You've probably heard that Instagram marketing is supposed to be extremely beneficial for businesses. Nowadays, businesses need to be on Instagram because followers and potential customers are actively looking for them there. People like to see how a business presents itself on this popular channel and martial arts schools are no exception. Find out how you can promote your classes and build your online presence using Instagram.
One of the most popular social networks worldwide, Instagram reached over 1 billion monthly active users in June 2018 - and this number keeps growing. But that's not all. Instagram is great for businesses because it lets you showcase your brand and experiences in a visual, engaging way. Instead of telling potential customers how great your business is, you can show them through a photo or short video.
It's also arguably a lot easier to attract followers and win customers through Instagram than other social channels right now, with quality content and a solid strategy. And while it may seem daunting for a business that’s never been on the platform, any martial arts school can maintain one with some know-how. Here we'll show you how to make the most of some of Instagram’s many features.
Before you get started, take some time to familiarize yourself with the platform, if you've never used it before. Take a look at all of your local competitors’ Instagram accounts. Note what they do well and what they could improve on. Do this again with some of the highest followed martial arts accounts globally. You shouldn’t be copying anyone but it helps to have an idea of what kind of content is being posted and what gets results before you start experimenting with your own.
The first step to building your Instagram is to set up a business profile. Use the following principles as a starting point:
Profile Picture: Ideally, use your company logo as your profile photo.
Account Name: This will be your business name. Make sure this matches what you are using on other social platforms.
Username: This should also be your business name.
Website: This is the only link on your Instagram Page. Most businesses use this to link to their website or a promotional landing page.
Bio: This will be a short description about your school. You can also include your slogan here if you have one or briefly mention any ongoing promotions.
Create Quality Content
Quality content is key on Instagram. High standard images are able to generate an average of 23% more engagement than Facebook. Ideally, you need someone who is experienced in basic photography and with a good eye for aesthetics. A willingness to learn is likely going to be the most valuable quality. Many of the skills and know-how for maintaining a good Instagram account can be learned online for free.
There are a lot of different kinds of content you can post on Instagram to showcase your business. Here are some you could try:
Promotional Posts: Promotional posts are a chance to showcase your school. You could promote the classes you offer, any upcoming deals or events, images of any merchandise you sell or even highlight your latest tournament.
Educational Posts: Offer something of value to your followers through some educational posts. For example, you could offer them a training tip through a short video. This is a chance to demonstrate your knowledge and experience and establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
Motivational Posts: Inspirational quotes work quite well on Instagram and can strike a connection with your audience. Quotes are also very shareable, which means you can reach wider audiences and grow your online presence.
Behind-the-Scenes: This kind of content shares moments that the public doesn't get to see and is a good way to showcase how your business is run. For instance, sharing a business milestone or a picture from your last employee lunch goes a long way in humanizing your business.
Hashtags act as a way to find relevant posts and followers on Instagram. For example, if you type in #martialarts, you'll come up with a feed full of people who have posted images related to the topic. You can even get extremely specific. Looking for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu content? You can search it up using #jiujitsu or #BJJ.
As a business, you can utilize this to your advantage, by making your business easily searchable. Do some research and find the most popular martial arts Instagram hashtags and review the hashtags you find to see if they are a good fit with your business.
Accumulate a combination of local (your city’s, for example) and general (#martialarts and #taekwondo, for example), hashtags. Advanced tip: Adding a (short) list of hashtags as a comment can keep your captions looking cleaner and neater.
Use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories both provide a great way for businesses to really showcase the martial arts experience and attract both existing and potential students. Stories are short videos or images that you can add to your profile page, which only last for 24 hours.
Instagram stories are a must for businesses because they get better visibility than regular posts and you have a higher chance of being seen by your audience. They are also a great way to show a snapshot of what your business is all about. For instance, showing off your classes or training sessions on stories is great and live video can give prospective students — or students who are out of town — a preview of the class. This will allow people who haven’t been to your classes to see firsthand what your instructors and students are capable of. For beginners, learn by watching others who effectively create engaging content, to generate some inspiration.
Keep in mind that quality is more important that quantity. Attention spans are quite short on social media and creating content that is quick and to the point is key for success.
Engage Your Audience
Outreach and engagement are key factors in growing an Instagram account. By engaging with your audience, you make them feel valued and increases the likelihood that they will visit your profile and engage with it.
Search out martial arts accounts that you’re a fan of and show genuine interest. Writing a thoughtful comment is the best way to do this. Don’t expect to get a response from an account with an extremely high amount of followers but if you hit popular and smaller accounts on a regular basis, you’ll create more activity for yourself.
Another way to engage with your audience is to ask them to do something. When you share your posts, ask them to like it or tag a friend. A simple request like this can often inspire people to comment and engage with the content.
This social aspect of social media platforms can easily fall by the wayside, if you don’t stay active. Set aside half an hour a day for a team member to concentrate on this, and you’ll see your numbers begin to improve in no time!