By Amanda Peterson, Manta Contributor
February 20, 2019

Just a few simple changes to your Instagram strategy can make all the difference in garnering engagement, winning customers and boosting conversions.

It’s no secret that social media platforms present a major opportunity for marketers today. Modern consumers are glued to their smartphones more than ever, so when you’re looking to connect with your customers, social media is your best bet for success. In particular, Instagram has demonstrated a significant spike in popularity over the past few years. Since 2015, the number of Instagram users has more than doubled, reaching one billion users just last year.

Instagram has had a substantial impact for brands who have created a presence for their business on the platform. It’s now become a hub for ecommerce, a channel for customer service and even a source for digital advertising. However, Instagram’s ever-changing feed algorithm has made it increasingly difficult for accounts to be seen organically. So, what does this mean for marketers? You’re wasting time, money and effort on campaigns that may never be seen by your target audience.

Here are four tips to cut through the noise and get your brand noticed on Instagram:

Prepare to Respond to Current Events Quickly

If you’re one of the first to share a piece of breaking news, you’re going to get the attention and engagement from your audience that latecomers won’t. Stay on top of things that are relevant to your audience. Whether it be current events, pop culture references or trending topics, this can be a foolproof way to gain your audience’s attention.

Be sure to set news alerts or task a team member to keep watch for meaningful events that can be used to reach out to your audience. It’s important to keep your target customer in mind during this process, however. For example, if you’re hoping to capture the attention of middle-aged males, you might not want to post about whereabouts of a breakout pop star. This tactic is all about tailoring your content to the interests of your target demographic.

Initiate Frequent Conversation

Instagram’s best tool for engagement, by far, is Instagram Stories. Stories allows you include polls, questions, and hashtags, all of which fuel customer response and participation. Not only will people answer the question you’ve posed, they’ll often engage with you and others over the topic you’ve chosen. Your job as a marketer is to find a topic that really sparks interest, then be an active participant in that conversation.

As ThriveHive suggests, “Instagram Stories allows you to continue using (or start implementing) frequent posting as an engagement strategy—instead of only “wow” posting—to stay top of mind for your audience.” This means that Instagram Stories gives you the perfect excuse to post content more frequently than ever, which then boosts top of mind awareness for your brand.

Post at the right time

Posting once a day isn’t the only important factor for getting noticed. You also need to post strategically, at the right times. Many times, this might be outside typical business hours.

Think about when you’re most likely to check in with social media. It’s likely to be first thing in the morning, during your lunch hour, or right before you go to bed. Luckily for marketers, if you run a business account, Instagram provides this information to you. Head to the analytics tab of your account. This is where you’ll be able to see the days of the week and times of day your followers are on Instagram the most.

To get the highest amount of engagement, post when your target audience is most active. This is the best strategy to ensure your posts aren’t getting buried in the sea of content posted throughout the day. The initial burst of engagement from posting at the right time can help boost your post, meaning that it will show up higher in people’s feeds, getting more exposure.

Utilize a Consistent Brand Look and Language

Because Instagram is a highly visual platform, users are going to rely on the look of your brand’s posts in order to recognize you. Unsurprisingly, Instagram posts that get the most engagement and notice are consistent in the look of their images. For example, they use the same filters, a similar color scheme, or just a consistent style of photography.

You want to build a cohesive brand image that makes brand recognition a snap for your audience. This way, they can easily recognize your brand when mindlessly scrolling through their Instagram feed. This holds true for your captions too. The tone, length and verbiage in the captions of your post should also maintain a theme. Whether you use humor, emojis, or short anecdotes in your captions, make sure the caption represents your brand as a whole and remains a running thread throughout each post.

Just a few simple changes to your Instagram strategy can make all the difference in garnering engagement, winning customers and boosting conversions.