A whopping 42 percent of marketers plan to increase their use of Instagram this year. This means that yes, visual content is essential, perhaps more than ever to a brand’s marketing strategy. Many brands are working diligently to find ways to create an appealing Instagram profile and generate quality visual content. As you try to make a big splash with your Instagram account, consider these three marketing trends that every business can use whether it has 400 followers or 40,000.

Branded Hashtags

Countless brands are utilizing branded hashtags as a way to connect with their community via social media but they aren?t your average, run-of-the-mill hashtags. Instead these hashtags are associated with the brand as a whole and what it has to offer, not just the product.

Creation of a branded hashtag results in a dual winning situation for marketers and their greater community too. Brands experience an increase in exposure to prospective customers through an Instagrammers photograph, and Instagrammers enjoy being highlighted on a brand’s profile for a feeling of fame and prestige and to gain some followers at the same time.

Lifestyle Content

Instead of consistently showing shots of your product on Instagram, share lifestyle content that accurately conveys your brand’s persona. Marketers need to pay attention to their followers and observe what the kind of content they share. Then they should replicate that type of content and share it themselves.

It isn’t difficult to find lifestyle content that is inspiring. Many brands take advantage of Pinterest’s simple-to-use search options to locate photographs that they would like to share on Instagram. Of course, always remember to cite credit for any photographs you use.

Instagram Influencers

Finding some solid Instagram influencers is just one of many easy ways to build your brand. With Instagrammers always looking to grow their following, it is simple for businesses of any size to be noticed by a larger audience. Make it a point to build relationships with any influencers within your own community. Large brands aren?t scared to drop top dollars to partner with Instagram users who have tens of thousands of followers; medium and smaller-sized businesses have the ability to increase their exposure through giveaways or offering promotions.

Keep in mind that sending something free doesn’t mean that the Instragrammer will fall in love with your product, and just because a user has thousands of followers does not guarantee they will produce enthralling content for your business. Don’t get in a rush to pair up with influencers. Instead, take your time to make sure you are forming a partnership with a business that is a good fit for your brand and always ensure that the business is eager to partner with your business.

Whether you are new and have your eyes peeled for Instagram tips for beginners or are an old pro in the social media network, you probably are starting to grasp all that Instagram offers your business. Take advantage of this online mobile photo and video-sharing social powerhouse that can help you reach a wider audience and generate more business than ever.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.