Instagram likes to keep marketers on their toes. Just last year, we saw a rapid rollout of new features, expansion of video, and tons of new shopping options.
But it’s not just platforms that are evolving — audiences are evolving too. Now, marketers need to revamp their Instagram strategies to better fit audience preferences, behaviors, and habits in 2022.
Here, we’ll cover the five main challenges marketers face on Instagram and the best strategies to address them.
5 Instagram challenges for marketers
1. Know which tags to use—and how much.
From the platform that gave us #ThrowbackThursday and #WednesdayWisdom, it’s no surprise that hashtags play a big role on Instagram. But they’re also hard to crack – how much should you use? Should you stick with popular hashtags or target more niche hashtags?
HubSpot and Mention’s 2022 Instagram Engagement Report answers some of these questions.
On the one hand, while avoiding popular hashtags like #travel or #photography may sound counterintuitive, it’s better to be part of a niche community. reason? Although niche hashtags have fewer posts, they generally have a more dedicated community following them.
In fact, the report found that hashtags targeting specific interests and communities — such as geographic locations and TV shows — garnered the most engagement.
When it comes to the number of hashtags you include in your posts, one thing is clear – the more the better. The report found that using many hashtags does not appear to hurt the performance of posts. But here’s a catch – always keep your hashtags relevant to your niche. Otherwise, you risk reaching the wrong audience in order to increase engagement.
2. Secure your influencer marketing budget.
For many marketers, influencer marketing may seem out of reach – after all, don’t you have to spend a fortune to work with big influencers? Think again.
While it might seem like a best practice to work with influencers with large followings, HubSpot’s Instagram engagement report says that if you work with influencers who may have fewer followers but more engaged communities (called micro-influencers) ) cooperation, your efforts will be more valuable. Another study even found that the fewer followers an influencer has, the higher their engagement rate tends to be.
Micro-influencers offer smaller, highly engaged audiences without the hefty price tags of mainstream celebrities — making this type of marketing more accessible to brands of all kinds.
With 97% of marketers planning to increase their investment in Instagram influencer marketing this year, now is a good time to try.
3. Post at the right time.
Timing is an easily overlooked detail 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 provides some clear insights into properly timed posts:
- Content posted between 6pm and 9pm generates the highest engagement
- Lowest engagement rate between 5am and 12pm
- Participation rates remained largely unchanged from Monday to Friday, with a slight edge on weekends.
While these statistics provide an overall picture of posting times – it doesn’t mean those times are useful to you or your audience. It is important to explore where your audience is and when they are most active.
You should also consider whether your content is appropriate for a specific time of day. For example, a coffee shop might prefer to post in the morning or afternoon when work is sluggish.
No two audiences are the same. Ultimately, you should test different dates and times to see which posts perform best with your unique audience.
4. Write compelling headlines.
Writing Instagram captions is stressful — it has to be compelling and memorable — and less stressful sales and boredom.
The first mistake you can make is skipping the title entirely. According to the report, including headlines can significantly increase engagement, from just under 4% to over 6%.
When it comes to writing subtitles, the most important “rule” is to lead with your brand voice. If you need to create one, start by noting some adjectives that describe your brand, then use them to craft a relevant headline.
For example, the Nike brand is known for messages of inspiration and motivation – while the LEGO brand is known for being fun and creative, just like their Instagram notes.
Check out this video for more advice on writing great captions:
5. Know what your audience wants.
If you’re on Instagram, you might think that images are the most engaging type of content on the platform.
As it turns out, video is king—according to a HubSpot report, each post brings in an average of 24 comments and 1,097 likes. Other research suggests that videos are more “sticky” and shareable.
This is followed by carousel posts. As a refresher, these posts contain a variety of media (images or videos) that users can scroll through. They provide more interactivity than static posts because users have to scroll through the content.
The trend is clear – great marketing in 2022 must go beyond photos. Start by looking at your current strategy and identifying opportunities to incorporate carousels and use video formats like Reels and Stories.
Instagram is constantly evolving with its users. Knowing when and how your audience engages with the platform is critical to tailoring your content and generating more engagement. Start with the tips in this blog and always test your strategy regularly.