When Instagram first launched in 2010, the photo sharing application service quickly gained popularity, growing to a million users in only two months. While Instagram has been offering advertising spots to businesses since 2013, a lot has changed in the last year for Instagram business users. For one, Instagram Stories have grown in the last year since it was first released to over 150million daily users. Plus, Instagram now offers insightful tools for businesses, including updated business profiles, useful data and analytics, and the ability to turn posts into ads directly from the Instagram application.
With more than 400 million daily active users on Instagram right now and an abundance of new opportunities, if your business isn’t currently using Instagram to grow your brand and reach customers, it’s time to start.
Along with the Rise in Visual Communication, Instagram is Here to Stay
Over the last 5 years, visual content has slowly and steadily risen as one of the most important aspects of marketing online. Even the traditionally more content-focused sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) have adapted to become better spaces for sharing high quality visual content as well. While others have tried, they can’t rival Instagram, which was designed from the beginning to be the platform for creating and sharing original photos and videos. Even more importantly for Instagram business users, any original visual content created here can be shared easily across platforms, on other social media sites and embedded for use on a website or blog.
Instagram is no longer simply a flashy platform for social photo sharing. With changes in how audiences are choosing to consume advertising and the new opportunities Instagram provides, any business can and should be using Instagram to grow their audience and expand their marketing outreach. While the platform was initially primarily embraced by businesses selling a photogenic product (food and beverage, fashion and jewelry, art, etc.), Instagram for business has broader branding and engagement applications for visual content marketing for businesses of all types.
How Your Business Should Use Instagram
Instagram is a way to promote your brand, connect with your existing audience and reach new customers. When creating content to be shared on Instagram for business, your goal should be to:
- Show your personality. This will look differently depending on the organization. Try sharing pictures of individuals on your team working on a project, or images from events you host or attend. Office parties, client locations, work-related travel, and anything else pertinent and personal to what your company does on a day to day basis can be shared to humanize and personalize your business, and Instagram gives you a creative platform to showcase that.
- Enhance your brand. While you want your Instagram business account to be fun and engaging, the images you choose to share should also be consistent with your branding and visually appealing. You can edit images simply with filters to create a very visually appealing look and to set a particular tone.
- Get social! Re-share content from others. Be an interactive member of your Instagram community and comment on posts that matter to you as a business. Put questions out to your followers and encourage feedback. Use @ and # to connect with industry partners and get found and noticed by your target audience. Take note however, while using hashtags can help you become a part of the conversation, don’t go overboard, as your post becomes too hard to read.
If you aren’t doing these things, your Instagram account isn’t going to encourage customers to engage with you in other ways. With your Instagram account, you should be showing your followers who you are and what you have to offer as a business, with visual content that is interesting and relevant to them.
Business Advertising on Instagram
Investing in Instagram ads can provide significant return. Instagram offers multiple advertisement options that can be used to drive traffic to your website, increase mobile app downloads, and spread brand awareness. On the Instagram business page, a useful resource for any business seeking to build a social presence there, several compelling case studies detail the effectiveness of these ads.
In order to get started with an Instagram business account, you have to begin with Facebook. As Facebook now owns Instagram, businesses need to set up a business account and become the business manager to get started on Instagram.
Instagram business advertising options include:
– Photo Ads: Using a smart visual image and limited text, photo ads create interest and appeal. While the photo captures attention, it is the job of the caption to direct the target audience to the next step.
– Video Ads: Video ads can be up to 60 seconds long and are extremely effective at delivering a message to audiences and driving engagement in an attractive format.
– Carousel Ads: Like a multi-page spread, carousel ads allow Instagram users to swipe through additional images. Carousel ads include a call to action button that directs clickers to the website to learn more or take the next steps.
– Instagram Stories: With the rise in popularity of Instagram Stories this year, the marketing option is fairly new, but sure to be a fast favorite. While users are scrolling through their Stories feed, they will encounter strategically spaced full screen ads intermittently.
– CTA buttons: Instagram has added a Call to Action button feature that direct users to click and include links to any destination, on or off Instagram.
Instagram also provides helpful tracking and analytics tools in order to measure the effectiveness of your ads.
Ready to see what Instagram can do for your business? Contact the professionals at EmoryDay. Our team of marketing strategists can help you create and maintain your brand across social media platforms and anywhere you want to be online. Contact us for a free consultation.