Instagram, the photo and video-sharing social networking service, is a powerful marketing tool for your business. You can connect to your audience, engage with them and make sales subsequently. In this article, you will learn how to use Instagram for Business as a marketing tool for your business.
Instagram has robust business features, but you need to create a business account to take advantage of these features. Before we dive deep into how to create a business account on Instagram, you need first to create a winning Instagram strategy.
See Also: How to sell on Etsy Marketplace.
How To Create A Winning Instagram Strategy
To have a winning Instagram strategy, you need to do the following:
Define Your Target Audience.
An excellent social media strategy starts with a sound understanding of your audience.
You need to research your target audience demographics to see if it aligns with Instagram’s largest ad audience user base of 25 to 35-year-olds. This will help you identify the key segments that overlap your customer base.
To further define your target audience or market, you can also consider the following:
- Determine the demographics of those who already buy from you.
- Check your other social media channels’ analytics to learn who follows you there.
- If possible, conduct competitor research and compare audience similarities and differences.
Knowing and understanding your audience provides a unique opportunity for you to create audience-appropriate content for them, strengthening your creative strategy.
See Also: Everything you need to know about selling online.
Set Goals And Objectives.
What do you hope to achieve on the Instagram platform? Please take a second look at your business goals and objectives, and identify how Instagram can help you accomplish them.
Track The Right Performance Metrics.
The social media metrics to track and monitor vary from business to business. Still, in broad terms, you need to focus on the social media marketing funnel metrics.
- Awareness: Follower growth rate, post impressions, and accounts reached.
- Consideration or Engagement: Number of likes and comments and post shares.
- Conversion: Click-through rate, bounce rate, cost per click (CPC) rate, etc.
- Customer Loyalty: Repeat customer rate.
How To Create An Instagram Business Account
If you don’t already have an Instagram account, you’ll create a personal account and convert it to a business profile.
Create a New Instagram Account.
How do you create a new Instagram account?
How To Create A New Instagram Account
- Download the Instagram mobile app for iOS, Android or Windows Phone on your smartphone or tablet.
- Tap Sign up.
- Enter your email address. Ideally, use your business email or an email designated for your business’s social media accounts. You can also log in with Facebook if you already have a business account there.
- File or choose a username and password.
- You now have a “personal” Instagram account that you can convert to a business profile.
Convert Your Personal Instagram Profile To A Business Account.
Once you have a personal account, it’s easy to convert it to a business profile.
- Go to your profile and tap in the top right-hand corner.
- Tap Settings. For some accounts, the switch to a professional account option will be listed under Settings.
- Tap Account.
- Tap Switch to professional account.
- Go on and Tap Continue.
- Select a category for your business and tap Done.
- Tap OK to confirm.
- Tap Business.
- And then, Tap Next.
- Add contact details and tap Next. Or tap Don’t use my contact info to skip this step.
How To Use Instagram For Business.
1. Add professional-looking photos.
As a photo-sharing social media platform, it is important you share visually engaging content on your Instagram account. Use your images to tell a story, not just a story but a cohesive visual narrative that will make your followers want to come back for more.
To add a new photo post:
- Tap Create (plus sign) at the top of your screen.
- Select Post.
- Also, tap the camera icon to take a new photo, or select a photo from your camera roll.
- Tap Next to choose filters and edit options.
- Tap Next and then write a caption, tag people, and add a location.
- Optionally, you can choose to share your posts on Facebook.
- Tap Advanced Settings to control like and view count visibility, turn off commenting, and more.
- When you’re satisfied, tap Share to share your photo post.
2. Write A Great Bio.
Show the people reading your bio why they should follow you by having an attention-grabbing Instagram bio that is well written. People reading your bio are curious; that’s why they visited your profile, so hook them in and show them why they should follow you.
Your Instagram bio should provide a concise description of your brand and showcase your brand voice in 150 characters or less. A Call To Action (CTA) button linked to your business website will be an added advantage.
Find out how to get social media visibility for your business.
3. Add An Active Contact Info
It is important to provide a way for people to contact you directly from your profile when using Instagram for business. Include your email address, phone number, or physical address, and when you do these, Instagram creates corresponding buttons (Call, Text, Email, or Get Directions) for your profile.
4. Use Instagram Stories.
This is a popular feature for personal accounts and business profiles. Instagram Stories are vertical, full-screen photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. They appear at the top of the Instagram app rather than in the news feed.
You can create attention-grabbing vibrant montages that can present more information than a traditional post. You can also use recorded videos, live videos, still photos, video loops, text, music, and focused photos for your Instagram stories. And if you want to further spice things up, add stickers to show your location, the temperature, and hashtags.
How to Make Instagram Stories.
- In the app, click the plus icon at the top.
- At the bottom of the screen, choose STORY from the menu.
- Optional: If you want to switch to the selfie camera, tap the switch-camera icon on the bottom right.
- Tap the white circle at the bottom of the screen to take a picture, OR…
- Press and hold the white circle to record video, OR…
- Swipe up (or seethe lect the square camera roll icon on the left) to use pre-existing photos or videos.
5. Use Instagram Highlight Feature.
Instagram highlights are the same Instagram stories you know, but the difference here is that you choose to feature them on your profile permanently. Once you add a story to a Highlight, it will be visible even after 24 hours expiration time, so it’s a great way to keep your most successful stories running. Highlights is a great Instagram feature you should be using.
When you open a Highlight, you can watch and navigate it like a regular story, except you won’t see the list of viewers, but you can see the views count.
How To Create a Highlight On Instagram.
You can create an Instagram Highlight from your current story or archived ones. To do this, you need to have the archiving feature on. It’s usually enabled by default, but here’s how you can double-check that and switch it on if needs be:
- Tap on the Menu icon from your profile in the top right-hand corner.
- Go to Settings > Privacy > Story.
- Scroll down to Save story to archive and switch the toggle on.
Once archiving is on, you can go ahead and create your first Highlight. Here’s how to create a highlight:
- Open your Instagram story.
- Tap on the Highlight icon at the bottom.
- In the Add to Highlights pop-up, tap New.
- Enter a name for the Highlight and edit the cover if you want.
- Finally, tap Add, and then Done.
6. Share High-Quality Content
Creating a recognizable visual identity is important on Instagram; it requires consistency and creativity. You must ensure your brand is not boring; therefore, you need to establish recurring theme pillars that you can alternate from time to time. Your fans should instantly recognize your brand when they see it in their Instagram feeds.
7. Use Hashtags.
Hashtags help users find content on Instagram and include letters and numbers. Captions on Instagram are not searchable but hashtags. So when someone clicks on or searches for a hashtag, they see all the associated content. This is a great way to get your content in front of people who are not following you.
Hashtags Best Practises For Instagram
Follow these best practices for hashtags:
Use Relevant Hashtags.
Look for unique hashtags that complement your posts and not the regular prevalent ones that litter the Instagram landscape like #tbt or #selfie, etc. You might want to consider creating your custom or branded hashtags.
A branded hashtag captures your brand essence and encourages your online followers to share photos and videos that fit that image. You can also check out other established brands online in your industry for examples of what hashtags to use.
Don’t Use Excessive Hashtags.
The fewer hashtags you can use to get quality responses, the better. Instagram allows 30 hashtags in a post or comment (and up to 10 in an Instagram story), but too much of a good thing, as the saying goes can equally be dangerous.
8. Use Instagram Reels.
Instagram Reels help you bring your brand to life. They are short, entertaining videos that you can use to offer a behind-the-scenes tour, or show how your products are made. You can add visual effects and transitions, tag products from your catalogue, showcase paid partnerships, etc.
To create an Instagram Reel, tap Create (plus sign) from your home page and select Reel.
9. Run Instagram Ads.
Investing in Instagram ads gives you an edge and puts your business in front of a wider targeted audience. This is useful now more than before that organic reach is in decline and has been for a while.
We have a DIY- Practical guide to running Instagram ads that will help you run your Instagram Ads. Get it now.
Instagram ads have the added advantage of call-to-action buttons that allow users to take action straight from your Instagram page, reducing the number of steps required to get them to your website or store.
Types of Instagram Ads.
- Photo ads: These look like regular photo posts, but they have a sponsored label above them and can have call-to-action buttons at the bottom right of the photos.
- Video ads: Like the photo ads, these look like regular video posts but with a Sponsored label on top.
- Carousel ads: These ads look identical to photo ads but feature multiple photos that users can swipe through.
- Instagram Stories ads: These ads appear when users tap through other accounts’ stories.
- Collection ads: Collection ads features an image with a product catalogue at the bottom. This is an excellent way to invite viewers to explore your products.
On a final note, Instagram is a powerful social media tool that has provided a levelling digital playing field between small and large businesses. And it’s high time you get your business on board this great platform.
Here at Entrepreneurs.ng, we are ready to help you create and implement a winning Instagram brand strategy for your business. We will be glad to hear from you. You can contact us here.