Brand awareness and loyalty

Building brand awareness on Instagram: An easy guide

  • 14 Minutes
How to build brand awareness on Instagram As a business, you want to make sure every marketing channel you’re investing in is delivering tangible results. While Instagram might seem an unlikely choice, this social media platform offers powerful opportunities to help your

How to build brand awareness on Instagram

As a business, you want to make sure every marketing channel you’re investing in is delivering tangible results. While Instagram might seem an unlikely choice, this social media platform offers powerful opportunities to help your business build brand awareness.

In the past year, Instagram has hit a major usage milestone. Now, the platform boasts over 1 billion active monthly users. In fact, Instagram is the second most popular social platform.

And here’s where the value really comes in: 85% of businesses use social media platforms (such as Instagram) for brand awareness. Plus, Instagram users visit more than 200 million business accounts each day, meaning businesses have huge scope to make a lasting impression on new customers.

Ready to harness Instagram to build an engaged community of potential customers? Let’s walk you through why Instagram is a good platform for raising brand awareness and eight practical tips to boost your brand awareness on Instagram.

Why is Instagram the perfect platform to increase brand awareness?

The aim of brand awareness is simple: to get your ideal customers acquainted with your brand.

It’s a social media marketing objective that sits right at the top of the buyer journey and is all about capturing the widest pool of potential buyers possible.

This emphasis on reach and visibility is what makes social media platforms (like Instagram) the perfect platform to boost brand awareness.

And here’s why you need to prioritise Instagram to increase your businesses’ brand awareness:

  • Instagram allows your business to reach new audiences with ease: Instagram allows businesses (like yours) to get your brand in front of new, high-intent audiences. That’s because platform features such as hashtags, location tags, Reels and the ‘Discover’ feed are designed to help users discover new brands and products they might be interested in.
  • Instagram is a visual-first platform: building brand awareness is all about getting customers familiar with your brand, and what better way to do that than on a social platform that prioritises rich, engaging branded visual content?
  • Instagram gives you access to engaged, active users: did you know that consumers spend (on average) 53 minutes on Instagram per day? As the second most popular social network, Instagram is the place to play if you want to boost the reach and visibility of your business with a highly engaged audience.

One of the biggest drawcards of Instagram for brands is this: businesses can drive strong results without spending a cent on social advertising. With a smart organic social media strategy, you can drive reach, foster engagement and even inspire conversion in a cost-effective way.

Not sure where to start? Let’s walk you through eight expert tips to increase your brand awareness on Instagram.

Eight tips to boost your brand awareness on Instagram

Ready to maximise your brand’s reach and visibility on Instagram? Here are eight practical ways to boost your brand awareness on the platform.

1. Craft a consistent brand personality and visual identity

It’ll come as no surprise that our first tip is this: prioritise your brand’s visual identity on Instagram.

With over a billion users on the platform each month, a striking and memorable visual identity is what will help your brand stand out and win the trust of potential customers.

With a consistent look and feel to your Instagram content, users will begin to recognise your business on and off Instagram. The more familiar consumers are with your brand, the more likely they are to remember you when it comes time to make a purchase.

Plus, a compelling visual identity does the heavy lifting for you to communicate your businesses’ values and personality. These colours, fonts and graphic elements cna help you solidify who you are and what you stand for as a brand, which is both essential when it comes to boosting brand awareness.

So, what does a strong visual identity look like on Instagram? Here are the key areas you need to focus on:

  • Your logo: this needs to be prominently displayed on your Instagram profile, and should be used as your profile image for the best brand-building results.
  • Your brand colours: give your Instagram content a branded look and feel by using the same brand colours (up to four colours) on every post (from Reels to Instagram Stories).
  • Your brand fonts: these brand fonts (usually one or two memorable typefaces) should be used throughout your Instagram graphics to help your content stand out from the pack.
  • Your graphic templates: using a range of branded graphic templates for your feed posts (as well as Instagram Stories) can help to give your content a memorable visual identity. Plus, templates will speed up the time it takes to create content for Instagram, too.

With a strong, branded visual identity on Instagram, your business will build value awareness and trust with users to keep your brand top-of-mind with potential customers.

2. Optimise your Instagram Business profile for social SEO

Did you know that Instagram offers valuable search engine optimisation possibilities for businesses?

While Instagram’s search engine operates slightly differently from other search engines (like Google), there are still handy ways to boost the visibility of your brand with simple SEO hacks.

The most important place to focus your attention is your Instagram business profile. Here, you can inject strategic keywords to help more users discover and follow your brand on Instagram.

Let’s run you through which sections of your Instagram profile you need to inject your SEO keywords into:

  • Your username: this is how users will search for your Instagram account on Instagram and is known as your ‘@handle’. This username should clearly identify your business name, be easy to spell and not include tricky numbers or symbols that users might forget.
  • Your account name: this is the name that appears in your Instagram bio. Here, you can strategically inject relevant keywords that are SEO-friendly and searchable (think of keywords related to the products you create, the services you offer or your industry).
  • Your Instagram bio: in 150 characters, you have the chance to capture new users and build valuable brand awareness. Your Instagram bio should include:
    • A one-liner that explains your business and what you do (including an SEO keyword).
    • Your key products or services, spelt out using hashtags or SEO keywords.
    • Your category or industry that best relates to your business (such as Shopping & Retail, Business Service, Restaurant etc).

With these simple steps, you can easily increase the chances of new, relevant users finding and following your brand on Instagram.

3. Craft a content strategy that speaks to your ideal customers

Brand awareness is more than just increasing your follower count on Instagram. In fact, the best thing you can do as a business is to prioritise a content marketing strategy that is focused on reaching and attracting your ideal customers.

By focusing on getting in front of your target audience, you’ll be able to see tangible ROI from your efforts and build brand awareness through high-value users who are likely to convert and shop from your brand.

Because here’s the thing: only a fraction of Instagram’s user base will be interested in your business and the products and services you offer.

So, that’s why you need to map out your ideal audience personas and use this to ground your content strategy on Instagram. Figure out what are your key demographics’ needs, goals, and challenges and craft a strategy that allows you to serve them relevant, valuable content aligned to your brand voice.

To get you started, here are a few practical tactics to attract your ideal customers on Instagram:

  • Tap into content pillars: every type of content you share on Instagram should be crafted to meet a brand or business objective. With content pillars, you can group your posts under themes or topics that are relevant to your audience and valuable to your business, such as:
    • Content that educates and informs
    • Content that inspires and entertains
    • Content that engages and converts
  • Focus on value-first content: when building brand awareness, you don’t want to focus on the hard sell. Instead, it’s important to design a content strategy that solves your audience’s problems, educates them and inspires them to trust and remember your brand.
  • Design share-worthy content: the best way to build a loyal and engaged audience on Instagram is to inspire social sharing. So, inject a strategic call-to-action at the end of every caption that calls on your followers to share your posts with their own friends to boost your reach with high-value new audiences.

All it takes is a bit of strategic thinking to ensure every Instagram post you share is tailored to reach and attract your ideal customers.

4. Proactively engage with your audience

Instagram is a platform built on being social. So, along with sharing high-quality content, your business needs to prioritise fostering an engaging community of followers.

That’s where proactive community management comes in. Ultimately, you need to have a plan for how you’re going to respond to comments and DMs as well as encouraging conversations with new users who aren’t already following your brand.

Here are few proactive ways you can foster an engaged community on Instagram:

  • Assign a team member to your social media management: having a dedicated community manager in your team is what will ensure you’re dedicating time every day to respond to comments, engage with user-generated content and foster new connections with potential customers on Instagram.
  • Look outside your existing network: scout out the users that are following and engaging with your competitors, and take the time to comment on their latest posts, react to their latest Instagram Story or even ask them a question via DMs.
  • Harness platform features to start conversations: using Instagram STories stickers (such as questions and Polls) will foster two-way communication with your audience and build powerful brand awareness with your current followers.

Being proactive (not reactive) is what will help your brand solidify your relationship with your current followers and expand your reach to new, high-value Instagram users.

5. Strategically use hashtags

Did you know that posts with at least one hashtag generate about 12.6% more engagement than posts with no hashtags?

And it’s not just your engagement rate that stands to benefit from Instagram hashtags. A more engaged follower base is more likely to share your content with their friends and followers, helping to boost your visibility and brand awareness in the Instagram algorithm, too.

That’s why it pays off to conduct hashtag research to help boost your reach on Instagram. With a bespoke list of hashtags up your sleeve, you’ll be able to add up to 30 hashtags per post to help boost the visibility and searchability of your Instagram content.

With the right hashtags peppered throughout your Instagram captions, you’ll be able to get your brand in front of users who are interested in your products and services (and likely to convert).

6. Team up with Instagram influencers

Influencer marketing is a powerful way to boost your businesses’ reach on Instagram. In fact, 61% of consumers have at some point been swayed in their decision-making by digital influencers.

And Instagram is the best platform for bringing your influencer strategy to life, with Instagram the second most popular social media platform for influencer marketing.

What makes influencer marketing such a great brand awareness tactic is its ability to align your brand with a new pool of relevant users. When done right, you can get your products and services in front of hundreds if not thousands of new, high-intent users via a trusted influencer.

So, what should you keep in mind when crafting your influencer marketing strategy?

  • Select the right talent: selecting an influencer who has an audience similar to your ideal customers is the best approach. So make sure to do your research and find talent that has an engaged community that aligns with your target audience.
  • Be clear on your messaging: make sure you provide clear guidelines to influencers about what key ideas and messages you need them to communicate (including branded hashtags, product names and brand taglines).
  • Set up content approval processes: the best way to safeguard your brand’s reputation during an influencer partnership is to review all posts before they go live. This allows you to have the final say over every image and caption that goes out and ensures you catch any errors before the influencer hits publish, too.

With the right partnership, influencer marketing can help your brand get in front of stacks of new users on Instagram to build awareness and boost trust with potential customers.

7. Inspire and encourage user-generated content (UGC)

The stats speak for themselves: 79% of consumers say user-generated content highly impacts their purchasing decisions.

And even before they’re ready to convert, UGC can play a powerful role in your businesses’ brand awareness strategy.

In a nutshell, UGC is any piece of content that your customer creates on your behalf about your brand. It can include reviews, social posts, video testimonials and more.

By letting your customers speak for your brand in their own words, you’re able to effectively build trust with new audiences and position your businesses as authentic and genuine.

So, how can you inspire and encourage UGC from your customers?

  • Run a competition: one of the most effective ways to encourage your customers to create UGC is to give them the chance to win a prize through a competition. Try running a monthly competition for UGC on your Instagram feed, using a branded hashtag to collate entries. With these pieces of UGC on hand, you now have a bank of valuable content you can easily repurpose on your Instagram feed, too.
  • Offer incentives: similar to our last tip, giving your customers a reason to craft UGC is a great tactic to boost participation. It can be as simple as a discount code or even a chance to be featured on your Instagram feed.
  • Host UGC challenges: if all else fails, another smart UGC tactic is to set regular challenges for your customers. Make the guidelines clear and easy to follow and use a branded hashtag to track every piece of content your challenge generates, too.

Looking for ways to nail your UGC strategy? Check out Sked’s ultimate guide to UGC marketing tips.

8. Run a growth marketing campaign on Instagram

Boosting your Instagram follower count is a smart way to increase your brand awareness on social media. And the good news is that you don’t have to dip into your digital marketing budget or invest in Instagram ads to make it happen, either.

With a few strategic organic Instagram marketing tactics, you can increase your follower base on Instagram with ease, including:

  • Run a competition: this is a proven strategy to grow your Instagram following organically. Simply offer up a prize to incentivise entrants and make sure a condition of entry is to follow your brand on Instagram.
  • Host a giveaway: pull together a prize pack that will capture your ideal customers and give them the opportunity to win by following your brand (and tagging their friends in the comments on your post to expand the reach of your account).

With a larger follower base, you’re more likely to generate stronger brand awareness with the exact users who are likely to transform into your customers.

So there you have it! When it comes to building brand awareness on social media, Instagram offers stacks of powerful opportunities to help your small business stand out and reach valuable new customers. With the right content strategy and influencer marketing tactics in place, you can easily boost your follower base, attract high-value users to your profile and build trust with your ideal target market on Instagram.

Photo of Kyra GoodmanKyra Goodman

Kyra is a Junior Marketing Manager and "Spicy Meme Master" at Sked Social who loves to create content. Born and raised in Hawaii, her favorite things are traveling, yoga, beaching, coffee and baseball. Connect with her on twitter at @kyra_n_goodman.

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