Instagram marketing marks a new opportunity for a lot of companies to promote their products or services. After all, there are around 77.6 millions of active IG users just in the United States. So, using Instagram for marketing is really an effective way to get a lot of awareness and attention. However, this can only be done if all of the steps and tips are followed. Here is a guide on how to use Instagram for marketing like a real professional.

Step 1: Marketing Objective

First of all, you will need to make sure that you have a clear objective of each and every Instagram marketing campaigns. Well, actually this is true for every marketing projects, but in a lot of cases when we are using Instagram for marketing, we tend to forget about it.

The point about setting a marketing objective is that we should not be too ambitious. It would be better to have a narrow but sharp focus for each and every project, and this is an important Instagram marketing tip. For example, only promote one product or one service on each project.

Step 2: Instagram demographics—Target Audience

After having a clear marketing objective, you will then need to think about which group of audiences that you want to focus on. This will be related to your marketing objective. For example, if you are marketing handbags or jewelry, then, of course, females would be your focused group of audience.


Gender is one of the main areas that matter, and this is often an important starting point for selecting the target audience. You will need to take a look at the demographics of Instagram users, and if you do, you will find out that there are relatively more females using Instagram regularly than males. There are 31% of women and 24% of men using Instagram on a regular basis. This may mean that doing Instagram marketing on female audience is relatively easier.

Age is perhaps another issue that you will need to think about. Usually those who are using Instagram are the younger generations. Even teenagers as young as 13 years old are using Instagram, so if you are using Instagram for marketing products for teenagers, Instagram would be a nice platform for you to do so. However, this will not be a good idea if your product is aiming at the older generations, since only a few of them are using Instagram. They should not be a targeted group for any marketing campaign on Instagram.

The location is perhaps relevant too. When you are thinking about the target audience of the Instagram marketing campaign, sometimes you may have a sharp target as to people living in a particular area. One obvious case would be your own country if you are not planning on having an international campaign yet. If this is the case, then you will need to think of whether or not Instagram is popular yet in your country. If the answer is no, then perhaps you should consider other ways of marketing instead of Instagram marketing.

Studies also show that more users in Instagram are from urban areas while there are considerably less Instagram users from those living in the suburbs and the rural areas. Therefore, you should expect a better result if the products or contents that you are promoting are something more related to urban lives. Coffee can be an excellent example.

Target group

While the demographics will perhaps answer you whether or not you should use Instagram for marketing, the target group will tell you how to use Instagram for marketing.

As I have mentioned, which target group to select will be depended by the Instagram marketing objectives. The key factor here is that you can have more than one targeted groups.
Also, you will need to consider whether or not to have a narrow group or a wide group. For example, females, young females and young females at the age of 13-17 have different concepts and the latter one is much narrower than the former ones.

I will say that you can have a rough segmentation of the targeted groups if the products that you are using on Instagram for marketing is not particularly appealing to a specific narrow group of users. This will be true for daily necessities like basic food or stationeries. However, if you are promoting some luxury items like cars or jewelry, then a sharp and narrow focus would be better.

The reason we need a target group is that there are just too many Instagram users around the world. While we are not expecting to do Instagram marketing to the whole world, we need to make sure that those who are seeing the Instagram marketing are really those we want to be our audience. This is an issue related to cost efficiency—after all, an Instagram marketing campaign that includes the whole word as audience will cost us a lot.

Step 3: Mode of Advertisement

After deciding who should be the target audience of the Instagram marketing, you will also need to think about the mode of advertisement. What I mean is that there are a lot of ways to do Instagram marketing, like words, photos, slide shows and even a video.

One of the Instagram marketing tips is that photos seem to be the default mode of promotion if we are using Instagram to promote the content. The reason for that is easy. Instagram is the social platform about photos. We are not doing marketing on Facebook or on twitter, where there is considerable amount of words on the platform. On Instagram, the main dish for each post are the photos. Therefore, I will say that we should focus more on the photos while focusing less on the words.

Videos can be an alternative, but it can be tricky to decide whether or not we should switch the photo to videos. After all, not a lot of people will really click on a video to watch it when they come across one—at least the number will be much less than those who come across a photo and then take a look at it. I will suggest that you should only use a video if you are satisfied that it is necessary—in other words, what you want to achieve using Instagram for marketing cannot be done by a photo.

For example, if you are selling a car, and you want to use VR technology in a video to show audience how cool it is inside your car, then perhaps a video will be a better choice. At the same time, if you have just too much information to include in the Instagram marketing, but you re feeling that all of the information are essential, then perhaps you should also opt for a video instead of a photo.

From above, you now understand that in general a photo should be preferred than a video. This is indeed true since the marketing effect of a photo will be in general better than that of a video. What more is that it will cost you less time to prepare a photo than to edit a video—and the difference of that can be huge. Therefore, in terms of the cost efficiency, a photo is even better than a video.

Step 4: Design the Photo or Video

This is the main part of the preparation on Instagram marketing. You need to know that after all, the photo or video that you are promoting is the main component of the whole project. Even if you do all of the other aspects right but you neglect the design of the photo, then the Instagram marketing project will surely fail.


Sharp design

The most important Instagram marketing tip for a photo is that you should have a sharp design. When we are using Instagram and scrolling through your wall, you will only stop and pay close attention to a post when the photo really catches your attention. Therefore, this should be the prime concern of the design of the photo.

Of course, I cannot really tell you how to do the design here. Since it is a creativity-related and subjective issue. However, I will suggest you to see some of the examples from Instagram. You can stand from the point of view of audience and scroll through your Instagram wall to see which promotion catches your attention. Learn from them.


One of the huge topics for an Instagram marketing is the use of colors. In particular, the mixture and combination of the colors would play a very important role in the success of the Instagram marketing campaign. One of the Instagram marketing tips is that you should use bright colors for the subject matter and relatively darker colors as the background to contrast it. The other way around will not work.

If you are more professional, you can take a look at the psychology of color in terms of marketing. Different colors will give audience different feelings. For example, if you want to convey the message that your brand is very trustworthy, consider using the color of sky blue. At the same time, if you want to tell the audience that your brand is very friendly, then deep orange will be the one. Others include red as an emblem of excitement, while purple can be used to represent creativity.

Again, there is no right answer as to the design of the photos—use your own judgment and creativity.


For videos, it can be a more complicated issues. In order to catch the attention of the audience, you will need to have an attractive thumbnail. All the pieces of advice mentioned above will apply for having a thumbnail. Another answer to how to use Instagram for marketing with a video is that you should also have a nice title.

For effects, you can try on a lot of them with the software that you are relying on. There are quite a lot of software that will help you like Adobe After Effects. You can try out the effects on them and make sure that audience will be amazed by the effects. This is also a way for you to have a successful Instagram marketing campaign.

Step 5: Post the Marketing Content

After you have finished designing the photo or video, of course, it will be time for you to really post it on Instagram for the audience to see it. However, there is still a lot to look into for posting the marketing content.

Timing of posting

There is the best time to post on Instagram. This is because of the nature of Instagram—when you are scrolling through your wall on Instagram, you will see the newest content on the top, and the older one will be lower. Therefore, when most of the people are using their Instagram account and your content is at the bottom, then probably only a few of them will really be able to use the Instagram marketing content.

Therefore, when we are using Instagram for marketing, we also need to post the advertisement at the correct time. Studies show that usually, people use more Instagram on Monday as well as Friday, but I guess that the difference between alternate days in a week will only be slight. Still, if you want to achieve maximum effectiveness for your advertisement, consider posting on these two days.

There is also something to notice considering different times in a day. Studies show that people tend to use Instagram more during 8-10 am as well as 5-7pm the most. Perhaps this is the time right before and after work. You will want to post your advertisement between this period of time.

Other social platform

Although we are talking about how to use Instagram for marketing, we should not forget about the presence of other social platforms, like Facebook and Twitter. The first thing you will need to know about is that there are also some people who do not use Instagram but only use other social platforms. Therefore, when we are only doing Instagram marketing, we will not be able to capture those audiences.

There is one way to solve this issue. We can share the link to our Instagram post on those social platforms so that the users on Facebook and Twitter will also be able to see the Instagram marketing content. This is a very decent way to enhance the effectiveness of the advertisement since the cost of doing so is very very low while you can capture a large number of audience.

Step 6: Manage the advertisement after posting

This is the last Instagram marketing tips. After we have posted the advertisement at the right timing, we still need to do follow-up works on a regular basis.

What I am saying is that first of all we will need to track the number of views and likes to see whether or not the Instagram marketing is really going as planned. For example, if you expect to have 1 million views in two days, but you are only having half of the target, then you will need to consider what went wrong. It is also needed to pay close attention to the number of likes since it means a positive response from the viewers. If you are having a lot of views, but the number of likes is still very very low, then perhaps there are some problems as to the design of the advertisement.

At the same time, it would also be suitable to take a look at the comments section of the advertisement to see whether or not there are some noteworthy comments. You can see what the audience, in general, think about the Instagram marketing—is the design of the photo nice? Are they loving the advertisement and is willing to try out the product? Perhaps more importantly, you will be able to know what you have done wrong from those comments section.

The comments section is the most direct way for you to get the feedback from the audiences and to respond back to them. Responding to the feedbacks of the audience is a good way to communicate with them and to let them know that their opinions are treasured. In long term, this will be able to boost the customer loyalty of your brand.


While there are not a lot of steps for having a successful Instagram marketing, there are quite a lot of concern and need to pay attention to when we are using Instagram for marketing. We need to know how to design the advertisement, and when to post that. Most importantly, linking the advertisement with other social platforms like Facebook and Twitter would enhance further the effectiveness of the promotional content.

If you follow the Instagram marketing tips mentioned here strictly, you will be able to have an effective and efficient advertisement on Instagram.