Instagram started out as a photo sharing app with only a small workforce. It has found a sweet spot in modern society that has combined a shift towards vanity, social networks and visual media. Now it is a tool for many; Famous celebrities, politicians, marketers and even some of the top businesses. Today, Instagram is one of the most popular social media networks in the world. Instagram has a lot of features that lead to more exposure, growth and revenue for the average user, creator and influencer.

Here’s how to put one together for use with your photos and videos.

1. Start building a strong follower

Having a long list of successful marketing followers on social media is almost directly proportional. Whether the follow-up was received before or after your marketing efforts – you only need a significant amount of Instagram followers. The more you have, the more you will “see” and the more likely you are to turn to sales. There are several ways you can increase your followers on Instagram, such as; Like photos in your niche, socialize, ask people to follow you, run competitions and much more. Also, be sure to follow and post several hashtags in your niche.

2. Always provide a link to your blog

Links and links to your blog products are very important in making money on Instagram. Every single photo, video or anything else you share must include a CTA (in this case a link to your blog or where they can buy items). Also make sure you have an item number or tag that can make their purchase easier. Instagram does not currently allow links to clickable sites, so users will need to rewrite the link in their browser window.

3. Share quality pictures

Despite the new features, Instagram is always about sharing beautiful photos. Nothing but high quality, beautiful pictures will tempt your prospects or monetize your account. Show your followers what your brand is all about through images that appeal to their visual senses. Show off your products, tell them your brand story, create graphicly transformed images and get creative.

For example, if you are a gym service, you can show hot hunks pictures of them working out. If you are a yogurt sales service, share pictures of your products and maybe you can use those yoghurt recipes in other ways. Always be sure to share photos of your latest products. For example, you could write a new book. Take a great snap of the cover and share it with the release date.

4. Use the video function

If a picture is worth a thousand words – then what is the value of a video (which practically contains thousands of pictures)? You do the math Instagram has a 15-second video sharing option that lets you get creative. Bring a personal message to your fans and tell them why you think they should try your new product. Or perhaps, you can share a 15-second fast-paced process of how you create your creations. There is no limit to how creative you can be by creating videos.

5. Involve your fans

Lots of fans and followers are willing to approve of your brand for just a little bit of recognition – and of course a post about them on your profile. This is a great way to connect with your followers as well as outsource original, quality content. Give your followers a chance to submit photos with your product, share their “experiences” in a video or do something they like. The best deposits can get discounts on your products, a small prize or perhaps a little recognition through your brand name.

6. Organize competitions or events

Get people to like your images and follow you because you’re running a great campaign or an event. Offer short-term exclusive deals and keep your users updated on how time is running out. Sharing special promotions or coupons is another way to engage your followers in a competition and turn those leads into sales. Ask a friend to double-tap or tag to get their name in the draw box. One of the great benefits of running contests and campaigns on Instagram is that you can create separate hashtags and put all contributions in one place.

7. Receive testimonials from clients

Get happy clients to upload pictures or videos of themselves using your products. There is nothing more believable than a handful of pictures, videos or testimonials that provide social evidence.

8. Get an influencer at work for you

If you know a giant celebrity, you are a lucky duck. However, there are other people who have big followers on Instagram that are much more accessible. For example, if you sell women’s clothing, look for popular online influencers such as fashion bloggers, entrepreneurs or social media gurus who have a lot of fan following. Many bloggers are willing to share models, what brand they wear and why buying from a particular brand would be a good idea. This is a great way to generate referral traffic through links to your blog as well as your branded Instagram hashtag.

9. There is an app for everything

Use an app to do a bulk job for you. The number of tools out there to boost your Instagram marketing is overwhelming. But here are some of the best:

  • Kicksta: Engage with real, relevant Instagram users and follow your ideal audience
  • Hashtag Forlix: This tool helps entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs and small businesses reach their target audience organically through smart hashtag identification and analysis.
  • Iconosquare: This is a tool that gives Instagram users advanced statistics about their profile, such as total number of likes, average number of likes and comments per photo, most liked photos, follower growth chart and much more.
  • Repost: Allows you to re-post an amazing retina-ready photo from another Instagram user’s profile while giving credit
  • Instaquote: Share inspirational “quotes of the day” and keep your followers engaged
  • Postso: This is a post scheduling app that makes life easier for a busy marketer. Schedule your posts, specify a location, sit back and relax
  • Picora: This is a visual marketing app that will suggest the best photos for your posts that can pull content based on geography, language and location.