Peg Fitzpatrick gave a great talk at the 2016 Social Media Marketing World Conference. She reintroduces Instagram for its marketing quality, saying, “Engagement is the reason people like Instagram.” Fitzpatrick is an experienced speaker, social marketer, and writer, relating to many of the people in the crowd.

She dissects the Instagram platform, mentioning its impressive marketing stats. Instagram has:

  • 400 million monthly active users
  • 40 billion photos shared
  • 5 billion likes per day

*These stats come directly from Instagram

You may be asking yourself, why are people so drawn to Instagram? Well Peg explains that Instagram connects people. Called the “King of Engagement,” the platform allows people to build communities. According to Sprout Social, there is a 4.21% engagement average, with most comments happening in the first 6 hours. This is much larger than other platforms.

What’s the secret to stop people from scrolling? You need to have an Instagram hook! Peg says the average person gets distracted in 8 seconds and some as low as 2.8 seconds. Instagram’s success is simple: First, have a great image, text, and hashtag! Then, make sure you engage after post! You cannot just post and run, she warns. People want to see effort.

Your Visual Hook

Your visual hook is essential to having a lively Instagram. To achieve this, you will need:

  1. Branding
  2. Originality
  3. Style (this is where you can really create a unique style that allows you to hold people’s attention)

Fitzpatrick also discusses the strategies that you should consider when working with Instagram, which includes deciding what to post, finding or taking an image, and using an app to add text/watermarks. There are a number of fantastic trends, memes, and hashtags floating around Instagram all the time. Peg says that the only thing you really have to do is get involved with all of it.

She also notes awesome sites to get amazing photography for free. On Librestock you can search 43 free photo sites from the one website, however, be sure to check for attribution. Unsplash also has stunning free photos. Still, if you’re looking for paid photos, Stocks is the place to go. Peg says its beautiful photos are definitely worth the money and you can pay to have pictures blocked out, so no one else can use them while you are using it. She also stresses the importance of having a consistent style. From colours to fonts to images, there should be a traceable theme or connection that identifies you and your brand. Fitzpatrick emphasizes that consistency is what allows you to gain recognition.

Consistency and style define you, but only 27% of marketers have a way to organize their visual assets, according to a SMO Council White Paper. To solve this, there are a series of different sites you can use to manage, including Hootsuite, Latergram, and Trello. Hootsuite allows you to schedule your Instagram posts on desktops but share on mobile. Latergram.me is an cool app with a great calendar for posting to Insta, and finally Trello will boost your Insta-organization using board to hold your content.

If you are looking to create, Peg suggests visiting Designfeed, Adobe Post, Word Swag, Canva, Relay That, Lumyer, and many more.

Your Portfolio

For those wanting to create a click worthy portfolio, Fitzpatrick highlights the benefits of Instagram. Your Instagram stream is all about creating something that looks amazing. She says that “after creating a few posts, you want to check to see that you have a cohesive body of Instagram posts.” When looking at your stream, think about your grid. Is it consistent style? Are you stopping traffic?

Peg us gives another strategy when building portfolios:

  1. Create an editorial calendar
  2. Batch process your Instagram images
  3. Craft your descriptions and hashtags
  4. Post consistently to Instagram

On, the note of hashtags, she cannot stress its significance enough. As Peg puts it, “Hashtags=eyeballs. The proper use of hashtags brings more people to your post.” Simply Measured states that hashtags get 12.6x more engagement than posts without. This is something to take seriously. It is such a small detail, but provides so much to your brand. Other good marketing strategies like using links, adding widgets, sharing photos, and inviting people to follow your Instagram will also do you wonders in this big world of marketing.

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