The Complete Instagram Marketing Guide [2019]

The Complete Instagram Marketing Guide [2019]

Instagram marketing: Instagram is a crucial place for your brand to market your products. But its ever-changing landscape of hashtags, engagement and continuous content can be overwhelming.

But that’s why we’re here! To provide you with the resources you need to get the most out of your Instagram Marketing.

In this guide, we’ve compiled all of our information on Instagram Marketing (and I can personally attest that it’s quite a lot), so that you can easily find the answers you’re looking for. It’s all broken up and laid out in a fancy table of contents, so feel free to read it all or click directly to the section that is most pertinent to you.

Whatever you do, feel free to ask questions or let us know if we’re missing something. We love to keep improving! Now, let’s get into it.

What is Instagram Marketing?

instagram marketing

If you’re still not entirely confident in what marketing on Instagram really entails, we’ve got the information you need to get started!

Every day more than 95 million images are shared by 1 billion active Instagram users. The platform’s powerhouse popularity means that if brands want to reach customers online, they’re going to find them on Instagram.

95 million images are shared by 1 billion active users on Instagram

So now that we know where to find customers, the question then becomes: how can you use Instagram as a tool to market your products?

Here we look towards business best practices to truly understand the value of Instagram marketing to your overall strategy – starting with getting an Instagram for Business account.

Instagram for Businesses

As an eCommerce business owner, you don’t have to do much searching online to see why a strong Instagram presence is essential to growing your brand. It’s where your customers are spending more and more time, which means your brand should be too. While 80% of users follow a business on Instagram, brands can’t afford not to be in this space.

80% of users follow a business on Instagram

But how you can ensure that your Instagram efforts are actually going to bring you sales?

This is the big question when it comes to Instagram marketing. Having a social media presence is one thing, but using online platforms to actively convert customers is a whole different ball-game.

First, you need to get yourself an Instagram business account and learn how to use it to sell your products on the platform. Then comes posting the kind of content that will get your customers interested in your products. And finally, ads.

If you’re looking to explore these topics, then we’ve got you covered.

Where to go from here?

Using Instagram For Business: Best Practices For eCommerce

Monetize Instagram – Drive eCommerce Sales Using Instagram

PPC For eCommerce On Instagram – The Complete Guide

What’s the best way to model your Instagram marketing? By looking at how other brands have been successful on the platform! In the next section, we look at Instagram marketing theory and how to think about developing a killer strategy.

Approaches To Instagram Marketing

Understanding Engagement Rate

What’s the buzziest word on Instagram?

You guessed it: engagement. It’s what everyone wants but doesn’t quite know how to get.

Here at Flowbox, we’re interested in providing the best insights into Instagram engagement based on the numbers. Using data collected from the Instagram API prior to its deprecation in April 2018, we navigate through the numbers to provide insightful analysis to understanding Instagram engagement rates.

While engagement rate is the most talked about aspect of Instagram marketing, we may not understand it as well as we think! For example, we’ve found that once a brand surpasses 100,000 followers, it becomes extremely difficult to engage more than 1% of their total audience with each post.

Once a brand surpasses 100,000 followers, it becomes extremely difficult to engage more than 1% of their total audience with each post

Let’s look to the data to find out where we really stand.

Where to go from here?

Instagram Analysis: Expectations of Engagement Rates Are Too High

Established Brands On Instagram Have Lots Of Followers But Aren’t Well-Followed

Does Following Nobody Hurt A Brand’s Instagram Engagement Rate?

Instagram Marketing Strategy Based On The Data

Now that we have a better understanding of Instagram engagement, thanks to our previous section, it’s time to look to the data to see what brands can actively do to improve their Instagram marketing strategy.

Here, we present you with a study of 10 Instagram metrics that provide insight into how to market on Instagram. From simple numbers like ‘the average number of posts per day’ through to complex metrics like ‘level of evangelism’, we give you the data while also providing the analysis to support it.

Where to go from here?

Data Analysis: A Guide To Instagram Marketing Strategy Based On The Data

Inspiring Instagram Marketing Examples

Looking for examples of stellar Instagram marketing in action? Have we ever led you astray?

From large, well-established brands, like RayBan, to brands that have grown their following on Instagram, like Daniel Wellington, we’re excited to share with you how brands are playing the Instagram game today.

Seeing how other brands are succeeding could inspire your creative juices to produce something even better. With 60% of Instagram users finding new products on the platform, brands can use all the inspiration they can get!

60% of Instagram users find new products on the platform

Where to go from here?

Instagram Marketing Examples: 15 eCommerce Brands Killing It Right Now

Instagram Best Practices –  8 Content Tricks Used By Top Brands

Before you get into modeling these amazing Instagram marketing examples, we have to go back to the basics. Above all, Instagram is about getting your brand seen so that people can engage with it. And what’s the best way to do that?


How To Create The Perfect Hashtag For Your Brand

Hashtags are everywhere you look – from social media feeds and TV ads, to billboards and city buses. But do you know how to create a hashtag for your brand?

If you haven’t created a hashtag for your customers to latch onto and share across social media, you’re missing out on a crucial Instagram Marketing tool.

Without a hashtag, your users are less inclined to engage with you on social media, which means less brand awareness, less conversions, and say good-bye to any chance of a User Generated Content strategy. And it’s pretty clear that the larger your brand is on Instagram, the more your hashtag will be used

So if you still need to create a branded hashtag or feel like yours isn’t doing its job, we’ve got you covered.

Where to go from here?

How To Create A Hashtag For Your Brand [7 experts weigh in]

Getting Users To Post With Your Hashtag

Did you know that Instagram users don’t see 70% of the media on their feed? Meaning that unless they specifically look up your Instagram hashtag, there’s a good chance they’re not seeing what you post. And meanwhile, everyone else is working their hardest to be a part of the other 30%.

So what can you do to make sure users check your hashtag? Get them interested in using it themselves!

If you’ve chosen a branded hashtag, you’re doing great. But committing to a hashtag is only half the battle. Now you need to get users to post with your hashtag to see the benefits.

Brand evangelism, having users posting multiple times per month on your brand hashtag, is a major contributor towards getting the overall use of a brand’s hashtag as high as possible.

Brand evangelism is a major contributor towards getting the overall use of a brand’s hashtag as high as possible

There’s a lot of power in a hashtag, and your Instagram Marketing will thank you for learning why.

Where to go from here?

Discovering the Power Of The Instagram Hashtag

Now that your hashtag is up and running, it’s time to look to actionable strategies that can start getting you results today.

Actionable Instagram Marketing Strategies

Influencer Marketing

You aren’t really talking about Instagram marketing if you’re not talking about Influencers. Nearly 80% of fashion, luxury, and cosmetic professionals implemented influencer campaigns in 2017, and that’s up by 13% since 2016.

Nearly 80% of fashion, luxury, and cosmetic professionals implemented influencer campaigns in 2017

If you’ve been holding back from reaching influencers, either for inadequate resources, disinterest, or lack of a clear strategy, we’re here to show you why and how to get influencer marketing into your book of Instagram marketing strategies.

Where to go from here?

How To Find Influencers Suitable For Your Brand

How To Plan An Influencer Marketing Strategy

Insights Into the Fate of Influencer Marketing 

Instagram Contests and Giveaways

Did you know that Instagram accounts that run contests and giveaways grow 70% faster than those that don’t?

Instagram accounts that run contests and giveaways grow 70% faster

When you think about it, Instagram contests and giveaways just make sense. What’s the best way to get customers interested in your products? To give them away for free!

If you haven’t started using Instagram contest or giveaways in your Instagram marketing, you’re missing out on a huge potential for racking up engagement and increasing sales/interest in your products. Plus, giveaways can help you with so many other aspects of your Instagram marketing.

How does an increase of followers, influx of User Generated Content, or more likes/comments on your posts sound? All of this can be increased by implementing targetted contests or giveaways into your Instagram marketing. Users are happy to do it for the chance to win something great!

Where to go from here?

Instagram Contests – 7 Tips To Successfully Leverage Contests

The Ultimate Guide To Running An Irresistible Instagram Giveaway

Crafting The Perfect Instagram Captions

It’s amazing how much people care about captions on a social media platform dedicated to images.

If you feel like your captions could use some work, we’re here to help. With over 25 million business profiles on Instagram, don’t overlook this crucial aspect of Instagram marketing – which could be your next leap to upping your Instagram engagement.

Where to go from here?

Instagram Captions: Craft The Perfect Caption For Your eCommerce Photos

Considering Posting Rate

There’s a rumor going around that posting too frequently affects reach. And what’s the best way to bust this rumor? Looking to the data.

Our data shows that beyond posting once per day, decline of engagement is relatively low.

Beyond posting once per day, decline of engagement is relatively low

So if you’re still not sure about how often is too often to post on Instagram, then we’ve got you covered.

Where to go from here? Does Posting More Often On Instagram Reduce Reach?

Instagram Tools To Spice Up Your Content

VSCO app

Once you’ve worked out the logistics of your Instagram Marketing strategy, you need to make sure your actual content is on the right track. Don’t let all of your hard legwork go to waste by posting pictures or videos that don’t work for your brand! In the end, the content on your Instagram will represent all of your strategizing – so make sure you’re putting your best foot forward with imagery that dazzles.

If you feel like your content could use a new burst of energy or creativity to get the engagement you’re looking for, get inspired with the use of an Instagram tool or app. From fabulous filters to color correction and more, these tools will help you step up your game from the platform’s built in features to ensure that your pictures stand out!

Here are some of the best editing apps:


Adobe Lightroom


Prisma Photo Editor

Where to go from here?

Creating Irresistible Content To Market Your Products With These 9 Instagram Tools

Now that you’re happy with your content, it’s time to find out if your followers are too! But how can you know?

Analyzing Your Instagram Marketing Performance

Now that you’ve strategized the perfect game plan for your brand – how can you be sure that all of your choices are helping you reach your audience?

This all comes down to Instagram analytics.

Whether you use Instagram Insights (the Instagram for business analytics tool that comes in-app) or a different tool to analyze your performance (may I recommend a free Instagram analytics tool – the Visual Marketing Index), measuring your performance is crucial if you want to create content that will work for your brand.

We can’t stress enough how much analyzing can help you reach your potential, especially in a crowded social space that’s constantly changing. Without analyzing, you may not realize that next month your followers are no longer interested in something they were dying for the month before. And don’t you want to be the brand that’s always keeping up with the latest trends?

So pick a tool and start analyzing! But first, let’s do a little review of everything you should be measuring…

Where to go from here?

How Well Are You Using Instagram Analytics To Market Your Products On Instagram?

With all these strategies in your back-pocket, it’s time to get out there and start Instagramming! But are you up-to-date on all the latest Instagram technology?

Instagram Updates

Instagram is constantly changing. It seems they release new features every week and the endless marketing opportunities can feel daunting.  

This is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of Instagram marketing: how can you know if you’re doing the best marketing with the available platform…if the technology could change tomorrow?

We get this. And we want you to stay as up-to-date as possible.

Over to you

We hope all of these resources have been helpful for getting your Instagram marketing where you want it to be. Now it’s time to get out there and make it happen for yourself!

If you still have questions or feel like we didn’t cover a crucial topic, please let us know. We’d love to continue improving this guide along the way.