What you need to know about building a brand on Instagram? How to make it in the smartest and easiest way? What are the tips and strategies to follow? Let’s take a closer look!
How to build a brand on Instagram: start with setting up your account
To start, you’ve got to have an account. Most companies tend to use a company email address for the official log-in of its social media. Even if you are the social media manager of a company (or the actual business owner), be sure to create an email to use strictly for signing up on social media. It helps to use the same email for all your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts. ~ via The Founders
A visual icon to represent your profile, avatars are necessary if you want a professional, trustworthy-looking profile on social media. Companies tend to use their brand name or logo as an avatar.
An example with Mercedes-Benz illustrates how the German luxury automaker uses its three-pointed star logo as its avatar.
Tell the story of your brand or your band slogan/motto. The “about you” section introduces followers to your brand, and it’s also a very important piece of social real estate. It’s the place to place a URL link to your website or a campaign landing page.
Our example here shows how popular YouTube urban exploration channel The Proper People uses its bio space to introduce the channel’s founders while linking to its YouTube channel to drive traffic.
Instagram Story Highlights
If you decide you want to utilize Instagram Stories for your brand, you can also display stories like albums right below your profile bio.
Page visitors can click and view your different campaigns or launches or collaborations all in one place.
BMW here uses its story highlights to showcase campaigns and collaborations.
Identify your audience
Figuring out how to build a brand on Instagram, you need to begin with your potential customers’ research. Like with your business in general, you have to know your target consumers and their behavior before you can start your marketing efforts. And it’s no exception with social media, as the content you put out has to resonate with them. If your business sells products or services that cater to a specific niche, then capitalize on that for your marketing.
How to build a brand on Instagram: your social media strategy
To start your social media, it helps to have a social media calendar to help plan out your content. Aside from creating buckets of content to post, there are also vital elements of your posting and activity as a brand/business profile to take note of.
Your brand voice is essential throughout all your marketing material from emails to website copy to captions on your Instagram posts. A majority of brands use an approachable, conversational voice on Instagram to engage more naturally with followers.
Notice how fun and upbeat Neutrogena’s caption is, using an engaging intro and question to get viewers to respond.
And beyond voice, it’s important to strategize your copy based on what you want an end user to do. Do you want them to visit a landing page to learn more, do you want them to engage with the post by responding in the comments, do you want to gain emails for sign ups, etc.? This is where links, certain hashtags, and tagging profiles come into play. With Instagram, a post’s call-to-action can definitely be a mix of objectives, but most posts are geared towards website click-throughs (with the intention of learning more of buying something) or engaging followers through something fun or visual.
BMW here utilizes a unique hashtag for a New York Fashion Week sponsorship and tags an influencer (a founder of a makeup company) to highlight a collaboration. The post instructs viewers to click the link in BMW’s profile to view more about the collaboration.
Hashtags & Tagging
As mentioned above, hashtags are a key part of crafting a good post, and they help users all over the platform find posts related to what they are looking for. Hashtags are essentially keywords for social media. So it’s helpful to use the right tools to help find the right keywords for your niche and business. Hashtags can help build a sense of community when people searching the same thing can discover new profiles and brands to follow.
If you are collaborating with someone or mentioning a brand, tagging the respective user on your post helps get traffic going as well.
If you’re running a branding campaign or product launch, a unique hashtag is also essential for branding.
Every Man Jack uses a group of hashtags to mention its brand, a campaign concept, and ingredients of its deodorant.
Liking, Sharing, Commenting
Now that you know how to take care of yourself, it’s important to take care of others. Instagram is all about engaging, so as a brand, it’s crucial to like other brand posts or posts from your followers. This shows you are…well, engaged…and listening (and watching). You never want to be a silent brand that only cares about itself and doesn’t interact with others.
A big part of a social media strategy is also sharing posts or content from other people — and commenting. If someone has a question or remarks they love a product you are posting about, write back! Thank them for their purchase and interaction. And if you’re browsing another brand (not a direct competitor) or profile catered towards your niche, leave a comment about how you love what they’re doing. Interaction is key to showing that you are a real brand that is knowledgeable in its niche and community.
These tiny actions not only build your credibility as a brand, but they also help get your name out there. Chances are a lot of traffic to your Instagram profile and website can stem from users who clicked on you through a comment or like/share that you did.
See how Target responded to a follower (and former employee!) who shared a touching story.
Use Instagram Stories & IGTV
As part of your content strategy, it’s smart to utilize Instagram Stories and even IGTV if they work for your brand.
Instagram Stories are live videos or images you can post that show up on your profile avatar as a rainbow-colored, illuminated ring to signify that you have a story posted. Instagram Stories last for 24 hours before they disappear, but the clips are archived in your profile settings, where you can organize them into Instagram Story Highlights on your profile. You can even create custom highlight covers for greater branding.
Take a look how Express Men highlights a collaboration with the NBA and Indiana Pacers player Victor Oladipo.
Aside from creating images or videos on your own, remember you can also run things such as polls, ask questions, a quiz, a heart meter, and chat for easy engagement with your followers without a ton of effort.
If you have longer-form content, IGTV is a good way to upload more in-depth content (videos can be up to one hour long). Got video that’s too long for your feed? Use IGTV! If you don’t have a YouTube channel (or do have one, and want more channels for your content), IGTV is a great alternative or extra channel to share your video content. Note though, that IGTV is strictly for vertical video. Once you upload any IGTV content, you will have a tab automatically appear on your Instagram page between your tabs for Posts and Tagged. Unlike Instagram Stories, IGTV does not disappear from your profile, and will be displayed in this tab.
You can see here how Express Men utilized its IGTV for interviews with athletes and influencers.