A Robust Guide to Marketing Your Business on Instagram

Instagram is unwaveringly evolving into one of the top social media platforms in the world today. An alluring crowd-pleaser, Instagram has caught on and boasts over 25 million catalogued business accounts and over 1 billion active users which has substantiated it as being the social media medium of choice for brand building and marketing.  

The number of brands that have incorporated Instagram into their marketing strategy have skyrocketed and is predicted to continue to soar in the coming years.  With an advertising audience of over a billion, utilizing Instagram’s wide media base can help you reach a widespread target market and allow your business to rapidly acquire customers at a low acquisition rate.

As a business owner, you now have the ability to tap into this massive active base in a user-friendly and targeted manner via a wide array of features, analytics and tools of the trade.  Follow this marketing layout to reach the widest array of users, draw in new followers, gain keen insights into your customer base, and sell your services and products fastidiously.

We’ve gathered all of the tools that you need to assist you and your business to skillfully market your products and services as the preferred brand of choice in your niche.  We will guide you from how to most effectively set up a business account profile to how to target and captivate your desired and widest audience and even the benefits of utilizing live video streaming as a marketing tool.  In no time at all, you will be selling like a well-seasoned professional.

Set Up Your Instagram Business Profile and Gain Access to Insights

If you ever wonder why some businesses appear to reach an extended audience, the answer is simple: it comes down to analytics.  Analytics involves the study of past data which is used to determine trends of the users. You can improve your business when you use this knowledge to make improvements and changes.  Luckily, Instagram gives business account holder access to these “insights”. 

Take advantage of these valuable options by converting your personal account to a business profile.  In doing so, you will gain an essential breakdown of demographics of your followers. This includes their locations, their ages, interests and even the hours that they are most active on the app. This information will give you a deeper understanding of how your users are interacting with the content that your post. 

How to Set Up Your Business Account

To do this, ensure that you have the latest version of the Instagram application installed.  Click on your profile picture on the lower right and then click on the settings icon located on the top right.  Select the option to switch account to a business profile and it is as easy as that. You are already on your way to establishing success.

Cross Promote Your Business Account

The next step involves cross promotion of your business across different social media platforms. Link your Instagram profile to your company’s Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn etc.   This is important to reach the widest audience as possible, thereby exposing more potential buyers to your product. Some followers watch certain social media platforms more closely than others, so you don’t want to miss the opportunity to reach them. Cross promotion will increase your reach per post exponentially.

Promote Your Posts

Now that you have extended your web reach, consider promoting your Instagram posts.  Tap on any of your posts and click on the “promote” link to gain even more followers and likes.  When you promote your posts, you will have the ability to manage your budget, select your desired audience and to adjust the parameters and timelines for the length of the promotion. This puts the power in your hands to best reach your target market rather than allowing the Instagram app to seek out your audience on your behalf.

It’s Time to Start Selling on Instagram

With only these few completed setup steps to get your business account up and running, you are now ready to start selling your products and services on Instagram.  The Instagram platform is perfectly tailored to support and advertise your products and services to the crowd that you select.  

Include a mix of content to appeal to and draw in your potential clients. This is essential in creating a positive and engaging relationship with your followers.  It is important that the content that you post is varied so that your business doesn’t come across as too pushy. You want to get your brand seen regularly and ensure that it becomes pleasingly familiar to your target audience.  The variety of posts adds interest and excitement for the user without driving them away with too much aggressive advertising.

We suggest varying the content of your posts to include four or five posts that add educational or informative value to help your client base, three posts that create and engaging connection with your followers, coupled with two posts that directly promote your product or service. You can also alternate the times of the day of your posts to check when you receive the highest level of engagement from users.

You want your posts to ensure that your brand stays relevant without overwhelming your followers.  With the right mix of shared content combined with the timing of your posts, clients will have a notably more favorable response to your brand.

Create an Interactive Environment with Your Followers

You’ve gone through the steps to reach a wide audience, so it’s important to show that you value them.  As users comment on your posts, it can go a long way to take a moment to acknowledge their comment, reply, and extend gratitude to them for reaching out.  Engaging in his direct communication with your followers will create a loyal customer base that is more likely to share posts and positively promote your brand.

Create Valuable Lead Generation Ads to Advertise your Products or Effectively Advertise Your Products and Services on Instagram. 

 Lead Generation ads are valuable tools that allow advertisers to collect information from potential clients directly from mobile advertisements. Lead generation is the process of attracting and translating followers into leads.  Lead ads auto populate the information (usually name and email address) of the user that clicks on an ad without having to have them manually fill the information out and leading them away to a separate landing page.

Start out by creating promotions with the Instagram app to expand the visibility of a post on your profile page.  To do this, simply head over to your profile page and determine the post you seek to promote. Click on the promote button on the post page.  You can also navigate over to the Instagram Insights section and scroll to the Promotions data, and click on the “Create Promotion” linkHere, you can select the post that you want to promote by clicking the arrow on the top right of the post.

Instagram also allows you to target your purpose for the promotional post.  This allows you to guide your target audience wherever you want them to go when they click on your post. Drive them to visit your website, to your profile, a link to business phone number or even directly to mapped directions to a specified location. 

You can create your own Instagram ads for your Facebook news feeds which can funnel your followers to your product through persuasive marketing and other educational content. They link back to your Instagram account when the user clicks on the ad.

Additionally, you can create Instagram Stories ads with Facebook Ads Manager.  Such ads pop up above the user’s Instagram feed and maintain visibility for a full 24 hours from the time that an ad is initiated. Instagram story ads are the most influential forms of advertising across the platform and are fantastic for highlighting your company as the brand of choice and advertising special deals and sales offers.

Create an Interactive Instagram Hashtag to Market Your Business

Instantly engage a large audience by creating interactive hashtags and using them properly.  Create a hashtag that represents your company and will encourage customers to use when they tag photos of themselves with your product.  Hashtags are a pivotal way to increase your brand visibility and discoverability on social media.

Each time that someone posts a photo and adds that hashtag, they are instantly exposing your brand and your company to all of their followers as well. This trendy hashtag drives customers to use the hashtag so that their own picture will be featured on your business page. It’s free advertising all around and reaches a wide audience in a fun way.  This also allows Instagram users to search through all of the posts that feature that hashtag and relate to your brand.

Instagram features some exciting tools to help you in your quest for the best hashtags that will appeal to your client base. Some of these include: an impactful tracking tool like “Command” and other meaningful social media management tools such as Keyhole, Sprout Social and Simply Measured. All of these can help you discover the hashtags that have the most meaningful impact on your followers.

You can strategically use up to 30 hashtags per post on Instagram.  Realistically, however, five to ten hashtags should be sufficient to reach your target audience without cluttering up your post.  Combine hashtags from different categories to extend the reach of your target audience and to most effectively market your products and services.

Additionally, you may want to consider adding a location tag to your hashtag laden post.  Location tags can further boost the traffic to your business via an Instagram algorithm that links users who are on the move with businesses and services in the area that they are travelling.  This is another easy way for your business to be found by new potential followers which can lead to a significant generation of sales that would have otherwise not have been tapped into.

Market Your Business Through Instagram Stories

There are distinct advantages to using Instagram Stories to enhance your business and to keep users actively engaged with your brand on a daily basis.  There is a distinct way to go about this that includes switching your Instagram story mode from the default view to a branded cover picture. This quintessential feature allows you to cluster and save relevant and engaging content from your stories.  They will be available for viewing longer than the traditional 24 hours and custom catalogued until you manually delete them. 

Create an interactive poll for added interest.  Poll your Instagram followers and receive immediate feedback that provides valuable data and insight into customer preferences, behaviors and needs and wants.  Strategically use polls to gain access to crucial data that can help bolster your business and help you identify what fuels your buyer.  Such data that poll feedback creates can help you drive your business in a more guided direction.

Stir up some anticipation by creating a countdown button.  If you are launching a new product, counting down to a special sale, a live stream, or better yet a contest or giveaway, a countdown button adds interest and encourages users to follow along.  Users love something to look forward to and are likely to share with friends if your story generates excitement.

Use your Instagram story to show an unscripted view of your business throughout the day.  Tell the world your story with an unfiltered view of life behind the scenes, of your business and use your story as an opportunity to share customer testimonials which highlight your brand. You can even add links to your Instagram Story so that your followers can actively interact with your business. 

Consider adding a tutorial to your Instagram Story. Demonstrate how followers can put your products to use, describe your product and its practical uses and show your product or service in action.  Tutorials are great tools to spark a curiosity in potential buyers while also establishing credibility to your product and highlighting your expertise in the industry

Show your product in action on your Instagram Story. Followers can more easily relate to your product if they see it put to action. It also shows the viewer the different situations in which the product can be used which can lead to a quicker decision on the part of the buyer, as they can visually relate to the product.

Further promote your brand by having someone do it for you!  Consider finding a social media influencer to work from your account for a limited time frame or to highlight a special event.  Not only will your brand reach your followers but the influencer’s extensive list of followers as well, giving an external credibility to your growing business.

As an added touch, make your Instagram Stories stand out by utilizing fonts, color gradients, stickers and other fun accents that Instagram has to offer.  There are simple additions all the way to more advanced techniques that you can learn and experiment with that will captivate your followers and lead to more visual interest in your posts.  

Broadcast Your Business Live on Instagram

Generate excitement, attract new followers and dispense information more widely by broadcasting live on Instagram!  Instagram Live features your live video feed on the top of user news feeds for 24 hours and is a proven way to highlight your business and get noticed.  You can further engage your followers by hosting a Live Question and Answer Session! Users will love the personal attention and interaction that they get with you which will give them a positive experience to associate with your product.  Consider posting an announcement to users to let them know when you plan to go live so that they can tune in.

Get the Most out of Instagram’s Analytics Tools for your Business Profile

With an Instagram business profile you have access to an array of free analytics via the Instagram Application.  It would be beneficial to you and your business to tinker with the key information that is provided to you and allow it to guide you in your quest to reach a larger audience through marketing strategies.

Instagram Insights provides statistics for measuring your Instagram marketing endeavors. Discover unique details about your followers, when they’re on Instagram, and learn which of your posts are the most popular among the Instagram community. This valuable information allows you to best choose the content that is most likely to interest and positively impact your followers.

Access to this information creates a user-friendly business environment where you can compare content, evaluate marketing campaign strategies and gauge how interactive and far reaching your posts are.  Now you can regularly use the data analytics available to you to enhance your future posts, tap into some Instagram marketing tools more actively than others, and continue to grow your business while optimizing your use of Instagram features.