When Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, industry insiders and observers thought Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, was crazy. As it turns out, buying the then fledgling photo app is now Zuckerberg’s biggest win so far.

Since then, Instagram has grown to become a massively successful social media empire which brought success to individuals and businesses that have figured out clever ways to use it to connect to customers. Models, actors, and foodies use Instagram to great effect as part of their social media campaigns, gaining massive followers and unprecedented exposure.

If you’re looking to expand your business’ exposure on social media through your Instagram, here are five online marketing strategies you could use now to start winning new customers and to nurture them to become loyal followers of your business.

Constantly Update Your Instagram Business Profile

It’s a known best practice for businesses that to gain massive exposure in social media, one must consistently post fresh and relevant updates. The same is true for marketing on Instagram. Update your profile with new photos, news or promotions at least once each day. Remember that Instagram users are an active bunch, so keep up with them with daily updates.

Create a social media plan of consistently updating your profile and you’ll be showing on your followers’ timeline, thus giving you and your brand the opportunity to stay on top of their minds whenever they’re online.

Your posts should be interesting, even silly, and relevant to the interest of your target

You can even look at successful online Instagram businesses campaign examples for inspiration and a better feel of the kind of posts your users might be inclined to engage with.

Hashtag it

Hashtags are linked niche keywords that people use on Instagram and other social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook that you can track in real-time. By putting a relevant hashtag on your posts as a digital strategy, you gain better exposure and traffic. You may include as many hashtags as necessary, but keep those hashtags relevant. And you don’t want to include random hashtags however relevant they are. You want to include hashtags that people actually use.

So do your research first. Explore for a handful of hashtags that are related to your post and are now trending for similar online marketing businesses. You can use tools like Tag Sleuth and Keyhole to find trending and relevant hashtags for your posts.

Interact with users

As with most social media platforms, Instagram is also a communication tool. Therefore, you need to think about Instagram as a two-way street where you interact and engage with your target audience.

Some of the things you need to do when running an active Instagram marketing campaign include tagging and reposting content from influencers, responding to user comments, liking other people’s posts and commenting on other user’s’ content. Conversation is key to nurturing your relationship with Instagram users and in attracting new ones.

You also need to expand your network and grow your relationship with other Instagram users. The best thing to do to start gaining followers is to first follow people, especially those who have the same interest as yours or who you think might be interested in what you have to offer. People tend to follow back right away when being followed. And when people follow you, be sure to reciprocate by following them back and thanking them for the connection.

Learn the use of effective Calls-to-Action (CTA)

Instagram is anti-spam, as with most social media platforms. But unlike Twitter and Facebook, there’s no way to post a link on an Instagram post. So where should you lead them to? The best way to deal with this is to invite your Instagram users to follow you and then at the end of your posts, remind them to check out your profile. Your profile page should have a link to your website where they could complete a transaction or simply browse through your products and services.

Focus on a relevant set of users

Instagram is unique, and it’s quite difficult to execute an effective marketing campaign on it. The key to a successful Instagram marketing campaign is to build a loyal following from highly-targeted or relevant users which you can build slow yet steady.

Seek out users who have the same interest as yours or who you think might be interested in your brand, and then nurture your relationship with them by constantly communicating with them. Ask them what they like and then give them what they want. As strategies in digital marketing go, figuring out what they are entertained by most could be a slow process, but the time you spend figuring this out will pay long-term dividends for your business.

With Facebook backing it up, Instagram is here to stay for the long haul. If done right, creating a digital marketing campaign around Instagram could help build lasting relationships between your brand and your target customers.