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How to nail your global Instagram marketing

By Josian Phillips, 

Instagram use is rocketing, with brands using it expected to rise from 49% to 71% this year. Whether you’re new to Instagram or looking to develop your existing Instagram strategy, here are some tips from the great and the good of social media marketers.

Know your audience

As with every marketing campaign, knowing your audience is fundamental. If your audience isn’t on Instagram, there’s little point wasting resources on it. However, if they are, getting to know them on Instagram will be an ongoing process. Before you start, find out:

  • Demographics: Instagram’s analytics tool will tell you ages, locations and genders
  • Profiles: what are their general interests, attitudes and lifestyles?
  • Behaviours: when are their active times, who do they follow and what kinds of photos/videos do they like?

Tips: don’t post more than three times a day or you’ll start losing followers, and Thursdays and Fridays see an uplift in engagement as people wind down for the weekend.

Post engaging, relevant and timely content

  • Use a listening tool to jump on current global trends, such as #hotdogsorlegs or #blackandbluedress. Make sure you’re quick, and that you consider your audiences; what’s suitable for one country could offend another
  • Try instigating a viral campaign such as an Instagram photo or caption challenge

Tip: don’t always promote your business, focus on what the audience wants

Branding

Avoid flooding your page with your logo. Use photos and videos to help communicate your brand personality. For example, followers love behind-the-scenes-posts. These humanise your brand, bridging the gap between your business and your customers.

Interaction

This is where BMW missed a trick at BMW X Nights. Engage with individuals as they post / comment and you’ll go miles to develop trust, loyalty and ambassadors.

  • Use unique hashtags for followers to use
  • Use at least one target keyword hashtag – these will vary between countries. Don’t go for generic hashtags like #pizza or #happy as they’ll just get swamped in the deluge. Try to strike a balance between universal and local hashtags in your posts
  • Post at least one hashtag – brands that do, average 12.6% more engagement
  • Set up a giveaway or contests and ask followers to repost – this will also boost your reach and engagement

Instagram translation – keep it local

The greatest share of Instagram traffic comes from the US, followed by Brazil and Russia. That said, the US capture only 20% of market share. Instagram is also hugely popular in 41 other countries, including more recently Argentina, Canada, Denmark, Qatar, Switzerland and the UAE.

Global brands need to think about how best to communicate with their various geographies, using both translation and localisation.

Emojis

Consider whether emojis will add to your post. According to Sprout Social, almost 50% of all captions and comments on Instagram have at least one emoji, but their popularity vary from country to country and even in-country. Engadget reports that people in Finland use emojis the most (63%), followed by France (50%), the UK (48%), Germany (47%), Italy and Russia (both 45%), Spain (40%) and Japan (39%).

Influencer marketing

This is particularly popular on Instagram. Tap into key leaders in your niche areas so they align with your target market and brand identity.

Instagram case studies

Here are a few short case studies so you can see how brands have already benefitted from Instagram.

You can follow us on Instagram here. If you need help with translation and localisation, please get in touch – click here.

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