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Is Instagram a Good Tool for Online Marketing?

Online marketing has many different tools, including various sources of social media. One of them is Instagram, even though many businesses haven’t yet tapped into the benefits. What Instagram offers you is a simple format with easy-to-follow instructions for marketing to your desired target market. Follow these tips and guidelines for using Instagram as a tool for online marketing.

About Instagram
Instagram has only been around for a couple of years, but in that time has become a leading image hosting site. In the two years since its launch, Instagram has gotten 100 million views a month, 1000 comments every second, more than 40 million photos posted each day and 8500 “likes” a second. The app was originally created for use on Twitter, where users would take pictures, use the app’s filters and special effects, and use it to automatically post their images on Twitter. Businesses quickly found out all the benefits of using it for online marketing, and the site now lets you post your images to Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and almost anywhere else you like. It works well because it is a simple program, available online and through apps on different types of smartphones. It allows users to interact, and gives online marketers a unique opportunity to reach a large target market.

Using Instagram for Online Marketing
The following includes some helpful tips for using Instagram for online marketing. It includes an overview of what you should be focusing on in order to use it effectively for business, branding and advertising purposes.

Instagram Profile
Near the end of 2012, Instagram introduced profiles. This is one of the key benefits to using Instagram for online marketing. With the profile on Instagram you’re able to reach more of your target market through carefully selected tags and keywords. You can create a profile with either an iPhone device (including iPad) or those run on Android. When filling out your profile, always use keywords that will get you the most views if someone is looking for something specifically on Instagram. It also lets you input your website or blog’s web address which helps with SEO as well as getting more views in general.

Contests and Giveaways
Consumers love getting free stuff, so having contests and giveaways is extremely successful on Instagram. One thing you can do is hold a photo contest and there are many different ways to accomplish this. One of the more common ways is to ask your followers to upload a certain type of image and use a hashtag you come up with. You can search for them with that hashtag, and choose an image. The winner would get a free product, discount, or other promo you’re currently working on.

Branding Content
To get branding to work effectively, you need to focus on some key points. First, make sure you share real content, including unique images that you didn’t find somewhere else. The content on Instagram should be valuable and not something your followers can see elsewhere. Also, post often – this increases your viewership. Finally, use hashtags for every image so users can find them by searching. 

Engaging with Others
As with all social media marketing tactics, you need to interact with your followers on a regular basis. Instead of simply using Instagram to market your own products, engage with others and encourage them to follow you. Do this by searching for images or accounts along the same lines as your own, and begin liking, commenting and following them. Chances are, they will return the favor and begin sharing your content. It works well for everyone involved.

For more success, keep your target market in mind when deciding who and how to reach your customer base with Instagram.

Sources:
http://instagram.com/press/#
http://www.businessinsider.com/6-steps-for-marketing-on-instagram-2013-1
http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyclay/2012/08/09/3-things-you-can-learn-about-your-business-with-instagram/

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