Are SEO techniques applicable to Instagram brands?


Date: 1 September 2020

Man wearing sunglasses with a reflection of the Instagram logo

With over one billion monthly active users, Instagram has become a much-loved social media platform and undisputed marketing tool. What started out as a way to share personal photos and anecdotes has now transformed into a marketing powerhouse for brands. While no one could have predicted this phenomenal growth, it would now be foolish to overlook it. The failure to capitalise on this opportunity would simply mean conceding to competitors. 

It's no secret that the fashion industry is fiercely competitive. Apart from the obvious need to create original designs, much depends on a brand's ability to create a presence on social media platforms. But why is that?  Recently, there has been an influx of 'Instagram brands'. Certain brands made the smart decision to leverage the influence of Instagram and proceeded to win customers' hearts.

A high ranking on Google is something every business is chasing. The more visible you are to potential customers, the more likely you are to convert them. Is a similar approach applicable to Instagram brands? Absolutely. There are some well-known SEO techniques you can use to grow your business on Instagram. Take a look.

Optimise your Instagram profile

Just like it's essential to optimise your website to ensure it's working hard to convert potential customers; you need to apply the same ideology to optimise your Instagram profile.

To start, you should pick a username that is unique yet easy to recognise. Another effective tactic is including the primary keyword in your username as well as the display name. For example, global brand Fashion Nova has significantly increased its chances of being discovered by new customers by adding the word 'fashion' in the brand name.

Create valuable content

In the Instagram world, aesthetics is everything. If you think that you can somehow trick the algorithm into working in your favour, then you're going to be disappointed.

It's crucial to create unique content that connects with your target audience on a deeper level. Aiming to please everyone on the internet is futile. An Instagram feed that attracts Gen Z isn't going to make much sense for Boomers.

So, understand what kind of content your audience enjoys and work on curating a feed based on that. This doesn't mean you have to invest in high-profile photoshoots to capture stunning images for your Instagram account. Yes, sharing visually appealing images of your products or services is helpful. But that alone is not enough.

Take the example of fashion magazines and other print publications. They have been closing at an alarming rate. Recently several magazines like Elle Australia, InStyle and more were forced to close offices due to the pandemic. But why was the independent publication Paper Magazine able to survive? A lot can be credited to its Instagram account. Primarily based on meme-culture, the quirky and incredibly reliable captions have garnered a loyal following. People are looking for relatable content more than anything, making it an approach worth exploring.

Post regularly

Whether you're writing blog posts or creating social media content to support your business' digital presence, posting regularly is crucial. Instagram offers you a myriad of ways to interact with your followers. Posting photos isn't the only option. You can conduct polls on Instagram stories, create guides on a specific topic to help your audience or use Reels to share a fun video.

Utilise Instagram analytics tools

After posting content, it's vital you analyse whether your content is resonating with your audience. You can then invest more in the content that creates maximum engagement. Start by utilising Instagram Insights, which is Instagram's built-in analytical tool. That said, this tool isn't that useful for comparing performance over a long period of time. You should consider other analytical tools like Socialbakers, Union Metrics and Quintly for long-term analysis.

Don't take shortcuts

Taking shortcuts like buying followers or plagiarising content may get your account noticed in the short-run but getting shadowbanned is not worth the risk. Shadowbanning means that your content will be blocked from your followers. Your content won't appear on your audience's feed so you can say goodbye to engagement. Building a following on Instagram is a slow-burn process, but don't let that tempt you into adopting unethical measures.

The bottom line

The potential Instagram holds, especially for up and coming businesses, is evident from the success of brands like House of Sunny, Lirika Matoshi, Paris 99, I.AM.GIA, Realisation Par and many more. It's a tool that can lift your business from obscurity to gaining a devoted cult following.

It's worth seriously considering getting professional help to build your Instagram following if it's something you're interested in expanding and optimising further.  An experienced SEO agency can help you to make the most of your Instagram activity and maximise your SEO at the same time

Copyright 2020. Article was made possible by site supporter Suzanne Elly, blogger, content marketer and editor with in-depth experience in a diverse range of industries writing on business and marketing topics in Asia, North America and Europe.

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