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Audience Development

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Executive buy-in

Getting executive buy-in into your Instagram strategy is very important. Millions of people use Instagram. But using Instagram for business is a whole different task, and you want to make sure that everybody’s aligned with your brand and marketing strategy for Instagram.

Consider these personas. Keith here is an Instagram user. He uses it to capture his moments with his family. He’s 35 years old. Then we have Jen, who’s a CMO, and uses Facebook and LinkedIn. So both of them are coming from different areas of how they use social media.

You want to make sure that you share and get approval for them of how Instagram will be beneficial for your business. And a lot of ways, this will include thought leadership, driving high-level business goals, such as conversions or follower engagement.  You can host a lunch during your company’s lunchtime to help educate them on how to use Instagram or a manual so they can go back to and see how best practices are used for Instagram for business.

Growing audience: Organic

There are a multitude of ways to grow your audience organically.

  • Content: The best way to have repeat users and growth is to create high-quality on-brand content that people want to see.
  • Hashtags: A big differentiator on Instagram is the use of hashtags to grow your audience. You should research ones that are relevant to your target audience and include them in your posts. When people search for those hashtags, your content will appear.
  • Influencers: Influencers are a major part of your Instagram growth. You can have them promote your product on your page or theirs, do a takeover, or run a contest.
  • Links: The Instagram link or the Instagram logo for your company can be posted on your website and on other channels to drive traffic to your page.
  • Integrate with offline: Integrate with offline marketing channels, including television, video boards, street marketing, mention account names in the press, sign with account names at retail locations, and so on.
  • Go live: Go live and create ephemeral content, utilize consistent Instagram Stories and Live. In doing so, you can further your social selling program and increase brand awareness.

Growing audience: Paid

Now that we know the organic ways to grow an audience, let’s look at the paid ways to do so.

  • Influencers: Use Instagram influencers. There are many Instagram influencers out there within every single niche, so if you partner with them, you’re able to grow your audience and create a stronger brand presence. They’re so well-skilled in knowing how to actually create branded content that you can learn from them as well as create engaging stories with them as well.
  • Advertising: Advertising through Instagram is really effective as well. Now that there’s Facebook integration, you’re able to access so much data and to be able to do targeted Instagram ads, and you can do these in a variety of ways – from photos, to videos, to carousel, the list goes on.
  • PR: Work with a PR firm – the PR firm understands media and marketing very well, so you can promote your Instagram account on media channels and this will lead to increased engagement and your Instagram account can even be part of press articles as well.
  • Social media contests: These are great ways to get way more audience members to engage with your content, find new followers to your content, and this will lead to so much more growth and a way more fun to create Instagram content.

The role of influencers

An Instagram influencer is a person or even an animal who has an influence in a certain niche, and inspires users to complete an action, for example, like a page, buy a product, or promote brand messages. Instagram influencers can grow your audience account because they have a built-in audience. For example, Kylie Jenner has millions and millions of followers, so if you’re able to utilize Instagram influencers, whether they have 10,000 followers or millions, think of how many of those followers will come to your page. You can also find influencers in your niche in a variety of ways.

You can do organic search, social media search, connected conferences, or trade shows, or events, or work with a third-party tool to connect with them. Each influencer has their own pay rate and requirements. You will need to research comparable rates and connect with your influencers to connect and execute a campaign that is relevant to how your brand is and it’s preferable to have this in contract, so both parties are happy with the end result.

Keep account spam-free

Keeping your Instagram account spam-free is so important. There are so many spam bots out there that say, “Love your account,” “So cute,” and so on, but they’re not real! And you really want to have a highly engaged audience with real comments and real connectivity.

Reporting spam

To report spam you need to:

  1. Tap on the comment below the post.
  2. Swipe left over the comment you'd like to report.
  3. Tap the wheel.
  4. Tap ‘Spam or Scam’ or ’Abusive Content’.
  5. Select an option for why the comment is abusive.

Reporting a post

To report a post:

  1. Tap the three horizontal periods (iOS) or the three vertical periods (Android) above the post.
  2. Tap ’Report’.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Reporting a profilt

To report a profile:

  1. Tap three horizontal periods (iOS) or the three vertical periods (Android) in the top right of the profile.
  2. Tap ’Report’.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Blocking and unblocking

Should you ever find the need to block someone, tap their username to open their profile. Click the settings icon in the top right, tap ‘Block’.

To unblock someone, follow steps 1 and 2 above and then tap ‘Unblock’. Don’t worry, users aren't notified when you block them.

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Kate Talbot

Kate Talbot is a Growth Marketing consultant at Vidder Inc., best-selling author of "Oh Snap! You can use Snapchat for Business" and regular contributor to online publications such as Social Media Examiner, Engadget and KISSmetrics. Passionate about building brands through demand generation and strategic partnerships, Kate's expertise in social apps are unrivaled. 

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

You will not be assessed on this content in your final exam.


    Instagram and Snapchat
    Kate Talbot
    Skills Expert

    This module dives deep into the leading app-based platforms, Instagram and Snapchat. It begins by outlining the benefits of using social apps in your campaigns. Then, it teaches you how to navigate the key features of Instagram and Snapchat, and how to create fully optimized posts on both platforms. Next, it provides best practices for managing Instagram and Snapchat accounts effectively and covers how to run engaging ad campaigns on each platform. Finally, it provides you with the knowledge to analyze performance on each channel using analytics tools.