In the past decade, Instagram has grown from a picture-sharing app to a competitive business hub. New features and updates of new business tools have made it possible to market a brand or business on Instagram. More companies are using Instagram more than before. As per the statistics, more than 1 billion people follow Instagram, and around 90 % of them follow at least one business. This means, using Instagram for business in 2021 could be a game-changer.
However, using Instagram for business purposes can be quite daunting, especially when you’ve used it just for personal use. But you don’t have to worry. Here’s everything you want to know about marketing or creating awareness about a business on Instagram.
Follow this detailed guide to know how to use Instagram for business, what tips to follow to build your audience, and many such important things.
In a hurry? Jump to the specific topic you want to know.
First of all, let’s see why opting for Instagram for your business is worthwhile?
Why use Instagram to market your brand or create awareness?
Getting Found –
Before Instagram launched the business account feature, the only way followers would engage with a business outside of Instagram was to click their website link in their profile.
Now things are different; now, a contact button appears under your profile. Instagram users can click that button and then choose whether they want to call you, email you, send a message, or find your location.
Instagram ads –
Having an Instagram business account lets you promote a specific post or run an Instagram ad campaign. An Instagram ad shows up in a user’s Instagram feed. The brand or person pays to post the ad in the form of a video or a still image. The Instagram ad aims to reach a specific audience known as the target audience defined by you.
After opting for promotion, you can add a call-to-action button, choose your target audience, select your budget, and select a time period for your ad to run.
Create awareness –
You can connect to a lot of people through Instagram. More people can know about your brand or what you have to offer. You can post regular updates about new products you’ve launched, which can also increase your potential customers.
Access to analytics –
You can get an overall view of your Instagram posts by going to your profile and clicking the Insights data listed on the top of your account.
Here, you can see how followers are engaging in your posts and break down your follower list based on their gender, location, age group, active hours of the day, and active days of the week.
How to set up your Instagram business account?
- First of all, download the Instagram app for Windows, Android, iOS.
- Open the app and sign in.
- The next step is to enter your email address. If you want to grant access to multiple users or you want to connect your Instagram business account to Facebook, it’s best to tap Log In with Facebook or use an admin email address to sign up.
- Choose your password and username and fill up all the information. We’ll discuss later in the article how to optimize your Instagram profile for maximum engagement.
- You will be asked to sign in. Tap Next.
You have now successfully created your business Instagram account.
Tips to enhance your Instagram profile
Write an appealing Bio –
It just takes seconds literally for someone to form an opinion about your brand. This makes it even more crucial to make a powerful first impression with your posts, profile picture, and bio.
Your bio drives more attention than you estimate. In fact, it’s likely to be one of the first few things users notice on your profile. That’s why, use that space wisely. Your bio also affects the actions someone might take on your profile. It could even convince them to scroll through your posts, follow you, or click through your website.
Keep in mind the following things while crafting an Instagram Bio :
- Explain in a few words about your brand and what you have to offer.
- Include your website link.
- You can also include how someone can contact you. This can include an email address, phone number, or physical address and a call-to-action button.
Don’t forget to include a link –
As you know, the only place to include a link in your profile is your bio. Here’s what including a link can do for you :
- Most marketers use this link to drive more traffic to their website or home page.
- Some also link their profile to campaign-specific landing pages or very popular posts.
- Others keep changing the link to drive more traffic to different posts.
If you have a business account, your username should be your brand’s name. This way people can find you more easily. Also, make sure the username you use on Instagram is consistent with other usernames on different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Uniformity is crucial.
Profile Picture –
Your profile picture should ideally be a high-quality image of your brand’s logo. You can use an image with a size of 320 X 320 pixels. This way, even if someone doesn’t remember your brand name, they can recognize you with the logo.
Again, there’s nothing compulsory here. You can choose any image of your choice. Using a logo or mascot just increases the chances of people recognizing your brand.
Effective tips for running an Instagram Business account
Create a winning Instagram Strategy
Now that you’ve your account set up and optimized, real works begin – content. Make an efficient strategy considering What will you post? How often will you post? Who will be your target audience, etc.?
Here’s how you can make an efficient strategy
Determine your target audience –
Every good social media strategy starts with a great understanding of your audience. Marketers often try to keep their content evergreen that is usable all the year round and works for everyone, but social media isn’t the right place to do that. Everything changes quickly with trends on social media. You can consider the following things while defining your target audience :
- Age – Age is an important factor while determining your target audience. Consider who would use your products or services the most. Is it millennials you want to target Gen Z? While you don’t have to be specific here, a little precision always helps.
- Location – Is your brand International, or you own a local brand? Which area do you want to target, and where do most of the audience live? Also, consider what hours are most important for your customer service and sales reps to be online.
- Occupation – If your brand is about selling some specific products relating to a particular occupation, determine your audience according to it.
Set Goals and Objectives –
When using any type of marketing channel, it’s crucial to set goals you want to achieve. It’s your time and money that you’re going to invest on Instagram, so you should know what do you want to achieve.
Here are some targets and goals that help brands to grow on Instagram :\
- Increase awareness of the brand
- Increase brand loyalty
- Build community
- Share news and updates from the company
- Showcase values and culture of the company
- Advertise to potential customers
- Showcase products or services
If you’re new, start with basic business objectives and think about how Instagram can help you achieve that. Your goals should be “SMART,” i.e., Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Keep Track of the right performance metrics –
After your goals are defined, keeping track of the metrics is another crucial step. These metrics are different for every business, but usually, all the businesses can measure their performance based on these :
- Brand Awareness – This includes metrics like post impressions, accounts reached, and followers growth rate. Post impressions are the total numbers of times your post was seen. Reach is the number of unique users who saw your post.
- Engagement – Engagement includes metrics like amplification rate and engagement rate. You can keep track of engagement by looking at likes, shares, comments, and saves. Also, make sure you have a look at the number of visits to your profile and clicks on your website. This shows whether your posts and stories have created interest among the audience about your brand.
- Conversion – Metrics like conversion rate, bounce rate, and click-through rate. If you’re using paid ads, the conversion will also include CPM and cost per click.
Pay attention to your follower growth
All your marketing strategies are successful only if there are actual people following your content. So, if you feel your Instagram followers count is stuck at a particular number, or you’re not getting enough conversion, this is high time you amend your strategies and follow new methods to get new, real, and organic followers who really are interested in what you have to offer.
Here are proven strategies using which you can increase your follower count :
Make more use of keywords –
It doesn’t mean you have to stuff keywords everywhere; you can use relevant keywords in your username, tags, captions, hashtags, etc. Now, why is using keywords necessary? It’s because not all the text you post on Instagram is easily found. Apart from this, only two things can make your handle appear – username and name.
Keyword stuffing is not suggested, but you can add the most relevant keyword to improve your searchability. For instance, if you’re a food blogger or a travel blogger, you can add key phrases, food blogger, or travel blogger, along with your name. This will up the chances of you getting discovered when anyone searches food content in general or food bloggers in particular.
Focus on Writing attractive captions –
Writing attractive captions helps a lot in increasing your reach and engagement. As you know, engagement and reach are crucial factors in gaining more followers.
Always share engaging content of high quality –
While this might look obvious, it is crucial to keep in mind while planning to get more followers on Instagram. Each post on your Instagram account matters. Hence, it has to be of high quality.
Every time a visitor visits your account, the content should encourage them to see more. This way, the visitors will get compelled to hit the follow button. Also, great content will encourage people to like and comment on your post. More comments increase engagement on your account, which also improves your rankings.
Use relevant hashtags –
As said earlier, your text on Instagram isn’t searchable. But hashtags appear in the search results, which is why it’s crucial to use them. Adding relevant hashtags does two jobs for you – it helps people find you in the search results, or they can find you after clicking on a hashtag from another relevant post.
Add value to your content
Instagram is a place where people judge a book by its cover. Users avoid following accounts that look stuffed with ads or a combination of random images. To attract the audience, make sure you spend more time delivering thoughtful and high-quality content.
Why posting high-quality content is important? Instagram has the highest engagement rate, surpassing Twitter and Facebook. That’s why you should create valuable content that attracts an audience and encourages them to engage with your profile and brand.
To create awareness or attract customers, you don’t have to post loads of pictures of your products. In fact, it’s even better if you don’t. You can post funny quotes or awareness posts stating how your product is better but in a different way. It will take a lot of methods and posts to figure out which content works best for you.
In simple words, brands should add value to Instagram’s community rather than using the platform to advertise their products.
Maintain a consistent theme
While each post should be different from the previous one but it should maintain a theme. The theme consists of a lot of things, from hashtags, stories, captions to the color palette you follow.
The secret lies in consistency. The more consistent you are with your posts, the more authentic audience you will attract. You can either use branded hashtags in every post or your tagline. Some brands use only dark images and filters, while some go for light poppy colors. Most successful Instagram accounts use a select color palette for their photos, which helps them to create a distinct style.
Try to think about how you can keep all your posts, and Insta feed aligned to the overall aesthetic of your brand and brand colors, if there are any.
Use Instagram Management Tools
If you’ve used Instagram, you know, it’s not an easy task to manage your account. You have to face many challenges like scheduling posts, use relevant hashtags, and garnering constant engagement.
That’s where Instagram Management tools come to your rescue. These tools help to improve and streamline your daily tasks on the platform. All the internet marketers and people looking to increase their sales or increase their reach need to know these Instagram tools for making the most of the platform.
Some of the popular Instagram management tools are :
Here’s an all-rounder social media management tool, Agorapulse. The platform caters to five main social media platforms, including Instagram, obviously.
You can start with organizing the dashboard and manage messages and mentions from different social media platforms. It is more beneficial if you have a team to manage your social media accounts.
Another leading Instagram Community manager is Commun.It. It is by far one of the best for managing multiple profiles or nurturing your communities. So if you don’t have enough time to see and reply to each comment or you just forget about them, Commun.It will help you.
The tool does not require any exaggerated introduction as it is the leading and most used social media dashboard. You can use the platform to manage pages, profiles, multiple networks, and measuring your campaign’s outcomes.
Managing your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn account will be so manageable by this tool, and that’s why the tool is a must-have for every serious online marketer.
Make the most out of your captions
Captions give you a chance to further enhance your content, and there are plenty of ways you can use them. Some brands share stories or do micro-blogging in captions. Whereas some keep it simple by sharing a short, snappy tagline. You can also use captions of your posts to ask questions and encourage comments on your posts.
You can be very creative with your captions. If your picture speaks for itself, be simple with captions and go for a short headline. Whereas, if your post needs in-depth story-telling, go ahead and write as Instagram allows it up to 2,200 characters. Also, don’t forget to use some relevant and popular hashtags in your captions to increase the searchability of your posts.
Save some content for Instagram stories
According to the data, more than 500 million people watch Instagram stories every day. You should make the most out of this casual, disappearing nature of the format to promote your brand content.
Stories are great for story-telling. You can share the working environment in your company or tell your audience anything about your brand so they can relate to it more. Offer appealing and intriguing content, so the viewers develop the habit of watching your stories daily.
Also, if you have more than 10,000 followers or an Instagram verification sticker, you can include links in your stories.
Explore other formats for publishing content
Instagram may have started as a photo-sharing platform, but now it hosts everything from broadcasts to Reels. Here’s a quick list of some formats that might be a perfect fit for your brand.
- Instagram Reels – Instagram reels can be used to create, discover, and share short, entertaining videos with the audience.
- Instagram Carousels – Here, you can publish up to 10 photos in a single post. It is great for advertising your products or showcases your customers using that product.
- Instagram TV – IG TV is a long-form video format where you can share recurring content series.
- Instagram Guides – Most brands share news, new products, and how to’ with this format.
Grow and engage with your audience
Just growing your audience won’t work; you’ll have to actively engage with them. Try the following tips to keep your followers engaged with your brand :
Reply to mentions and comments –
The best way to increase engagement on your account is by replying to the comments and mentions as much as possible.
You don’t have to write 4 or 5 lines; just a little “thank you,” “we’re glad you liked it,” or “stay connected” would do the job for you.
Post consistently –
Consistency is the key to success on any social media platform. When you post at consistent times, you leave your audience with the information on when to expect new content from you. If you post at random times, most of your viewers won’t know about your latest update, and that’s a big No.
Reach out to an influencer in your niche
Influencer marketing is an effective way to gain access to the Instagram following. Identify influencers in your niche and reach out to those you think have engaged followers. However, make sure the audience is somehow interested in the products you offer. Even if you’re a small brand with a limited budget, you can use influencer marketing by working with micro-influencers.
To sum up the Guide
Instagram has proved to be an emerging platform to promote business. Many marketers and brands are opting for the platform to reap the numerous benefits. Hopefully, now there’s nothing unfamiliar to you about how to run a business account on Instagram. Using Instagram, you can distinguish your brand from the crowd with your unique strategy and set goals.