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The Ultimate Guide to Building a Loyal Instagram Following

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Let’s look at some facts. Did you know that there are roughly 25 million active business profiles on Instagram? And that out of Instagram’s billion-strong user base, 80% follow a business profile? In fact, out of all the top three social media sites on the internet, Instagram ranks 1st when it comes to user-brand engagement: ten times higher than Facebook and 84 times more than Twitter. One look at all these facts and figures and it becomes glaringly obvious that Instagram is the place your brand should be.

Thing is, all your competitors are most likely there, too. So in a saturated space such as Instagram, the game is no longer just about gaining views or traction. It’s about actually getting your followers to stay interested. Read on, and we’ll show you how you can turn your audience into a loyal following.

Be playful with content

No one likes being talked into buying an item like a telemarketer does when they’re selling you insurance over the phone. Or a saleslady, when she’s following you around the store. The same principle applies to your brand on social media.

After all, people are primarily on social media to be social, not to be bombarded with ads and sales talk. So to keep your audience interested, you have to make sure your content is interesting. Keep up with their jokes. Listen to their stories. Stay in tune with their language. Are you a brand that sells camping gear? Try posting bucket-list-worthy pictures of real people while traveling off the beaten path. Do you specialize in sports equipment? Turn your page into a great source of inspiration for all athletes—semi-pros, aspiring newbies, and couch megafans alike.


Let your followers know who you are, and not just what you’re selling. Lure them in with relevant posts and interesting visuals that allow them to see the lifestyle and culture that comes with your brand. Follow the 80-20 rule: keep hardsell posts down to 20% of your weekly content, leaving the rest free for posts that spark engagement with your audience.  

Create eye candy

Check it: a whopping 67% of consumers reported to have preferred relying on detailed images over product information when it comes to shopping online. That means that with an average of 70 million photos posted on Instagram per day, your post has to rise above the clutter. While your audience mindlessly scrolls away on their feed, make sure that when they come across your photo, it’ll make them stop, like, and buy. Instagram is all about visuals, and your brand has to keep up.

Start by playing around with filters. And you don’t have to stay with the ones that are built-in with Instagram. Try downloading photo-editing apps that will allow you to enhance the colors of your images and match them with the rest on your page, like Instasize. This app has over 50 artistic filters, all crafted and curated to help you bring out the best with each photo. Try one of their top performing filters then adjust brightness, saturation, colors, and hues as you see fit to turn any product image into a stunning picture, all with the touch of a button on your screen.


While you’re at it, discover other ways to jazz up your photo. Layer photos on top of another to add interesting borders to your image. Or add beautiful typography-style text to your images. Use this app to play around and create one-of-a-kind visuals that are totally unique to your brand.

Engage, engage, engage

One-sided conversations are boring. And after a point, they’re actually really unsustainable. So when it comes to keeping your followers interested, don’t do all the talking. Let your audience’s voices be heard and you stand a better chance at keeping them engaged.

Never keep a question hanging. Whether it’s a follower asking if they have an item in their size, or a rhetorical one like if you’ll ever sell it at 90% off, or if what they want ships to a country your post clearly says it doesn’t—always answer back. You have nothing to lose but time. And at the very least, you have their gratitude to gain.


See an interesting comment posted on your picture? Respond in a way that will garner positive reactions. Are they declaring their undying love for you? Tell them you love them back! Are they airing their frustrations at the lack of stocks in their area? Acknowledge and apologize. Whether you’re trying to be funny or comforting, always answer in a way that’s smart, witty, and genuine. Keep these tips in mind, and your audience is sure to keep your brand in theirs.


Remember: don’t ignore your followers. Use each response from your audience as an opportunity to engage.

Ride on trending topics

When it comes to trending topics, there really is one cardinal rule: treat each one like a moving train. Hop on the right one, and your brand is sure to get some talk and traction. So when you see the chance, take it. Use what’s relevant in the internet to keep conversations about your brand going.

One surefire way is to pay attention to popular memes going around on social media. Memes are a funny representation of what’s current in culture, which is why they tend to be highly shareable. So if you find a meme that fits your brand and audience, take advantage and have fun.


Just make sure that you’re not forcing your brand to fit the meme—otherwise your post runs the risk of becoming cringe-worthy.


You can also keep track of holidays happening around the world and create content around it. Add a relevant hashtag while you’re at it. By celebrating a day that means something to people, you’re building an affinity with your audience and strengthening your relationship with your followers.

Spark interesting collaborations

There’s a reason endorsers exist. When used correctly, a celebrity’s character and influence can do wonders to your brand. Take the collaboration of Puma and Rihanna for example: the cool R&B singer, known for her urban and edgy street style, was able to freshen up the retro sportswear brand—leading to a spike in sales worldwide.


This meant a spike in following to Puma’s brand as well. Rihanna’s followers naturally pledged loyalty to the songstress by supporting the brand she was currently endorsing.

Collaborations don’t always have to be this big. The most important thing is to pay attention to the needs and wants of your followers. Know an influencer they love? Try collaborating with him or her. Or collaborate with your audience instead! Take their opinions into consideration each time you plan to come out with something new.

Share (Instagram) Stories

What’s great about Instagram Stories is that it allows you to connect with your audience on a more personal level.

Unlike the rest of your feed, whatever you post on IG Stories will only be up for 24 hours (unless you actually add it to your page using Highlights). This means you can share pictures and videos without disrupting the current content plan of your page. So post previews of a photoshoot. Excite people with an exclusive sneak peak before a product launch. Use your IG Stories to give your audience a behind-the-scenes look on what goes on in your day.


You can also use it to talk to your audience. One great thing you can do with this feature is create polls and ask questions, allowing you to see and keep track of your audience’s responses in real time.


But just because you’re posting something that’ll be gone in 24 hours, doesn’t mean aesthetic goes out the window. Always remember to check if what you’re posting is visually aligned with your brand! An easy fix is to apply an awesome filter before sharing.

Empower your audience

If there’s one thing to remember, it’s that building a loyal following really is about empowering your audience. Make them feel like you’re talking to them each time you post. Make them realize you’re listening to them by planning and curating your brand’s content.

Hold promos and contests that keep your following excited about what’s in store for them. Ask for their opinion when it matters. Feature them in some of your posts. Establishing a strong influence on Instagram starts into getting insight into what makes your audience happy—then keep doing it, and always challenge yourself to do even better.

About the Author:

Natasha Ponomaroff is the Senior Marketing Director of Instasize – a content creating tool kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile. A weekly contributor on the site’s blog, Natasha tracks social media trends and updates the millions of “creatives” who are currently using Instasize to curate awesome online content. When she isn’t writing up the latest trend, Natasha is overseeing a team of 10 over at the Instasize HQ – ensuring that the marketing content on the apps various social platforms is ready to go.

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#1 YouTube Banner Template: How to Create a Custom Banner for Free

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The world’s population watches almost 5 billion YouTube videos every single day. That means YouTube is a massive market that you’re most likely not utilizing.

But don’t worry, it doesn’t take much to get a professional footprint on YouTube. When you’re getting started, one of the most important features to focus on is your YouTube banner.

We’ll go into everything you need to know about creating a YouTube banner. Towards the end, we’ll recommend a few YouTube banner templates to get you started.

What is a YouTube Banner?

When you click on any given YouTube user’s name, YouTube brings you to that user’s channel. Here you can see all their videos and playlists. At the top of the screen is a banner with the YouTuber’s brand. This is a YouTube banner.

Click around on a few different users you follow to get a good idea about the different banners on the market. See what draws your eye and what you do and do not like.

If you’d like to find more tips on how to effectively create and use your YouTube profile page and videos for branding, be sure to check out these quick tips.

What are the Banner Specifications?

When you’re designing your banner, it’s important you follow the right specifications. People are watching YouTube on their phones, tablets, laptops, and even their TV’s. You need to make sure your banner renders properly on all these different screen sizes. You can make sure you get it right by following the specifications.

According to Google, your banner should meet the following specifications:

  • Recommended: 2560 x 1440 px
  • Minimum for upload: 2048 x 1152 px
  • Minimum “safe area” where text and logos are ensured not to be cut off: 1546 x 423 px
  • Maximum width: 2560 x 423 px
  • File size: 4MB or smaller

What Should I Include in My Banner?

Your banner is a representation of your brand. It should intrigue viewers, and give them a snapshot of what to expect from your channel. Make sure to include your brand name.

Here are the Best YouTube Banner Templates

There are several places you can get a high-quality YouTube banner template for free. Here are a few of our favorites.

Google

Google has its own template designs for YouTube. Makes sense, after all, they do own YouTube.

Adobe

Adobe is perhaps the best YouTube banner maker app available on the market. They let you create a design for free in minutes with no previous experience.

Canva

Canva offers several different template designs. They have available stock photography you can use, or you can use your own images.

It’s Easy and Vital To Get A Quality YouTube Banner

We’ve covered all the basics you need to know to get a quality YouTube banner. We’ve also listed some of the best places to get a YouTube banner template.

Getting a YouTube banner is an important start in a quality YouTube channel, but it’s only the start. Now you have a professional YouTube appearance!

The banner is vital for a professional appearance. But that alone isn’t enough. Regularly post quality videos to build traction for your YouTube presence.

I make over six figures every month and so can you. Sign up below to get instant access to my exact blogging strategy!

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Instagram Checkout and the Move Toward Frictionless eCommerce

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The number of hurdles standing between online shoppers and completing transactions is dwindling. The path to purchase is getting smoother as retailers move toward frictionless ecommerce. Gone are the days where shoppers must visit an ecommerce website to buy a product, especially if they originally spot the product on a social media platform.

Nowadays, social shopping is capable of enabling people to reduce the number of steps to checkout by allowing them to buy without exiting social media. Instagram Checkout is the latest feature geared toward making it easier to complete deals. Here’s more on this announcement and its potential impact on the ecommerce industry as a whole.

First, What Is Frictionless Ecommerce?

When you hear the word friction, you probably think of resistance. This force can be useful, like using sandpaper to smooth down rough wood. Or this force can be a hindrance, like trying to slide a piece of heavy furniture across the floor. In ecommerce, friction is undesirable because it means shoppers are meeting resistance when they try to proceed through the sales funnel.

Frictionless ecommerce is something sellers are seeking out because it allows them to “integrate buying opportunities as simply and seamlessly as possible into consumers’ everyday activities and natural environments,” according to BLM Technologies.

One of these natural environments is social media, an activity in which many users are spending a larger chunk of each day. It only makes sense to try to sell to people there, rather than requiring them to visit a separate website each time they want to browse or buy.

The ethos behind frictionless ecommerce tells us reducing the number of steps it takes to buy products online will motivate more people to stick around for as long as it takes to convert. Less hassle translates into more sales and a better customer experience.

Of course, it’s still vitally important to set up a responsive, fully featured online store complete with secure checkout. After all, some people won’t use social shopping. Today, leading platforms like Shopify offer free ecommerce website builders to help retailers run their stores. Branching out into frictionless ecommerce in the form of social shopping will help merchants capture even more sales by offering shoppers flexible options.

Building a Trusted Brand and Following Will Still Apply

As you can imagine, with more than a billion active users on the Instagram platform, it’s going to get quite competitive when it comes to ecommerce advertising. With that being said, this is where traditional authentic and organic followers and engagement will come into play.

We recently talked about the power and effectiveness of using a tool like Kicksta to automate the audience targeting and engagement process. For ecommerce and online stores, this is one of the best ways to put your Instagram marketing efforts on auto-pilot, which also reaching new audiences daily.

This also leads to better paid advertising and remarketing options as well. Once a user starts following your account, you have a clear indication that they are interested in what you have to offer.

Set up a new Instagram ad campaign that targets your existing followers, then compare the results with your outside targeting and default ad campaigns. We are sure the existing follower audience set will perform much better. You can visit their website here and watch the short video on their homepage to see how the process works.

The Rise of Instagram Checkout in Ecommerce

Instagram is a highly visual platform, allowing brands to connect with users through engaging images, videos and captions. If you’re an Instagram user, chances are you know the feeling of seeing something you like and wanting to know more about it — or perhaps even conducting an impulse purchase it on the spot.

Instagram Checkout aims to tap into the marketing prowess of this app by “allowing users to complete product purchases without having to leave the app.” It’s all of the convenience of online window shopping without even having to go into the store, except people can still get their hands on the product. Plus, after Instagram users enter their payment data once, the app saves it for future purchases. Thus, the purchasing journey remains inside a single app — making it more convenient and tempting for mobile shoppers who follow their favorite brands online.

At the moment, Instagram Checkout is a feature in beta testing available to about 20 top brands. An advanced version will be available to more merchants down the line, which means we all need to prepare for the wider acceptance of social shopping. Once this becomes the standard, online users will crave ultra-convenient experiences.

Instagram Checkout is an exciting new development on the horizon for ecommerce brands, and stores must embrace the move toward frictionless ecommerce to stay competitive.

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7 Instagram Features Every Business Needs to Use for Marketing

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Instagram is a fun platform for sharing pictures and video. However, as far as it pertains to businesses, it’s a lot more than that. For businesses, Instagram is a marketing device and quite an effective one at that.

Are you interested in using Instagram to market your business? Then read on. We’re going to teach you about 7 Instagram features which will enhance your business marketing campaigns.

Taking Advantage of Instagram Features When Marketing

A great many of Instagram’s features lend themselves to marketing. The best of these features include the following.

1. Stories

Instagram Stories work in the same way as Snapchat Stories, allowing you to post photos and videos for 24 hours before they disappear. Popular among all types of Instagrammers, they are frequently viewed and are great for attracting new followers.

Businesses have two options when it comes to using Instagram Story video: 1. They can post stories on their own Instagram pages, or 2. They can use Instagram Stories Ads. While the first option will provide some exposure for your business, the second option will provide more.

Why? Because it involves placing ads for your business in between the stories of Instagrammers that you don’t even know. As a result, you’ll be reaching customers who are entirely unfamiliar with your brand.

While Stories Ads cost money to post, they often end up bringing in more money than they cost. In other words, they’re usually worth a try.

2. Push Notifications

Another terrific feature for marketing on Instagram is the push notification. These are notifications which automatically send to specific followers upon the publishing of new posts. They work to keep top followers invested in your page.

Note, however, that getting followers to accept push notifications can be challenging. Unless your content is undeniably great, you’re going to have to be a little aggressive in getting followers to accept push notifications for your page.

One of the keys to doing this is to utilize calls to action. Simply telling visitors to enable push notifications for your page can be quite effective.

The other key is to post great content on a consistent basis while keeping non-value content to a minimum. The more valuable the content you post, the more valuable your page becomes, and the more your followers will want to frequent it. This leads to the enabling of push notifications which, in turn, leads to the conversion of more sales.

3. Geotagging

If you run a brick-and-mortar business, geotagging is a hugely valuable Instagram feature to utilize. By geotagging the photos you post, you make your business more visible on geographical searches. This is a great way to attract Instagram users who live in the geographical proximity of your business.

Note, however, that you must always be cognizant of whether you have geotagging turned on. If you’re not careful, you could accidentally geotag a photo or video that you wished to leave geographically anonymous.

4. Live Video

One of the best ways to build credibility and authenticity with your Instagram followers is by utilizing live video. Live video occurs in real-time, allowing you to communicate directly with your followers through page comments and voice.

Afraid that you might say something embarrassing? It won’t last for long. Instagram live videos disappear as soon as they’re done being broadcasted, ensuring that your faux pas isn’t picked apart by the masses.

You can use Live Video to discuss project updates, to show off new products, to showcase charitable efforts, and more. It’s all about making yourself and your business more familiar to your followers.

5. Photo Filters

A big part of marketing is building a brand. The goal is to evoke a feeling which is representative of your business. In evoking this feeling, you make your business instantly identifiable among the masses. Photo filters are also great for social profile branding. Take a look at these top brands that are doing social media profile branding correctly, then also consider how you can implement these same visuals into your own branding efforts.

There are a number of ways to do this on Instagram, but one of the most effective ways is through the use of photo filters. Using the same photo filters on all of your posts will provide your Instagram page with an overarching theme. This theme will become part of your brand and will help followers to identify your business.

Our advice is to experiment with different filters until you’ve found something you like. Then, once it’s established, you can hit your followers over the head with it.

6. Hashtags

When it comes to using Instagram for marketing purposes, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of hashtags. Hashtags are not only vital in building a brand, but in attracting non-followers as well.

Dropping trending hashtags into your posts is a great way to bring your Instagram page into the loop. Not only does it show that you’re part of the culture, but that your page might be worth visiting.

There are also many other famous hashtags too like;

  • #love
  • #instagood
  • #me
  • #cute
  • #tbt
  • #photooftheday
  • #instamood
  • #iphonesia
  • #motivation
  • #repost
  • #igers
  • #instadaily

In short, hashtags increase exposure for your business. The more exposure your business gets, the more sales it will convert.

7. Emoji Polls

One last Instagram feature you should consider using is Emoji Polls. These allow you to ask questions and receive direct feedback from your many followers, increasing familiarity among potential customers and allowing potential customers to feel as though their thoughts have an impact on the operation of your business.

One way to use Emoji Polls as a business is to ask followers how they feel about a specific product. However, you don’t need to strictly talk about your business. Inquiries about current events could get followers involved as well.

Learn more about internet marketing and hosting now!

Find More Marketing Tips

There is no shortage of Instagram features, each of which can help businesses to market their products, services, and brand. While the features reviewed above are the most effective for marketing purposes, they comprise only a handful of what you have available to you.

Looking for more marketing tips? Blogging Tips has you covered. We provide information on everything from content marketing to social media marketing and more.

Browse our collection of articles now!

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