If you’re active on the web, you should already know what Instagram is and how it has grown from a fad or trend into an era. The simple social media channel offers an easy way to improve your photos and get creative so that you can share them with your friends/followers. Once ready, the same photos can also be shared on other social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook.
Even though the Instagram app is not too old, it has become super-popular in the past few years — especially after being bought by Facebook for a $1 billion. It has managed to build a massive audience in a short period of time, thanks to its innovative features and ease of sharing visuals.
Today, more than 500 million people log into the app daily to share their pictures. No wonder it has already reached a billion monthly users.
So it’s safe to say that if your business isn’t taking advantage of Instagram for marketing, then you are leaving money on the table.
Regardless of what stage your business is in, you can take advantage of Instagram and increase your reach using the Instagram for business tips in this article.
If you look around you’ll find that there are many small and big brands leveraging the power of Instagram to grow their audience. So why not you? It’s definitely not too late to get started on it.
What’s more, Instagram wants businesses like yours to become active on the platform. Which is exactly why you see it launching business-specific features that make your job easier. So by not building and growing your presence on Instagram, you’re making it easy for your competitors to get ahead of you. Don’t let that happen. Instead throw them a curve ball by using our Instagram for business tips against them and putting yourself ahead of the pack.
The best thing about using Instagram for business is that it is not limited to an elite few. In other words, you could be a new brand or you could be running a unique business, you can still give Instagram a shot. And see the results for yourself.
For example, if you own a mom and pop store, you’ll be able to find an interested audience ready to do business with you. Similarly, if you are a B2B company looking for business clients, you’ll see that it’s not hard to connect with the right prospects who are using Instagram. The possibilities are endless, as long as your brand is ready to experiment and share the right content.
There are various Instagram for business tips that can work for your business, given that you are focused in the right direction. But before we get to those, here are two crucial reasons as to why Instagram is worth trying out for any business that wants more customers:
- Instagram is a visual platform, which means with the right images/videos in hand, it’s a lot easier to stand out from others and make your own mark.
- Unlike other social networks, Instagram is not difficult to use and master when it comes to connecting to your target audience and increasing the reach of your brand.
By taking the right approach, you can use Instagram to not only engage with your prospects but also effectively turn them into customers.
Let’s look into some more Instagram stats to help you understand its potential:
- Almost 71% of US based businesses are using Instagram
- 80% of Instagram users follow a business of interest
- Instagram mobile ad revenue came close to a whopping $7 billion in 2018
- 80% of influencers give preference to Instagram when it comes to brand collaboration
While Instagram does offer an option for paid advertising, you can still market your products and services for free by focusing on giving away real value. Which means you can connect to and build a relationship with an interested audience even if you are operating on a budget.
Initially, if you are new to Instagram, you may find it a little overwhelming or even confusing to use it for business. However, once you get a hang of it, you’ll see that gaining relevant followers and converting prospects into customers is not rocket science. All you need to do is stay focused on the fundamentals and keep experimenting with new and different ideas. Don’t have time to figure it out on your own? We know the feeling and want to help you out. Which is why we offer Instagram marketing services to an array of different industries.
In the following article we discuss 7 proven Instagram for business tips that you can apply today and see results soon.
Tip #1: Understand Your Core Audience on Instagram
Let’s face it, if you don’t know your core audience, you will end up making expensive mistakes no matter what marketing techniques you apply. So before you start working on creating and sharing amazing content on your Instagram account, you need to first find out what your audience wants. The content has to appeal to your potential buyers, or else there’s no use producing it.
There are two basic steps to identifying your target audience before you apply our other Instagram for business tips:
- Spend time learning more about your existing audience and what kind of content they are already liking on Instagram.
- Think about who else would fit the bracket or who may not seem like potential customers at first, but they may have interest in what you’re promoting.
When you’re researching your audience and understanding them, you need to keep an eye on your goals. Do you want to leverage Instagram for getting more sales? Or are you looking out to grow and strengthen your brand? No matter what your objectives are, you should focus on finding an audience that meets the criteria so that you create the right content for them.
Use Instagram Insights Regularly
Instagram Insights is an underutilized tool that can give you access to an array of data. If you’ve used Facebook for marketing, you should already be familiar with it.
This particular feature can help you know your audience better and their preferences by giving you the following data:
- Impressions: This the number of times your visual content has been viewed by users.
- Reach: This represents the total number of unique Instagram users that viewed a particular image or video.
- Website Clicks: This is the number of clicks your website URL (in your bio) has received.
- Follower Activity: This gives you a clear picture of how often your Instagram followers are active.
- Video Views: If you’re posting video content, then you can find out how much it was viewed.
- Saves: This tells you the number of people who saved your Instagram posts.
Besides the above data, you can also learn about the demographic information about your followers. Right from your gender to age to location.
While Instagram Analytics is great for understanding your existing followers, it doesn’t give you much info when it comes to attracting new people to your profile. That’s where social listening comes in.
Leverage Social Listening Effectively
With the help of a social listening tool, you can go beyond your existing followership and get a better understanding of your audience. Social listening basically tells you what kind of conversations are taking place on social media sites like Instagram. Which means you can find out what people are saying about your industry, the problems they are facing and if they are talking about your brand.
One of the most underutilized Instagram for business tips is to create content that can help you increase your reach. But in order to truly appeal to new people who don’t know your brand, you need to understand what makes them happy.
So make sure to use social listening to monitor and keep an eye on all those relevant keywords. Which includes industry related terms and also branded hashtags created by your competitors. Last but not least, try to discover visual content that has already worked for others in your niche so that you can create something along the same lines.
Tip #2: Make Your Instagram Account a Business Account
For most businesses operating on Instagram, it’s about getting more exposure and building a stronger brand. And the first and the most obvious step to do this is to make your Instagram account a business profile. Even if your account was initially used for your personal activities, it’s different when you start using it for business.
Given that you’ve decided to use it to market your products and services, it only makes sense to go public with a business account because a private Instagram account just won’t cut it. It’ll not only set a wrong impression on people visiting your profile, but will also hinder your reach. Because your target audience won’t be able to find the posts on your “private” account when they search for related keywords or hashtags.
Being a business, you want your visuals to be seen when people conduct location searches or look up related hashtags. One of the reasons businesses use hashtags is to get more exposure and increase engagement. Which won’t be possible with a personal account.
If you are not sure about the status of your account, tap the “Switch to Business Profile” option in your account settings to turn your account into a public business account rather than a personal account. You will need to do this if you want to advertise on Instagram as well.
Tip #3: Improve Your Instagram Business Profile
When it comes to leveraging the right Instagram for Business tips, you cannot ignore the importance of creating the right profile. Your business profile is the heart of your Instagram marketing activity, and it should help your brand reach your goals.
- Create an Attention-Grabbing BioWhen people come across your brand on Instagram, they should get a wow impression/experience. So the last thing you want is for them to form a negative opinion about your company by looking at your unprofessional bio. Which is why you need to spend time creating an attractive bio that makes your brand look presentable and approachable.
When your target audience comes across your profile on Instagram, they will notice your bio before looking at your content. If they don’t find the bio relevant and appealing in nature, they may skip over to another profile or simply scroll down. You want them to not only show interest in your content but also may click and visit your website.
Your Instagram bio has to:
— Tell people more about your business and what makes it unique
— Make sure it is relevant to the interests of your core audience
— Use your brand voice and tone to create a stronger connection
- Include a Relevant Link
You won’t find many spammers on Instagram who post hundreds of random links mainly because Instagram doesn’t allow you to have clickable links in your posts. But you can have one in your bio. Which means you can drive back laser targeted traffic to your website’s home page or campaign landing page right from your bio.
What kind of link you use is up to you; just make sure it is not something irrelevant or uber spammy. Here’s an example of how a link can be used in your bio:
- Use a Professional Profile Picture
Do you think your Instagram account will gain the attention of your target audience if you mess up your profile picture? Of course not. Instagram is a visual platform, and the last thing you want is to use a profile image that doesn’t connect with your brand.
Keep in mind that your audience should get an instant understanding of who you are when they visit your profile. Being a business, you can choose to have any one following as your profile picture:
– Company Logo
– Company Logomark (logo with no words)
– Company Mascot
You’re not limited to the above options. Think out of the box and see what represents your brand the best. If your profile picture can help your audience recognize you and made them look further, then it has done its job.
Tip #4: Get Creative & Deliver Value
One of the most important Instagram for Business tips that you should keep in mind is to focus on providing value and staying creative at the same time. In other words, don’t make your Instagram account look salesy.
Even though you’re a business selling a product/service, you shouldn’t be blatant about it. While there is nothing wrong in posting pictures of your products, be subtle in your approach. The fact that Instagram allows you to post visual content can work for you or against you, depending on how you use it.
Think outside the box and try to represent your brand in the most creative ways possible. The visual content you post can showcase many different things that give your customers and prospects a closer look at your business.
For example, if you are running a graphic design service, you can take people behind the scenes and show them how your company gets designing work done. You can also showcase your company culture or informative content that keeps users updated.
Tip #5: Produce Goal-Oriented Visual Content
Applying these Instagram for business tips comes after you know your goals well enough. If you are using Instagram for marketing, what’s making you do so? Why do you want to invest into it?
The reason why you need clarity about your goals is because it they directly tie with the kind of content you publish. Brands in the past have failed to make the most of Instagram when their content strategy didn’t take goals into consideration.
There are many different types of visuals you can post to Instagram, so your goal could be anything and you could still find the right content to post.
Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- If you want to sell more products, run special offers and post professional pictures of your product.
- If you want to build brand awareness then post visuals that inform and educate your target audience.
- If you want to grow your audience then post the type of content that people in your niche are sharing the most.
Instagram is not just about posting random images that look attractive. You need to go beyond that and post goal-driven content to reach your marketing goals.
Tip #6: Have an Instagram Content Strategy in Place
The Instagram for business tips that we discussed above will only work in your favor if you have a strong content strategy up your sleeve. That’s the only way you would be able to create a strong following and build a connection with your audience.
There are four important components that go into formulating a solid Instagram content strategy that generates results:
- Your Content Schedule
No matter what niche you are in, you can give your followers great visual content that they can share with others. However, this needs to be done carefully as you don’t want to overwhelm your followers with too much content. You need to create a custom posting schedule that works for you and then stick to it. Or hire a social media marketing company that could create, schedule, and do the posting for you.
You will not only need to test what type of content to post, but also when to post it in order to generate the most response. Start by posting content to your Instagram account at different times of the day and see when you get the most activity. Use a social media content calendar to track all your activity and to be sure that you’re prepared for posting the right content in the future.
- Your Content Themes
Out of the many Instagram for Business tips out there, this one can do wonders when it comes to engaging your followers. Why? Because the content themes you choose can make your account interesting rather than boring.
Also, by choosing and rotating between relevant content themes, you achieve multiple goals. For example, a travel company that wants to spread awareness of its programs can use content themes such as customer stories, holiday giveaways, and visuals from various destinations.
- Your Content Style
Having a distinct content style can help your brand stand out from the crowd and consistently deliver value to your audience. You and your team should be clear on how your brand’s personality should shine through your content.
For instance, you need to have set guidelines on the type of hashtags you will be using, the types of visual content that you will regularly post, etc. The more distinct your style is, the more easily you will be recognized by your audience.
Tip #7: Use Relevant & Helpful Hashtags
In order to take full advantage of the various Instagram for business tips you should make use of relevant hashtags. Unlike other major social networks like Facebook, hashtags play a huge role on Instagram when it comes to categorizing and organizing visual content. This allows users to find the right content at the right time. These simple yet effective tags makes your content discoverable in more than one way.
Hashtags are of various kinds. Some of them being generic in nature such as #marketing, while others can get highly specific such as #contentmarketing101. Hashtags have their own life on Instagram, which has made them extremely important for a successful Instagram campaign. Without hashtags you won’t see the kind of engagement you want to see.
Given below are some tips to help you make the most of hashtags and get more exposure to your content:
-Limit the number of hashtags you use because you don’t want people to see you as unprofessional. So instead of overdoing it with 20-30 hashtags, stick to around 10 hashtags that accurately represent your brand & target audience and cycle them through your content.
-Just the way you shouldn’t target very broad and competitive keywords in SEO, you shouldn’t use overused hashtags that are way too broad. Get specific and take a more targeted approach.
-Don’t use a hashtag just because it is popular. It also has to be relevant to the visual you are posting. Or else it defeats the whole purpose of using hashtags.
-When you’re using general hashtags, try to look for niche hashtags related to your marketing/industry rather than going for anything and everything. This not only boosts the chance of getting found by your target audience, it also increases the engagement rate of your content.
-If you’re using branded hashtags (which are specific tags that go with your brand), then see to it that you choose the right ones. Everything from the name of your brand to the name of your product or even an event can become a branded hashtag. Once you’ve created your branded hashtag, keep track of it to see who’s using it and why.
There you have it – the best Instagram for business tips we can give you! If you’re already using some of the Instagram for business tips we mentioned, then great! If not, well now you have more leverage against your competitors. So if you’re ready to get started and put these tips into action, then schedule a time to chat with us about the advantages of working with a social media management company for your Instagram marketing efforts.