When it comes to marketing and advertising with insurance agents and advisors, the most important word is attention. Going where your prospect’s eyes are is absolutely vital to your business if you want to gain any traction with marketing your services.

I spoke on this concept in my last article “Snapchat: The new social frontier for insurance agents,” which detailed some of the ways I use Snapchat in my business to stay in contact with my clients as well as for prospecting and marketing strategies.

This month, I am writing about a different platform, but one that is just as important and has reached an attention level much greater than that of Snapchat – although Snapchat is catching up fast. When it comes to photo sharing and liking, one platform stands out above all the rest: Instagram.

When Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, it confirmed not only the importance of the platform but also the potential; it is now valued at $37 billion, according to Business Insider. There is no question about whether or not the attention is there because the platform currently has 400 million monthly active users.

So the big question is why and how to market on Instagram? The why is simple: Instagram is proportionately underutilized by marketers compared to Facebook and Twitter simply because it is much harder to capitalize on user impressions. The reason for this is twofold: Instagram will not let you post an active “clickable” link or call to action within a post like Facebook. The only “clickable” link Instagram will let you publish is in your profile description, therefore marketers have to be creative and get interested parties to their profile description in order to send someone to a website for conversion. (Below is a photo as an example of how to use Instagram. You can click on the photo to enlarge it.)

In my opinion, this is a good thing because it weeds out all of the non-creative or lazy marketers. The second reason is Instagram currently has no algorithmic system that prevents users from seeing posts like Facebook does, so it’s 100 percent organic and invaluable.

The number one rule in marketing on Instagram is native content. This is defined as content that is specific to a certain platform. Instagram’s native content consists of aesthetically pleasing photographs, not grainy or standard stock images, and utilizing hashtags.

Before I had any success or gained any marketing traction using Instagram, I was only doing one thing wrong and that was not using hashtags. In my opinion, most marketers andeveryday social media users are using hashtags completely wrong by trying to simply fabricate their own. I take the opposite approach: before every Instagram post, I search the internet for the 10 or 20 most popular or trending hashtags at that very moment and thenI create a post structured around that hashtag, not the other way around.

The result is 20 or more “likes” and a large amount of attention because the hashtags allow the world to see your post, not just your followers (which, in large, is irrelevant on Instagram). For example, I posted a photo not long ago and used the top 15 hashtags at that moment and in 54 seconds I had 15 likes and you don’t get that on any other platforms.

This is similar to how Twitter was utilized early by marketers before it was saturated. Instagram, I believe, will take a large market share from Twitter in the next year simply because it is the same concept, but has the image aspect to it. The photo portion of Instagram makes it vastly more difficult to spout off post after post like everyone does on Twitter. Thus, it causes consumers to respect posts more on Instagram. 

If you utilize these steps, which in large part are the opposite of what most people are doing on Instagram, I guarantee you will start seeing website traffic and lead conversions like I have been seeing since I started using this approach. As always, you are more than welcome to check my page on Instagram @Saraland_Insurance and see for yourself.

(Check the next pages for more photos of real-life examples on how to use Instagram for your agency. All photos are screenshots taken by Saraland Insurance from their Instagram account. You can click on the photos to enlarge them.)

 

 

 

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