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Instagram Marketing Strategies for 2023

Instagram Marketing Strategies for 2023

Instagram is a competitive social media platform but it is not impossible to gain traction…if you do it right! 

With an active audience of 1.16 billion people, it is no shock that Instagram can be an amazing place for businesses to gain followers and traffic. 

The potential reach of Instagram is only set to grow and did you know that 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business? 

It isn’t only businesses marketing to consumers that can benefit though, over 36% of businesses use Instagram when researching new services and products. 

Think of this as a cheat sheet to use for your business so that you can get your Instagram strategy up there with the best. 

Setting Up An Instagram Account 

If you already have an Instagram account, then you may not need this section but before you can set up a strategy, you need an Instagram Business account. 

Skip ahead if you have a business account already, or look at step 3 if you already have a personal account. 

Step 1: Download the Instagram app 

Step 2: Sign Up 

  • Open the app 
  • Tap either Create New Account (iOS) or Sign Up With Email or Phone (Android) 
  • Enter your email/phone number and click Next 
  • Choose your username and password 
  • Fill out your profile information and click Next 

Step 3: Switch to a Business Account 

  • Go to your profile and tap the three lines at the top right 
  • Click Settings, then Account 
  • Scroll down and click Switch to professional account 
  • Tap Business and follow the prompts! 

Best Instagram Marketing Strategies for 202

Now that you have your Instagram account set up, it is time to look into how you should be using your account and why. 

1: Choose Your Goals 

Before you start posting, you need to decide why you are posting. You can’t use your Instagram account effectively until you know what you are trying to do. 

Instagram marketing isn’t one size fits all, it can mean different things to different businesses. 

Do you want to: 

  • Improve your brand awareness? 
  • Drive traffic to your website? 
  • Get new leads? 
  • Sell products? 
  • Establish brand authority?  

You can even use multiple of these goals to build a strategy unique to you. If you are unsure of what your strategy goals are then get in touch now to see how we can help you. 

2: Understand Your Audience 

Once you decide your goals, you need to understand your audience on Instagram. 

In the UK, Instagram statistics show that: 

  • 30.36 million people in the UK use Instagram 
  • Instagram reaches 60% of the online population in the UK 
  • 25-34 year olds make up the largest user group 
  • 76% of 15-25 year olds use Instagram 
  • 42.5% of users are male and 57.5% are female 

From these statistics, you may want to market towards these demographics however this does not mean you have to. 

Whatever audience you want to market to, you need to make sure your content is speaking directly to your audience. 

3: Optimise your Profile 

The dreaded Instagram bio, with only 150 characters, it can seem impossible to make a good first impression and convey your businesses personality. 

Those 150 characters really have their work cut out for them! 

However, there is a shining light, you also have some other fields on your profile which allow you to showcase your brand such as: 

  • Name: up to 30 characters 
  • Username: up to 30 characters 
  • Website: a clickable URL 
  • Category: A business feature where you can tell people what your business is about without using precious bio characters 
  • Contact information: A way to show people how to contact you 

Make sure that all of these features are being utilised and showcase your brand in the best light. Many people will form opinions about your brand from your social media profiles. 

4: Create Content 

Instagram is a very visual platform and therefore your posts need to look the part.  

You don’t need professional photographs or fancy cameras to take good pictures. Just make sure that they are clear, well-lit and in focus. If you are photographing a product then it needs to be well-composed with a simple backdrop reflecting the product. 

If you are using other images such as infographics then make sure that your text is easy to read and not too small, that your colours are cohesive and that they are crisp. 

Once you have some amazing images, you need to make suer that they are serving a purpose. You wouldn’t cook a 5* dinner if no one is hungry! 

Your images need to tell a story, get people engaged or excite people. You need quality posts to make the most out of your images. 

If you are stuck on what content to create then don’t fear! Check out this list of content ideas to get your started: 

  • Videos 
  • Reels 
  • Behind-the-scenes posts 
  • Infographics 
  • Reviews 
  • Quotes 
  • Instructional posts 
  • Company events 
  • Share blog content 
  • Industry news 

5: Use Hashtags 

Hashtags are a great way to increase your visibility and get your profile found by new users. When you use a hashtag, your post will appear on the page for that hashtag. People can also choose to follow hashtags which means you could shows up on users feeds even if they don’t follow you (yet!) 

You are able to use up to 30 hashtags in a post however we would recommend using around 11 per post.  

Make sure that your hashtags are relevant to your business and specific to your niche. 

6: Use Instagram Stories 

Video is quickly becoming a large focus of social media strategies and over half of business use stories. 

A third of the most viewed stories on Instagram are posted by businesses! 

Stories are a great way to be open and raw with your audience as they disappear after 24 hours. It allows you to post whatever content you want without it clogging up your social media profile. 

There are a few uses for stories which we think all businesses should make use of: 

  • Show behind-the-scenes clips of people at work 
  • Answer FAQs 
  • Link out to your website or useful resources 
  • Tell a story 
  • Talk to other people 

Let’s Summarise Instagram Marketing

In your social media strategy, you should: 

  • Use a business account 
  • Choose your goals 
  • Understand your audience 
  • Optimise your profile 
  • Create valuable content 
  • Use hashtags 
  • And use Instagram stories 

Do you need help creating an Instagram marketing strategy for your business? Get in touch now to see how we can help your business to flourish on Instagram. 

CiT Monthly Roundup of Marketing News/Updates

CiT Monthly Roundup of Marketing News/Updates

Do you want the good news or the bad news? Bad news…you now need 3 layers to go outside without feeling like Frosty the Snowman. Good news…festivities are in full swing!  

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, the world of marketing might pause long enough for you to scoff a mince pie but make sure to check out our latest monthly roundup of marketing news and updates whilst they’re hot and fresh. If you missed out our October monthly roundup of marketing news and want to catch up just click here. 

There is always something changing, whether it is social media or Google, and you need to stay on top of it! When you’re trying to feel festive you may not want to keep up to date with news but if you are offering a product or service, Christmas is your time to shine! 

Let’s get started; 

Fendi’s Time Square Takeover: Is Creativity Dead? 

Last week famous fashion brand Fendi took over New York’s Times Square by covering it in their signature yellow. 

Venturini Fendi said: “Times Square is something futuristic, something so different from Rome and peculiar of New York. It’s a landmark of the city – the lights, projection. It’s a window to the future.” 

In a futuristic environment, was their takeover too lacklustre with a lack of imagination? Most brand ‘city attacks’ have heaps of creative flair and make use of the magnitude of the area and displays.  

Fendi’s display was not well received with little to no traction in the fashion industry leaving many people wondering who the target audience was and what reaction was intended. A mass of bright yellow with their logo would likely be memorable, however with people attributing the work to ‘Fenty’, ‘Fenti’ and ‘Fendi’ it is unclear if people even remembered the brand name! 

CREATIVE in TiME say: Marketing is essential for all businesses and creative marketing is ideal. What are your competitors doing? What do your customers want to see? Don’t be afraid to change. 

Are you struggling with your marketing? If you are looking through this post and want to up your game, then click here to read about our services and what we can do for you. 

Google Maps adds 3 NEW Features for Local Shopping 

In the midst of the pandemic, more and more people are wanting to support local businesses and Google are introducing 3 NEW Google Maps features worldwide to help. Local businesses, it’s your time to shine! “Busyness” (yes, that is how you spell it) is one of the new features, who else didn’t know this was a word? 

  1. Area Busyess: When using Google Maps you can see how busy an area or business is currently and the estimation of busyness throughout the day. 
  1. Directory Tab: The Directory tab is most useful in shopping centres as it will display a list of all businesses, whether they are open, what floor they are on and what their star rating is. 
  1. Restaurant Information: Google Maps is now able to display more information when customers look up local restaurants. Information such as price ranges, delivery and other amenities will now be visible to customers if provided. 

Is your information on Google up to date? If not, make sure that your information is detailed, succinct and useful. Including information such as disabled access, catering for dietary requirements, and COVID-19 measures can encourage customers and bring in people who otherwise may not come in. 

Google Maps isn’t the only thing to keep up to date with, want to know how to use Google My Business to grow? Check it out here. 

CREATIVE in TiME say: Google is KING! Whether you are a brick-and-mortar business or an online business, keeping up to date with all of Google’s updates is vital!  

O2 creates Snapchat AR store for Black Friday Samsung deals 

Black Friday is the biggest shopping event in the early calendar with total spending in the UK expected to have hit 9.42 BILLION pounds! 

O2 has got involved with Black Friday and adopted the use of Snapchat’s augmented reality (AR) feature to create an “AR store of the future” to promote Samsung Black Friday deals. 

This inventive sales idea allows prospective customers to save money without leaving their home or putting down their current phone! It transforms the four walls around them into a virtual sales area used to present 3 Samsung products and a “buy now” button. 

The 3 products shown are the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3, and Samsung Galaxy Watch4. 

This is a unique and engaging shopping experience for customers and may point to a new way to shop. It is unlikely to become common place but, would you use an AR shop on your phone?  

CREATIVE in TiME say: This is very unique, but is Snapchat a dying platform? We’re not sure on this one but one thing is for sure – AR is not going away anytime soon. 

Instagram Launches Live Test of Longer Videos in Stories 

Instagram has launched a live test of 60-second videos in stories, this was first spotted in testing last month. This change means that longer videos in stories will not be split into 15 second segments and will reduce interruptions in stories. 

The feature is currently being tested by a small user group in hopes it will improve creative freedom and streamline video uploads. 

This test is likely influenced by TikTok, who have risen in popularity as the best place to be for video, and do not limit the length of your videos.  

CREATIVE in TiME say: We likey this one! We were expecting this feature sooner or later. After all, they do like to copy EVERYTHING TikTok does.  

Google Review Snippets will not show if the reviews are republished from another source! 

Customers love reviews and therefore businesses want them to be as visible as possible but for Google to display a review as a snippet, the review must be directly submitted to the website. 

For most businesses, you likely take reviews for your business from other places on the internet, such as Facebook, and then publish them on your website. This is effective at having reviews seen on your website but it will disqualify the page from being eligible for rich results. 

Google defines reviews from other sources as “testimonials” instead of reviews. Here is what Google’s John Mueller had to say about it: 

“We probably wouldn’t show that as reviews in the search results because it’s more like a testimonial. Reviews would essentially need to be something which is based on a specific product on that page and the reviews need to be things that users leave directly on that page. 

So if you’re kind of like archiving reviews from other sources and you’re posting them then we wouldn’t pick those up as reviews for the structured data side. You can keep them on the page we just wouldn’t use the review markup for that.” 

If you currently don’t accept reviews on your website but want to start, the easiest way to do so is to add a review submission form on every product/service page on your site. 

CREATIVE in TiME say: Reviews are so important for your business! Customers love them, Google loves them, everyone loves them! 

Roundup Complete!

We hope you enjoyed our monthly roundup of marketing news, check back in next month for our December monthly roundup of marketing news! You can even have it delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter! Just send your email over to [email protected]

Whilst you do that, does your business need a hand staying up to date? Maybe you’re struggling to keep on track with all of the new marketing changes? There’s a lot after all! 

We’ve got your back! 

Book in now for a discovery call and our marketing business can help you with all the latest strategies and changes. 

CiT October Roundup of Marketing News & Updates 

CiT October Roundup of Marketing News & Updates 

Bad news first, chilly weather is here to stay for a bit, the good news is that the season of festivities is beginning. Yay! Before you don your fancy dress, we’ve got a roundup of the best marketing news and straight off-the-shelf marketing updates for you! 

Not a week goes by without a change to social media or Google, it’s exhausting, we know! It is vital for your business to stay up to date though on all the latest shenanigans so that you and your business can thrive – not just survive.  

First up; 

Instagram Merges IGTV and Feed Videos 

In early October, the Instagram account @creators announced Instagram is merging IGTV and Feed videos into a single format: Instagram Video.  

Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has been hinting at a more “simplified video experience” on the platform for a while. By merging IGTV with Feed videos, Instagram has a single destination for longer form video content – providing a clearer distinction between Instagram Reels. To support this change, Instagram is introducing several new features for Instagram Video:  

  • A new Video tab on Profile 
  • Trimming 
  • Ability to upload video captions 
  • People and location tagging 
  • 60-second Feed Previews 

You’ve probably already seen it by now, but the new Video tab will replace the old IGTV tab on users’ profiles, with a new “play button” icon. 

CREATIVE in TiME say:  Don’t know about you, but we likey the sound of this one! 

Goodbye Facebook? Facebook changes name to ‘Meta’

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook is changing its name to ‘Meta’. The parent company will now be known as “Meta”, he said. It will also get a new logo, with a blue “M”.

In a presentation at the company’s annual Connect conference, Zuckerberg detailed how his company aims to build a new version of the internet, he said, “We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet, we’ll be able to feel present – like we’re right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are”.

On Twitter, Meta announced, “The metaverse is the next evolution of social connection. It’s a collective project that will be created by people all over the world, and open to everyone. You’ll be able to socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what’s possible today.”

The move comes after a tumultuous time for the social media giant. They’ve been battling criticisms from lawmakers and regulators over its market power, algorithmic decisions and the policing of abuses on its services. Not only this, but we cannot forget about the six-hour outage, on October 4th affecting all its platforms. What a crazy month for Facebook. Wait…we mean Meta?  

CREATIVE in TiME say: Things must be bad when you change one of the biggest company names in the World! 

More than Half of Marketing Emails are Threatened by iOS 15 

Apple’s popularity as an email service, and the company’s push into data privacy, means that advertiser’s ability to understand the performance of their email marketing campaigns is being challenged. This is according to data from email marketing company Litmus. 

Apple recently launched iOS 15 and as part of this Apple says the Mail Privacy Protection feature “hides your IP address, so senders can’t link it to your other online activity or determine your location. And it prevents senders from seeing if and when you’ve opened their email”. 

More than half of all emails opened are at risk – the iPhone Mail app is the market leader and is responsible for 40.3% of all email opens, with the Apple Mail app on Mac devices third (11.3%) and the iPad Mail app seventh (1.4%).  

This comes at a time when email marketing has grown in importance for many brands – it can be a cost-efficient way of enhancing first-party data and can allow personalised messaging in the absence of third-party data. 

CREATIVE in TiME say: Although e-mail still one of the most effective direct marketing tools out there, do we really need more challenges to getting them past the gatekeeper!? Sigh! 

Facebook tests option for Cross-posting Facebook posts to Instagram 

Users are currently able to cross-post their Instagram stories and posts to Facebook but in this new feature, cross-posting can flow the other way. The feature is yet to be formally announced by has begun to roll out this month to a small group of people. 

Facebook has begun to interlink their multitude of apps in recent months.  Allowing cross-communication between Instagram and Messenger users is one of the ways Facebook is connecting apps. By interlinking apps, they make it more difficult to fully leave Facebook. 

With this new feature, users will be able to cross-post: 

  • Up to 10 photos 
  • Single photos  
  • Single videos  

Currently other imaging formats such as GIFs and text-only posts are not able to be cross shared. This may be in a bid to keep Instagram relevant and popular amongst young users in response to growing popularity of other social media platforms like TikTok and Snapchat. 

CREATIVE in TiME say: Meh. Not sure this is the best rollout idea ever. We will reserve judgment though. 

Potential Google Search Algorithm Ranking Update between October 15th – October 18th

Google is known for updating its search algorithm ranking frequently and October was no exception.  

A flurry of chatter in the SEO community revealed that within this timeframe, many people noticed changes in their rankings, and most were not positive. Huge ranking changes were experienced with some people revealing 20%, 30% and higher drops in their traffic and ranking for their keywords! 

Did you experience a drop in your SEO within this period? Due to quiet changes in the algorithm, many businesses will feel the negative repercussions. If your SEO rankings and your traffic dropped, this may be why! 

Do you even know where you can find your analytics? Have you got them but don’t know what they mean? Fear not, we are here to help. Get in touch to discuss your analytics with the experts. 

CREATIVE in TiME say: Yup, some of our customers definitely felt this in the gut, some were absolutely fine. Either way we always knew what was happening because we monitor results weekly. #brushesshoulder 

News just in, every Instagram account will now have access to Instagram Stories Link Stickers. Yes, even those with less than 10K followers!

Instagram Stories link stickers were first introduced last month for accounts with 10K followers, replacing the “swipe up” link.

According to Instagram, “We made this decision based on feedback we heard from the community about how impactful it would be for creators and businesses of all sizes to benefit from link sharing to grow in the same way larger accounts do.”

So how do you add it?

  1.  Head to the Instagram Stories sticker tray and select the link sticker (if you don’t have access yet, sit tight. It’s coming don’t worry!)
  2. Paste your link into the link field.
  3. Switch the text and color by tapping on the sticker.

And hey presto! You’ve just added your first story link! You’re welcome.

CREATIVE in TiME say: We’ve been waiting on this one for a looooong time. If you’re a business, you NEED to utilise this feature!

We hope you enjoyed our monthly roundup, check back in next month for our November roundup! You can even have it delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter! Just send your email over to [email protected] (subject to iOS 15 🙈 of course).  

Whilst you wait, does your business need a hand staying up to date? Maybe you’re struggling to keep on track with all of the new marketing changes? We’ve got your back!

Book in now for a discovery call and our marketing business can help you with all the latest strategies and changes. 

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

Social media has come to the forefront of most business’ marketing strategies, but does that mean that everyone knows how to use it? Spoiler alert…it doesn’t!! 

As a business owner you obviously want to cash in on this gold mine, but if you don’t know how to do it properly you can do more harm than good! 

Did you know that 54% of internet users use social media to research products? 

Well, you want to make the most of that, right? To make the most of social media you need to draw in new customers and ensure that your current customers stay interested.  

Providing the right content to engage both old and new customers is vital to growing your social media presence. 

Here are a few simple dos and don’ts for you to follow to get you started with your social media marketing.  

The DOs of social media  

DO Use the Right Platforms for Your Business, Not All of Them 

Don’t get on every social media site ‘just cuz’, you don’t need to be active on every single platform.  

Look at your business, your products, and your intended customers to find out which platforms are right for you, and more importantly which are right for them. 

You don’t want to be wasting your valuable time on the wrong social media, do you? 

DO Post Regularly AND Create a Posting Schedule 

WARNING! This may BLOW your mind! Did you know that you can schedule your social media posts?! 

Long gone are the days of painstakingly posting every day manually, using a scheduling tool enables you to schedule posts weeks in advance! This may be a revelation to business owners trying to do it all. 

Managing and creating a schedule for posting will benefit both you as the business owner running a social media page AND for your followers who want consistency, but not an overload of content. 

DO engage with others AND encourage engagement 

Engagement is a two-way street, businesses should be making efforts to engage with followers and other companies whenever the opportunity arises.  

Engaging on your socials demonstrates involvement and personability in the social media community. But remember…MAKE IT EASY FOR PEOPLE TO ENGAGE WITH YOUR CONTENT!  

Put up some polls or fun quizzes on your Instagram stories or Twitter. This is also beneficial for gaining feedback from your followers. Or throw a social media giveaway contest for those who post the best photo using your product!  

As a bonus, this can help your customers to feel valued and recognised…everyone likes to feel important, don’t they? 

DO Use Video Whenever Possible 

In a recent Instagram LIVE‘, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri shared that video is “driving an immense amount of growth online for all major platforms” and stated that video will be a key focus area for Instagram over the coming months. 

The key takeaway from this is that if you want to grow online, YOU NEED TO START POSTING VIDEO CONTENT.  

The same goes for other social media platforms. What do you see as soon as you log in to any social media platform? We’ll guess that it’s a video. This is because video content typically performs BEST with most algorithms, based on the fact it captures a viewer’s attention for longer.  

Videos are growing in popularity across all channels, and it’s a fact that they get more exposure and engagement than other forms of content. We suggest that you use video wherever possible. 

DO keep your branding consistent 

Make sure you maintain brand consistency across all your social media channels, including logos, names and colours, to ensure your customers always know it’s you no matter where they are.  

DO analyse and track activity 

Social media analytics will help identify the posts that generate the most interactions. By studying posts, you can optimise your content, try to emulate the results, or even adjust them to improve the results. Cool right?! 

There are multiple tools that can be used by your business to monitor your activity, but you can also use the built-in analytics tools on the individual platforms.  

So now, here are some of the main areas to avoid… 

The DONT’s of Social Media 

DON’T fall for trolls 

It’s easy to fall victim to rude or patronizing comments, but it is not worth jeopardising your business’s reputation. Keep your personal and business thoughts and ideas separate.  

Treat a social media user as you would an upset customer in your business, give them excellent customer service and offer ways to resolve their issues. 

Click here to learn about how our own Andrea Warner deals with trolls and negative comments. 

DON’T forget to do a spelling and grammar check 

When promoting your business online, brand perception is everything. You don’t want a customer’s first impression of your business to be tainted because of improper grammar and spelling.  

To avoid this, re-read and edit your posts before you send them out. Even better, get a trusted colleague to proof-read posts, two sets of eyes are better than one!  

If you are still on the fence about something, there are many different free online grammar and spelling checks like Grammarly for you to use to fine-tune those posts. 

DON’T overdo it 

Posting too often on your business social profiles can be just as harmful as not posting often enough.  

According to research by Sprout Social, 46% of social media users will unfollow a brand for posting too many promotional messages on their profiles, which means you need to restrict your output or risk losing customers (by promotional we mean selling yourself rather than just creating engaging content for your target customer). 

Some of the best posts from companies are informative and fun rather than promoting a product, everyone has oodles of personality…use it for good! 

DON’T get hung up on numbers   

And finally, you should never get too fixated on numbers when it comes to your business social media profiles.  

Business owners tend to lose sleep over not having as many Facebook fans or Twitter followers as they’d like but, while these metrics are certainly important, they’re not the be-all and end-all.  

This is where quality over quantity really comes into play. You could have 10,000 followers, but if half are spam accounts, then your messages will be falling on deaf ears.  

Often the real value is found in the amount of engagement you’re receiving, and the type of people you’re receiving it from. These are the things that can make you the real money, so pay more attention to these instead. 

Want to up your social media game but aren’t sure where to start?  

We can help with that. Book a discovery call now with CREATIVE in TiME, let our marketing agency help your business.