Instagram has evolved over the years, bringing in many new features and tools that enhance the user experience. Starting as a photo sharing app, this social media channel has segued into a platform where you can share your content in many different forms. Instagram offers photos, stories, videos, and so many tools to refine and enhance your content.
You can use Instagram for business to create awareness about your brand, build a brand image, engage the audience with your content, increase conversion rates and enhance customer loyalty. While you are trying to achieving these goals, you are faced with competition from rival brands and other barriers such as Instagram algorithm which determines the Instagram feed ranking criteria.
You can ace your Instagram strategy by inculcating a few steps. Instagram has a lot to offer to businesses and you must leverage all the tools and features that this platform provides.
First and foremost, get a business account for your brand. The Instagram business account allows you to tap into the potential of this platform for marketing and selling your brand. Instagram for business comes with a whole set of tools that can help you achieve your business and marketing goals.
Here’s a set of tips you can follow to succeed on Instagram as a business:
1. Furnish your Instagram business profile with all the necessary information
When someone heads to your profile for the first time, they will look for information in your bio, to get an idea about your brand. Furnishing your profile with all the details is one of the most important business tips for Instagram.
So, which details are essential for an Instagram business profile?
Firstly, add an appropriate profile photo. This could be the logo of your brand or any other photo that your customers can associate with. Many brands also add profile photos from specific campaigns to draw the attention of users and promote those campaigns. Adding profile photos with which your audience can recognise your brand is recommended.
All Instagram business accounts come with this feature. Pick an appropriate category to be added to your profile. You can choose from restaurant, food & beverage company, public figure, media/news website and more. This helps build a clear brand identity.
Username and Name
The Username is where you add the name of your brand with which other accounts can tag your profile and the emboldened bit on the profile is where your name is displayed.
The bio is a 150 – character long space where you can add basic information about your profile. Use creative, yet concise captions to sum up on what your brand is about. You could add various CTAs leading your audience to specific products or pages on your website, depending on your goals. There are many ways to craft an interesting, eye-catching bio for your profile.
Call to Action Buttons
Use the directions, email, make an appointment/reservation and other Call-to-action buttons on your profile to enhance the user experience.
2. Create good quality content
The definition of good quality content is subjective and will vary from brand to brand. But there are certain basic trends that show what kind of features provoke more engagement and what type of content may be good for your Instagram account.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is to add high-quality photos. Click photos in well-lit settings, use creative backdrops and frames and fine-tune your photos using different Instagram photo-optimizing tools. Instagram has its own in-built photo editing tools and features that you can use additionally, to enhance photo quality.
Showing the human side
You can use stories, videos and IGTV to share organic content. You must create content that helps you connect with the audience and show the human side of your brand. One of the best kind of content to go for is ‘behind the scenes’ to show your target audience what goes into making the products. You can add stories to show glimpses or snippets from a production process, planning and preparation ahead of an important product launch, behind the scenes footage of video productions or photoshoots.
Craft interactive content for IGTV and Instagram Live
Use Instagram live to interact with your audience, promote your product (s), conduct demonstrations of products, or to answer queries. With IGTV you can create videos upto an hour long. The IGTV feature allows users to watch vertical full-screen videos on the phone. Use this tool to add long videos with riveting content.
Instagram business accounts with more than 10,000 followers can also add links to their stories. So, if you have a big follower base on Instagram, use the links as calls to action on your stories.
Creating quality content is one of the most important ways to succeed on Instagram. It helps in raising engagement levels and creates brand awareness. This in turn, increases the chances of more users buying your product (s).
3. Use Instagram Ads
Organic outreach and engagement on Instagram can be a little difficult given the high level of competition on this platform. Instagram for business offers the Instagram Ads feature as a sure shot way of reaching out to potential customers.
You can pick from one of the formats of Instagram Ads from a range of options. With the photo Ads, you can share a nice photo creative in landscape or portrait resolutions. The carousel Ads allow you to showcase multiple videos or photos in a single Ad. There is a video Ad for adding videos upto 60 seconds long. You can also use the Stories’ Ads to promote your brands on stories.
This feature ensures increased reach and impressions and therefore the chances of on-boarding more users within your customer base.
4. Collaborate with influencers
Collaborate with influencers to expand your follower base and increase brand awareness. Influencers have a huge following on social media and their behaviours, including purchasing decisions, tend to have an impact on their audience. You can partner with influencers in many ways to enhance brand identity.
Make them conduct reviews on your brand. Live videos, in particular, can be very impactful.
Ask them to take over your Instagram profile for a day. Influencers can make announcements ahead of such collaborations so that their followers are directly led to your profile.
Make them use your products creatively and show the actual application and use of these products.
Influencers are a major part of Instagram and each influencer has a huge following base. Depending upon your niche, product and other considerations, you can find influencers with whom you can partner to create a fruitful business relationship.
5. Instagram Insights
How can you succeed on Instagram as a business if you are not even measuring or monitoring your performance on the platform?
For effectively marketing and promoting your brand on Instagram, you should use Instagram Insights. This tool helps you track your performance on the platform, for your photos, videos, stories and profile.
Instagram for business allows you to monitor your engagement-likes, comments etc. , impressions, outreach, story insights and other important metrics. It provides insights on your paid activity as well. You can also capture demographic insights such as age, gender, location etc. too.
Planning out your Instagram strategy is easier when you know which metrics are doing well and which need your attention. With the help of this tool you can also determine which customer segments to tap into and other insights that can help you give a sense of direction.
6. Use Instagram Direct
You can also use Instagram Direct to succeed on Instagram as a business. Build a strong relationship with your customer community and potential audience by leveraging this feature of Instagram for business.
Michael Kors, for instance, has used the Instagram direct messaging feature to announce a contest for giveaways to followers. The campaign helped generate impressions and user-generated content on the platform.
You can use this tool for carrying out your customer service mechanisms. With the DM feature on Instagram, you can answer all customer queries and build a strong relationship with them. Whether it is feedback, query or complaint, Instagram DM offers a streamlined process of resolving and addressing the concerns of customers.
With Instagram Direct, you can share press releases and product launches with your most active followers. Instagram Direct is a good medium to conduct surveys among your followers too. This tool is very helpful in building a connection with your potential customers and enhancing customer loyalty.
7. Conduct giveaways and promotions
Whether you are launching a new product or rolling out a new campaign, giveaways and promotions are a great way to entice your audience towards your brand. Giveaways are free products or those offered at a special, profitable bargain to users by conducting contests. Instagram makes for a great platform to run such giveaways and contests.
What will you gain from conducting such contests?
By holding such contests for giveaways and promotions, you provide your audience with the incentive to not only try your product but also draw attention and create a buzz around your brand. You can also use the platform to announce winners and encourage them to share their feedback on Instagram. This will help expand your follower base as well as your customer base.
Interact and engage with your target audience
One important business tip for Instagram is to increase interaction with your target audience and community. Reply to compliments with a thankful note each time. Do not forget to respond to feedback and queries, either. Enhanced interactions are a great step towards creating a healthy connection with your audience.
Create well-crafted copies for your Instagram posts
Your captions should be directly related to your content, should have crisp, catchy language and may include CTAs too. The idea is to draw the attention of your target audience.
Use hashtags optimally
Use hashtags creatively and use only relevant ones. It can be used as a way to get discovered on Instagram, but given the high volume of posts each day, hashtags alone might not be sufficient to increase discoverability.
You can use hashtags for specific campaigns. If you’re have launched a new campaign, for instance, you can create buzz around it by encouraging your audience to use the hashtag for that campaign whenever they post content that is relevant to it.
Instagram has vast potential as a platform through which you can market and promote your brand. Leveraging all the tools and features that this channel offers in the right way is all that it takes to ace your Insta-game!
Here’s a set of simple takeaways on how to use Instagram for business:
- Publish all details on your Instagram profile- from the right username to the appropriate description in your bio, a relevant profile picture and necessary CTAs.
- Build high-quality content that helps build a brand identity.
- Employ Instagram Ads to push your content and gain traction.
- Partner with influencers specializing in your niche to expand follower base.
- Use Instagram Insights to monitor your performance and derive insights for determining the next plan of action.
- Leverage Instagram Direct Message feature to build a good relationship with customers and followers.
- Conduct giveaways and promotions to promote your brand and build a buzz around your brand.