it’s time to make sure that it all reflects cohesive brand imagery.
If you look at business profiles on Instagram, you’ll see that they put a lot of effort into the production of the photos and videos that they share.
Sometimes there are color schemes, sometimes there are themes; either way, everything is cohesive and looks visually appealing.
Having visually compelling material on your Instagram account makes content look cohesive and draws in followers.
And honestly, the best way to get great ideas is to look for brands similar to your client in question and take note of the Instagram experiences that keep your attention for long periods of time.
Instagram Marketing Tips #10: Sell products on Instagram Shops
Facebook Shops, or in this case Instagram Shops, is a new way to present, market, and sell physical products. For agencies, it’s an opportunity to differentiate your offering and stand out amongst your competitors.
With an Instagram Shops Page you can:
- Organize your products into collections and categories.
- Add an unlimited number of products.
- Communicate with your customers through the page directly with Messenger.
- See analytics for your sales, visits, and more.
- Get your products appearing on Facebook Marketplace, giving you access to a much larger base of potential customers.
Instagram ad implications of Instagram Shops
Last-click attribution will be easier to determine when someone checks-out on Facebook or Instagram. You won’t even need to rely on a properly installed Facebook Pixel.
As for ad performance, this too could significantly improve due to a couple of main factors:
- One-click checkout on Facebook Shops reduces friction, therefore making it easier for consumers to make a purchase. When Amazon introduced its one-click checkout option, overall sales increased by 5%.
- When Facebook sees that certain consumers are more likely to convert on Instagram Shops than they are when redirected to a website, Facebook’s algorithm will pick up on it. This means that Facebook will automatically send certain consumers ads that direct them to your Instagram or Facebook Shops page, and vice versa.
Instagram Shops can also be featured in ads and Stories. So consider how you’ll want to incorporate those ad channels into your agency’s overall strategy.
Live stream shopping on Instagram
Sellers, brands, and creators are now able to tag products from their Instagram Shop or catalog before going live and those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase. Facebook has started to test this with businesses on Facebook and Instagram, and it continues to be rolled out more broadly.
This means you can go on Instagram or Facebook Live and the products you’re discussing will actually show up at the bottom of the screen for people to engage with a click or tap.
This is something to start planning for now and giving a shot because if conversion rates turn out to be high, the implications for your agency could be massive.
Adding sales capabilities to live streaming on Facebook and Instagram Shops is also a major win for influencers that can sell products in real-time.
Not only does it give influencers a new channel to sell products in real-time, but there’s also the added benefit of direct attribution of sales.
This eliminates much of the complexities associated with properly attributing sales to influencers and affiliates who deserve to get paid.
Instagram Marketing Tips #11: Tracking Instagram KPIs and metrics
You can’t improve your Instagram performance and optimize it unless you know how well your page and posts are performing (or underperforming).
When you have measurable results, you’ll know exactly what works and what doesn’t.
Instagram Follower Rate
Start by tracking follower growth rates for your clients. The number of followers alone shouldn’t matter to your clients. However, do keep track of follower growth rates, and present that as a KPI to your clients.
When you keep an eye on what the growth rate of your followers looks like, you will get a great idea of how your content is performing.
You can track your follower growth rate and other key performance metrics with Instagram marketing tools like Owlmetrics and Analisa.io.
Instagram Engagement Rate
Next, measure Instagram engagement rates for your clients. This includes likes and comments.
You want to find out the average engagement percentage of your client’s total followers as well as the average engagement rate of each post to get a clear picture of how your campaigns are performing.
Also keep in mind that If your client has a small following, your engagement rate should be higher.
Instagram URL Click-Through Rate
Finally, you need to track URL click-through rates for your clients.
If you’re not already using Instagram marketing tools like link.gallery from Rebrandly, you need to get one ASAP.
Then, measure how many people are clicking through to your URL.
The average CTR on Instagram is 0.94%, according to Conversion XL.
The more effective your Instagram marketing techniques are with your audience, the higher your CTR will be. If your CTR is low, work on improving your approach.
Instagram Marketing Tips #12: Use the best digital agency tools
Finding Instagram marketing tools specific to the platform can be frustrating because it’s a unique social media platform.
This is because Instagram is focused on image-based content, allows for fewer characters than other platforms, and purposely makes it difficult to link to your website.
When marketing on Instagram, you’ll need to have software for generating leads, making cool images, creating videos, scheduling posts, business promotion, and analytics. And we have you covered.
Check out these 12 Instagram marketing tools. You’ll find the best tools for the following use cases and more:
- Best Chatbot for Instagram
- Image and Video Editing Software for Instagram
- Instagram analytics for business
- Software for selling products and services on Instagram
- Hashtag generator app for Instagram
- Schedule posts on Instagram
- Add branded links to your Instagram bio and posts
Additionally, you’ll find 14 agency specific tools in this article with the best overall marketing tools for digital agencies in 2020!
Instagram Marketing Tips #13: Follow the best Instagram business accounts
There are literally millions of Instagram business accounts. As an agency, you can learn from the best business accounts, as well as the agencies you already follow on other channels.
Here are a few notable Instagram marketing agency accounts to check out right now:
They say the best artists steal, so there’s no crime in taking what’s working for others and making it work for you and your clients.
Check out these seven best Instagram business accounts you should follow right now and see what you can learn from them!
Instagram Marketing Tips #14: Use Messenger bots for remarketing and engagement
As of October 19, 2020, Messenger from Facebook announced API Support for Instagram. The combination of these two massive channels has huge implications for marketing professionals everywhere.
In addition to cross-channel messaging, many new features are coming to Instagram. Most notably for digital marketers and agencies alike is the ability to seamlessly connect with people across Instagram and Messenger by using either app.
Prior to this announcement, there was a big gap for marketers trying to leverage Instagram messaging with their funnels: Instagram DMs didn’t feature a developer API that allowed for private messaging at scale.
But all of that is about to change.
You can create deeper personal interactions with Instagram followers using chatbots that keep customers in-the-know of the latest sales and promos, as well as order updates and account status.
As a premier Messenger platform solution provider, however, here at MobileMonkey we need to be careful about what we say during the Instagram and Messenger rollout.
For now, we can offer the following information:
Businesses can reach an incredible number of engaged Instagram users with the tools enabled through the Messenger API. Messenger API support for Instagram means businesses and developers can now manage their customer communications on Instagram at scale.
Our partners at Messenger said it best:
“We are thrilled that MobileMonkey is launching messaging tools for Instagram. Businesses and people are messaging with each other more than ever, and Instagram is an important channel to connect with customers and build relationships,” said Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, VP of Platform Partnerships at Messenger.
And we could not agree more!
Business across verticals that connect with customers in Instagram messaging are discovering bottom-line boosting benefits of real-time chat like:
- More leads: Businesses can automatically capture and qualify leads who start chat sessions.
- More sales: Prospects who chat with a business are 40% more likely to buy.
- Better customer experiences: Messaging tools empower customers by providing 24/7 instant support.
We can’t wait to see how businesses grow with messaging tools for Instagram!
Make sure your agency is the first in line to offer your clients the most exciting marketing channel to become available in quite some time: Join the MobileMonkey Beta list for Instagram messaging tools!
Important next steps
- Create a free chatbot today with the limited time MobileMonkey Free Forever Special Edition.
- Talk and learn about chatbots with other enthusiasts. Join MobileMonkey Island, our Facebook group of 40K marketers and entrepreneurs who are ready to support you.
- Advance your marketing performance with Chatbot University, a free chatbot tutorial and training area for chat marketers.
See all the tools in MobileMonkey’s multi-channel chatbot platform by getting started with MobileMonkey for free.