There are over 800 million monthly Instagram users. Imagine the reach you could have if you could market your course even to get a fraction of these users to engage with your content for your course.
The information below will guide you in the process of building a profile and proper ways to engage with your audience on Instagram.
The first step to owning Instagram is to build an account. Download the app or go online to Instagram.com and sign up for an account. From there, the next step is building up your profile.
Building your Instagram bio:
An Instagram bio's goal is to explain what your business is and what you can offer users in 150 characters.
- Add some personality to your profile that accurately speaks to your audience
- Change your name field to have your top targeted keywords included in the search to find more followers.
- Examples: Personal trainer or Marketer
- Any # or @ included in your bio will automatically be clickable and lead users to it.
- Link to your other company pages or hashtag
- Include a Call-To-Action
- Encourage users to click the link in your bio by hinting at your new article or post and referencing the link placed below it. An example for a shoe launch would be, "Pre-order the Second Edition Lu's."
- Make sure your contact details are up to date to make it easier for customers to reach you.
- Companies and brands should use it's logo, but headshots are advised for personal businesses. The photos may be small, but the quality still needs to be good. People can tell the difference between a good profile picture and one with minimal effort put into it.
- Organize your saved stories with a cover picture so users can navigate your page easily
Linktree:You only get one hyperlink in your Instagram bio; use it wisely. Tools such as Linktree allow you to customize your link to fit your needs. Have a podcast episode, new audio course, book, and blog you want people on your profile to find easily? Linktree can help you. Each item can have its direct link and prevent users from going from site to site.
Tips for Instagram:
- Build a Business profile. This allows users the ability to contact you directly through a link on your profile.
- Publish ads without using Facebook's tools. Use sponsored ads directly through Instagram that allow you to control: spending, target audience, and what is posted (can re-use material or make new). These posts ca come in the form of a photo, video, carousel/ dynamic ads, stories, and a story canvas.
- Use Instagram analytics: narrow in on your market with insights on who is accessing your page (where, when, age, and gender)
- Create teasers of your course on your profile by including audio snippets and what solutions you can offer to certain pain points.
- Don't be too pushy for selling your course. Instagram users do not want to be hounded every day that your course is $49.99. This will cause them to lose interest instead of wanting to learn more. Show them how your courses can help solve issues in their lives or what they will gain by taking your course.
- Create Instagram stories that allow for a behind-the-scenes view into the product and/or company for followers to see. They will last for 24-hours, and during that time, you can save them to your profile to be viewed by those who access your profile.
- Partner with influencers by thinking who in your market already has a following with your target audience? Decide on who they are and if they align with your message. Reach out if they do and see how they would be willing to work together. Maybe it's just you paying them to do a promo on their page or it could be more in-depth. The partnership creates a sense of trust with your target audience by showing that someone they already trusts a product, therefore it's okay to buy.
- Instagram Lives are live video streams that allow people to tune in with question from their Instagram accounts. These are very informal and personable, allowing customers to see into the company and create a relationship with them. Can be in the form of an interview, showing a product, or general Q& A.
- Reviews can help convince someone whether they want to purchase your product by creating trust and seeing others' success from your course. If you have the ability to be selective, pick the reviews from people who have more followers first--this allows you to potentially reach more people when then repost.
- A branded hashtag is the same as in Twitter. It's a way for people to filter photos for your brand and/or you. It can be creative or just the name of your company—your choice.
- Engage with other users. Customers love when brands respond to their comments and interact with them—they are the ones buying your product after all. Comment on their responses, ask them questions, give away free stuff, and show encouragement. Your customers want to know you care about them.
- Post user-submitted photos onto your account and tag them
- Offer lots of free advice. If it's good, people can only imagine what your paid advice would be like. Keep the media varied: videos, Instagram lives, photos, or audio clips
- Automate your posts. Needing to post 1-2 times a day on Instagram, combined with the specific times to get the most engagement, can cause a headache. Let the sites below take care of it for you. To save yourself the time it takes to upload posts and write comments, automate the work, so you only have to do it once a month or whatever works for you. Set aside time to map out your posts, build them in the sites, and then step away.
Why engagement rate matters:
The main thing with Instagram is paying attention to your engagement rate, not how many followers you have. Followers are important, but if you have 10k followers, but only get 500 likes per photo, your engagement rate is 0.05%. Whereas if you have 2k followers, but get 1,000 likes per photo, your engagement rate is 50%, or 5,000. You would rather have fewer loyal followers then have more followers with less engagement.
If you find yourself with this uneven proportion, re-evaluate who you are targeting and your branding. The issue could be that your message is not resonating with who you had intended it to. What can you alter to make your message hit home more? Do you need to re-brand or target a new audience?
To calculate your engagement rate:
- Typical for brands: Engagement Rate by Reach = (Likes + Comments) / Reach x 100
- Typical for influencers: Engagement Rate by Audience = (Likes + Comments) / Followers x 10
For the future:
After you have a steady following and you're looking to build a new course, ask your audience what course they would like to see next. Then build it for them. Cater to your audience.
Use their ideas as inspiration.
Instagram is a game of how you can get in someone's face without being too aggressive to inspire them to click your CTA and buy your audio course.
Build a community
Engage with your followers
1 post a day
Find your who your desired market follows and think about how you can cater towards them as well
Don't oversell your course--make the audience think it was their choice to buy the product. Show them how you can help, and what issues buying your course can help solve.