A Guide to Instagram Marketing

3 Tips to Make the Most of Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are becoming more and more popular. Instagram is having a huge boom, with the number of users doubling in the last few months, so now is the time to master this platform for your business. We’re still experimenting with Instagram Stories and the art of engaging our viewers with them. 

That said, I have personally seen the results of this tool, and it can be huge for your business. We’re seeing more views on Stories than on standard Instagram posts, and a large number of link clicks from stories as opposed to the bio link. So, here are 3 Instagram story tips based on our experiments:

1. Using Photos and Videos In Your Story Makes It More Authentic

When you’re considering what content to post in your Instagram Stories, don’t think about it as a bunch of different random posts. You should think about what sort of message you want to send to your audience. A strong Story with photos and video will capture the essence of the whole day, rather than just a few random posts.

2. Sending Direct Message (DM) Leads to Better Engagement

Direct messages are a great way to create a one-on-one relationship with followers. It is possible to share your Instagram Story via direct message or by highlighting it so it will be on the main page of your profile indefinitely. You can also use your Story to encourage your followers to send you messages from your Story so you can connect with them one-on-one.

3. Drive Traffic to Your Website with Instagram Stories

Use Instagram Stories to communicate to your followers when there is new content published on your website. You can drive a lot of traffic by sharing a series of Instagram Stories that highlights content being published. So far, we are seeing a lot of engagement through Instagram Stories and would recommend experimenting with them for your business!

Using IGTV for Your Marketing

Instagram has introduced another feature called IGTV! This feature has the ability to upload longer vertical videos to Instagram. IGTV is equivalent to having your own channel and as soon as you click on the icon, videos immediately start playing like on a television. Instagram has introduced so many new features that can help you grow your brand and share more of who 

you are online. IGTV is a great way to show more of yourself and what your business is all about! Today, I will share a few tips on how to use IGTV to your benefit for your business.

1. Introduce Yourself

IGTV is a great way to show who you are and more of your personality to your followers! Think 

about recording a welcome video to introduce yourself and how you got started with your business. Live videos are always a great way to do this as well, but sometimes it can be daunting to present yourself in a live format. IGTV videos allow you to upload something that’s edited and can fit your style and brand more. It also allows people to interact and engage with you because they can still comment and like on your video. With each video being able to go up to an hour long, it gives you plenty of room to get creative and showcase your strengths.

2. Create Videos with Purpose

The new feature is also a great place to give tutorial videos, office tours, educational videos, etc. 

You can introduce your staff and work space to your followers and bring them into the behind-the-scenes of your day-to-day tasks. You can ask your employees to record some clips of themselves explaining their role in the business. When your audience can get a feel of your business values and see the faces behind the work, it will make them feel more connected and motivated to work with you.

3. Include a Call to Action

Lastly, try to always aim for a call to action for your IGTV videos. You want your audience to 

engage and always be interested in learning more. Include links in your descriptions to your website or other social platforms that can help them gain more information. Host a few giveaways on your channel and provide discounts during the holidays! Be sure to always have a good title and description for your video so it is easy for your audience to find. And of course, use this feature for creativity and let the best of your business shine!

A Guide to Instagram Story Highlights

Instagram story highlights are a great way for your audience to get to know you right off the bat. 

It’s the first thing they see when looking at your profile, and allows you to be more creative with how you market yourself! In the video below I show how to create a new highlight based on your product or service. 

This time, I am adding a “Recent Work” highlight to showcase some of my recent photo sessions. Remember, Story Highlights are only available based on what Instagram stories you have posted, so unfortunately they aren’t available through your camera roll. You can see in the video that I pick a few photos I am proud of, and even add an icon as my cover photo. This is a great way to make your profile look aesthetically consistent with your brand! You can make icons by using Canva or Photoshop and posting it to your Instagram Story! 

There are many more Highlights on my page as well! My most important highlight is the “Hello” one. Here, I introduce myself to my audience and give them a few facts about who I am and who’d they be working with if they decide to book me for their next wedding or event! Highlights are an incredible marketing tool for your business and can be used in so many different ways. Let your audience get to know you and your business better by posting your first highlight today!

Why Instagram Hashtags Are Important & How to Use Them

Instagram just released an update where you can now click on hashtags in user bios! This is a great thing for your social media business accounts because it makes it easier for people to find posts, information, and follow your unique hashtag. There are several reasons why hashtags are extremely beneficial in the digital world. 

Hashtags simplify the searching process and narrow everything down by posts that have used that hashtag. They allow you to reach your specific audience and in return allow your audience to find you quickly. With this new update, hashtags can increase your engagement and expand your reach to a specific audience. Adding a hashtag that fits your business allows followers to engage with similar content. They also give your audience insight into the type of content that you post about.

Now, how do you create a good hashtag?

You want to make sure that you pick something relevant to your brand and personality. Something simple, short, and easy to remember. If you pick something random, it may not grab the attention of the audience you are trying to reach.

Research different hashtags and find out how much your target audience engages with certain words. There are several apps that show you the analytics of the hashtags you are using and how much reach it provides per post. Check out Unum or Planoly to track your hashtags. It is beneficial to do your research to calculate the best possible hashtags that fit your business’s Instagram profile.

Promote your hashtag and let your audience know you are using it. Start incorporating the hashtag into more posts and let your users know to follow it and click the hashtag in your bio!

By making your audience aware of your hashtag, the more likely they are to engage with it.

Why Instagram Live Can Boost Business

Instagram is a wonderful marketing tool for your business and it is important to take advantage of all the tools it has to offer! Instagram Live offers an effective way to attract new followers and 

further build your brand. Live videos allow for a more authentic look into who you are, what you stand for, and what you have to offer. Going Live on Instagram is great for engagement and discoverability. It may be a little daunting to think about going live at first, but if you come up with a plan and promote yourself properly, then there are many opportunities waiting for you!

The first step to going live is preparing and promoting what you will be talking about! 

Preparing for your live video is crucial and will make it worthwhile. Write down notes and have key points ready. That way, if you lose your train of thought or get nervous you have something to reference.

Promoting your upcoming live is another important step. 

One of the main goals in going live is to reach as many people as possible. If you are able to get a ton of viewers to interact on your video, this shows Instagram that your content is worth watching and that it could be interesting to others. Receiving high engagement could get your video on Instagram’s explore page.

The best way to promote yourself is to let your audience know you’ll be going live in the first place!

For example, if you want to discuss how you started your business or discuss a few tips during 

your live video, then hop on over to stories and let your audience know that you’ll be going live at a certain date/time. This will get your followers excited and prompt them to have questions ready! 

Making your audience aware that you will be going live will also give your live video a sense of importance. Maybe you offer a promotion code during your live video? Or a giveaway? Allow that time on your live video to be special and unique to those engaging with you.

Instagram videos can be daunting, but if you prepare properly it can be very beneficial to you and your business. A small number of businesses are just now realizing the benefits of going live, so take advantage of the opportunity before everyone else starts doing it so you can make some sales!

3 Tips for Your Instagram Marketing

With these 3 tips you will learn how to grow your business and turn followers into clients!

Tip #1: Authentic Following/Engagement

So you want to grow your Instagram following and reach more people, buuut you’re not sure where to start. It may take a while, but a true following with REAL people is what makes your profile/business worth-while. Oftentimes you will have people reach out to you saying “I can help you manage your business and gain you thousands of followers!” (Sounds tempting but it is definitely not worth it!) Buying your followers will not only waste your money, it will also stunt your growth with your target audience. Using bots/buying followers will make your number go up, but your engagement and the amount of people interested won’t change. The more people 

you have following you who are PASSIONATE about your brand and mission will help you more in the long run. To find those people you have to provide them with content that they would value.

Tip #2: Figure out Your Target Audience

This is an important one because if you don’t know who you’re targeting, it is difficult to create content for the right audience. Figure out who would benefit most from your products and services. It may seem simple to say “Well, everyone.” But the truth is there are people who would connect with your products or services more than others. Follow accounts that inspire you and allow your ideas to truly manifest who you are and what your brand is. By creating content you are excited about then the right audience will be able to find you.

Tip #3: Utilize the Business Features on Instagram

Instagram offers a variety of tools to help get your content out to the public. Providing you options such as promoting your posts as ads, adding links to your stories and viewing insights from your posts/stories. By promoting your images you can choose what kind of audience you need to reach, how long the promotion will be up and how much you want to spend. Right now, promoting your post is super easy and affordable. This is a quick way to reach a mass audience to attract them to your profile/website. Instagram stories are another great way for your audience to engage with you, and now if you have 10k + followers you can add links to your 

stories that will lead directly to your product or service! Finally, viewing insights can be an extremely beneficial tool. By learning what your post meant to your audience you gain a better understanding of what works and which products and services are more appealing than others. Instagram provides you with information such as what the reach was, how many people liked your post and how many people visited your profile because of your post. 

All of these tips will be useful for you in the long run and help you create an authentic connection with your audience! Remember to stay true to yourself and follow up with your posts. When you start making these changes you’ll see just how much Instagram can help you gain new clients and form new business relationships.

How to Create an Instagram Account

Are you ready to start your journey on Instagram? Let’s go back to the basics. I’ll show you step by step how to create an Instagram account.

Step 1: Download the Instagram App

Instagram can be found at You can download the Instagram app using iTunes or Google Play. To create your account, you first need to download the application. You can only create an account using the mobile app.

Go to the App Store, and search for instagram. You will then be able to download it or open it if it’s already downloaded to your smartphone. The example above is from the Apple App Store.

Step 2: Open the App

Open the app on your smartphone, and you should see a screen similar to this:

Click Sign Up at the bottom of your app to begin the account creation process!

Step 3: Sign Up for An Account

After clicking Sign Up, you will be redirected to a page where you can put in your phone number or email address. I recommend using your phone number if this is your first Instagram account. If you are creating this account in addition to one you already have or if this will be an business account, you should use your email address. Choose one method, type in your information, then hit next.

Step 4: Photo, Full Name, and Password

After you put in your email or phone number, you will be directed to a page where you will choose your profile photo, full name, and password.

Profile Photo

Your profile photo is the first photo someone sees when you follow them or they follow you. It is the main representation of yourself or your brand on Instagram. When choosing your profile photo, use a photo of yourself if it’s a personal account. If it’s a different type of account, use a photo of your company logo or a photo that accurately represents your business or project.

Full Name

If your account is a personal account, use your normal full name. For example, if I was recreating my personal account I would put Steven Fielding. If your account is for a business or project, use the name associated with it.


This is probably the most important step of creating your Instagram account. Make your password as secure as possible. Include numbers, letters, and special characters. I recommend using a password management software such as LastPass to create a secure, random password for your Instagram account.

Step 5: Create Your Username

I recommend using your full name or a variation of it for your username if this is a personal account. For example, my name is Steven Fielding so my username would be stevenfielding, sfielding, etc. If your username will represent your business or project, either use your business name or some closely associate name. For example, this website is called The Marketing Journey so I would use themarketingjourney, marketingjourney, etc.

Your username will have a check mark by it if it has not been claimed yet. If you want to change it later, you can also do that. Finally, you may see an option entitled “Which of my contacts are on Instagram?” By checking that box, Instagram will look at your contacts from your smartphone and suggest matching connections on Instagram. Once you finish choosing your username, click next.

After you create your account, you’ll see this screen. As you can see, your profile photo is on the top left. Your username is on the top in the middle, and your full name is under the profile photo on the left.

That’s it guys! We hope you enjoyed learning how to create an Instagram account. Cheers!

As with any marketing technique, Instagram marketing best practices are always changing.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at