How to Make the Most Out of Your Instagram Bio

No matter what your purpose for using Instagram, your instagram bio is an invaluable piece of real estate on your profile.

Whether you’re aiming for Instagram stardom or wish to boost your sales with Instagram ads, your bio area allows you to describe yourself in a manner that supports your objectives. It’s one of the few places you can place an active link. Where you direct your followers matters a great deal, based on your end goal.

Your biography is the first place people go to learn about you, so it’s important that you craft a summary that really tells who you are and what you have to offer.

Take a look at the suggestions below to discover just how to make the most out of your Instagram bio to attract and keep an engaged following.

1. Consider Your Handle Carefully

Instagram uses its search query to peruse both the name and the username you choose. Therefore, it’s important to name your account carefully.

If users wish to search for you, they’ll probably use your actual name or business name. Therefore, you should use that proper name when in the designated name area.

You can use a modification or shortened version of your name as your username if you think it will be more memorable to followers.

2. Be Strategic With Your Link

As noted, you can only add a clickable link in one area, and that’s your bio. Therefore, you want to make it count. Be sure the URL you choose points to a location that is most beneficial to your purpose and objectives. If you wish to make sales, choose your shop’s URL.

Want to direct people to a contest on your blog? Switch it up and add that specific address. You can change the link you use as often as you’d like, but there can only be one at a time. It doesn’t always have to go to your company’s homepage.

3. Include All Important Contact Information

While it seems obvious, it can be easy to forget to include all of your needed contact information in your bio.

Because Instagram is a digital platform, it might slip your mind to include a email address or phone number. You may also want to include your physical address and business hours, depending upon your needs.

An individual Instagram influencer may not need all of this information. If you want customers to be able to come to your brick and mortar location, it’s important.

4. Choose Your Words with Intention

It’s true that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s why the wording you choose in your Instagram profile really matters.

This is where you get to tell people what you’re all about, what makes you different and why they should care. You only get 150 characters to write all of this, so it’s imperative that you choose your words intentionally and efficiently.

Be sure to use your brand voice and prioritize the information you include. It’s good to be consistent across platforms, so perhaps you might want to consider picking up hints from bios you’ve written elsewhere.

Be sure to include information about what it is you or your company does. Write what you want to be known for or about your expertise.

Think about what makes you stand out from the competition and take the time to talk those points up. This is the time and place to brag a little bit.

5. Show Your Personality

Digital marketing doesn’t have to be all stuffy and serious, especially if your brand voice is the exact opposite. People want to know about you when they check out your bio. Give them what they want by injecting a bit of personality into what you write.

You’ll come across as more interesting and memorable when you do this. Just take time to ensure you’re being consistent with your branding.

Think of the overall vibe you wish to impart, along with your messaging. Use wording that reflects those things. Be as authentic, clever, witty, funny, sophisticated, intelligent or anything else as you want. What matters is consistency in the message you send.

6. Space Things Out

As with any written content, you don’t want you Instagram bio to be a wall of text or too squished together. This will visually bombard the reader and turn them off. Instead, be sure to include some white space or other techniques to break things up a bit.

You can add asterisks, emojis or other types of markers. Use bulleted lists to add contrast and make things easily scannable. Feel free to tweak the finished product until you get a look you like.

7. Use a Call to Action

Including a call to action is an important marketing element that is too often forgotten. You should do this in your content to increase engagement, but it’s also appropriate at the end of your bio in order to direct readers to what you’d like them to do next.

Remember, your marketing efforts should be intentional. Use a one liner to let visitors know what they should do next, such as visiting your blog or checking out your latest promotion. Be sure the link in your bio takes them to the right place.

These seven steps will help you to create a killer bio that converts into more followers. This small space can have big impact when you plan accordingly.

How to Use Authenticity to Win Over Instagram Followers

Gone are the days where you can expect followers to believe the filtered and staged photos on your Instagram profile are actually your real life. Brands have quickly learned there is no need to send influencers on lavish vacations just to get the best possible product shots.

Authenticity in social media is critical to everyone – they want to know the real you, not some version you create for yourself. But, authenticity is not something that comes naturally to everyone – especially brands.

Here are six key ways to foster an authentic social media presence that’s true to your brand.

1. Honesty and Transparency are the Best Policies

There is fake stuff online wherever you look – from news to photoshopped images, and stories that just seem to be too good to be true. People can see this trash pretty quickly, despite what a quick look at your feed may show – people are actually smarter now than before.

As brands, it’s important to stay as far away for false and dishonest content as possible, but you also need to take it a step further. Get as honest and real as your product or service (or your lifestyle if you’re an influencer) whenever you can. Humanize your brand with a behind the scenes look.

If you sell products, share stories about how you make it. Make sure people know where the materials come from, how you manufacture the products, or how you design the products you want them to buy.

If you’re a service, share the work you put into creating the customer experience. Look for ways to enhance your customer experience compared to the experience someone would get from your competition, and use social media to show it.

If you’re an influencer, share an unedited photo from your phone every once in a while.

2. Own Your Mistakes

As humans, we all make mistakes. From typos to replies that aren’t as well articulated as they should be, or posts that don’t go over with the audience well, social media blunders will happen.

These mistakes can tarnish your brand reputation, and while you may be able to recover in the long run, you won’t be able to do it without owning the mistake and making a sincere apology for it.

Look at Digiorno pizza and how they handled their social media blunder by jumping into the #WhyIStayed hashtag without doing their research.

3. Skip the Clickbait

Clickbait headlines used to work, but now people know better. What happens next may shock you! People ignore them, and even worse, may opt to unfollow you altogether if you rely on this tactic too much.

Instead, focus on creating quality content that will get engagement from your audience. Though there’s no sure fire formula to guarantee success with each piece of content, the better you know your audience and pay attention to your analytics when you create content, the higher your engagement should be.

Always make a plan for your content so you’re ready with quality posts you want to have attributed to your brand for the rest of its life.

4. Think Like a Consumer

Of course you’re on social media to increase brand awareness, generate traffic and leads, and ultimately to build your business and brand.

But your consumers are human, and in order to connect with them, you must think like one. One of the biggest ways to fail at authenticity is to talk to your followers as if they were robots – you need to talk with them like you would your friends and tell stories.

Think about what kind of value and experience you can offer your audience and how they would want it delivered to them. Listen to them and engage with them in natural ways, as this is the first step to building trust and enhancing your customer relationships.

5. Use a Consistent Brand Voice

Your social media presence, across all platforms, needs to be an accurate representation of your business, and one that aligns with all of your online assets, including your website.

The voice should be consistent across the board, relatable, human, reliable, and illustrate your company’s core mission. Whatever you choose to stand for, be authentic about it.

Displaying your brand’s personality, especially with honesty and transparency, will help you better connect with your audience.

6. Produce Quality Content

At the core of any successful social media strategy is quality content and its delivery. By focusing your efforts on storytelling and providing the best and personalized experience for your target audience and you’ll be well on your way. Consistently sharing content that resonates with your audience is what helps your business and brand grow.

You can do this by mixing in user-generated content and partnering with influencers to make your brand more relatable. The quality of your content plays a major role in how people feel about your social presence, so each post needs to contribute to part of the overall strategy.

Marketing used to be as simple as posting flashy advertisements everywhere, and using annoying popup ads. These tactics just don’t work anymore. If you want your brand to build a long-term sustainable online presence, you must show the human side of your brand through authenticity.

How to Run an Effective Instagram Ad Campaign

Instagram is a highly popular social media platform, with more than one billion users. If you want to grow your following on the platform, or reach new audiences to make more money, then it is well worth the investment to run an ad campaign. The key to making sure you get a good ROI is taking steps to make sure you’re running an effective campaign – not just throwing one together and watching what happens.

Major brands, such as Taco Bell, Chobani, and Mercedes-Benz have embraced Instagram ads since the platform opened up for advertising. They’ve been successful with the campaigns they’ve run, but you don’t have to be a major brand with massive amounts of capital and a huge marketing team to reap the benefits.

Clearly, the three brands mentioned are incredibly different from one another – but because the Instagram is so diverse in its user base, they’ve been able to succeed with advertising there.

How? Much of their success can be attributed to the fact that even though the brands are vastly different, their ad campaigns are built around the following six principles. Base all your campaigns with these things in mind, and you’ll be one step ahead of your competition.

1. Build Ads Around Overall Marketing Strategy

Like all other forms of digital and social advertising, you should create Instagram ads that follow your brand strategy and marketing strategy. They should support your brand premise and include a call to action that feels natural to the brand.

Use Instagram ads to enhance your other social media efforts. Consider launching Instagram ads alongside Facebook ads to launch a new product or service.

The dual-channel approach should give you a nice boost in site traffic. When everything else is optimized accordingly, you could end up with a decent conversion rate.

If the ads don’t align with your brand or the rest of your strategy, you’ll not only be wasting your ad spend, but you’ll likely confuse your audience – especially if they are familiar with your brand from other social platforms.

2. Images Must Be Central to the Campaign

Because Instagram is such a visual network, you must include an image as the central part of your ad campaign. Standout images will get more attention for viewers, so don’t just use any old photo.

Opt to use photography that you take specifically for Instagram, such as close crops, unusual angles, or tight product shots. They will generate curiosity that encourages viewers to click.

3. Look to Instagram Insights

Your Instagram analytics information will provide you with data about the posts that have performed well for you, along with the times and days when you posts receive the most views and engagement.

You can, and should, use this information to build your Instagram ad campaign around the days and times that people are responding well to your organic posts.

You can use information from other social media analytics, such as Facebook Insights to determine the offers that are most appealing to your followers. Content that is appealing on one social media platform may also appeal to your Instagram viewers, too.

4. Test Campaigns

Just like with any other social media ad campaigns, you can learn a lot from testing them. After establishing a benchmark ad, run a couple of test ads against it and compare the results. Determine whether the offer, the timing (either the day or the hour) audience, or image increases the response rate.

To keep things simple, use a standard A/B split test method to test an Instagram ad against another, using an ad with a known response rate as your benchmark with a new ad that tests one element against it.

Then, use that ad campaign’s data to change your campaign, continuing to test until you cannot increase the response rate.

5. Tell a Story

For an ad to be effective, it must tell a story. Instagram users look to see visual stories across their feeds, whether it’s a series of photos that tell a product story, or short videos that share insights, storytelling is the important part of the content marketing appeal to Instagram.

Everyone loves a good story, and people respond well to emotionally engaging stories. Pictures can do this more effectively than words in many cases, making Instagram the perfect platform to share your brand story.

Instagram is now more popular than Twitter, and its ad platform isn’t as saturated and competitive as Facebook, making it a great place for advertisers.

Combining these tips with your creative team’s skills can help you make the most of your Instagram ad campaigns to increase site traffic, and ultimately sales.

10 Must-Learn Hacks To Improve Your Instagram Photography

The Pareto principle is a widely accepted theory that says 80% of the results come from 20% of the efforts. Photographers will tell you it’s even higher for them.

Making an effort to improve your skills by 5% in the right places could improve your photography by 95%, which could make a tremendous difference in your Instagram profile quality. Here are some tips to focus your efforts in the right areas.

1. Turn Off Automatic Flash

Automatic flash is often used even when it’s only slightly dark. If the flash goes off, the resulting photo won’t look as good but people won’t be as blurry since the flash freezes them in place.

If enough new photographers see blurry photos, even though they are caused by improper technique, they will go exchange the camera for a new one because they think something is wrong with the camera. Manufacturers know this, and use it to their advantage.

If your smartphone allows, increase the ISO on your camera. This will increase the shutter speed to increase the chance of freezing people in motion and use available light that has more color instead of a bright face and dark background.

2. Keep Things Simple

Keeping things as simple as possible eliminates clutter from your images. If you’re taking photos of a person, look for a minimal background that won’t distract the person looking at the photo later.

3. Get Ready for the Close Up

A lot of people think you have to step way back to get a lot of space around the subject to create an entire scene. It’s okay to cut off body parts every now and then.

Try getting a close up of someone’s face, from the eyebrows to the mouth, for a new, fresh perspective.

4. Change Perspectives

Most viewers see photos that are shot from eye level of where the photographer was standing, which is the viewpoint we see the majority of our lives from.

It’s no real surprise that you find the view from up high stunning, because it’s not something you see all the time. Shoot from other perspectives and angles to create more visual interest in your photos.

5. Straighten Lines

Rather than just clicking away when you see something you want to take a photo of, take a few seconds to make sure the lines are straight – both horizontally and vertically.

Lining yourself up perfectly with the subject results in a higher quality photo than simply pointing and shooting.

6. Create Symmetrical Shots

Finding and creating symmetry in your photos will make them more visually appealing. Always be looking for perfect symmetry when you line up shots to take.

7. Find Repeating Patterns

You can learn to take better photos just by becoming more aware of your surroundings. As you move about your day, pay attention to patterns in brickwork, buildings, windows, doors, and so on. These patterns can make excellent photos and backgrounds.

8. Use a Real Camera

While Instagram is meant to be used with a smartphone because it’s easy to take a picture and go, there’s nothing wrong with using a separate camera to shoot your photos.

Digital cameras come in all shapes and sizes, with a variety of features to help you take better pictures than you’d ever be able to take on your smartphone.

While quality will degrade once it’s uploaded to Instagram, better pictures from the start end up with better pictures on your profile.

9. Adjust the Settings on Your Smartphone

If you can’t use a real camera because you don’t have the budget, there are many settings on smartphone cameras that you can learn about and adjust accordingly.

Take time to get to know the camera on your smartphone, looking up what each of the settings means, and what it can do.

For instance, on the Samsung S8, you can switch to Pro mode, which is a manual photography mode that allows you to choose the ISO, shutter speed, white balance, and exposure level. It also allows you to use the manual focus option to help you in macro shooting situations.

You can choose the focus area, and as well as options for the metering mode. This level of control will allow you to take much better pictures than the automatic mode.

10. Learn About Lighting

Taking time to learn about lighting so you know where the light is coming and the quality of the light can make a dramatic difference in your photo quality.

If you are taking a photo of someone outside, and the sun is directly behind them, they will show up as a dark silhouette. If you switch them so they are facing the sun, the will be nicely lit.

If you follow these 10 tips, your photography will greatly improve. Practice a new one every day, and ask you get used to them, it will eventually happen instinctually so your photography becomes easier to manage.

Because Instagram is a highly visual platform where photo quality and composition really matters to engagement, it never hurts to continue to hone your skills.