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Instagram is one of the most valuable assets for modern marketers. With more than 600 million users (400 million of whom access the platform daily) and a global ad revenue of $1.53 billion in 2016 alone, Instagram stands out as one of the most lucrative visual networks for modern marketers.
To make the most of the platform, you need to know how to use it correctly. That means understanding the tactics that go into driving Instagram marketing ROI and incorporating them into your business.
When any new marketing platform comes around, there are always a few early adopters who leverage it, and get unbelievable results.
And then there are those of us who want to leverage these new platforms. We might know it works deep down, but how do you prove it? How do you convince your boss and your co-workers to give you the resources you need to test these platforms and get results? How do you show that these platforms are delivering real business results?
In this guide, we'll show you a few proven ways you can generate ROI and engagement for your company through Instagram.
5 Ways to Generate ROI With Instagram
Whether you're a new brand or a growing company looking for more efficient ways to connect with your audience, you'll find these five ROI generation tips essential to achieving Instagram success:
1. Produce Discoverable Content
Last year, 60 percent of Instagram users reported that they learned about a company or product on Instagram.
One of the best ways to ensure you're making your products easy to learn about is to make them discoverable within the Instagram platform.
Discoverable content appears in Instagram's “Explore” tab, which works to present relevant posts to interested users. Appear here, and you'll gain exposure to a much wider audience segment than is typically possible.
The best way to earn a spot in the Explore tab is through adding relevant hashtags.
Instagram's Explore page is different for each user. The type of content that surfaces on Instagram Explore depends on a particular user's preferences, what content they've liked in the past, etc.
Using the right hashtags, you can get in front of your target audience on Instagram's Explore page, and “go viral” on Instagram. The quickest way to do this is by getting an account with a strong following to interact with your posts. For example, if a business with a following of 150,000 people ends up “liking” or commenting on your post, your post will be displayed in the Explore page of people who follow that business.
For example, this Instagram account has under 1000 followers, but this post ended up getting them over 1200 likes — mainly because they showed up in the Explore page.
Hashtags are one of the primary methods by which Explore tab content is ranked and ordered, so be sure to adopt a comprehensive and creative hashtag strategy to stay ahead of your competition.
Related Content: 9 Tips for Creating Instagram Video Ads that Actually Generate Sales
2. Make Use of Influencers
Personalities like Tim Ferriss, Kim Kardashian and Joe Rogan represent just a few examples of the power of influencer marketing.
For example, when Ferriss mentions a product or book to his 529,000 Instagram followers, it's not uncommon for the product to sell out within hours or days.
While influencer marketing can feel spammy and stiff, authentic influencers will go a long way in helping you grow your Instagram ROI.
Remember: Instagram ROI comes from increasing the scale of your interactions, which can be difficult to do when you're a small or growing company.
Instagram influencer marketing is one of the most underpriced marketing channels in 2017. There's a massive supply of influencers, and relatively few marketers running ads to their audiences.
Because of this, there's a major arbitrage right now in the influencer marketing world, which won't last for very long. According to AdWeek, the going rate for a branded Vine back in 2013 was only $400. But a couple of years later, that same branded Vine went for $10,000 – $15,000+.
The same is true for influencer marketing on Instagram these days. Because of the high supply of influencers and information gaps in the market, influencers are undercharging by thousands of dollars — in fact, it's not unreasonable to get a shoutout or a promotion from an influencer with 100,000 – 200,000+ followers for around $50-$100.
Accessing the power of influencer marketing makes it easier to tap into larger networks and drive ROI as a result.
For best results, you can use experienced influencer networks like GroupHigh or Snapfluence to help you locate and connect with relevant influencers – or you can hire a digital marketing agency.
3. Run Instagram Story Ads
In late 2016, Instagram launched its “Stories” feature, a Snapchat-like collection of user highlights and content. The feature is meant to showcase off-the-cuff content, and it can go a long way toward making brands more relatable and approachable.
Brands can take Instagram Stories one step further with Instagram Story Ads. Comprised of video and photo content similar to the standard Stories feature, Instagram Story Ads blend into standard Instagram Stories and fit between user stories, where they appear while users watch Stories from the people they follow.
These advertisements take on the same format as standard stories and make for an interactive experience. Each ad is up to 15 seconds long and is comprised of a video or single photo. The ads are ideal for targeting a variety of marketing objectives, from boosting sales to growing brands awareness.
While the feature is relatively new, it is also highly effective. Airbnb, for example, reports that it saw “a double-digit point increase in ad recall” after it started running Instagram Story Ads.
4. Run a Contest
Contests can become a valuable tactic for producing ROI as you work to grow your Instagram following and boost user engagement.
Take a cue from the best brands on Instagram, and create highly targeted contests that utilize specific hashtags and encourage Instagram users to share content under said hashtag.
Be sure to include valuable incentives, giveaways or prizes, and remember to tailor the content so that it appeals to your targeted community.
While this may seem like a simple tip, many marketers underestimate the importance of user-generated content. After all, modern consumers receive more than 3,000 brand messages daily; humanizing content is an excellent way to stand out and gain consumer trust.
Shopify reports that so-called “tag-to-win” contests are consistently the best for generating ROI on the platform and driving the most interaction.
5. Measure and Adjust
As you continue growing your Instagram ROI, be sure to measure and adjust your performance as needed. Instagram is a fluid platform, and what worked yesterday may not necessarily work tomorrow.
As such, it's essential to develop SOP for measurement and analytics. Doing so helps determine which efforts are paying off and which should be revised.
Better Instagram ROI Starts Here
While Instagram is undoubtedly a valuable platform, it doesn't produce ROI on its own. To make the most of Instagram and all it has to offer, you must learn how to drive ROI from the platform and start putting those tactics to use in your own business.
Not only does this approach make your Instagram interactions more valuable, but it also helps guide your entire online marketing strategy and ensures that you're making the right moves for you at any given moment.