A Complete Guide to Instagram Marketing

“A picture is worth a thousand words”

The essence of Instagram summed up in one line. In today’s day and age, customers and viewers are more demanding and impatient than ever. Attention spans are decreasing and competition for visibility has skyrocketed. So what do you do to ensure your products are seen and that they attract new customers? Well, since you can’t beat them, join them!

Instagram Marketing

Change your way of serving content and cater to audiences who fly through their feed, totally ignoring long paragraphs or breezing through them at the most. Images are the perfect alternative for this kind of viewer and Instagram is the perfect platform to make that happen.

This guide will provide you with all the answers you need to know about marketing strategies and focal points for marketing on Instagram. So, let’s get right to it!

Why Instagram?

Instagram is perfect for engaging with followers on a regular basis and giving your pictures unparalleled visibility. The Stats do not lie!

Stat Attack alert!

  • Instagram now has more than 500 million users, with more than 300 users who use it every day!
  • 95M+ videos photos/videos are shared every day
  • Brands engage with more than 4 percent of their followers on Instagram, compared to less than 0.1 percent for Facebook and Twitter
  • 70% of Instagram users have searched and looked up brands
  • 62% of Instagram users follow a brand on Instagram
  • Only 36% of marketers use Instagram, compared to 93% of marketers who use Facebook

Apart from the usual engagement, you can even use Sponsored Posts to almost double your audience. These posts will be shown on multiple users’ feeds and have been known to perform extremely well.

Setting Up to Succeed!

Step 1: Picture Perfect

A good profile is just as important as the pictures you put up! Instagram allows you to add a profile image with which users can relate to. As soon as they see the picture, their mind automatically knows what he is in store for. It becomes your definition and your pitch. Make your visuals iconic, attractive and to the point.

profile picture

The Starbucks profile has done a great job of creating a profile picture that is iconic and unmistakably Starbucks!

Step 2: Write a Bio

Each profile has a Bio that is helpful when you’re not as popular as Starbucks (just one line!). Ideally, your bio should be around 150 words which is less than the 200-word limit and can convey your information and ideals sufficiently. Use this space to tell your viewers

  • Why they should you follow
  • What are you selling and how does it help them

You can even attempt to involve viewers by asking them to share some of your pictures or tag you in some of theirs, using a hashtag.

good bio

Step 3: Connect a Website

It’s extremely simple and effective to add a link of a website to your profile bio. If a user likes your pictures or your product, you should give him the option to explore more instantly! Lead them down the path you wish them to take and improve your conversion and interaction just by taking this simple step. Just make sure that the URL you provide works exactly like you want it to. Try to direct users to a mobile friendly site since most Instagram traffic is through a mobile device.

good link

The GoPro Instagram Page provides a link for its viewers to directly submit their pictures on their website.

Identify Your Goals

Before you can start posting pictures on Instagram you have to figure out what your goal or your aim is. To categorize roughly, there are about 5 reasons that brands use Instagram.

  1. Showcase your products or services
  2. Build your community
  3. Increase awareness of your brand
  4. Showcase your company culture and values
  5. Advertise to potential customers

Each goal needs to be approached with a different strategy that can help you achieve your goal more efficiently and quickly. You should choose at least 2 goals for Instagram Marketing and keep those goals in your sight. Do not diverge from these goals and post each photo with these goals in your mind. You can even decide your own goals if they are not mentioned here. To help you out, try asking these questions to yourself

What do I want from my Instagram account?

How can I use Instagram to solve the problems I’m facing?

How much time and effort do you wish to invest in Instagram?

Why have you chosen Instagram over other Social Media platforms?

Once you answer these questions, you can easily create a strategy to execute, saving a lot of wasted time and energy from wavering left and right.

The Viralwoot Instagram page has been created for two clear purposes

  • Motivate our audiences to perform better
  • Educate and inform our audience about how Viralwoot can help them in their Pinterest and Instagram marketing pursuits

Stick with your goals and formulate your strategy efficiently.

Identify Your Audience

Unfortunately, just posting attractive pictures is not enough to ensure that you do well on Instagram. You need to cater to your audience and follow trends and their interests. But before you can do that, you will need to identify your audience, whether they are young, old, official or playful etc.

Here is a useful list to show you the demographics of Instagram users.


As you can see, the percentage of female users slightly edge the percentage of male users and so it is extremely important to post pictures that service both audiences equally.

A few more important points that I thought I should highlight are

  • A staggering 53% of users are in the age group of 18 to 29 (young adults)
  • Most users are college educated (31%)
  • Since young adults are the most popular users, incomes of users are mostly below $30,000

Use these facts to design to improve your strategy further and increase the effect on your audience.

Concentrate on Content

Good content is the bare minimum that you need to do to ensure you reach your goals and market effectively. If your images are attractive, alluring and descriptive, you are sure to get many more followers, visitors and ultimately conversions.

A few basic tips include not stuffing your pictures with too many things. Determine what you want to portray and center things around it, without diverting the attention of the viewer away from it.

Also, experiment with faces in your pictures, maybe showing the people who work in your organization?


Hubspot has done a great job of using familiar faces to increase their engagement.

A few extra tips for creating effective content are given here. Try following them as often as you can.

Determine your Style

The essence of your pictures should remain the same. Determine one that looks appropriate for your brand and stick to it! A style is determined by

  • Composition
  • Color palette
  • Fonts
  • Filters
  • Captions
  • Hashtags

Again, depending on your target audience and feel of your brand, you should choose a style that suits you. Two starkly different examples are those of Frooti (India’s largest selling fruit drink brand)


and Everlane, which has a much more niche and sophisticated audience and hence uses somber and minimalistic colors.


Old Navy has a much more product-centric approach. Their target audience is widespread and hence they need to employ a very neutral style.

good content

Use Hashtags

The description for your image has tons of potential to improve the engagement and activity of your images. The hashtags you use should be related to the images you post and should also be related to your brand. Studies have shown that pictures with Hashtags perform much better than those without.

hashtag stats

An interesting trend on Instagram is the idea of #ThrowbackThursday. On Thursdays, many brands share old photos and use this hashtag. As a brand, you can take advantage of this trend to get your pictures more visibility. Share pictures of your office, employees, products or maybe even your followers.

You should try to use hashtags that are popular and trending. You can search for popular hashtags using the popular tool hashtagify.


On Hashtagify you can enter any keyword and search for hashtags whose popularity is the highest. Use these hashtags to increase the visibility of your pictures. Maybe even get your hashtag trending!

Hold Contests

Try to get your audience more involved by holding contests. In these contests, urge viewers to share their pictures and use hashtags to connect those pictures to your brand. Ask them to take pictures while using your products.

For the winners, you can offer coupons, special discounts, and exposure. For example, you can offer to share the winning picture on your Instagram page. The main objective you’re trying to achieve is to engage more users and increase your effect in their lives.

A great example of a contest held on Instagram is shown below.


You can organize a weekly contest without any effort at all. Just create a unique hashtag and add one sample picture on your Instagram page.

Call to Actions on Images

An exciting, new trend has started gathering steam. You can ask your viewers you to like or comment on your images simply by asking them to double-tap if you like ‘this’ and comment if you prefer ‘that’. The double-tap feature on Instagram has been very useful for this.

You can use this feature by displaying 2 products in one image and asking the user to double tap on the one which is better looking.

double tap

Time is of the Essence

Different groups of users log onto their Instagram accounts at different times. You can make a big difference by just posting your images at optimum times. Study the engagement your images get by experimenting with posting times.


The table above shows a sample experiment where the best results have been achieved by posting between 1-2PM.

Another point you should take care of is what time zone your target customers reside in. It is seen that Instagram users tend to view their feeds in the morning and after work. Due to this, you have to check when it will be daytime for your target audience and post your images then.

Instagram Direct

Instagram has recently launched a great feature allowing you to send pictures/videos to followers individually or in a group as big as 15 users. This feature is extremely useful in improving your outreach and marketing and can also help you get many more followers.


Instagram still has some way to go to match the traffic and number of users of Facebook, but it has already changed the game of Social Media marketing and advertising. Instagram influencer marketing has become a standard tactic for many marketers. Visuals are affecting audiences in a big way and it is high time for you and your brand to switch to this mode of distribution. Use the guidelines I have provided above to create a sustainable strategy and execute it to the best of your abilities.

Remember, each brand has its own set of customers and your primary objective should be to please these customers. Analyse and study your followers to constantly keep improving and progressing.

Do tell me how you fared and continue this discussion in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you.