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How to Build Your Brand's Authority on Instagram

Business.com / Technology / Last Modified: May 29, 2018
Image credit: ArthurStock/Shutterstock

With the right strategy, Instagram can be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. Follow these steps to establish your brand on the platform.

Instagram is an incredibly expressive platform for everyone who has creative ideas and an eye for design. With more than 500 million active users daily, it's also an excellent platform to build your brand's authority. 

Among all social media platforms, Instagram is the most powerful for enhancing audience engagement. It serves as a venue for brands that want to build their authority and increase their audience engagement rate through appealing visuals and unique storytelling.

In this post, we will discuss the most effective tips and tricks to build your brand's authority on Instagram.

1. Develop your Instagram strategy.

The first step toward establishing your brand's authority on Instagram is to formulate a strategy. Having a good strategy in place helps everyone on your team know how the brand is to be presented on Instagram.   

Set your goals.

Using any kind of social network without clear goals is a futile exercise. You will waste a lot of time and resources with no clear returns. The goals of your Instagram strategy must align with the overall digital marketing goals of your brand.

Instagram can drive brand awareness. You can use your Instagram account to drive traffic to your website. You could also use Instagram posts to increase the reach of your ongoing marketing campaigns.

 

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Find your target audience.

It helps to have an idea of who your target audience really is. If you are new to Instagram and looking to find your target audience, you must know this: They are with your competitors. The simplest strategy is to follow the followers of your competition in the hopes that they will follow you back. You can also use social listening tools to find out where the conversations related to your brand are really happening.

Do competitor research.

You need to know what your competitors are up to on Instagram. It pays to know their goals and strategies. Do not forget you are targeting the same user base. The same users who are following you may also be following your competitors.

Find out which of your competitors' posts get the most traction. Which posts are their followers engaging with the most? When you analyze this information, you will have a better idea what kinds of posts your competitors are using to reach their goals.    

Plan your content strategy.

Do tests to find the kind of content that drives conversions. You can use a similar kind of content to move toward your marketing goals. Design a content calendar. Establish the tone for your brand; it helps to have your own unique style. Experiment with post timing as well. Find out what times your followers are most responsive, and schedule your posts accordingly.

You cannot clone the content strategy of your competitors and expect users to trust you. Have a visual approach that aligns with your brand's personality. Try to stay on top of the trends and social events that involve your users. Don't merely advertise – use an artistic approach to get your message across. Instagrammers appreciate that.   

Hire talented product photographers.

Instagram is a visual medium. The quality of your posts has to be top-notch. But not everyone is blessed with the artistic sensibilities to create posts that resonate with Instagram users. For this, you can hire talented photographers and other creative people to help you craft the kind of posts your brand and products deserve. The messaging and photographs have to be consistent with your marketing strategy.

If you do not put in the effort to present your posts attractively, they will sink without creating any engagement. Millions of pictures are posted and buried every day on Instagram. You don't want your posts to be buried in the heap without creating the desired impact.

Track your progress.

What gets measured gets improved. You need to find out if your Instagram strategies are working for you. You can track different metrics and analyze your progress with the help of different tools. Let's look at two of the most useful tools for doing so.

  • Brandwatch: This tool helps you find out important metrics related to your Instagram account. It can provide you with information about your competitors as well. It is also a very good social listening tool.  
  • Quintly: This is an easy-to-use tool to measure the analytical metrics important to you. It provides Instagram analytics for followers – both yours and your competitors'. You can analyze the engagement and interactions too.  

2. Be consistent in style and theme.

When you use Instagram for business, it is necessary to build an audience that is loyal to you and trusts you. You need to make sure your brand has a unique personality and identity to which people can relate. For that, you need quality content that is consistent in style and theme.

Arbitrary posts with inconsistent style confuse your followers. Use the color palette that suits the personality of your brand, and have a consistent theme. Your creative team should sit down and list potential themes to use on your brand's account. Use captioning to your advantage. Use minimal words to convey your messages.

For example, the official Instagram account of Mercedes-Benz (@mercedesbenz) uses shots of different classes of Mercedes-Benz cars from different angles in a similar style. The account has more than 13 million followers.

3. Use Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories are the pictures and videos posted on Instagram that disappear after 24 hours. Stories are a good way to share moments that you do not want permanently on your profile. They are usually fun, off-the-cuff moments shared to build relationships. You can be really creative with Instagram Stories. You can doodle, place stickers and write on pictures. This helps your followers understand your brand's personality in a new way.

Stories are available only in the Instagram mobile app. They appear at the top of your feed. The Explore tab helps users discover Instagram Stories from other users.

4. Use hashtags smartly.

Trying out different kinds of filters or witty captions is important. But what's more important is that people see your pictures and videos. For that, you have to use the right hashtags.

When you put hashtags in the captions of your images, those images will appear in the feed where the hashtag is publicly aggregated. When you search for a hashtag, the popular tagged images are shown at the top. If your images are popular and hashtagged properly, they will come up for users when they search for a relevant hashtag.

You can use hashtags to indicate your geographic location or to show you are supporting any cause or brand by using the branded hashtags in your post. You can use a descriptive hashtag that describes what's in your photo, or a category hashtag to specify your expertise or industry. You can participate in ongoing trends too with the help of hashtags.

5. Work with influential Instagrammers.

To build your brand's authority, it is important that you find the right influencers on Instagram. They can talk about your brand with their followers and increase brand awareness. You can use Instagram influencers for different promotional campaigns and product launches too.

Influencers build their followership over a long period of time. Their followers have developed trust in them. When you collaborate with an influencer, you get immediate access to their audience. And when a trusted voice vouches for you, your brand can gain more authority in the industry.

In this noisy digital world, where every brand is broadcasting its message through mainstream advertising, people develop brand blindness. They simply do not pay attention to brand messages that they do not willingly opt to hear or see. Influencers, being real people with a loyal following, can amplify your brand's message. 

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