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Facebook and Twitter used to be marketers’ go-to social media sites for content marketing campaigns. However, a third social media platform now has a significant market share. With more than 2.4 billion users worldwide*, Instagram has become a central channel for social media marketing.

Initially, Instagram was developed to facilitate communication using only images. Users were limited in what they could post, sparking creativity and a greater sense of ownership over one’s Instagram page (as opposed to Twitter and Facebook, where one can repost or share someone else’s content on their feed). Because of this heightened sense of ownership and the app’s stunning visual quality, users became much more engaged when on the platform than on other social sites.

Instagram can help you turn passive social media scrollers into active, aware, and engaged customers. Eighty-seven percent of Instagram users* will take action on an advertisement. That means seven out of eight of your followers are willing to visit your site or purchase a product if they see your ad in their feed. But how do you ensure those customers follow through with your call to action? Follow these steps to see results in your Instagram marketing campaign:

Use images that showcase your product’s use or “trendiness.” You want to place your product in a setting where it would be used in everyday life. Your photos should encourage followers to purchase without pushing too hard for sale.

Make your Instagram promote a particular lifestyle with your product or service. Instagram is all about exemplifying a lifestyle for your brand and showing followers they can have the same with your product or service.  

Only use professional photos for products. Image quality speaks volumes about the professionalism and attractiveness of your Instagram page. Size them correctly and make sure your photos are bright (pictures with high brightness generate 24 percent more likes). High-quality photos generate high-quality leads and better results.

If you use quotes or non-branded images, make them original. It’s great to use photos related to your brand, even if they don’t showcase your product or service. But uploading a generic stock photo shows little effort. Customize your images, so they match your brand.

Include photos of your team and day-to-day business activities. It will make your brand seem more personable and trustworthy to your audience. Plus, Instagram users are used to seeing photos of their friends. If you blend in with the rest of their feed, they will begin to enjoy seeing more of your posts and ads.

Choose another social media influencer to promote your products and services. Someone with a strong Instagram following and a personal brand that complements yours could be a great endorser of your products. Send them some samples of your products, and ask if they will feature them in a co-created content campaign.

Encourage fans to engage with you. The best way to get fans to engage is to ask them. Ask followers to tag their friends or comment, and incentivize with giveaways or Instagram-exclusive discounts.

*Updated from an earlier (2017) post.