How To Make Instagram Work For Your Business
Instagram has more than 800 million monthly users, and is continuing to grow. It’s part of Facebook, so you know there is huge pressure for it to succeed. But will Instagram work for your business?
Instagram can work better for some businesses than others. This is because it’s a highly visual social marketing platform similar to Pinterest. Certainly, if you’re a service provider, you can post a range of pictures to your Instagram account in order to help convey your brand and value proposition. However, when you can show off your physical product lines, a solid Instagram marketing strategy will definitely help to boost sales and profits.
Can Instagram Work For Your Business?
As with any social network, success lies in increasing your following on a steady and consistent basis. The more people who network with your posts and brands, the larger your potential audience for each post.
Instagram ads and Instagram work for your business because it provides you with the chance to connect with the people in your niche in a fun, visual way. It’s easy to use if you have a smartphone. Snap your images, upload them, and your followers will see them and be able to interact with them.
You can also use Instagram via desktop. But you have to be careful of image sizes so they look good in your account. Once they are uploaded, you can’t edit them. However, this will allow you to create interesting memes, infographics and other visual posts you might not otherwise be able to post with just a camera. If your business isn’t on Instagram yet and you want to get started, check out How Do I Create an Instagram Account for my Business?
FREE Checklist: Instagram Marketing Guide
Providing a Call to Action
The main area in which marketers make a mistake is in posting items online without including a call to action. Set a goal for each post and use the goal to determine your call to action, such as “register now” or “buy now.”
Using The New Tools
Instagram has recently introduced a range of new business-friendly tools which allow businesses to create buttons for their calls to action, such as to email the business or send a text. Since the goal is all about making connections with your target audience, this is a step in the right direction.
Using The Analytics
The analytics on Instagram have improved significantly. So all businesses can see how well their different campaigns are working. If you have had a personal profile up to now, convert to a business one and you will be able to access the tools. The tools will then help you understand how your followers are engaging with your content, so you can try to get even better results.
Don’t Forget To Cross-Promote
Not everyone uses Instagram, so make the most of each post with a cross-post on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and so on. Remember to also invite people to follow you on Instagram.
Choose two time slots, morning and evening, and see when most of your engagement occurs. Then add posts gradually, or slow down your posting if you are getting less engagement. You should soon have a good promotional calendar for your business.
Marketing with Instagram Stories
Instagram stories evolved in imitation of Snapchat’s stories. They allow businesses to engage their customers and prospects by creating a series of images in order to tell a story. Each story you create should enhance your brand and make your value proposition clear. They should help answer the question as to why anyone should do business with you.
Getting the Most Out of Stories
The important thing to remember about Instagram stories is they’re not permanent. The images and videos stay on your feed for only 24 hours, then vanish. Firstly, set your business goals:
- Increased brand awareness
Then decide on the images, videos and calls to action that will form a good story to entertain and inform your target audience. Stories tend to filter to the top of your followers’ feeds, so creating a library of stories for your business that you can publish in rotation can gain you much greater visibility. Post your stories at a time you know is popular with your users, in order to make the most of the 24-hour cycle.
The Best Stories to Construct
You can use Instagram stories to garner more followers, brand recognition and sales. There are a number of story formats that work well on Instagram. Use one or more of the following and see what kind of traffic and engagement you get.
- Product Launches. Your story can give a 360-degree view of the new product and why it’s exactly what your target audience needs to solve their problem. Offer it at a special low introductory price and emphasize that the clock is ticking and they have only 24 hours to take advantage of the great rate.
- Special deals. Instagram stories are ideal for special deals due to the urgency involved. Talk about the product and post a coupon good for that promotion only. Lead them to a landing page where they can make the purchase and use the coupon.
- Insider Stories. Show off all that is going on in your company using stories. People love hints, tips, and secrets. The stories also help them feel they know you and this promotes brand loyalty. You can also ask for feedback. For example, what would they like to see in your new product in addition to what you’ve already given them a glimpse of?
- Showcasing You And Your Staff. People love to hear stories about how someone got started in business, what inspired them, what obstacles they had to overcome, and so on. Get everyone in your company to tell an inspirational story, or about what motivates them to work in a business like yours.
Free Checklist: Instagram Marketing Secrets
For savvy business owners who are willing to take the time to learn the rules of the road, Instagram can be a great gateway to business success. Research shows that consumers are 58 times more likely to engage with branded content on Instagram compared to Facebook, and 120 times more likely to take some action than users on Twitter. But will Instagram work for your business? To learn more on how to use Instagram for marketing, download my free checklist, Instagram Marketing Tips For Business.