Instagram is one of the most widely utilized platforms for social media marketing. Aside from its social networking features that bridge brands to their patrons, Instagram also relies heavily on visual content — an effective approach in digital marketing. Posting eye-catching content like pictures, videos, reels, and stories provides infinite opportunities to get creative with their messaging, boost engagement and reach, and build brand identity.
The thing is, Instagram marketing isn’t just all about creating and posting visual content regularly. Newbie marketers and inexperienced brands can still commit a few mistakes that cause their marketing efforts to work against them.
Feel like you’ve failed to use Instagram to your advantage? You might be committing these 8 fatal Instagram marketing mistakes:
1. Failing to establish clear goals and plans in Instagram
Do you want to use Instagram to drive users to your website? Are you looking to increase your brand awareness and grow your followers? Or are you looking to boost your online sales? It’s difficult to achieve success if you don’t understand what you’re trying to accomplish,
Start by picking one goal then create a strategic plan to get there. Have a content calendar too. With this, you have something to guide every decision, and a way to measure your progress.
2. Not seeking digital marketing expertise
Even someone with zero background in digital marketing can create a social media account, post high-quality images, and answer queries. However, it takes digital marketing expertise to create effective strategies and meet your goals.
If you have the budget, you may seek a digital marketing agency and communicate your goals with them. They are equipped with advanced tools and updated information on social media trends which can be beneficial for your Instagram marketing game.
3. Buying likes and followers
There’s a shortcut to having tons of followers on Instagram: buying them. You can pay to boost your following, likes, and comments on your feed. Sounds easy, right? However, it’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
Sure, numbers might look good but what’s the point of building your brand if your audience is just full of robots, saying things that have zero value? Plus, you run the risk of hurting your reputation.
Remember: quality over quantity. Instead of buying fake followers, your money would be better spent on strategies that boost authentic engagement like contests, games, and ads.
4. Focusing on quantity, not quality
Aside from the number of followers, you should also focus more on quality than quantity when thinking of images and videos to post. A single Instagram post that’s helpful and engaging can generate tons of likes and comments. Of course, it’s ideal to post often but make sure you’re not sacrificing quality.
5. Using poor quality or boring images
Instagram is a highly visual platform. People go to Instagram to see photos and videos that are beautiful and inspiring and engage with brands with such high-quality images. So filling your feed with boring, poorly-lit, and badly-framed photos is a foolproof way to drive followers away.
Provide your followers with valuable content they’d love to comment on or share on their stories. With so many photo editing and graphic design tools out there, there’s really no excuse to post something sloppy. Even if you don’t have a top-notch camera, you can create high-quality photos with basic photography skills including framing, lighting, cropping, and editing.
6. Not having variety with your Instagram content
Take a look at your feed from a grid view. Look at the first 9 images. Are they different from each other? Do they look unique and engaging? Do you feel like you want to tap on them even without seeing the captions? If you stumble upon the photo while scrolling through your feed, will it grab your attention? If not, they’re likely monotonous.
While consistency is imperative, you also need some variety and originality to avoid killing your users’ interests. Experiment with different types of content. Mix things up by creating shareable posts, like graphics with quotes and memes. Aside from images, you can also use reels and IGTV videos
7. Failing to post during the prime times
The time you post can actually affect the number of views and likes you’ll get. If you fail to find the best posting time for your brand, you could be missing out on high engagement.
There’s no universal answer as to which is the best time to post. You need to consider your industry and assess your target audience to determine when they’re on Instagram the most.
Try experimenting with the timing of your posts throughout the month. Post at different times of the day and track your results to determine your target audience’s “prime time”. Make sure your content is posted during this time so they have the chance to see it while it’s new.
8. Overloading your content with tons of hashtags
Hashtags are a great tool for building brand awareness IF used wisely.
One of the most common mistakes in Instagram marketing is cramming every post with tons of hashtags. While Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags, experts don’t recommend pushing the limits. Doing so might manipulate the algorithm but it can make your posts look spammy and obsessed with vanity metrics.
Another common mistake is using irrelevant hashtags that don’t engage the right users. Hashtags should be short and simple, well-researched, relevant, consistent, and memorable. Aside from incorporating your brand name in the hashtag, you should also use hashtags your ideal followers often search for.
Other fatal mistakes include
- Inconsistent branding.
- Not asking questions or using a call-to-action
- Using sloppy captions
- Not having games, giveaways, and other activities for engagement opportunities
- Posting too much or too little
- Ignoring the importance of analytics
- Absence of partnerships or collaborations with influencers
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a web content writer during the day and a foodie, musician, coffee connoisseur, and plant mom when her day shift is over. She enjoys sharing her insights about blogging, web design, SEO, and other forms of digital marketing. To know more about digital marketing, check out the blogs of SPRINT DIGITAL Agency Dublin.