Maximizing Instagram Marketing Strategies for Businesses in Singapore

Instagram is a popular social platform which has grown and matured over the last few years. With millions of users being active on the platform, Instagram has become a vital tool for businesses to engage with their current and potential customers. Ignoring such a large number of audience would mean missing a big opportunity for branding and marketing. There is a common misconception that Instagram is a simple and easy platform. So is building a sandcastle – what is difficult is building a beautiful and robust sandcastle. This guide aims to help businesses in Singapore who are serious about leveraging Instagram as a marketing and branding tool. It is the fruit of experiences gained from numerous clients and our own research and experiments. In this write up, ‘you’ refers to business owners, marketing managers and social media managers. With this guide, you should be able to maximize your efforts on Instagram by learning the platform thoroughly and utilizing it effectively for marketing and branding.

Understanding Instagram Marketing

The first and most crucial step is to understand the value that Instagram can provide for your business. Without knowing what the platform can do, it is impossible to execute a marketing strategy effectively. As of September 2015, Instagram reported that it had 400 million monthly active users. The growth in the number of users and the level of engagement among them signals that there is an existing and potential market for your consumers on Instagram. An example cited in the e-book “Instagram for Business” by Instagram is of a dog biscuit bakery owner. The lady had claimed that she’d resigned to a life of low profitability as she had a very limited target market. Upon utilizing Instagram’s visual appeal to show off her very photogenic baking process and the enjoyment that dogs had upon eating the biscuits, she found that there was a massive untapped audience. Using practical and measurable objectives, she set out to reach as many dog owners as possible. By doing so, she increased her customer base by 60%, and a local pet shop reported that there was a 30% increase in sales of her biscuits.

In order to effectively utilize any social media platform for your business, it is important to have a deep understanding of how it works and what it can provide. Instagram has been established as the king of social engagement with the highest rate of engagement amongst all other social networks. The rate of engagement per follower for leading brands on Instagram is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter. The social media platform’s simplistic approach and its focus on visuals makes it much easier to identify your target audience and engage with them. And with the introduction of Instagram’s advertising platform, it’s clear that the network will only continue to grow in efficacy in the field of marketing.

Benefits of Instagram Marketing for Businesses

A significant amount of organizations is gradually recognizing the significance of utilizing Instagram in their marketing endeavor. As a component of the move, many have connected to procure the administrations of a digital marketing agency that has practical experience in Instagram marketing Singapore. An appealing and very much characterized Instagram marketing effort is the way to an effective business profile. This campaign will encompass the strategic use of Instagram for business development by captivating future customers who seek the brand. The good marketing strategy created and executed by digital marketing agency for Singapore organizations will achieve positive positioning changes. Meanwhile, activities have a quicker rate in the realm of online networking. Users of Instagram will be more fruitful — each of which are obviously positive for business.

Targeting the Singapore Market on Instagram

Instagram is not only an online resource, but it is also accessible from mobile devices, which enhances its usage as people nowadays have access to mobile phones that can be connected to the internet. It enables one to edit and upload pictures onto the web through the application of filters, blurring or sharpening, thereby making the picture more attractive. The instant sharing feature allows users to share, comment, and like on one’s pictures, hence promoting a viral element. Instagram itself is built on a strong community. It enables users to tag locations and find out photos taken by strangers or friends in a certain location. This has a strong relevance to businesses and location-based marketing. Photos taken at different locations can be pooled together and give a visual story of what the business is offering. This, in turn, allows businesses to understand their market through their consumers’ visual perception. Businesses can also make use of popular or custom-made hashtags to promote events, products, and services. Using hashtags that are already popular can create a viral effect for what the business is trying to promote, while custom-made hashtags can be used to control and track the success of the promotion. Instagram has a feature where user accounts can be changed to a business account, providing business name, contact, and location, which is more convenient for users to learn about the business. Brand awareness is an essential key in business and marketing. Users may publish photo contents of the business’s daily activity, product, or services onto their profile or business profile. This can be shared worldwide, and it is easier for people to identify the brand through visual content. Last but not least, marketing through Instagram is more cost-effective than any other traditional or digital online marketing, depending on how the user utilizes it. With these various benefits of Instagram, in just Singapore’s context, it has a strong potential to help grow businesses, reinforce brand and service to consumers, giving them a better perception through visual content, which could aid in the purchase factor. However, businesses need to be strategic in targeting their audience. They must identify their target demographic and tailor their content and messaging to appeal to that specific audience.

Effective Instagram Marketing Strategies

Your business’s profile makes the first impression on your audience. It’s important to create the profile as engaging as possible. By changing your Instagram profile page into a business page, you also open up various options to develop relevant ads and analyze their success. Profile image, account handle, bio, and website are all essential components. Ensure your image is the same one used elsewhere on the internet so you’re easily identifiable. Then it’s onto your account handle. These are all small but significant details worth putting some serious thought into. A consistent handle makes it easier for your followers to find you across all of your social media platforms. A good bio can convey your brand’s personality in just 150 characters, and it’s the sole place on Instagram where you can embody a clickable URL – use it wisely. Last but not least is identifying your audience, and one of the best ways to do that is by creating a customer persona. This will be a hypothetical representation of your ideal customer, and later on, when you decide to run ads, this info will be valuable in underpinning the success of your campaign.

Marketing strategies act as a guideline to your posts and ought to reflect the character of your brand towards success and income. A clear and outlined strategy is crucial to the success of any marketing campaign. Knowing how to get in touch with your target audience is crucial. This is especially true for Instagram, which is very different from other social platforms. To reach all your marketing objectives, Instagram offers a number of ad formats – from picture and video adverts to carousel ads. Each of these can be utilized to accomplish a variety of different objectives – from driving website clicks to increasing mobile app downloads. Depending on your goal, ensure you decide the most applicable format.

Creating an Engaging Profile

Your profile should act as the homepage to a website. When people first land on your page, they should know exactly who you are and what you do. Your name, profile picture and short bio should clearly represent your brand. This will let potential followers know exactly what they are getting. For example, if your brand is a small start-up business that creates healthy, organic snacks, your profile name should reflect that, and your bio should give a short, snappy overview of what your company does and what you are looking to achieve.

Successfully building a following on any social media platform will require you to put some time and effort into ensuring that you are presenting yourself in the best possible way. This is especially true when it comes to using Instagram for business. In order to see the great results you want from using Instagram, you need to make sure that your profile is seen as engaging, easy to digest and relevant. This will involve some small reconstruction and ensuring that all of your profile info is complete.

Crafting Compelling Visual Content

Infographics are a great way to display information. Infographics can help your business tell a story or explain in depth how a particular product or service works. A good infographic can increase followers, boost SEO, lead to increased engagement, and help with brand awareness. People love images and constantly link visual data shared online. If a particular infographic goes viral, it can generate loads of traffic to your website and increase sales. An infographic can be all sorts of things, such as a how-to image, a comparison image, a data visualization, or a CV. A well-researched and correctly themed infographic can be a very effective tool to help your business succeed.

In Instagram, where your visual content will be the main driver for traffic and lead generation, it is important to provide compelling visuals to attract and keep your audience engaged with your content. Compelling visuals can be defined in many different ways and go beyond the image itself. It can involve red-hot copywriting, captivating videos, or stunning graphic design. All of these, and the combination of each element, can be highly effective and do wonders for your traffic. Below are some ideas to help you get the best out of your visual content.

Utilizing Hashtags and Geotags

An easy way to find a mix of hashtags could be through starting to type a hashtag into the search bar and seeing what autofills. This would be other popular hashtags related to what you were going to use.

Additionally, users now have the option to follow hashtags. This means content will now show up in the newsfeed of people who have expressed an interest in the hashtag, even if they don’t follow the account. A business can use up to 30 hashtags per post, and it is highly recommended to research and use a mix of popular and less popular hashtags to increase the chances of your content being seen and not immediately buried.

Hashtags are essentially a sorting mechanism. It’s a way to categorize your image and video post based on the content shown. When a user searches for a specific hashtag, it brings up all the content tied to it. These can be found in the explore section, where users can search a hashtag and find content related to a specific industry or event.

Hashtags and geotags are powerful tools in surfacing your content to users searching for your specific products and services, or those in your target location. They also increase the probability of your content being visible to a wider audience, hence attracting new followers.

Engaging with the Instagram Community

Through engaging in the Instagram community, businesses in Singapore can significantly increase the reach and impact of their marketing efforts. To secure a more prominent place in the minds of their target audience and increase brand recall, businesses should strive to engage with the Instagram community by consistently sharing original, interesting, and/or useful content that is relevant to their audience. This can be done through a regular posting schedule and further interaction with their audience. Consistency in posting will keep their brand at the top of their audiences’ mind. They should also aim to answer any queries or comments made regarding their posted content, as well as any comments regarding their brand/products in general. If a consumer sees that a brand genuinely pays attention to and addresses their feedback, queries, or complaints, it helps to increase the brand’s credibility and likelihood of that consumer becoming a customer. A true understanding of their target audience is needed to create relevant content that will be found interesting and/or useful to consume. This can involve experimenting with different types of media (pictures/videos), mood and tone of their content, or various topics of interest to gauge the behavior of their audience. A good understanding of their audience should also give them an idea of the types of other Instagram users or complimentary brands which their audience follows. This can be a great opportunity to collaborate with similar brands or engage with other users to leverage their existing followings and tapping into a larger target audience. An example of engagement would involve a sports apparel brand collaborating with a local fitness instructor to conduct a fitness event or video demonstration of exercises which involved both parties’ products. The brand can also offer some products as giveaway prizes toward the instructor’s followers and the participants of the event.

Measuring and Analyzing Instagram Marketing Success

– Increased brand awareness: This can be measured by comparing the number of new visitors to the Instagram profile or sales page from the campaign compared to the same period the previous week/month.

For businesses testing the Instagram marketing strategy, you may simply create a separate Instagram account and run the campaign from there. However, for personal brands, it is best to use a variety of analytics tools in order to get a detailed breakdown of the campaign performance. Even for businesses, this can be beneficial. Tracking key metrics is the difference between knowing whether a campaign has been successful or not. By recording the metrics in a document after the campaign has finished, you can continuously add to and improve a document of strategies that have been most effective. These are just some of the key metrics that can be tracked:

Measuring and analyzing the success of Instagram marketing is often the most important step. There are two key reasons for this. One reason is that if the campaign has failed and has not achieved the desired results, there is a chance to make tweaks and amendments to the strategy and retest it. The other reason is that if a campaign has been successful, it is necessary to know exactly what made it a success so it can be replicated over and over again until it is no longer effective.

Tracking Key Metrics

By tracking leads and sales, a business is given a clear answer whether their campaign was successful and if it is something worth repeating in the future.

By tracking the coupon redemptions, the business is allowed to see if their promotion is working and customers are more willing to purchase the product at the discounted rate. This is only one example of a method for collecting the ROI from Instagram. Other methods could be tracking an increase in event registrations, product sales, or gathering more information by monitoring an increase in sales by customers that were exposed to the campaign versus those that were not.

For instance, businesses using Instagram can track the amount of leads and sales generated with an Instagram coupon. The data is then interpreted by seeing if there is an increased activity of coupon redemptions by customers who were exposed to the campaign. Developing the data shows the impact of the campaign by comparing the increase in coupon redemptions versus the campaign running timeframe to coupon redemptions before the campaign ran.

On Instagram, tracking key metrics helps businesses to see their campaign’s performance and its impact on generating leads and sales. Current tools for tracking key metrics, such as Simply Measured, give businesses information on how to track their ROI from Instagram. This tool integrates data through its three-step process: collect, interpret, and develop.

Analyzing Audience Engagement

Hashtags are another form of user interaction which warrant their own category. They are an important method for increasing the visibility of brand content and can be a crucial factor in the discovery of new brands. Hashtags with high competition may yield very short-term results in the form of increased reach and likes, but due to the nature of hashtag search functionality, the content will usually become buried very quickly. Low competition hashtags may not deliver immediate results but can provide much longer-lasting visibility due to the fact that their content can stay near the top of the hashtag search for longer. Tracking the success of hashtags can, therefore, provide useful insights for future content strategies. This can be done using third-party hashtag analytics tools.

Tracking the volume and quality of user interactions (likes, comments, shares) is crucial in assessing the extent to which a brand is connecting with its audience. Generating a lot of likes is not the only thing to strive for because they don’t always create value. Conversely, the act of ‘double-tapping’ is a passive one and can be relatively easily obtained. Genuine comments, on the other hand, require more effort and usually reflect a greater degree of interest compared to comments which consist of just an emoji. Tracking the increase in the number of comments and their sentiment is important for gauging improvements in audience engagement. The tracking of shares and direct interaction with customers through tags, mentions, and direct messaging can also provide valuable feedback on customer satisfaction and the strength of the relationship between the brand and its customers. A useful, free tool for tracking the above metrics on owned and competitor content is the Instagram Insights, available to all business profiles, and also the Iconosquare Instagram analytics tool.

Adjusting Strategies for Optimal Results

The changes made should be specific and focused as this will make it easier to understand the success or failure of the new strategy. If the changes are too broad, then it will be difficult to evaluate its effectiveness. A timetable can also be set up to try the new strategies for a certain period of time and at that period if it is still unclear if the goal has been reached, the analysis can compare and contrast the two strategies to see which was more effective.

Therefore, this will lead to a decision to change the strategy by using different features of Instagram and different ways of interaction to increase the product awareness and have more direct marketing towards the specific audience. This can involve using short video advertising, utilizing the newer features of Instagram such as Instagram story and live, or increasing interaction by following leaders of the target audience, posting humorous content, etc.

Altering the marketing strategies requires the examination of the previously recorded goals and planned target audience. The modifications made should reflect upon the satisfaction of achieving the planned goal. If the aim of the marketing was to showcase a new product and increase the sales of that product with the target audience being the younger generation, then the change should analyze if that goal was achieved. For example, after using various features of Instagram marketing such as posting pictures, advertising and increased interaction with the audience and the analysis of the product sales or feedback from the audience is not up to par with the expectations, then it is clear that the marketing strategy was not effective.

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