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INSTAGRAM FOR BLOGGING BUSINESS OWNERS: HOW TO INCREASE ENGAGEMENT AND PROMOTE YOUR BLOG

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In 2021, Instagram is a must for all content creators and bloggers. With features that allow you to make engaging content and build a bigger and more engaged audience. This article shows you how to make the most out of Instagram to promote content and gain a loyal following.      

Instagram for blogging business owner

When I started blogging, content marketing and promoting was not my main concern. My focus was on creating quality blog content, relevant topics, and engagement through my WordPress website. I stumbled on social media in efforts to increase my sphere of influence. 

While thinking about the best social media platform to use, Instagram kept coming up as one of the best platforms for content promotion. 

Since starting my blog, Instagram has provided engagement and a platform to connect with content creators.

Before we get started, make sure to sign up for my newsletter and get tons of tips and tricks to boost your blogging business.

Bloggers and businesses: Why concern yourself with Instagram?

Instagram boasts of more than one billion accounts worldwide. 86% of top brands have an Instagram account, and 37% of adults actively use the platform, with 90% of people following at least one business account. 

Instagram actively supports physical product sales on the platform since 84% want to discover products on Instagram. Generally, social marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing there is. The magic combination of good content and a well-planned social media strategy often leads to excellent results.

In the platform, marketing is great for brand awareness and physical product purchases. In addition to in-app features, Instagram can easily promote your content cross-platform on your WordPress website and more. 

RELATED POST: MARKET YOUR CONTENT WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

If you are a blogger, who has been struggling with the idea of taking your blog to other social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter then this post is for you. 

The purpose of this article is to help you understand why it’s important for any business owner or blogger to use cross-platform benefits in order to grow your following and promote their brand. 

WordPress plug-in 

The SmashBox plug-in displays your Instagram feed on your website. Mine, for example, is placed at the bottom of my website. 

Instagram in-feed display on Blogging Business Owner.com with SmashBox

Tip: The SmashBox plug-in is great for all bloggers, especially for bloggers specializing in food and fashion. 

Instagram Shopping

One of the significant influences for product sales is Instagram Shopping. “Instagram shopping is a set of features across Instagram that let people show your photos and videos no matter where they are in the app” (Instagram, 2021). Due to its popularity and visual appeal, 70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram to fill their carts. Visual content can be effective at converting casual followers into customers. Capitalize on this by promoting your products on Instagram Shopping.

Shops. Promoting your physical products on your shop is easy with a customizable business profile pages. 

Instagram storefront shop

Product Tags. Products are marketed through product tags. There are a variety of ways to promote product tags. 

Product tag on Instagram

Here are a few:

  • Stories
  • In-feed
  • Post captions
  • Bios with Product Mentions

Instagram shop. The in-app store within Instagram makes it easy to find new products, with pricing and shipping options, and a checkout method. The product detail page details: item information, a gallery of products, descriptions, and access to content on the platform where the product has been tagged. 

Ads. Ads are easily connected with product tags to increase shoppable posts and drive traffic to the shop. 

Reminders. Instagram supports shop owners and consumers by providing interactive announcements such as “coming soon.”

Three types of reminders from Instagram

Live shopping. Selling products during a live has never been easier. An “add to bag” interactive button appears at the bottom of the live (below the comments) for viewers to buy the product on the shop using Facebook pay easily. 

How do I promote my blog on Instagram?

Promoting your blog on Instagram is an effective strategy to grow your business (especially if you are a product seller). 

What should I post on Instagram to promote my business?

There are multiple ways to promote your blog on Instagram. Each piece of content starts with a click-worthy teaser. Share content regarding:

  • Behind the scenes
  • Checklists
  • Product pics
  • Testimonials
  • And more

Use the stories feature to promote your latest blogging business content. 

How To Write Instagram Captions

A caption tells more about the post and creates trust with your readers. When scrolling through your Instagram feed, you’ll notice a short snippet of the caption that shows below the content. This is the headline! Successful captions contain three main sections: the headline, content, and call to action. 

Three sections to each successful caption: headline, content, and call-to-action.

Headline. The headline is the first 1 to 2 lines of text previewed in the feed and at the top of your caption. Headlines that convert are to the point and specific. These sound like, “if you are a teacher to be…” Hooks encourage readers to click on the post to learn more. 

Content. The content shares the information you want your reader to know. After the hook, state “why” they need to keep reading. For example, “I’ve officially written 100 blog posts.” Followed by sharing tips, inspiration, or entertainment. It may sound like this. 

I learned___________ in 3-easy steps.

Connect your content back to your readership. 

That is why….

What this means to you….

Call-to-Action. The reader is now invested in your content and ready to take action. Add a closing that tells the reader what to do next. 

Now that you know, click the link in my bio for a free checklist

Share this post if…

Optimize your bio link

A link website is a website that lists your links. Since Instagram only allows for one link to be placed in your bio, this is a valuable part of your social media profile. Using a link that communicates other links is commonly used to promote variation of your business. List links promote other social media, blogs, websites, freebies, and SMS memberships. 

Linktree is an example of a linked website, and it lists additional links in a list form.

Linktree user interface

Smart.bio is available to Tailwind users. Tailwind offers a visual interface that connects to in-feed posts. You can customize the button below each image and the link that each in-feed image is connected to. 

Smart.bio user interface display

Linkin.bio is available by Later. Later is a scheduling app that offers an entirely visual interface that connects in-feed posts with individual links. The paid version provides multiple links to be tied to each in-feed post. Linkin.bio can be connected to Shopify and Google analytics. 

Linkin.bio administrator view

There are multiple ways to promote your business on Instagram and across platforms. Lean into the many features to enrich your business strategy. 

How can a business increase its engagement on Instagram?

Creators can grow their business on Instagram by using the features of Instagram. Instagram’s features include:

Stories. Short-form content with a maximum roll of 15 seconds appears at the top of the feed and disappears 24 hours. Instagram in-feed posts are 1080 x 1920 in size.
Caption: Phone display of Instagram stories located at the top
URL: Instagram 

Phone display of Instagram stories located at the top

Feed. In-feed posts can be one static image, video, or carousel. A carousel is a collection of up to 10 images and videos in one post.

Carousels are characterized by their left and right arrows due to multiple images and/or videos in one post.

Reels. Creative 30 seconds multi-clip videos with audio and effects. Reels have their feed and can be shared with your main feed. Reels are 1080 x 1920 in size.

A picture of a Reel, characterized by its height.

IGTV. IGTV is long-form content able to hold up to 1 hour of content. IGTVs can be shared with others, just like feed content and reels. IGTVs have their dedicated page (just like Reels) and can be referred to in your stories. IGTV’s are 1080 x 1920 in size.

IGTV’s characterized by their long watch time.

Lives. This is a live video where you can connect with your audience directly. Audience members can comment and like.

Instagram live is characterized by the “live” button at the top and comments on the left side.

Highlights and Guides. Highlights are helpful places that are featured just below your profile picture. They help to direct your target audience to gain more information and value from stories that are now saved by topics just above your feed.

Highlights in Instagram

Using the right mix of content is essential for your marketing strategy. Businesses can increase their engagement by using all of the features that Instagram offers. 

How Focusing On Community Grows your Reach

Sharing, commenting, liking, and direct messaging (DM) increases your reach on Instagram. Provide precious content that people want to save and share with others. 

Foundr’s formula for engagement on Instagram

My 2021 Instagram Strategy

I have been on Instagram for just over a month and have grown to 46 followers  and have a reach of +3,000%

Instagram analytics view of Blogging Business Owner

Reels 

Reels is the newest addition to the Instagram community. Reels was released in August of 2020 and continue to be a feature that Instagram supports. Reels are a great way to find and creators and market your content! The short-form content supports creativity and engagement. 

I currently post two reels per day. 

You have the option to share Reels in your feed! This feature makes it easy for people who are exploring your primary feed to transfer to your Reel feed. 

Stories 

70% of Instagram users watch stories every day! Stories can link to your IGTV and your in-platform shop. I post stories twice a day, every day. 

My best performing stories include interactive slides that engage the audience and then share a solution. I start with a “yes” or “no” answer, then ask a question with a slide, and proceed with a multi-slide video explaining a solution. 

Feed 

Feed content lives on your main feed and is the content featured on your blog with the SmashBox plug-in. Captions are up to 2200 words that can leverage much fuller experience.

I share three posts per day.

IGTV

IGTV is long-form content that lives on its feed. Use stories to link to your IGTV and promote your long-form content on your main feed. 

I share an IGTV video once per week. 

Highlights and Guides

I save stories to my highlights at random times. Not all stories are saved on highlights. I use the highlight feature to give additional value to topics that promote my blogging business niche. I do not use guides since I am not a physical business. 

Hashtags

Hashtags are a pound signal followed by a word or simple phrase that others can search to find related content. Reels and feed content allow hashtags. 

Hashtags increase your reach by adding your content to lists of results. To search by hashtag, use the magnifying glass at the top of your screen if on desktop and at the top and bottom of your screen if on mobile. 

Search bars for hashtags

Using hashtags is one of the best ways to connect with potential customers. Hashtags with more than one thousand posts have more reach. That is why using the right hashtag is essential. 

You can choose hashtags by finding creators with similar content to yours and adopting their hashtags. There are also hashtag generators that you can use. 

Later.com provides an easy interface to choose and save hashtags. Later has a free and paid version. 

Tailwind has a free and paid version that provides users with hashtags. Hashtags are color-coded by relevancy. 

Reflections

Leverage the multiple features that Instagram offers at all stages of your business. Read the community guidelines for information on restrictions and limitations. Be aware of non-partnered software which can disable your account if found in breach. 

Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

The following are tips and frequently asked questions. 

Why is my Instagram (IG) reach so low?

It can be challenging to grow your IG account the first time successfully. Most of the challenges revolve around the continuous changes to the Instagram algorithm. 
Here are some tips to increase your reach and grow a larger audience. Use reels to increase your reach and be discovered by more people. 

Tips on Reels:
*Use features that are native to the platform
*Use music
*Use multiple clips
*Have text on the screen if informing your audience
*Be creative
*Post 4-7 Reels per week. 
*Use hashtags to promote your Reel.
*Share your Reel to your main feed

How do I grow my Instagram in 2021?

User-generated content is the theme of 2021. Growing your Instagram in 2021 is all about aligning with the Instagram algorithm, which means publishing Reels. Therefore, prioritizing Reels for your Instagram growth is critical. 
Here is my priority list of Instagram features modeled after the 2020 unofficial recommendations. 

1. Reels. Share 4-7 Reels per week. 
2. IGTV. Share 1-3 IGTVs each week. 
3. Feed. Share three images/carousels/videos per week. The feed is classic content, and they are easy to view, have an organic reach, and can be easily shared. 
4. Stories and going live. Share two stories per day (and go live if it resonates with your brand). Stories and lives are great for continuing to nurture your community. However, they do not increase your reach as much as Reels.
5. Guides and Highlights. There is no recommended posting for guides and highlights. They help audience members understand your niche and watch earlier stories that have been previously saved. However, they do not increase your reach.

Is it worth promoting on Instagram?

Instagram is excellent for brand awareness and the promotion of physical products. There are more than one billion Instagram accounts, so yes, it is definitely worth promoting on Instagram. Having a presence on Instagram increases your opportunity to engage and nurture your current audience. 
For blogging business owners who have a service business or sell online products, Instagram may not make much sense (I fall into this category). I choose to engage with Instagram because it’s a creative outlet. I meet influencers and creative professionals that inspire me. Soon, I plan to sell physical products, and by the time I am ready to launch physical products, I will have an established community on Instagram.

Tips

Username

Choose a username that mirrors your blogging business name. The same name across multiple platforms is the best-case scenario. 

Easy to spell and names that do not include symbols and numbers are more accessible for people to remember and search.

Niche

Align your Instagram profile with your blogging business. Publish content that directly relates to your niche. If your brand includes your personal life, feel free to have it. Some bloggers limit personal life content to their stories. However, if your business does not involve your personal life, keep them separate.

Instagram Bio

Maximize brand awareness through your Instagram bio. Your bio is located below your profile picture and communicates your brand to your audience. Include a description of your blogging business and add a link. 

Ideas for links:

  • Website
  • Freebies
  • Link list

Posting Schedule

Instagrams unofficial recommendation for your posting schedule is as follows:

  • Feed 3x’s per week
  • Stories 2x’s per day
  • IGTV 1-3x’s per week
  • Reels 4-7x’s per week

Above all, the algorithm thrives on consistency. Whatever your schedule is, the key is to be consistent. 

Does it sound like a lot of work? Don’t worry. It isn’t, mainly if you use a social media marketing tool to schedule your posts. Scheduling takes a lot of the mental stress out of posting consistently. To plan effectively, create a social media calendar ahead of time and base your calendar around popular events such as holidays and when your content is most active.

Follow Other Bloggers and Engage With Their Content

Engaging with others on Instagram will boost your engagement but most importantly, connecting with others online supports engagement and promotes a healthy online presence. 

Here is a list on engagement:

  • Connect with content creators by commenting, sharing, saving, and liking their content. 
  • Find creators by searching hashtags.
  • Connect with your followers
  • Engage with your likes list. 

Social media marketing through Instagram is kept alive and compelling by its users. Therefore, you have to contribute to the platform to keep it going. The most significant advice for new content creators on Instagram is to give more than you receive. 

Additional Resources 

5 Clever Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts on Instagram – Puzzling over how to grow your blog with Instagram? We have the fix! These five methods will help you promote your latest blog posts and drive traffic. (tailwindapp.com)

Shopping on Instagram. (2021). Retrieved 24 February 2021, from https://business.instagram.com/shopping 

Introducing Instagram Reels. (2021). Retrieved 24 February 2021, from https://about.instagram.com/blog/announcements/introducing-instagram-reels-announcement 

Discover IGTV. (2021). Retrieved 24 February 2021, from https://about.instagram.com/features/igtv 

Is There a Secret to Success on Instagram?. (2021). Retrieved 27 March 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/26/style/instagram-growth-hack.html 

Conclusion

Instagram is a great way to drive traffic to sales and your website. People on Instagram are incredibly creative and boast of supportive communities. Leverage the features of Instagram and use the platform frequently. 

TODO

Liked the article? Found it helpful to boost your Instagram? Share it on social media and let me know in the comments.

Instagram for blogging business owners: how to increase engagement and promote your blog.

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