The only thing that is constant is change, right? Instagram is no different! With over 800 million active users, the platform has had to make changes to manage all of the new growth and activity.
If you’ve been on Instagram for a couple of years, you’ve noticed it is way different than it was, say, in 2015 or 2016.
Algorithms determine what posts we see, not only in our main feed, but in the Stories feed, the explore page, and our hashtag searches as well.
Instagram Marketing 2018
So how can you use Instagram marketing in 2018 and continue to grow and succeed? In this video (or the post below), I’m going to tell you EXACTLY what your Instagram mindset needs to be for great Instagram marketing in 2018 and beyond!
ONE. Remember the “Big Picture”
Put your Instagram presence in its proper place and stop (pretty please) obsessing over your numbers. I get contacted multiple times per week by people wanting to hire me to grow their Instagram accounts to 100k and beyond (like that’s some kind of magic number.) Growing a social media account is not a business goal. Growing your revenue or number of customers is.Growing a social media account is not a business goal. Growing your revenue or number of customers is. Click To Tweet
I’ve seen Instagram accounts with 15k followers that have million+ dollar businesses. I’ve also seen (and been contacted by) Instagram accounts that have 200k or more followers and aren’t profitable. They don’t understand why more followers isn’t turning in to more sales.
Followers do NOT equal sales. You cannot judge the health of your business, or anyone else’s, based on the number of followers they have.
TWO. Identify What is Driving Your Business
Hint: you get money. (Answer: sales.)
How can you use Instagram to drive people to that? This makes Instagram very “top of funnel.” Funnel, meaning top of your sales funnel.
Figure out what your business needs, and work backwards to see how Instagram fits in with that.
Maybe you sell an online course. It might make sense for you to entice people to join your email list, so you can nurture them for a while and build trust, then invite them to a webinar where you can sell them your online course.
For others, you might sell a physical product that appeals to a person that is attracted to a particular lifestyle. Your goal may be to get more Instagram followers (please work to get them on an email list) so you can nurture them and sell them on your brand that enhances that lifestyle, so they will eventually purchase your product.
Instead of making Instagram the center and beginning of everything, use all of the tools in your marketing toolbox and make them work together.
Personally, I’m always more obsessed with growing traffic to my website than I am about acquiring another follower on any social media platform.
THREE. Consider Paid Ads
This is going to be unpopular, I know. But I’m delivering some tough love today, so hear me out!
Right now, think of any wildly successful business you love. Online, offline, whatever.
Every, single one has some marketing spend. If you have a business that you want to be more than a hobby, something you want to pay your bills or send you on vacation, there is no faster way to accelerate your growth than to spend some money to reach more of your target audience, quicker.
Throw some gasoline on that fire.
Paid social media ads are dirt cheap compared to any other advertising you can do. You can’t get a billboard, a radio ad, a television ad, print, or ANYTHING for the same small amount of money that you can with a social ad.
Another thing I love about social media ads is that they are also INSANELY targeted. You can reach EXACTLY who you want to reach, with very little waste. (“Waste” meaning that your message gets seen by people that it doesn’t apply to.)
Before embarking on any kind of paid campaign, be sure that it has a goal that is directly related to your business goals.
If you are running a retail website, maybe your ad entices people to join your list for a coupon code that only lasts for a limited time. This type of ad would encourage someone to join your list and make a purchase quickly.
FOUR. Think Outside of Yourself
It doesn’t have to be all about what you post, what you say, or what hashtags or filters to use. How can you leverage the audience you already HAVE to spread your message?
This is the old “user generated content” idea.
I love the Visit Montana Instagram account for this. They encourage people to post their own pictures of Montana with the hashtag #MontanaMoment. They, in turn, repost these images on their own feed.
While it’s great that it supplies them with a steady stream of content that they don’t have to create themselves, the real power is that it empowers Montana residents and visitors to basically do marketing FOR the Montana Office of Tourism. It encourages word of mouth and grows their account organically!
Seriously, go check it out now.
Save the Drama for Your Mama
Forget algorithms, shadow bans and whatever other drama we can drum up about Instagram, and take this Marketing 101 message to heart:
The right offer, to the right person, at the right time.
When you focus your Instagram marketing on this: knowing your audience, creating products they need and love, and communicating the benefits of these products properly, everything falls in to place.
What questions or challenges do you have with Instagram marketing 2018? Drop them below for future videos.
Molly Marshall teaches small business owners and online entrepreneurs how to systematically and simply grow a profitable online presence through social media. Get your FREE 2018 Instagram Strategy Guide now!