How to Get Started With Instagram for Business
Instagram for business is a great way to promote products outside of your website/shop. Similarly to Facebook Business, Instagram supports advertisements and paid for methods to show off your brand.
Although Facebook has far more daily users, Instagram is a much better tool for businesses to get their services out there. Not only does it have extra features tailored to digital marketing, but people are also more likely to view and see your products – providing you optimise your product promotions. We presume you already have an Instagram Business account set up, so we’ll skip that process.
Sounds interesting? Let’s walk you through how to fully utilise Instagram for your business to help kickstart your marketing campaign!
Creating the Perfect Strategy
Everything stems from an idea, and as long as you believe in your product/service, then others will too. If you currently don’t have a website or online store, using social media platforms such as Instagram is a fantastic start.
The three key objectives to focus on are as follows:
- Set goals to achieve by a certain date
This ensures you’re meeting deadlines as well as a way to monitor how well your campaign is going in terms of advertisements and revenue.
- Determine your current and target audience
If you already have some sort of following or website, you should try and find out what type of people buy from you. Using Instagram’s insights tool will greatly help with this information. You can then aim to target others who like the same things with similar traits, and might be interested in what you have to offer.
- Optimise your business page
This point may be the most obvious one, but there is a lot you can do to take full advantage of your profile. We’ll go into this point in more detail now.
Optimising Your Instagram Business Page
So, you want to make complete use of your Instagram profile? Let’s begin with the most important thing, which is what people see when they first land on your page.
Click That Profile Picture!
Your profile picture is essentially the backbone of someone’s profile. It has to stand out and be noticeable. Nobody will pay attention to text or a basic picture such as a building, as they are seen as very generic. With more people now using Instagram’s dark mode, some profile pictures with black backgrounds will be lost when scrolling past.
Optimal profile pictures are bold, colourful, and simple. Depending on your brand, you might want to use up to 3 colours that really stand out. Contrasting colours such as white+black, yellow+purple, blue+orange, etc. go well together and are more likely to be seen when scrolling on the timeline.
Writing a Great Bio
Now you’ve secured that click on your page, you have to ensure people will actually stay for a while. Your bio will most likely be the first thing people see, so make it count!
Trust us when we say hardly anyone wants to read a huge wall of text, so a couple of summary points about your business and what you have to offer is vital. Using separators to split up points is a fantastic idea, this can be done using the vertical bar symbol “ | ” or with fun emojis to spice up your profile.
If you’re a smaller business account with under 10,000 followers, then using a link in your bio is the only direct way to organically link back to your website. If you’re trying to sell or promote a specific product at certain times, then updating this link regularly is a great idea.
Stories, IGTV and Reels
Instagram stories are one of the best ways to directly showcase your products to people. A story is found through your profile picture, which people can click on to view no matter what.
Whether you’re commenting on something, show up in recommended, or on a browse feature, users can simply press on your profile to view the active story. However, these stories can only last for 15 seconds long, and only last on your profile for up to 24 hours – that is, unless you add it as a highlight. In a nutshell, highlights will stay on your profile until you remove them in their own section, and work the same way stories do.
Instagram TV (or IGTV), shows up on the user’s home page and browse section. They are videos which are longer than a minute. These type of videos include insights and analytics such as percentage watched, engagement, likes/comments, and audience retention.
This can be very useful to see when users click off the video, so you can improve on that area for next time. Insights can also tell you what type of content viewers enjoy, and in what style – animation, motion graphics, interview, or informative? IGTV is also used as a way for saving live videos after they’re finished, and they appear on your main profile feed.
In the 3 part series, reels are simply a shorter version of IGTV. So instead of videos being over a minute, they have to be under 15 seconds to be classed as a “Reel”. Reels are great because they show up in their own section for the user to endlessly scroll in. Chances are, if you utilise this to give a short but sweet video about your product, viewers will see it.
Reels are becoming more and more popular, and their main purpose being Instagram’s answer to TikTok’s extremely similar main feature – and endless feed of short videos.
Using Instagram Shopping
Okay, so now you understand Instagram’s main selling points, let’s go over some helpful tricks and how to properly use each one. Instagram Shopping was released a few years ago, to allow businesses to have their own mini storefront page, with a list of products they have to offer. This helped small businesses thrive, as many new and potential customers could discover brands they might love.
In order for people to find your page, users will go to the very popular “browse” section, and be immediately greeted with brands/products similar to things they’ve seen or interacted with in the past. How high your business ranks depends on how optimised your storefront is. You are also able to add product launch countdowns and reminders in link with your Instagram stories to build up hype of an upcoming product.
Instagram shopping works the same way as the Google shopping tab does – with lots of products to choose from and ad promotions near the top. There is a “suggested for you” tab, with many different products the user might be interested in.
Checking analytics to see what type of products are the most popular can help you decide which ones to promote and sell on your business page. In the US, there is a way to check out in the app using Facebook Pay on certain enabled brands, which should be a feature coming worldwide soon.
If you’re still reading this, then by now you’re well on your way to becoming an Instagram Business expert! Finally, we’re going to touch on digitalising content and the lesser-known ways to advertise your business.
When we say content digitisation you might not completely understand, so let me explain. This is basically the process where all your content (text, images, videos, etc) are uploaded to your website in digital format – in this case, to your Instagram page. There are many ways to make that content suitable for this specific platform.
The first being what type of posts you make. A simple image and block of text probably isn’t the best thing for new visitors to see. Just like your profile picture, each one has to be unique with some way to stand out from your competition. Try experimenting with video, animation, and bright, vibrant camera shots to catch people’s attention.
With Reels and IGTV implemented, using video is a great method to really let people interact with your posts. But remember, over 85% of users don’t even use Instagram with audio, so captions are necessary for viewer retention!
Now, let’s say you have a food business, think of smart ways to promote your recipes/food without just posting a bunch of pictures. They could be different colour schemes for example, or with quotes overlayed onto the image. Graphics also go well with transparent background images, to create a 3D depth and feel to it.
Adverting On Instagram
Advertising on Instagram is pretty simple and surprisingly effective. We’ll go through some of the ways you can promote your products and profile page now.
- First and the most basic – Instagram posts.
Photo/video ads show up on the user’s feed as they’re scrolling past, and are usually labelled “Promoted”, “Learn More”, or “Shop Now” – depending on the type of business. These are a great way of showing a picture or short video to express what your brand is about and why the person should check it out.
- Carousel and Collection Ads
Similar to post ads, these type of advertisements will show up on the user’s home page, and allow for multiple pictures in one space. The carousel can be swiped to show different products one after the other, and the collection ad is like a mini collage.
- Story ads
One of the more common ways to promote on Instagram is through the stories feature. This can be done on your own account (which is free!), and also on relevant audience’s stories too. For the latter, the more a user scrolls through the stories of people they follow, they will most likely see an ad at some point. However, this method is not very effective as most of the time the person will just swipe past it.
- Page promotions
Finally, this method is unconventional but actually works extremely well. Some Instagram accounts allow paid promotions, where you can submit products/services to promote, and they will either post on their story, by tagging and mentioning, or on their feed. Cost is dependent on the account’s choice, mainly down to how many followers they have and how many estimated impressions. Meme and lifestyle pages are a good place to start, and always look at promoting on profiles with more followers than yourself.
Using Instagram for Business will be sure to help your services take off. Over 90% of users on the platform follow a business, maybe yours could be next! Statistics also show that 50% of those people are more interested in a brand or product when they are shown ads for it.
So, what are you waiting for? Start using Instagram for business today and take advantage of these awesome features available!
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