Instagram likes to keep marketers on their toes. Last year we saw a rapid rollout of new features, an expansion of video, and a plethora of new purchasing options.
But it’s not just the platform that’s changing, so is the audience. It is now up to marketers to evolve their Instagram strategy to better align with audience preferences, behaviors and habits in 2022.
Here, we’ll cover five major challenges marketers face on Instagram and the best strategies for solving them.
5 Instagram Challenges Marketers Face
1. Know which hashtags to use – and how many.
From the platform that gave us #ThrowbackThursday and #WednesdayWisdom, it’s no surprise that hashtags play a huge role on Instagram. But they can also be hard to crack – how many should you use? Should you stick to popular hashtags or target more specialized hashtags?
HubSpot and Mention’s 2022 Instagram Engagement Report answers some of these questions.
For one thing, while it may seem counter-intuitive to avoid popular hashtags (like #travel or #photography), it’s best to look at niche communities. The reason? Even though niche hashtags have fewer posts, they are generally followed by a more dedicated community.
In fact, the report found that hashtags targeting specific interests and communities — like geographic locations and TV shows — got the most engagement.
When it comes to the number of hashtags you include in your post, one thing is clear: the more the better. The report finds that using many hashtags does not seem to hurt post performance. But a word of caution here – always keep your hashtags relevant to your niche. Otherwise, you risk reaching the wrong audience in an effort to increase engagement.
2. Securing budget for influencer marketing.
For many marketers, influencer marketing seems out of reach – after all, don’t you need to spend big bucks to partner with mega influencers? Think again.
While it seems like good practice to partner with influencers with tons of followers, HubSpot’s Instagram Engagement Report indicates that your efforts are more valuable if you partner with influencers who may have fewer followers. subscribers but a more engaged community (called micro-influencers). Another study even found that the fewer followers an influencer has, the better their engagement rates.
Micro-influencers offer a smaller, highly engaged audience without the high price tag of a mainstream celebrity, making this type of marketing more accessible to a variety of brands.
With 97% of marketers planning to increase their investment in influencer marketing on Instagram this year, now is a great time to give it a try.
3. Publish at the right time.
Timing is an easy detail to overlook in your marketing strategy. But with social media algorithms favoring recent content, targeting the right people is more important than ever. at the right time.
HubSpot’s Instagram Engagement Report offers clear insights into the timing of your posts:
- Content posted between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. generates the most engagement
- Mornings from 5 a.m. to 12 p.m. offer the lowest engagement rate
- From Monday to Friday, the engagement rate remains about the same, but the weekend retains a slight advantage.
While these stats give a general idea of when to post, it doesn’t mean these times will work for you or your audience. It’s important to explore where your audience is and when they’re most active.
You also need to consider whether your content lends itself to a certain time of day. For example, a cafe might prefer to post in the morning or during the afternoon slowdown.
There are no two identical audiences. Ultimately, you need to test different days and times and see which posts work best with your unique audience.
4. Write compelling captions.
There’s a lot of pressure when writing Instagram captions – they have to be compelling and memorable – and less commercial and boring.
The first mistake you can make is to skip the caption completely. According to the report, including a caption gives you a significant boost in engagement, from just under 4% to over 6%.
When it comes time to write a caption, the most important “rule” is to lead with your brand voice. If you need to create one, start by writing down a few adjectives that describe your brand, then use them to create relevant captions.
For example, the Nike brand is known for its inspirational and motivational messages, while the Lego brand is known for being fun and creative, just like their Instagram captions.
Watch this video for more tips on writing great captions:
5. Know what content your audience wants.
If you’re on Instagram, you can assume that images are the most engaging type of content on the platform.
Turns out, video is king – bringing in an average of 24 comments and 1,097 likes per post, according to HubSpot’s report. Other research shows that videos are more “sticky” and shareable.
The poles of the carousel follow closely. As a reminder, these are posts containing several types of media (image or video) that users can browse. They offer more interactivity than static posts because the user has to scroll through the content.
The trend is clear: good marketing in 2022 must go beyond photos. Start by reviewing your current strategy and identifying opportunities to incorporate carousels and play with video formats such as Reels and Stories.
Instagram is constantly evolving, and so is its audience. Knowing when and how your audience interacts with the platform is crucial to aligning your content and generating more engagement. Start with the advice in this blog and always test your strategies regularly.