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All About Instagram: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need

Social media and digital marketing are the best ways to build brand awareness. It is also the best place to gain new customers. Social media marketing is here to stay, so it’s wise to get familiar with the many social media platforms available. 

Instagram boasts over 1 billion unique monthly users. Marketing on this platform is absolutely worth it. Not only does this give your brand an additional channel to use when interacting with your audience, but many have also found success with direct purchases through the platform. So Instagram marketing does matter and, while it may not be ideal for everyone, it’s worth looking into. Let’s dig into everything all about Instagram!

Why Is Instagram So Great?

Instagram is an amazing social media platform for brands. The scrolling feature is easy to navigate, and videos and photos have proven more easily digestible by consumers.

Instagram marketing is simply another strategy used to spread your marketing materials across a given digital channel. What makes Instagram a great platform is that many are finding that they can implement influencer marketing to help them reach a wider audience.

With more and more people spending time at least once a day on Instagram, marketing on this social media platform can be worth the time and effort. However, just like with any other digital channels, it takes strategy.

Instagram Features

When building your Instagram marketing strategy, make sure you use the following features.

Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are a great way to get more direct with your audience, and, thanks to updates such as being able to mention accounts, add stickers, and shoppable tags, it’s also become a great way to promote products. Not only that, it allows brands to interact one-on-one with their audience.


IGTV takes stories to a whole new level by allowing brands to create longer formatted videos to share with their audience. Check out these tips for creating great social media videos for storytelling purposes.


A massive part of Instagram is the use of hashtags. Hashtags are indicated by the “#” symbol and help to connect users to similar posts. When users add a hashtag to their posts, they end up viewable by others who make use of the hashtag, increasing their chances of interacting with brands and each other.

Measuring Success

The only way to grow your audience and become more influential is through tracking the right metrics. You don’t want to put your blood, sweat, and tears into an Instagram marketing strategy without knowing how successful you are and in what ways you can make it better.

Measuring the success of your Instagram marketing efforts is as simple as monitoring your Instagram insights. While reviewing your Instagram insights, you’ll be able to see not only who’s interacting with your posts and stories, but you’ll get a more in-depth look into who makes up your audience and what they prefer, as far as your posts go.

Numbers prove whether or not your strategies are actually making a difference to your brand. It may sound overwhelming to go through all the numbers and graphs, but it’s so useful. To feel more prepared to deal with the data, you need to figure out which metrics to focus on.

Metrics That Matter The Most

1. Impressions

Impressions refer to the number of people who saw your post. It also includes the posts which didn’t receive likes or comments. Looking at the data, you can analyze how well you’re promoting your content on Instagram.

Using hashtags ensures your content reaches a wide audience, improving your impression score. Pay close attention to each of your posts to know which trends help promote your content to your audience. You will find your reach and impression rate on the Activity tab that essentially shows how many people have interacted with your content. Remember that this section of insights shows data only from the past 7 days.

2. Engagement Rate

Likes, comments, shares, and saves are the integrations that determine your engagement rate. Looking at engagement on individual posts should give you an idea about the content your followers like and how to improve your marketing strategy to produce more of your most engaging content.

Comments are one of the most important integrations during the initial phases of growing your Instagram account. Take hints from the kind of comments your posts receive and reply to them.

It’s one of the best ways to build a relationship with your followers and grow the engagement rate on your account. It’s ideal to have an engagement rate of 2.5% or higher.

Engagement rate is an important metric in influencer marketing. This metric helps in evaluating which influencer can reach a large number of the target audience and helps you predict engagement on your sponsored content on their account.

3. Trending or Branded Hashtags

It’s no secret that hashtags rule on Instagram. According to research by Agorapulse, Instagram posts with at least one hashtag got 70% more likes and 392% more comments than those without hashtags. They work similarly to keywords for search engine optimization.

You should make a list of all the hashtags that get the most engagement to post more relevant posts as much as possible. The hashtags with the most followers bring more engagement to your account. Once you’ve found them and start posting content with them, your posts will reach more people, and you’ll see a better impression and engagement rate.

Coming up with your own hashtag is a great idea to encourage user-generated content. You don’t need any tool to track results. Instead, you can simply look for your own hashtag and see how many posts pop up. You can also repost them on your account to drive awareness to your hashtag and improve your fans’ loyalty to your page.

4. Click-Throughs From Your Bio Link

The link in your biography, aka the bio link, is the only clickable spot on Instagram. Tapping into its potential can give your brand a significant boost. It can take your followers to any desired page with a single click.

This is a great place to get leads as well as encourage people to visit your website or a landing page. Marketers should keep an eye on the number of people who actually click the bio link and learn if your followers are interested in what products or services you’re offering them.

5. Follower Growth

In simple terms, follower rate gives you an idea of whether or not your content is reaching new people and catching their attention. However, though it may add brand credibility, having a lot of followers doesn’t shed much light on the health of your marketing campaigns.

What’s more important in determining your Instagram performance is the way your follower count changes over time. Calculating your follower growth is simple. Take the number of new followers from the beginning of the month, and divide it by the number of followers you had at the start of the month.

6. Instagram Story Engagement

Instagram stories can either be videos or photos, but they appear only for 24 hours. With simple video-making tools, more brands have started to include stories as a part of their social media marketing strategy.

Since they last for just 24 hours, it’s difficult to track engagement on your stories. However, by combining a few data points and doing some math, you can get a decent idea of how your stories are performing.

Here are ways you can track how successful your Instagram stories are:

  • Unique Views

This tells you how many people saw your story. If you’ve uploaded multiple stories, you can still see how many views each story has received.

  • Completion Rate

This data shows how many people view your full story. Again, this is something that you’ll have to calculate on your own. You need to divide the number of people who saw your last story by the number of people who saw your first and multiply it by 100.

  • Direct Messages

This data shows the number of people who sent your brand a direct message from the story. This provides you with the closest numbers on the engagement metrics since users can’t like or share any of them. Divide the number of DMs from your story by the number of views to get a make-do engagement rate.

Also, remember that you won’t have any historical data on your stories, so it’s important to track your performance over time. You will have to record your data to keep a track of engagement manually.

Final Thoughts

Instagram is a great way to expand your reach and get your customers to interact directly with your brand. Consumers these days seek authentic connections with brands and appreciate seeing the human side behind companies. Social media and Instagram specifically are great channels to accomplish these goals, but only if you know how to measure your success.

If you are ready to create a full digital marketing strategy for your brand, call us today at 314-537-7974!

Razor Sharp Digital

The mighty of the human marketing world. 6+ years in the making and 20+ years seasonality.