In the world of digital marketing, things are constantly changing. Sometimes it's for the best and other times it's not.

Instagram is a great place to market your business and gain brand awareness. Whatever product you offer, Instagram can help you get it to the right people.

This versatility has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that it is a reliable and proven way to do marketing; the downside is that you are not the only one with access to this space, so you have a lot of competition.

The sheer number of competitors on Instagram is enough to make you question your business decisions. It is important to know that an Instagram page does not show the full story.

There is a lot going on behind the scenes that you might not know. What you are seeing is the result of an Instagram strategy or the lack of a strategy.

Social media marketing has practically exploded in recent years. Either you join the bandwagon or simply get left behind.

To beat the competition and take the # 1 spot, you need to have the best Instagram strategy and content. Small brands generally find it more difficult to usurp this first place because of their competition with the big brands.

With that in mind, we've come up with a few approaches you can use to stay ahead of your competition.

Steal from them

"Good artists copy great artists steal."

When you are in competition with others, sometimes it is important to know where you stand.

What are your strengths and weaknesses compared to others? These are questions you need to ask yourself on a daily basis. And when you're done, run that same analysis on your competition to find out what they're doing. What made them successful or what made them fail?

When you know the strengths and the methods they use, you can now implement these methods in your own IG strategy.

For example, your competition has a trivia contest every week, thus increasing engagements. Why not think of something similar, like a puzzle to solve? Competition can help you grow.

The general idea is to adjust and make improvements every step of the way.

Know your target audience

When you get started with Instagram marketing, the only thing you should be concerned about is your target audience. Who are you selling to?

Be very realistic when you think about this as it will affect the way you do business in general, so do it without feelings. Know the type of customers who will want to use your product / service and define them by age, gender, race, location, and even religion (if applicable).

Don't waste time trying to please everyone. Start with a small audience and then build up over time. This is a great way to make one over your competition.


Advertising is one of the essentials of marketing. If you're trying to reach people who aren't your followers or people you can't reach, you need to advertise.

Instagram advertising helps you reach users outside of your circle, thereby increasing your audience and brand awareness.

To run a successful Instagram ad, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

  • Use high quality visual content that will catch the eye with just one glance.

  • Have an optimized landing page with a great call to action. When people see your ad, it should get them to take action and hang out with you. If they decide to do it, your landing page is the first thing they'll see, so make it a great one.

  • Tailor your ads to the audience you want to attract.

Make friends with influencers

Influencers are people with medium to large audiences. They can influence their fans / followers towards a particular decision.

Influencer marketing is rife today. We are seeing brands reaching out to social media personalities with large audiences. These brands are looking for influencers who match their target audience.

The point is, influencers are one of the best ways to build trust in the brand. Subscribers can see someone they relate to using your product / service, which can go a long way. Find an influencer with a large following and you're good to go. Your marketing will go through the roof.

Well, not exactly! We also have micro-influencers. These personalities have fewer followers who are generally more engaged. A micro-influencer with 5,000 followers could be more profitable for your business than a mega-influencer with 200,000 followers.

Always be consistent and professional

Being professional in all of your transactions only has positive effects. Coupled with consistency, you already have the keys to success.

When it comes to social media marketing, consistency can be achieved by regularizing your posts. You don't want to be that brand that just posts every other day. Create a content calendar to help you schedule posts. It will go a long way in making you more consistent.

Consistency will help you stay relevant in the minds of your audience, so that you don't give them the chance to forget you for even a second.

Regular posts paired with the right hashtags are one of the best Instagram marketing strategies. Stick to a pattern or go for a unique style, then you're good to go.

Leverage your media

Instagram revolves around images and videos. This is what the app was designed for. So, when uploading content, keep the quality of your posts in mind.

Put in high quality photos and videos, and it becomes a testament to the quality of your brand. Fortunately, Instagram squeeze tool won't reduce the quality of any post.

And instead of using photos taken on a phone, why not invest in a professional photographer and take your branding to a whole new level? Here are some of the sacrifices you need to make when starting a business.

Quality photos with Instagram filters and great captions; this is the recipe for success.

Use analysis tools

Tracking growth and metrics is a critical part of SMM. You need to know what works best for you and what doesn't. But checking all of these metrics manually can be time consuming and tedious. This is where the analytical tools come in.

You can use these tools to analyze your business performance and also spy on your competition. Some of the main tools to use are Phlanx, SproutSocial, SocialBlade, Google Alerts, SocialMention, and Fanpage Karma.

Final thoughts

By using these tools to see what your competition is doing, you will be choosing clues about their strengths and weaknesses. The idea is to embrace the good and let go of the bad, and market more strategically.

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