3 Common Instagram Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

3 Common Instagram Marketing Mistakes

If you’re pouring your heart, time, and money into Instagram to try and drive more sales but not getting the results you want – don’t despair.

Instagram is the right platform to reach more customers in your niche.

The likelihood is just that you’re just doing a few things wrong.

Sometimes we all need to take a step back and evaluate our strategies to see if we can formulate a plan that gives us a competitive edge.

After reading through this article hopefully something will come to light that you’ve been doing, and some of the areas you can change your focus on.

With this said, here are 3 of the most common mistakes Instagram marketers are making, and how you can avoid them:

Posting Without a Strategy and Long-Term Goal

It’s incredibly easy to post on Instagram. It just takes a few clicks with your mobile and you can have a picture of your lunch, a short video, or just about anything posted on your timeline.

And this is exactly how a lot of people use Instagram. Nothing wrong with that, but you’ll have little to no engagement outside of family and friends and won’t grow your followers.

From a marketing and business standpoint you absolutely have to have a content strategy in mind when posting, and post content with the intention of it being seen by as many people as possible.

It becomes easier the longer you’ve been active and the more content you already have because most of the answers lie within your analytics.

Open up your analytics and find out which of your posts has had the most engagement. From here you will find a trend of some kind if you dig deep enough.

Is a certain type of content consistently getting the most engagement? Like Stories for example?

Can you tie together something more specific such as the time of day you posted the content. The topics, products, styles your audience seem to prefer?

All the answers will be in there, it’s a matter of joining the dots.

For those with new accounts and very little engagement so far, your best bet might be to run a paid campaign and pick up faster traction that way.

Not Using Hashtags or Using Them Incorrectly

Of all the Instagram hacks and marketing strategies people take courses for, ask about, and test in great detail, hashtags is rarely one of them.

Be honest, how much time have you spent looking into how to best use hashtags to drive the most traffic and create the most exposure for your content?

Not a lot, right? I didn’t think so.

Hashtags are simple to add to a post, but it’s an incredibly deep topic. I can cover all the basics you need to know and point out some of the obvious mistakes most marketers are making, but it’s going to take some trial and error and testing on your part too.

Here are some of the key things you need to know about Instagram hashtags:

  • The maximum number of hashtags you can use is 30, but studies show around 10 to be optimal.
  • You can add hashtags into a photo or video caption, or into the comments for the post.
  • A quick Google search for hashtags in your niche will give you some of the most popular tags.
  • Use a mix of popular hashtags with high volume, and lower volume hashtags to reach a wider audience.
  • Always use your own brand/company name as a hashtag on your own content.

Adding hashtags adds your piece of content into a feed with all the other posts using the same hashtag.

There are two benefits to using hashtags. One is that your content is going into a feed that’s being seen by lots of people outside of your followers. The other is that it’s being served to targeted viewers.

It’s the most effective way of getting your content in front of the right audience without paying for ads.

That thought alone should be enough motivation to start researching and tracking your hashtags from here on out.

Focusing on Growth Before Engagement

On Instagram, the number of followers an influencer or business has is seen as the metric that proves how popular or successful they are. But it doesn’t tell the whole story.

Having a huge number of followers is great, it’s important. But engagement is a much more important metric, and is the one that affects your bottom line.

If your followers are actively engaging with you and your business, you’ll have a higher conversion rate, and a much better base to work on increasing your conversion rate further.

So, how do you increase your engagement rate?

Here are a few of the key areas to focus on to improve engagement and conversions:

  • Interact with other businesses and influencers in your niche.
  • Respond to comments and talk with your viewers.
  • Write compelling headlines and captions.
  • Be generous – run competitions and giveaways.
  • Be personable, add pictures of you and your team behind the scenes.
  • Use Stories to showcase your business and products.

Interacting with your viewers and other businesses is the most important element in my opinion and the place to start.

It opens up a lot more possibilities than just putting a voice out there to answer customer questions.

You’ll get a better feel for what your customers really want. Their pain points, needs, the types of content they are looking for on Instagram, and more.

In Conclusion

Don’t give up on Instagram! Social media in general can be tough to crack, it’s a fast moving, constantly changing landscape, but once the momentum starts it’s usually a constant trend upwards.

Once you start putting in the effort to get to know your customers you can tailor your content to match up with what they want.

From there you’ll see more engagement and conversions will follow.

Did you find any of the points raised in this article relevant? Has it highlighted some mistakes you were making?