How to Use Instagram for Business

Does your company market on Instagram? If not, you’re leaving money on the table. The reality is your clients are…

Does your company market on Instagram? If not, you’re leaving money on the table. The reality is your clients are consuming content on the platform every day. Regardless of your industry, customer demographic, or buyer persona, Instagram offers you a cost-effective method of reaching your target market.

Adding Instagram to your digital marketing strategy opens you up to a visually-rich platform to capture new leads for your business and improve conversion. Instagram has nearly 1.5 billion users, with 400 million using the platform daily. More than 90% of those users follow at least one brand – which could be your business.

Use Instagram to perform live broadcasts at industry events and attract users to your online store or affiliate listings. Build attention for your Airbnb or hotel, promote your brand and products, and build a network of qualified prospects interested in what you’re selling.

This post discusses how to use Instagram for business. We’ll look at top strategies and tactics to help you drive qualified traffic to your offers and send your conversion rate to the moon.

5 Strategies on How to use Instagram for Business

Strategy 1 – Open a Business Account on Instagram

To get the ball rolling with dominating Instagram for business, you’ll need to convert a personal account to a business account. The platform gives you a personal account as the default setting when you create a new account. Follow these step-by-step instructions to switch to a business account.

Follow this process to open your Instagram account.

1. Download Instagram for iOS, Android, or your Windows device.

2. Open the app and hit Sign up.

3. Enter your email address. Use an admin email address or Log in with Facebook.

4. Choose your password and username. If you logged in using Facebook, sign in with your credentials.

5. Tap Next to finish.

After opening your personal account, use this process to switch to a business account.

1. In your profile, tap the three lines in the top-right corner.

2. Tap “Settings.”

3. Tap “Account.”

4. Select “Business.”

5. If you want to connect your Instagram and Facebook accounts, follow the steps.

6. Select your business category and add your company contact details.

7. Tap “Done.”

The IG team receives your request to convert your account; it can take them up to 48 hours to process the change. If they don’t make the switch in two or three days, reach out to the support team from within the app.

Strategy 2 – Design an Instagram Marketing Strategy

Marketing on Instagram requires a systematic approach. Follow these tactics to set up your marketing strategy.

Who Is Your Target Audience?

Start by understanding your audience. Use analytics tools like Bitly, Sprout Social, or Iconosquare to research your audience demographic on the platform. The biggest target demographic on IG is 25 to 34-year-olds.

Hone in on your active niches and identify key segments overlapping with your customer base. Next, it’s time to drill down deeper into your customer persona.

Define Your Buyer Persona

Check your analytics tools to identify followers on your other social media platforms that use Instagram. Research your competitors and look at their audience size to create a target. Create a list of your top three competitors and look at the type of content they post to drive engagement.

Set Objectives and Goals

What are your objectives for using Instagram? Do you want to build awareness of your brand? Maybe you want to increase conversion in your online store? Create goals for your Instagram marketing strategy using the SMART method. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

Track Your Performance Metrics

After defining your goals, identify vital social media metrics to analyze and monitor. The metrics vary depending on your business. As an influencer, you’ll have different goals and metrics from a local business.

The ideal strategy focuses on metrics relating to your social funnel. Align your Instagram marketing goals to the four stages in your customer journey.

Awareness – Metrics like post impressions, follower growth, and post and account reach.

Engagement – Like comments and shares.

Conversion – bounce, click-through, and conversion rates. Consider metrics like cost per click and CPM.

Customer – Customer retention, repeat purchases, and other customer actions.

Create a Content Publishing Schedule

After defining your audience and marketing goals, it’s time to move on to publishing purposeful content on the platform. A well-defined and planned social media publishing calendar for your content ensures you allot sufficient time for creative production without missing important dates.

Start with researching and plotting important industry events. These dates include holiday planning, tax season, back-to-school, Giving Tuesday, or other market-related events and dates. Look at sales data to find the peak times of the year when customers interact with your brand.

Look for themes to build a series with regular installments. The more planning you do in your strategy, the more opportunities you have to capitalize on seasonal or special events during the year. Publish your content on peak days and times.

There’s no point in posting at times when your target market isn’t using the platform. This mistake means your content gets buried under the never-ending flood of posts on Instagram. The optimal time to post on Instagram is from 7 to 8 am in the morning and 11am to 1pm.

A business account allows you to access the analytics dashboard within the app to find out when your prospects are using the platform.

1. Visit your profile and tap “insights.”

2. Next to the “audience” tab, tap “see all.”

3. Scroll to “Most Active Times.”

4. Toggle between days and hours to see specific times that stand out.

Strategy 3 – Optimize Your Instagram Business Profile

When prospective followers consider your account, they’ll visit your profile page to see if it’s worth tapping the follow button. You must capture these prospects using an appealing profile design that includes more than just a flashy profile pic.

Write a Compelling Bio

Your bio offers 150 characters to capture a prospective follower’s attention. Your Instagram bio gives you 150 characters to make your business or brand seem appealing enough to follow. Here are some top tips for optimizing your bio.

  • Cut to the point – don’t waste the prospect’s time with nonsense. Give your audience valuable information.
  • Include emojis – An emoji can say a dozen words.
  • Add CTAs – Tell the prospective follower to follow you. Use an incentive.

Optimizing Your Profile Image

Your profile picture appears next to your username in your profile. Keep your profile picture uniform across all your social media channels.

Your profile picture displays 110 x 110 pixels but is stored at 320 x 320 pixels. So aim for the 320 x 320 size. Remember to keep your profile within the circular space in the allotted area, and don’t let it cut the edges.

Use the “Link in Bio” Feature

If your account has less than 10k followers, your profile presents you with the only place where you can leave a link to your website, web pages, web store, social accounts, or online offers. Leave one link to where you want your followers to go, such as a sponsor product page.

Add Your Business Contact Information

Give your prospects a way to reach out to your business off-site. Add your contact details, email address, phone number, or physical address. When adding this information, Instagram creates buttons for Text, Call, Email, or Get Directions to your profile.

Configure the Action Buttons

With an Instagram business account, you can include a button for customers to book appointments. You need an account with one of Instagram’s partners to use this feature. On your business profile page, tap “Edit Profile” and scroll to “Action Buttons.”

Add Story Highlights and Highlight Covers

Utilizing Instagram Story Highlights maximizes your use of real estate in your IG business profile. Organize your Stories into saved collections.

Strategy 4 – Publish High-Quality Content

Instagram is a visually-focused social media platform. So, businesses must create a visual aesthetic on the app. Create recurring content themes using alternating pillars. For instance, if you’re a restaurant, you can use one pillar as pictures of your dishes.

Another pillar could be a short video post of a customer testimonial; another could be a story of images from the restaurant using breakfast, lunch, and dinner rushes. Another could be pictures of cocktails and drinks or coffee creations.

What is your competition doing? Look at their top-performing posts and emulate these concepts to create a unique content strategy. Don’t imitate; innovate. Create a consistent visual aesthetic with your themes that your audience will recognize when they see your posts.

For instance, post everything in a specific range of filters with a consistent color palette and an aesthetic your followers recognize in their feed.

Use Editing Tools to Enhance Photos

Photo editing tools can turn your posts from good to great, even if you’re a genius behind the camera. The suite of editing tools available on Instagram helps you put a unique, stylish touch on your content. Add logos or frames, create infographics and original content.

There are plenty of free resources, including the built-in editing tools available on the platform. If you need more from your editing tools, use an off-site program, like Canva, to enhance your content before posting it to your account.

Capture Attention with Captions

The caption appears to the right of your post. You get 2,200 characters to give your prospects more information on the context of your image or video. That doesn’t mean you need to use all the characters. Keep it short and sweet.

Remember, people have short attention spans on social media. Waffling on will cause the prospect to skim over your text without absorbing it. Keep it concise and get to the point. Captions and more meaning and context to your post.

You can use emojis; don’t think they aren’t “professional,” and your audience will appreciate them. Understand the importance of good copy in your captions. Good copy builds community, empathy, and trust. Don’t be afraid to use humor in your captions. People will appreciate it as long as it’s not corny.

Stay consistent with your brand voice when writing your captions. Implement the use of relevant hashtags. Use your social media research and analytics tools to find top-trending hashtags in your niche to attract more attention to your posts.

Above all, keep your hashtags and captions on-brand. Look at the copy your competition uses to attract attention and drive engagement. Don’t imitate their content. Look for the elements you can emulate in your captions without looking like you’re copying people.

Experiment with Video and Image Formats

Instagram isn’t only a photo-sharing site. In recent years, the IG team released several video-based features in the app. The purpose of these video features is to help Instagram remain competitive with TikTok and its short-form video content.

From Reels to live broadcasts, video tools help you attract more attention to your content strategy. If a picture says a thousand words, then a video is like slapping your prospect with a dictionary. Here are some of the top tools to implement in your marketing campaigns.

Instagram Stories

Instagram stories allow you to use a blend of images and video clips in succession. You can add stickers and music to your Stories to attract attention and tell your prospects what actions you want them to take.

Instagram Guides

You can use IG Guides to share company news, new product releases, how-to guides, and more. It’s a great way to build value and credibility with your audience.

Instagram Carousels

Instagram carousels allow you to publish a post containing up to ten photos. Carousels help you build better engagement with your audience than publishing single-image posts.

Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels is the latest addition to Instagram’s video tools; it’s the IG team’s response to TikTok videos. You get a 90-second video to communicate with your audience.

Instagram Live

If you’re hosting an event, use the Instagram live feature to share details of the event and get feedback from your followers.

IGTV

IGTV is available for long-form video content. It’s ideal for publishing a concurrent content series of informative videos.

Create a Consistent Posting Schedule

Instagram requires you to use a consistent publishing schedule. The platform punishes your account for being “spammy,” so don’t over-publish on your account. The best strategy for consistency is a cadence of two image-based posts a week, supported by two Stories per day.

Instagram also won’t appreciate it if you don’t post often enough. Using a scheduling software tool to plan your posting schedule. Use the base strategy mentioned above and add other video elements like IGTV and IG Live when necessary.

Strategy 5 – Engagement Is Everything

Engagement is the most critical metric the Instagram algorithm uses when determining if your content is worth promoting on the platform. The more likes and comments you receive on your posts, the better it performs.

By increasing engagement, you have a better chance of your content appearing on the “Explore” page. Don’t use bot programs to manage it; keep it organic. The more you have, the more followers you attract.

Engagement is the holy grail of social media marketing. When your followers engage with your content, they’re interested in what you post and your brand. You can leverage this engagement to grow your audience and improve your reach to capture new followers.

Implement Hashtags

Hashtags help the Instagram algorithm categorize and rank your content to make it easy for users to find on the ‘Explore” page. If your photos or videos land on the Explore page, you have a chance that they will go viral, depending on the time of day and how much traction you receive from users.

Use your analytics tools to track the top-trending hashtags in your niche and add them to your captions. While creating unique hashtags is tempting, it’s not a good strategy unless you have millions of followers on your account. Stick to using established, refined hashtags in your niche.

Cross-Promote on other Social Media and Web Channels

Instagram is a popular social media site, but there are other platforms where you can pull an audience to your Instagram account. Share your IG content on your Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook accounts.

If you have a big following on other platforms, ask them to visit your IG profile. Embed your Instagram posts on your blog to attract click-throughs to your account. Add your IG profile to your email signature to cross-promote your IG in your communications.

Collaborate with Influencers

Collaborating with influencers gives you a great strategy to leverage the influencer’s audience. Look for “Micro-influencers” in your niche. These accounts typically have between 25,000 to 50,000 followers. There’s a reason why you’re targeting these influencers instead of large profiles with millions of followers.

A Shoutout” from a top-level influencer like Kylie Jenner could cost you $75,000 to $100,000. With a micro-influencer, you’ll pay $100 to $500. MI’s also pay more attention to the engagement created by their target audience, and they have a bigger interest in making their following grow.

You benefit from their engagement and content strategy for a small fee. Collaborations are effective. You can use them to promote products, attract new followers, and build your online business without breaking your marketing budget.

Launch Instagram Campaigns

Instagram ad campaigns are an effective way to leverage your marketing budget with cost-effective ROI. Like Facebook, you can use IG to create campaigns tailored to specific goals you want to achieve with your strategy.

With paid IG campaigns, you get your content in front of a targeted audience, achieving more reach than with organic campaigns. Your posts get more visibility and allow you to promote your commercial offers, such as product listings.

Launch a campaign and run a contest to drive user engagement. Run a poll to get info on what your target market wants to see or their thoughts on an industry event. Gather and add the data to your content strategy to leverage the information.

Wrapping Up – Key Takeaways

  • Convert your personal Instagram account to a business account to access the analytics dashboard.
  • Use the onboard analytics tools in the business account to research your market and audience.
  • Set your goals and use the right metrics to analyze your market and prepare your content strategy.
  • Optimize your business profile and picture.
  • Track your metrics and create a consistent publishing schedule.
  • Experiment with the video features on the platform.
  • Remember, engagement is everything.

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