Instagram is a traffic behemoth. There’s really no other way to describe this traffic platform. After all, it has more than one billion active users.

Just how active are these users? Well, we’re talking about five hundred million people interacting with their accounts every single day. That is huge.

Whether you’re viewing traffic in terms of page views, ad clicks, or what not, Instagram has a lot of potentials. If you have not tapped into this amazing traffic resource, you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

In fact, it’s worse than that. It’s only a matter of time before your competitors leave you completely in the dust. It doesn’t matter how solid your online store brand has become, it’s only a matter of time until your competitors destroy you thanks to their solid Instagram persona.

You need to get in there. You need to tap into Instagram so you can gain or maintain a competitive advantage. With that said, too many people who try to market on Instagram flat out fail. They really do.

They don’t get the results that they’re looking for and eventually, they quit. As we all know, the only way to lose something is to quit. That’s the only way you can fail.

Unfortunately, if you don’t play the Instagram marketing game the right way or you have no idea, then the chances of you failing are quite high. Here are just ten of the many reasons why most Instagram marketing campaigns fail.

#1 – One-time Big-time Paid Marketing Campaigns

You can’t look at Instagram as some sort of one-time-big-time traffic source. You can’t just go in there with a big budget, buy up as many ads as possible, and just come in with both guns blazing. It doesn’t work that way.

For you to truly benefit on Instagram, you have to run a campaign. Optimize it. Then, run another campaign until you get the results you’re looking for.

The key here is to run free and paid campaigns on a slow and low basis. In other words, you’re just experimenting. You’re just trying to figure out what will work.

It’s like throwing spaghetti at the wall. You keep throwing from different angles and in different ways until you find something that works. At that point, you then scale up. That’s when you spend real money.

Unfortunately, if you go in there with a one-time-big-time kind of mindset, things are probably not going to work out unless of course, you already know what kind of ad campaign would work well with Instagram.

Most companies don’t have this strategic advantage. They’re coming in completely blind. It is very dangerous to come in with too much money with a tremendous amount of impatience. You have to be patient. You have to attack this on a piecemeal basis.

#2 – Promoting Direct Conversion Links

I’m a very big Instagram marketer as well as a user. I love using Instagram. In fact, I’m one of those stereotypical Instagram users who check their IG updates every couple of hours.

From my perspective as a consumer, I can see why a lot of Instagram marketing campaigns fail. Many of these marketers would buy a good-looking ad on Instagram.

However, when you click on the link associated with that picture, it takes you to a page you know nothing about. A lot of these campaigns take you to a sales page.

This is a serious problem because people are thinking at the back of their heads, “What is this company about? How will I benefit from this company? How do this company and its products and services address my situation?”

There are lots of unanswered questions. People who clicked-through may not have been fully convinced yet, but unfortunately, they are dumped on a sales page.

They don’t know what to do. When consumers get confused, they can be relied on to click the back button or not do anything. In other words, they’re not going to buy. They’re not going to convert.

This is why promoting direct conversion links usually leads to failure. You have to qualify your prospect. You have to answer their questions. You have to build trust in their eyes.

#3 – Unreasonable Suspicion of Influencers

A lot of accounts on Instagram get paid a lot of money. These are regular people like you and me who created Instagram accounts. Advertisers cannot give them enough money. Why?

They’ve developed very loyal fans. These accounts may post pictures of luxury watches. Who do you think would want to buy advertising space or ad mentions in their posts? That’s right. Luxury time-piece brands.

Regardless of the niche, there are sure to be influencers who command top dollar. Now, this may sound awesome and everything, but the problem is there are lots of unscrupulous business people out there making up fake influencer accounts.

These are accounts that are just intended to get advertising revenue. To make matters worse, they also have fake followers.

Let me tell you. If you were to spend $20 on a shoutout to these accounts, you might as well just take that $20 bill and burn it. You’ll get the exact same result. You’ll get a whole lot of nothing.

Last time I checked, software bots on Instagram, Facebook, or other social media platforms do not have credit cards. This is why a lot of advertisers, such as yourself, have been turned off by influencers.

In fact, they’ve swung to the other extreme. They are so turned off that they would not pay for a shout out from an influencer. This really is too bad.

People who think this way are throwing the baby out with the bath water. Sure, there are lots of unscrupulous influencers out there. A lot of them are simply out to make money.

However, there are also perfectly legitimate ones. These are the ones who can actually drive traffic that converts. Your job is to pay attention to certain signals that indicate and influencer is the real deal.

#4 – Choosing To Be Antisocial

It really is quite ironic. A lot of marketers go on social media and instantly turn these platforms into one-way conversations.

I’m telling you, you’re not being social when you are interacting with somebody in a way where you’re the only one doing the talking. That’s not much of a social experience.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly how too many people define “social media marketing”. They’re being antisocial. It is no surprise that people who market this way on Instagram, fail again and again. How can they not?

They’re being antisocial. They don’t engage in outreach. They don’t comment on their fans’ comments on their content. In many cases, they don’t even acknowledge their fans.

It’s as if they’re just dumping content on Instagram and moving on. Well, let me tell you. With everything else being equal, as a consumer of Instagram’s services, I would rather follow somebody who makes me feel like I matter.

It doesn’t take much effort to like a follower’s comments. It doesn’t take much effort to share a follower’s posts or indicate some sort of interest in the fact that they, themselves are interesting.

It is no surprise that a lot of people who try to market on Instagram don’t attract much of a following. How can they? They only talk to themselves.  It’s obvious that all they care about is money.

You have to be social. This goes a long way in producing a very human persona. At the end of the day, fans on Instagram are looking for real flesh and blood human beings they can follow and identify with.

They’re looking for somebody to be loyal to. You’re not going to be building much loyalty if you can’t even be bothered to engage with your followers’ comments and content.

#5 –  Relying On Substandard Photos and Videos

Just like with anything else in life, it’s very easy to get lazy on Instagram. If you notice that people would follow you no matter what, it’s very easy to backslide. Seriously.

Instead of insisting on posting only the top-notch niche-specific photos and videos, you start developing a “good enough” mentality. You say to yourself, “That photo is not really the best, but that’s good enough. That video leaves a lot to be desired, but that’s good enough.”

Well, you have to understand that your account has competitors. You may not be aware of them. You may not have a clear idea of the full extent of competition your Instagram account is up against, but the competition is there.

Guess what? They are eager to eat your lunch. They are eager to grab your followers. If it turns out that you only post substandard, dated, grainy, or otherwise low-quality videos and pictures, eventually, they will find their way to your competitors. They will leave you in the dust.

These are people you could’ve turned into buyers. If you’re going to be on Instagram, focus only in producing the very best content. It’s an arms race out there. It’s not pretty.

Sooner or later, your competitor will bury you. Don’t let them do it. Don’t give them the opportunity. Publish your very best.

#6 – “Build It And They Will Come” content strategy

I’m telling you, if you think that a certain type of photo is going to be hot, you might want to pour some ice-cold water on that idea.

Seriously. My rule of thumb is simple. The more excited I get about a particular content idea, the more I hold off. Why? I’ve been down this road before.

I get all excited about a hot new content idea. Maybe it’s a picture or video on Instagram or maybe it’s a blog post or article.

Whatever form it takes, I know now that there is a disconnect between the things that I think are hot and what my actual target audience thinks is hot. Focus on the needs of your actual target audience members.

Don’t go with your gut feelings. You may be thinking that a particular type of content is the best idea, but you might want to hold off. Focus instead on what they already like.

The good news about social media is that this is very easy to see. Either a post gets a lot of thumbs up or some sort of indication of approval, or it doesn’t. Either it gets shared a lot and reposted, or it doesn’t.

Use these objective metrics of quality to help you come up with your content strategy. Focus on topics and content that already work.

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Don’t come up with something earth-shattering or ground-breaking because chances are, your content will fail.

You probably don’t need me to remind you that content can be quite expensive. You might be producing these photos, videos, and articles yourself, but guess what? Your time is precious. Guard your time. Watch your time investment.

#7 – Failure To Repost Others’ Niche-Specific Content

When I first got started on Instagram, I noticed that some accounts that I followed kept posting the same pictures on a fairly regular basis. Maybe they had 50 pictures and they would just rotate among them.

It turns out that these accounts simply did not have the budget to come up with a whole lot of content. They can’t keep stuff fresh. They can’t even publish 365 pictures with one picture per day.

What do you think happened? That’s right. These accounts started losing members. They stopped growing and they started shrinking. Eventually, the novelty wears off.

Don’t let this happen to you. There is a simple fix to this. It doesn’t involve you taking out a bank loan or sitting down and sweating over ways to come up with original pictures and videos. You don’t have to do any of that.

What is the secret? Repost other people’s contents. That’s right. On Instagram, there are sure to be other accounts that feature original content that is highly targeted to your niche. Better yet, this content already gets a lot of love.

Some of their content is very viral. You take the very best content and then, publish it on your account. Why would you want to do this?

Well, first of all, it prevents your users from burning out. They see new stuff. Most importantly, they see high-quality stuff that is directly tied to your niche.

Next, you are able to keep your followers engaged. This gives you the opportunity to blast out your own original content on a repeating basis.

Few people would mind because you have enough content in between your own content. Also, you might want to step it up and publish more of your original content.

Whatever the case may be, curating or reposting other people’s niche-specific content goes a long way in helping you build credibility and maintain your users’ engagement levels.

#8 – Failing To Call Instagram Feed Viewers To Action

As a consumer on Instagram, I can’t even begin to tell you how many time I have seen posts where the promoter published one awesome picture after another. This is all well and good, but I’m also a marketer.

I know that at some point, this person needs to make money. Unfortunately, they’re not making things easy on themselves because there’s really no way they can make money from the photo.

How come? They just post a photo. The description is really flat. There is no call to action. You’re not aware that you’re supposed to do something else.

They just post photo after photo of one amazing luxury watch after another. These are real watches, mind you, worn by real people. What a waste of time.

If only this person said, “Check on my profile,” or “Get this watch at an 80% discount by visiting this website,” if they only did that, but no. They just posted one gorgeous picture after another and a couple of lines of text.

None of these words called anybody to action. When people do this, they’re leaving a lot of money on the table. They’re not encouraging engagement. Their post, no matter how awesome the quality, simply fall flat.

#9 – Using No Hashtags Or Using The Wrong Ones

Please understand that Instagram is like a search engine. People are looking for only certain types of content. Maybe I’m looking for a beef taco that comes from a certain part of Mexico. Maybe I’m looking for specialized burritos.

The more narrowly tailored and specialized my hashtag, the tighter my search. It will probably only pull up only a few pictures, but guess what? I’ll be extremely interested in those pictures because I used those specialized hashtags.

That’s how hashtags work. They filter your contents’ viewers based on interest. As a marketer, you should already know that when you filter people based on their interest, you increase the likelihood that you will be able to sell them stuff.

You already know what they’re interested in. You already know what their needs are. You already know what kind of problems they have.

Unfortunately, when marketers publish content on Instagram and leave out hashtags, they leave a lot to the imagination. It’s going to be so much harder for their target audience members to find this content.

#10 – Posting Off-Niche Content

The secret to Instagram marketing success is all about building a solid niche brand persona. A key part of this is niche specificity.

If you’re just posting pictures and videos that can fall under so many different categories, then people who have followed you would probably unfollow you. Why? There’s no point.

They’re getting this random content. They’re not really getting the specific type of content they’re looking for.

Even if your main draw is your personality, your taste might just be so random that people might find you boring. They might end up following somebody else.

Do you see how this works? Post niche content. For example, if you own an online clock warehouse, post only pictures of clocks.

There are so many different categories and types of clocks. Post it on your Instagram account. Stick to that niche. Otherwise, you’re going to lose our audience.

Steer clear of the ten reasons and practices above if you want to succeed with Instagram. It really boils down to having a SOLID game plan. If you commit any of these mistakes, don’t be surprised if your online store business fails sooner rather than later.

To your success,

Gary Frazier


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