You may have found out about marketing on Instagram, and are now thinking about whether or not you should utilize Instagram as a social media platform to advertise your business.
Instagram advertising has sparked the interest of most business owners, especially now that the image–based platform is the second most popular social networking site.
With more than 300 million active users, Instagram is one of the best and most–used social media platforms, allowing you to share images and short videos with your followers. There are over 55 million photos shared on Instagram every day, which is another great reason why your business needs to utilize this platform. If you’re dedicated to meeting your consumers where they are (as you should be) it’s important to create a presence for your brand with this app.
Instagram has become one of today’s top social media platforms because it can connect people solely through visual elements, which is a powerful way to capture and sustain a consumer’s attention.
Companies have rushed to capitalize on the immense growth of the social platform, many of which have learned to successfully sell their products and services with the app’s capabilities. In fact, if you take Instagram seriously, it can open up a world of opportunities for your brand.
10 Advantages of Instagram Advertising
- Popularity Among Users
After Facebook, the world’s most popular social network, acquired Instagram in 2012, the social networking app grew to become the world’s favorite photo-sharing outlet. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 49 percent of Instagram users check the platform daily, while 32 percent of respondents aged 18 and older use it multiple times each day. These are great statistics for online advertisers who rely on the visual appeal of their products, like retailers, craftsmen, restaurants owners, and event organizers.
- Visibility to Potential Customers
While most people think about Facebook and Twitter when it comes to connecting with fans and engaging with customers online, you may be surprised to hear that Instagram has one of the most active and engaged user networks. More specifically, according to Forrester, an influential research and advisory firm, Instagram generates 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. With such high engagement rates, Instagram is therefore the best platform for connecting with customers, listening to their feedback, and building relationships through conversation.
- Less Work with Linked Facebook and Instagram Accounts
Since Facebook owns Instagram, it allows you the freedom to sync the two accounts and do less work. You can reuse the content from one account on another. When you create an ad on Instragram, for example, you instantly get ad placement on Facebook as well. Best of all, you can create Instagram ads from your desktop via Facebook Business Manager.
- Creating a Special Touch
One of the main benefits of Instagram is that it helps build trust with potential clients. People want to buy from other people, so the platform helps provide a face for the brand name.
With social media platforms like Instagram, you are also able to build an emotional connection with your customers. By posting the businesses’ experiences in a casual way, you can create a personal feel for your company. Do this by posting images of your employees at work actively participating in their job. You need your customers to get to know your company’s culture, as well as the individual faces behind it.
- Tracking your Data and Analytics
Instagram created a new analytics dashboard and added it to the mobile application. The dashboard gives comparisons of photos and video impressions, engagement and reach. This allows you to see what is working so you can modify your ad campaign as you go. Any good company will track their analytics to maximize their online presence and sales. Instagram allows you to do this easily.
- Free Advertising
One of the best features of Instagram is free advertising. You can show your services in action, which creates great online traffic. It allows you to share more of what you have to offer.
- Reaching Target Market
Whether you’re looking to connect with millennials or older generations, Instagram should be your go-to app. With 37 percent of Instagram users falling in the millennial category, youth-focused brands like Nike have had great marketing success with the platform. Brands targeting an elder audience, like Ford and General Electric have also gained a great level of engagement on their Instagram profiles.
- Creating Ads Easily
Instagram photos can be used for many purposes, like marketing materials, websites, product pages, and dedicated website galleries. In addition, the social app allows you to repurpose valuable content, integrate content, connect social media platforms, and so much more. Thanks to the app’s recent updates, Instagram now also has the capability to convert organic posts into paid ads. You can pick your target audience yourself or simply let Instagram select it for you.
- Learn what People like
Your customers may already be posting photos and talking about your company on Instagram. This is especially true if your business has a brick and mortar location where customers share their location on a regular basis. Restaurants are a great example of this, as people love sharing photos of their favorite dishes. With Instagram, users can post an image and let their followers know where they are enjoying the meal by tagging their location. This capability is not only relevant for restaurants. No matter where they are or what they’re doing, the user’s followers can see it, giving customers the chance to market your business on your behalf.
The best way to see if people have shared photos at your location is to snap a photo at your business. After you post the image, you will find a link above the photo where you can click to see all of the photos that have been shared about your business. This is an excellent way to find what people like about your business.
- Finding a Competitive Advantage
There is significantly less competition on Instagram than on Facebook or Twitter. In fact, an American Express Survey showed that only 2 percent of companies are currently marketing on Instagram, giving them an advantage over their competitors.
Also, the companies that incorporate Instagram into their marketing strategy will probably reach their target audience easier than with Facebook or Twitter, where marketing is much more competitive.
How to Start Instagram Advertising
Choose an objective
Every company has a different objective when it comes to social media marketing. The first priority in marketing on Instagram is to determine what you are trying to get out of it. Here are a few examples of common business objectives:
Boost your posts
Send people to your website
Increase conversions on your website
Get installs of your app
Increase engagement in your app
Get video views
Setup your Business Instagram Account
Download the App
Using your smartphone to do your Instagram marketing is strongly encouraged because there are more features for your mobile device.
Create an Account
When creating an account, Instagram gives you the option to create an account using your business Facebook page.
Do NOT do this. This will create your account based on your personal Facebook page. Since this is for your business, use your work email.
Choose a Quality Username
In this next step, you will create your account username and a profile picture. This step is VERY important because you are creating your brand identity. Create a simple and relatively short username that has your business name in it. Try not to deviate too much from your company name.
Pick a Great Profile Picture
Your picture should be a larger version of your brand logo or design or something that is easily associated with your business. For example, some businesses have logos on mugs, a cool headshot, or any unique picture that makes customers more likely to trust the brand.
Fill in Your Basic Profile
After creating your username and profile picture, you will have to fill in more of your profile. This includes your business name and phone number. Both of these two details are very important because FILLING UP YOUR profile to the maximum is very important. This gives you credibility and makes your business seem more established. Your company is looking to maximize its reach.
On the next page, it will ask you to find people to follow. Do not do this yet! If people click on your page, they will find an unfinished profile that does not look professional. This is what you are trying to avoid. Click “skip” to continue to the next step.
Basics of the App
Here is a tour of the buttons in the mobile device:
- Home: See the latest photos from people you follow.
- Search: Look up people, places, things and hashtags, which will show you what other people are “liking”.
- Camera: Tap here to select or take a photo to share.
- Notifications: See the most recent people that have followed your account and “liked” your photos.
- Profile: Your full account, including everything you’ve posted and access to the settings menu.
- Finish your Profile
- In this step, you will finish creating your profile and maximize how professional your business looks. Make sure to fill out your bio and website fields. Your website field is the only place that Instagram allows you to post a clickable link. When you post pictures, you can post a link in your description, but potential customers will not be able to click on it. So, your website description is very important. Also, in your bio, you only have a certain amount of characters. Talk about your business, what makes you stand out from other companies in your field, where you are located, etc. You can always edit this later, but the most important thing is to have it set up.
- Syncing Different Platforms
- Syncing your social media platforms allows you to manage all of your business accounts and make postings through one account. To do this, tap the Settings button, and then go to Linked Accounts. From there, you can connect your Instagram to your Twitter and Facebook. After logging into your Facebook account, you will want to specify that you want to share to your Business Page and not your personal account.
- Now, you have setup your profile, so here are some tips on how to do your marketing on Instagram effectively
Tips for Instagram Marketing
Keep your Captions Short
Most users scroll through their daily Instagram feed very quickly. Not many people take the time to read the caption on every single post, especially not from a business. For these reasons, the most effective captions are short and concise. Make sure to include just enough information to get the point across, but do not go overboard.
Hashtags allow your photos and account to be discovered. For business, it is essential because many customers do not just stumble upon your page. Make sure your captions relate to your account to draw the most engagement.
Mix Videos and Photos
Studies have been done that show a video can generate three times more inbound links than written posts. Videos are a valuable tool that engages customers, expands your following, and drives traffic. Instagram is about visual storytelling. A video will bring your idea to life.
Wrapping It Up
Marketing on Instagram is an easy way to increase your online presence. Instagram is constantly improving, so people and companies can get more out of it. It is a colorful, visual and expressive social network. Also, it allows you to engage with your potential customers in an easy and efficient way. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the 150 million users with more than 75 million viewers visiting it multiple times a day. Good luck and make sure to get on the ‘gram!