10 Costly Instagram Marketing Mistakes You Are Making (How To Avoid Them)
There are some cringe-worthy mistakes people and businesses make on Instagram without even realizing it. And it's so sad that some businesses work really hard to create an awesome brand, only to let these mistakes ruin everything. Most times it may not be that you aren’t doing enough, but it may be that you aren’t doing it right.
So, if you’ve been wondering why you aren't getting the results you anticipate in your Instagram marketing campaigns, it's high time you went back to the drawing board to review your strategy and ensure that you are not making any result-killing mistake.
But as with most things in business, you'd need to first know what those mistakes are, right? That's why we've put together this guide to help you identify those miscues. We've also included how to do things correctly so that you get the results you deserve in your Instagram marketing. Let's get to them:
MISTAKE #1: POSTING LOW-QUALITY CONTENT
You’ve probably heard this saying: “Content is king.” Well, it’s true. People are always drawn to valuable content. Even if there is stiff competition within your niche, the best way to get an edge over them is by providing super high-quality content to your followers.
You'll find that as you dish out great content that truly helps people, you’ll get more and more followers. Why? Because great content attracts people; good content offers value and it has always trumped every content gimmick.
You can offer value in so many ways, including:
Writing amazingly good content that provides helpful tips to your target audience
Posting creatively useful videos and photos
Offering a service that is super helpful to people
You can start right now by taking another look at your content and see how you can provide value or improve the value you’re already giving.
Be sure to avoid Instagram content mistakes like:
Posting content that is not relevant to your target audience. For instance, if you’re a furniture specialist, you have no business posting freshly baked cupcakes no matter how appetizing they may appear. People are interested in seeing good furniture photos and videos, and perhaps great indoor decor styles
Posting overlit or blurred photos. Use the right tools to get a high-quality image
Posting too much personal content; your followers don’t really care about seeing what you had for breakfast or your cute dog or your vacation trip. While these are not bad, they’re unacceptable for a business account. People want to see the content they started following you for
Posting content that is too promotional. This turns some people off, and you may end up losing followers before you know it
Here are some useful Instagram content tips you can adopt:
Carefully consider the background of your photos
Consider having a theme for your photos
Sometimes mix up the perspective; you could zoom or use portrait
Experiment with natural lighting; it is flattering for some photos.
Preferably, use your phone camera or digital camera to take your shots, not Insta camera.
Edit before posting. Using Instagram to shoot isn't always easy to edit.
MISTAKE #2: UNATTRACTIVE BIO
An Instagram bio is the small area underneath your username which allows you to share some details about yourself or your brand. It usually includes a brief self or brand description, hashtags, contact information, and more. Your bio is the first thing a visitor sees when they view your IG account and it sets the tone for the rest of your Instagram presence. Why not make a good first impression off of it?
Start with your profile picture. Be it a logo or head photo, your profile picture should be totally awesome. Using a blurry image or low-quality photo only makes you look like an amateur. Go for something professional and clean. Take a second to ask yourself if that photo is captivating enough to likely make users stop for a moment and engage with the content. If you can’t honestly answer yes, then don’t use it.
Another thing to look at is your profile description. Instagram bio allows you to enter up to 150 characters to introduce yourself and show new visitors why they should follow and engage with your brand.
To make the most of it, your bio should say exactly what you are about, in consonance with your profile picture. Also, try to incorporate some copywriting elements into your description to convert potential clients or customers. After all, you're on Instagram to grow your business, right?
For example, when you include a “#” or “@” in your bio, it automatically becomes a clickable link that will lead visitors to either a hashtag or another profile. You can use this on your personal IG bio to promote your Instagram business profile or share your brand/product name by mentioning your company's Instagram username. You should also include a link to your site, especially your landing page to send visitors to it.
MISTAKE #3: HASHTAG MISUSE
Undoubtedly, using hashtags helps to increase engagement, allows more people to discover your content, and boosts followership.
But that is only when it is used rightly.
Instagram allows users to use a maximum of thirty hashtags for each post. Should you use all thirty hashtags? Well, only if necessary. Some people make it a habit of using more hashtags than necessary. Just because Instagram allows for thirty hashtags doesn't mean you should use them all in every single post.
Recently, Instagram started penalizing users who do this by “shadowbanning” them. Shadowbanning is an instant whereby Instagram blocks a user's content in such a way that the user doesn't know it's happening. Your content won't appear in the hashtag search results or on anyone's feed unless they already follow you. From Instagram's perspective, shadowbanning makes sense given that some users misuse hashtags in an attempt to game the engine to display their posts on multiple hashtag results pages.
Don't abuse hashtags. Also, be careful not to recycle the same hashtags over and over again; this, too, can get you shadowbanned when Instagram picks it up as spam.
Getting shadowbanned can directly impact the ability for non-followers to discover your profile and content, resulting in lower engagement. Instagram may also ban you from using certain hashtags if they find that you're abusing the system. And mind you, this is not something you can easily recover from.
MISTAKE #4: WRONGLY FOLLOWING/UNFOLLOWING ACCOUNTS
Basically, this is when you follow a number of accounts so that they can follow you back, only for you to unfollow them again. Unethical practice! This is a terrible way to get people to follow you because they are not necessarily following you for your content and may not engage. Besides, Instagram penalizes accounts for doing this from reaching new people.
To get your ideal audience, you can run a contest, plan campaigns, have accounts that have similar names across the different channels to promote visibility and encourage engagement with your community. And when you must follow a brand, let it be a few creative brands that can inspire you, but don’t follow too many too fast.
MISTAKE #5: NO ENGAGEMENT WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
Instagram without engagement is another dead-end marketing strategy. Engagement enables you to connect more intimately with your followers, build relationships, and eventually get them to take action, like buying from you. You should utilize every opportunity to engage your audience.
The major ways to build engagement on Instagram include:
Regularly sharing sure-to-attract content (photos, videos, infographics, etc.)
Encouraging people to like and share
Encouraging people to comment
Responding to comments
Running giveaways and freebie campaigns, etc.
Now, on building engagement with your content, statistics reveal that videos draw more attention and build better engagement. Why? Because, compared to photos, videos combine visual, sound, and motion to gain more traction. Since people are drawn to a visually interesting post, they tend to connect more with videos.
So take advantage of it and spice up your content with a healthy mix of videos. Reduce the use of text grams to the barest minimum and do more videos. When uploading content, decide on whether to make it portrait or landscape. Studies have shown that portrait videos or photos see a little more engagement than landscape.
Why? Because a landscape video or photo won't take much of your screen and it's easy to scroll away unlike the portrait videos that engage a lot of space on the screen. Since there’s a lot to look at, people will be more drawn to it and there’s a good chance they won't scroll away that quickly.
In general, Instagram supports photos and videos that have a width between 320px and 1080px. Which means, if your photo or video is smaller than 320px, IG will enlarge it to a width of 320px, and if it’s wider than 1080px, Instagram will size it down to a width of 1080px.
MISTAKE #6: PLAGIARISM
How would you feel when someone plagiarizes your carefully thought-out work and passes it off as their own?
Don’t be that user who leaves that feeling on people. Be responsible enough to credit someone's content to them when you share it.
The thing is that plagiarism makes your brand appear inferior and unoriginal. And it often seems like you don't have any meaningful thing to say unless you copy other brands. Be original. Be you. And you’ll definitely find people who genuinely love your brand and follow you for who you are.
MISTAKE #7: INCONSISTENCY WITH YOUR POST
Some users only post once in a while and that won’t just cut it. It is okay to do that if you're on Instagram for fun but when your aim is to grow your business through Instagram, you need to up your game.
Having a posting schedule is a priority. Figure out when most of your target audience is active and post by then. And try to be as consistent with your schedule as possible.
Truth is, Instagram likes it when users are active. If you post on a regular basis Instagram algorithm is going to favor your content.
Be consistent, also, with your visual style. Develop a level of consistency that makes your brand easy to identify and communicate with users. Create a blend of appealing colors that represent the ideals of your brand and be consistent with that theme.
MISTAKE #8: BEING TOO SALES WAY TOO EARLY
If you're new on Instagram your priority should be to grow your community, first. Do not start with trying to market products or services.
Believe it or not, people always know when you're trying to sell them your product versus trying to help them. And whenever you appear promotional or too eager to sell your products and services, people tend to withdraw.
Except you want to remain small on IG or even despised by users, then don’t be overwhelmingly salty. And that goes for any marketing campaign, whether email marketing, YouTube videos, or blogging.
Build a community first. And when you have your community and want to sell, don’t be too pushy. Open a conversation with them, try to ask questions and get their feedback. Avoid using boring company voice and quoting statistics. The trick is to focus on their lives and let them see the benefits your brand has to offer. Connecting with them and building trust this way makes it easier for them to be open to what your brand is all about.
MISTAKE #9: KEEPING PRIVATE ACCOUNTS
If you are marketing on Instagram, setting your account to “private” is a mistake you should never make. On Instagram particularly, people want to see your feed before they decide to follow, to make sure it is content they actually want to see on their news feed. If people can't see what you have on your account, they can't trust your brand and they may not want to follow you. Which means you'll be limiting your reach and losing potential followers by “privatizing” your account. To ensure that your account is not in private mode, go to your settings and toggle the button beside “Private account” to make your account public.
MISTAKE #10: PAYING FOR FAKE FOLLOWERS
Automating your followership on Instagram is not cool. Your number of followers would only be valuable when they've been earned organically. Although the appearance of more engagement may get some real users to follow you, that could be easily sabotaged when one sees no engagement and fake comments on your account.
The impression you would want to leave on people is not that of a shady dealer, is it? If you can't trust your brand to attract real people, how can your potential followers trust you? The best way to grow your account is organically (paid promotions are a good idea too) but by all means, let them be real people. Fake followers and likes do not an equal genuine business, besides it’s reflecting poorly on your brand. Take your eyes off the vanity metrics and build a strong community.
You can grow and gain genuine followers by doing things like hosting a giveaway or contest (occasionally), using specific hashtags on your posts, creating fresh content people would like to share and encouraging more engagement within your community.
Now that you know about these common Instagram marketing screwups, it's time to get to work and correct them as soon as possible. Look at these miscues and if you're committing any one of them, go fix things up right away.
You can also find Instagram Video Downloader tool here to downloads videos from Instagram for marketing purposes.