With nearly a billion users today, Instagram is right behind Facebook in terms of free ways to promote your business to the largest audiences possible. More than 80% of Instagram users follow at least one Instagram account ran by a business, and 200 million of those users actually visit the profile of at least one business per day. No wonder 25 million businesses have established and continue to maintain their own Instagram account.
With its own numbers revealing the massive marketing potential of the image-focused social media site/app, Instagram has taken it upon itself to provide business owners with useful tools – ones that can maximize their ability to use the platform to connect with target audiences. Here’s everything you need to do to stand out, get new insights, and find new customers on Instagram.
Get Recognized as an Instagram Business Profile
Choosing to be recognized as a business on Instagram is a free option which unlocks several useful features to streamline your Instagram sales and/or marketing operation. For instance, it gives you the option to choose how customers get in touch with you – whether it’s by call, text, e-mail, or even through directions to your company’s physical location. It’s all easier to do with a business profile rather than from a personal account, and that’s just for starters.
Know Your Audience via Instagram’s Free Data Analytics Tool
Recognized business profiles also have access to Instagram Business Insights, which shows you your viewership in terms of age, gender, times when they’re active online, and their top locations. To say that this is an invaluable tool for understanding your customer base would be an understatement.
There are several reasons why data analytics powered by AI (artificial intelligence) is being hailed as one of the smartest investments that startups can make. In this case, Instagram Business Insights can provide accurate, up-to-date analytics on how your campaigns are doing, what your target audience likes, and what you can do to extend your reach to even larger audiences.
Common social media metrics to check are Impressions, Reach Engagement Percentage, and Engagements. These track how many people viewed your post, impressions divided by number of followers, and how many times a post is liked, commented, shared or saved respectively–and Instagram offers it all for free.
Combine this with the ability to promote both old and new posts and you can better customize your campaigns to make your voice heard by more potential customers. AI-powered data analytics is here to stay, so get used to it and leverage it for your business.
Engage Audiences Better With Instagram’s Video Features
Several changes to Instagram’s algorithms have made videos one of the most ideal ways to connect with your audience. Instagram now tracks user engagement in your posts to determine whether or not to display your content in their feeds, and with videos, it’s easier to keep audiences captivated.
One of the ways to do this is through Instagram Live, the app’s built in live video streaming service which disappears once it’s over. It’s a great way to create a sense of urgency in your followers, which keeps them guessing what you’ll post next. Think surprise appearances, teasers about new products or features, or service demonstrations.
Instagram also gives the option to your loyal followers to choose whether or not they’ll get notified the next time you start live streaming. And with Instagram’s native shopping function integrated into how-to videos, product demos, unboxings, or influencer appearances, you can already see how you can generate buzz and actually make sales at the same time.
You should also explore Instagram Stories – limited to 15-second clips or 10-second shots of still images. Unlike Instagram Live which disappears after streaming, Instagram Stories stay in the feed for at least 24 hours, inserted into the personal stories of Instagram’s user community. It’s great for behind-the-scenes production clips, product teases, and even for holding contests for your followers.
If you manage to get more than 10,000 followers, you’ll have the added option of inserting a clickable link to your website right inside the Instagram stories that you post. In short, these new and still developing video promotion options have massive opportunities to direct traffic and actual business to your website.
By leveraging all available options, your business will have better chances of actually reaching the audiences that are likely to buy your service or product.
Explore External Tools to Make Your Profile More Unique
Outside Instagram itself, there are plenty of other useful business tools for enriching your profile. This includes having a domain name, and a website that amplifies your brand. Using the Hover Connect feature, you can easily connect your domain name to your Instagram profile or your website.
There’s also the Instagram grid planner called Planoly, which allows you to plan your uploads in order to create a visually unique and compelling grid layout for your profile. There are also other apps that can let you schedule and automate daily posts in advance, making it easier to maintain a consistent presence on the platform.
Don’t shy away from external apps and programs that can allow your Instagram profile to stand out. Try out Instasize, a photo editing app that gives you select choices of pro filters, borders, collages, beauty tools, and many more.
At the same time, always look for ways to maximize the free built-in tools for Instagram business profiles. Everything you need to reach new audiences and grow your business is right in your phone or your laptop.
NATASHA PONOMAROFF – SENIOR MARKETING DIRECTOR, INSTASIZE
Natasha Ponomaroff is the Senior Marketing Director of Instasize – a content creating tool kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile. A weekly contributor on the site’s blog, Natasha tracks social media trends and updates the millions of creatives who are currently using Instasize to curate awesome online content. When she isn’t writing up the latest trend, Natasha is overseeing a team of 10 over at the Instasize HQ – ensuring that the marketing content on the apps various social platforms is ready to go..