Why use Instagram to market your business?
Today, most digital businesses use Twitter and Facebook to increase their reach across the web. They are considered crucial social media platforms for small and large businesses alike. In recent years, Instagram has become an effective platform for business marketing and driving online sales. Its demographic is 18 to 34-year-olds. It allows users to share pictures and short 60-second videos (or in the case of Instagram Stories, 15 second videos).
A new addition is Instagram TV (IGTV) which allows users to upload videos, of up to 1 hour in length, to their Instagram account.
Instagram success is all about persona
Why is Instagram marketing is so popular with online businesses?
Instagram now generates more followers than Twitter and has over 800 million users. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost, Instagram is about visuals – not words. Conversion rates are higher for videos and images than text because they offer immediate gratification and appeal to people’s emotions. Secondly, more users access the web via their mobile devices. With many more consumers shopping from their mobile devices, online businesses can benefit from using Instagram to sell their products, connect with their customers, find new ones, and build brand awareness.
Facebook owns Instagram. This means that you can run your business ads through the Ads Manager on your Facebook page.
If you are a small business, you can set up a personal Instagram account and still run your ads on Facebook to show on both social media platforms. You can also set up Facebook Pixels to track your conversions and set up re-targeting ads for individuals who visited your site but did not make a purchase.
Furthermore, you can still share your Instagram pictures across Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Tumbler.
Instagram business marketing tips and best practices
- Work with Instagram influencers. They will sponsor you and promote your business in return for a free product or service.
- Connect your website to a shoppable storefront such as Have2Have.It, which will send visitors to your e-commerce site via your Instagram profile. Do some research as the list is growing.
- You can also create a free online shop using Inselly. Add the hashtag #inselly to your posts. This allows Instagram to identify your content as shoppable. You could use it to push some of your discounted or discontinued stock.
- Add music to your Instagram content to make it more appealing.
- Be creative. Post a variety of images and videos. Only 20% of your posts should consist of hard-selling your business.
- Run and track your Instagram ads through Facebook’s Ad Manager.
- Run Instagram contests to connect with followers and sell your product. Try out some contest tools, e.g. Gleam or WooBox.
- Use iconosquare.com to monitor your analytics and help manage contests.
- Create a series of posts with Instagram Stories.
- Upload videos to IGTV that showcase your products. Here, you can add links to your website. Don’t forget to include a call-to-action.
- Make use of inspirational or motivational captions.
- Add pictures of your followers with your products in your Instagram posts. Remember to get their permission first.
- Provide a link to your website in your bio and a keyword-rich description.
- Give your followers exclusive previews of your products. You can showcase a new product using Instagram’s Marquee features.
- Like your followers’ posts.
- Ask your followers to tag their friends.
- Photos should be high-resolution. You can edit photos directly from your phone. There are several mobile apps you can use with additional editing features.
- Add a touch of personal branding. Your posts can include photos of yourself and your employees at work gatherings.
- Increase your reach through hashtags. Use popular hashtags in your video and picture descriptions. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, the more hashtags you use, the further your Instagram reach. Aim for 11 hashtags per post. (30 is the limit).
- Remember, you do not need to post every day.
- To make your photos more accessible, ensure that you have added Alt text.
- Ensure that you include a relevant call-to-action in your post, e.g. “download”.
- You can schedule your Instagram posts through social media management platforms such as Hootsuite and Alt text.
- Do not download pictures from the internet and try to pass them off as your own.