An Ultimate Guide: 6 Instagram Marketing Ideas

Here at Buffer, we believe that the best way to approach social media is to let facts and research inform our decisions. For this reason, I looked to the field of social media studies to determine the most effective Instagram approach.

Facebook, Simply Measured, and News Whip were just a few of the companies whose studies on Instagram advertising I reviewed. Many have reviewed tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of Instagram postings, while others have focused on the most popular accounts.

Six Practical Instagram Marketing Ideas Backed by Twenty-Plus Studies

The research are packed with useful data, and I summarised the most important takeaways into eight guidelines.

Instagram’s young audience appreciates material that is timely, original, and practical

As of December 2016, the age group between 25 and 34 made up 25.2% of all U.S. Instagram users, according to Statista, an online market research portal. The next largest demographic on Instagram in the United States is people aged 18 to 24 (20.6% of the total).

The Pew Research Centre, an apolitical think tank in the United States, has studied Instagram’s user base in the country. They also discovered that “Instagram use is especially high among younger adults” — higher than that of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest combined.

It’s more vital to be consistent with your posting than to post often.

Everyone wants to know, “How often should I be posting on Instagram?”

Previous research revealed that top brands often make two daily Instagram posts. Some users write as often as ten times a day without seeing a decline in interaction.

After analysing over a hundred thousand Instagram posts, the visual marketing platform Tailwind came up with a reasonable explanation for the high posting frequency: the more frequently you post on Instagram, the more likes and followers you earn.

Strategy lessons from Instagram:

If you have the means to consistently produce high-quality content, then increasing the frequency of your postings is a terrific idea if your audience enjoys seeing numerous updates from you each day. Otherwise, regular updates are more crucial.

You risk alienating your followers if you suddenly flood their feeds with many posts per day. It might be difficult to maintain a high volume of quality posts to an Instagram account without a dedicated workforce. Union Metrics found that when publishers stopped posting regularly because they ran out of new ideas, they lost followers.

The optimal time to post on Instagram varies depending on the content

CoSchedule did a fantastic job of compiling a number of relevant studies on optimal Instagram posting timings. The results of some of these research are as follows:

Instagram posts do best between 2 and 5 p.m., according to the Huffington Post.
According to MarketingProfs, the most active time of day is between 1:00 and 2:00 pm.
Schedule: 2pm on Tuesdays may be optimal for driving.
Lifewire also examined a number of studies and discovered multiple optimum periods for Instagram posting. In addition, SumAll analysed data from other platforms (including, Search Engine Watch, and Social Media Today) and concluded: Weekdays, ideally between 5 and 6 p.m., and Mondays, at 8 p.m.

Instagram Stories are too important for companies to ignore

Techcrunch shared two fascinating Instagram Stories statistics:
According to dubdub, a mobile video provider, Instagram Stories garnered 35% more views on average for marketers than Snapchat Stories.

Only about 20% of Instagram Stories shared by brands really get a response from customers.
Iconosquare polled over 1,200 Instagram users, asking, “Since the arrival of Stories, what do you spend most of your time on Instagram doing?” because it wanted to see how Stories affected the interaction with Instagram posts. Almost a quarter of Instagram users in their survey “seem to have ditched their usual Instagram activity in favour of watching Stories” after only three weeks.

Because of this change in focus, fewer people are now actively engaging with your Instagram posts. The engagement rate of 60 leading businesses was studied by Iconosquare before and after the release of Instagram Stories, and it was found to have decreased following the release of Instagram Stories. A number of Iconosquare’s blog followers corroborated this discovery.

The lesson for Instagram marketing is that posting Instagram Stories is one way to combat the decline in interaction rate by adapting to the new habits of Instagram users.

Klear, an influencer marketing tool, analysed the Instagram Story usage of 150 major companies across 8 different sectors. According to their research, 46% of the firms surveyed use Instagram Stories on a weekly basis. Brands like McDonald’s, IBM, and Forever 21 are among the most active users of Instagram Stories.

Combining a hashtag with a geotag increases interaction

Hashtags are more of a commonplace on Instagram than they are on other social networking sites like Facebook. Research conducted by Simply Measured in 2014 indicated that 88% of posts from the top 100 global businesses’ Instagram accounts included at least one hashtag.

There’s logic behind this action. It is much easier for people to find your Instagram posts if you include hashtags and location tags.

User-generated content is what really boosts traffic and sales

As an example, user-generated content helped us increase your Instagram following by 540 percent in a single year.

However, we need also examine the data. L2 examined 250 companies across 9 industries and found that user-generated content on Instagram has a significant influence. There is a 4.5% increase in sales among viewers who see a user-submitted photo. When consumers engaged with the image, that number jumped to 9.6 percent.