Instagram is a photo-sharing social media platform that allows users to share photos and videos. It was launched in 2010 by Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, as an app for the iPhone. It’s an incredible social media platform that allows you to connect with people around the world. It has become one of the most popular platforms used by marketers today.
With over 700 million active users worldwide, Instagram is a powerful tool for marketing. However, it can also be confusing if you are new to the platform. In this article, we will cover the basics of Instagram marketing and how to get started.
What is Instagram Marketing?
Instagram marketing is a form of digital marketing that allows businesses to connect with customers through photos and video. The goal of Instagram marketing is to increase engagement and drive sales. Instagram has become one of the top social networks for marketers to use.
Why Marketing with Instagram Is Important For Your Business
Marketing with Instagram is an effective way for businesses to reach their target audience. According to Statista, there were over 1 billion active Instagram users in 2017, making it one of the fastest-growing social networks. The average user spends about 30 minutes per day on the app. This means your business could potentially have access to hundreds or even thousands of potential customers every single day.
The best part? You don’t need any special skills to use Instagram as a marketer. All you need is a smartphone and some creativity! If you want to know how to grow your business by marketing with Instagram, keep reading!
How to set up an Instagram Business account
1. Download and install the app
You can download the Instagram app for free from your Apple Store or Google Play store. Install and open. It’s simple!
2. Create an account
When you open your app, it will prompt you to log in or register. If you don’t already have an account for your business, create one. You can use your business email address. Don’t worry, you don’t have to log out of your personal account. Instagram allows you to be logged in to up to 5 different accounts at the same time.
3. Switch to a business account
Your Instagram account is, by default, a personal account. You can switch it to a business account from your settings. The business account gives you extra functionality such as insights, link to Facebook, and the ability to add contact buttons to your IG profile page.
4. Optimize your profile
Use a high-quality image for your profile picture- preferably a picture of you, your product, or your logo. Use your own name or business name as your profile name and username. You can add keywords that state what you do, so that you’ll show up in Instagram searches. Eg, your username could be @peterparker, and your profile name would be “Pete | Web Design, Photography.” You’re only allowed 30 characters, so keep it concise.
5. Create a compelling bio
Your Instagram bio should tell people what you do, who you do it for, and why. For example, “I help nursing moms to create custom fitness plans so that they can get back in shape without sacrificing rest and nutrition.”
You’re allowed to include one link in your bio. You can link to your website or a free lead magnet, but inserting your own link-in-bio page is usually better. There are many platforms where you create and host one, or you could just create a landing page on your website with a brief bio, contact details, and special offers.
25 helpful tips for marketing with Instagram
1. Have a clear content strategy
You should have a clear plan for what types of content you will post on Instagram and why. You can have different types of content for promotion, engagement, awareness, or value. Each piece of content should have a goal, and your Instagram strategy should result in sales for your business.
Not just for Instagram, here are 5 reasons why every business needs a content marketing plan.
2. Show off pictures of your products or your work
Instagram is a visual platform that prioritizes photo and video content. This allows you to showcase your work regularly. It’s especially useful if you do creative work like painting, hair styling, cooking, fashion design, etc. It’s also a great marketing platform if you sell physical products like clothes, watches, furniture, toys, and more. Quality photos can get your audience interested in buying from you.
3. Connect and engage with potential customers
When you post images of your workspace, short clips of your team, or your latest work in progress, you give your audience something they can relate to. They feel connected to you because they see themselves in those moments. And this makes them more likely to follow you back and interact with you.
Marketing with Instagram also involves engaging one-on-one with your audience- commenting on their posts, responding to their questions and comments, viewing their stories, and so on. It makes it easier for them to know, like, trust you, and buy from you.
4. Get inspired by others in your niche
The beauty of social media platforms such as Instagram is millions of users already have what you offer. Follow accounts that post similar types of content to what you do. Their content can give you inspiration and content ideas, and when you engage with them, you get seen by their followers, who are usually your target audience. You also get to see what works well for them and then try implementing similar strategies into your own brand
5. Gain exposure to new audiences
As mentioned above, Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide. If you want to reach a global market, marketing with Instagram will definitely help. But even if you don’t plan to expand globally, you should still consider reaching out to local markets through Instagram. For example, if you run a hair salon, you could target women living nearby. Or, if you run a restaurant, you could focus on targeting locals.
6. Build relationships with your existing clients
One of the best things about Instagram is how easy it is to connect with your current client base. You can send direct messages to ask them questions, share information about upcoming events, or simply say hello. These types of interactions help build stronger connections between you and your followers.
7. Get feedback from your community
Another benefit of marketing with Instagram is gathering real-time customer feedback. You can use polls, surveys, and live chats to collect valuable insights directly from your followers. This helps you understand what they need most from your business, which will allow you to improve your services accordingly.
8. Create an online presence and become an authority in your niche
Social media sites have become increasingly important for building credibility and establishing authority within specific niches. With Instagram specifically, you’re creating a space where you can publish high-quality content consistently. In turn, this allows you to gain recognition among your peers while providing value to your followers.
9. Increase traffic to your website
Since many businesses now rely heavily on digital marketing tactics, having a solid social media following can increase traffic to your site. According to HubSpot research, “the average person spends nearly two hours per day consuming some form of social media.” That’s almost three times longer than the amount of time spent reading email! Because of this, sharing interesting articles, blog posts, and videos across different networks increases engagement rates exponentially.
Take advantage of this by adding your website to your link-in-bio page. You can also create an Instagram post to announce whenever you publish a new blog post. Include a preview or outline of the blog posts to entice your followers to visit your website.
10. Generate leads
Another great thing about Instagram marketing is that it gives you access to a massive pool of qualified prospects. After all, according to Business2Community, 80% of consumers prefer brands with whom they’ve had positive experiences. On top of that, 93% of millennials would rather purchase products recommended by friends.
So Instagram gives you a way to interact with potential customers in their own environment, and also provides you with a ready-made list of contacts who are more likely to buy from you.
Tap into this by asking your Instagram followers to share your posts or tag their friends who might be interested. This will help to create more awareness and to generate more leads.
11. Grow your brand awareness
Instagram makes your brand visible to millions of people around the world. When someone sees your company name, logo, or tagline, it instantly tells them something about your product or service. And since there are so many users out there, even if just one person likes your page, you’ll get exposure to thousands of others.
Ensure that you have a unique and memorable brand identity with clear messaging and consistency. This is how you can stand out and make an imprint on the minds of anyone who comes across your Instagram profile.
12. Engage with influencers
If you want to take advantage of Instagram’s power as a tool for generating sales, then you must start engaging with influential individuals in your niche. Try to comment daily on their posts with helpful tips, advice, and recommendations related to your industry. Not only do these influencer engagements generate new leads for your business, but they also create buzz around your brand. Plus, you never know; maybe someday, those same influencers might refer you to their audience.
13. Promote special offers
As mentioned earlier, Instagram has been proven to drive increased conversion rates. But did you know that you can leverage this platform to promote discounts? For example, you could share a discount code via Instagram Stories, which will appear at the bottom of each post. This type of promotion works well for seasonal items like holiday gifts. Or perhaps you’d like to offer a limited-time sale during Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You can use hashtags to make sure your message gets seen by relevant audiences.
14. Be consistent with your content
Don’t wait until you run an ad campaign before posting quality content on Instagram. It’s important to keep up regular posts throughout the week. Your goal here isn’t necessarily to gain followers but instead to build trust among your current followers and attract new ones.
15. Post quality graphics and images
You don’t need to have the perfect Instagram feed, but your Instagram posts should include high-quality pictures. Use eye-catching images to promote yourself and capture attention. Make sure that your photos are all consistent with your brand identity, look professional, and don’t include any inappropriate language or imagery.
16. Create compelling captions
Instagram captions play a huge role in determining whether or not your posts get any engagement. In fact, according to research from BuzzSumo, 80% of shares come from captioned pictures. So be creative! Try using emojis, adding quotes, or even writing short jokes. You can even tell a story about something you experienced. The key is to write something interesting enough to draw attention yet brief enough to fit within the character limit.
17. Use relevant hashtags
Instagram hashtags are extremely powerful tools for marketing with Instagram. They can increase your reach and engagement, and help you to connect with other brands and potential customers. Always use hashtags that are relevant to your niche, so that your target audience can find you.
You can use tools like Flick to get the best hashtags for your account.
18. Reply to comments and direct messages
Responding to comments and DM’S from your followers helps establish relationships between you and your clients. People appreciate being acknowledged, especially when they’ve made an effort to comment on your photos. Make sure to respond promptly, too!
19. Add tags to your images
Tags are another great way to market with Instagram. If you’re a local business, location tags can help you ensure that you show up in searches for your city or country. You can also tag your friends and collaborators (if they don’t mind) so that their followers can find you too.
20. Use all the features
IGTV, Instagram live, Reels, IG Guides, carousels… There are so many different ways to utilize Instagram beyond just uploading pictures. Take advantage of these additional options as often as possible. Use Instagram stories to connect daily with your followers. The more additional Instagram features you use, the more your reach and engagement increases. Also, remember to use filters, adding text captions, taking videos, polls, etc. The possibilities are endless!
21. Grow your audience with contests and giveaways
Contests and giveaways are an easy way to get new followers and lots of user-generated content. When done correctly, they generate interest in your brand and provide valuable feedback on your products and services. They also encourage interaction and participation.
Read this short article for 3 quick ways to get more clients for your business.
22. Create engaging ads
Instagram ads are a quick and effective way to reach your target audience and grow your business. However, if you want to make the most out of this platform, be creative and develop unique strategies. For example, try offering freebies like coupons or discounts to entice users into clicking through to your website.
23. Promote events
Another fun way to promote yourself and your business is to hold special promotions around specific holidays or occasions. This will create buzz around your company and bring attention to your page.
24. Be creative
There’s no limit to creativity when promoting your business on Instagram. Experiment with different styles and techniques to stand apart from others. Just be careful about getting carried away — overdoing things could backfire and turn off your followers.
25. Use Instagram Insights to track your metrics
Your Instagram likes and follower count are not the only metrics that matter. One of the best things about Instagram is its ability to help you measure how effective your campaigns have been.
With Instagram analytics, you can see what types of content perform better, where your followers live, the best time to post, and much more. These analytics allow you to optimize future efforts and improve ROI.
Always track and measure your results. Once you start seeing positive growth in terms of likes, follows, clicks, and conversions, then you know that you’re making progress. Keep track of everything and measure each step along the way.