Instagram: The Rising Star of Social Media Marketing
In the ever-evolving digital landscape, businesses are constantly seeking new ways to attract customers, enhance brand visibility, and promote their offerings. Instagram, a platform that has seen exponential growth over the past four years, has emerged as a top contender in the social media marketing arena. But the question remains: Is Instagram the right platform for your business? And if so, how can you craft an effective Instagram marketing strategy? Let’s dive in.
A Goldmine for Businesses?
Instagram’s popularity among businesses isn’t just a passing trend. According to Meta, 83% of Instagram users discover new products and services on the platform, 81% use it to research products and services, and 80% make purchasing decisions based on Instagram content. These figures highlight Instagram’s potential as a powerful marketing tool.
However, Instagram isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s particularly beneficial for businesses that sell direct-to-consumer (D2C) products, run influencer marketing campaigns, invest heavily in visual content marketing, or aim to build a personal brand. If your competitors are on Instagram, it’s a clear sign that the platform is working for your industry.
The Advantages of Instagram for Business
Instagram offers several benefits for businesses. Firstly, it allows for affordable content creation. With tools like Canva, businesses can create high-quality Instagram content quickly and easily. For example, you can repurpose a thought leadership post from another platform like LinkedIn or Twitter and share it on Instagram. This makes it easy to produce a high volume of quality content without breaking the bank.
Secondly, Instagram provides advanced targeting options and detailed tracking. If you’re already running Facebook ads, you’ll find it easy to set up and manage Instagram ads as they use the same Ads Manager platform. This means you’ll have access to Meta’s advanced targeting options, allowing you to specify who you want to target by demographic (age, gender, geography, etc.) and interest (as determined by Meta’s data). You can also set up remarketing ads, specify campaign objectives (traffic, conversions, engagement, etc.), choose your ad placements, and more. These targeting options are far superior to those offered by other platforms like Twitter or TikTok, which means you’ll likely see a better ROI.
Thirdly, Instagram is optimized for conversions. The Checkout feature allows customers to purchase products directly inside the app, increasing impulse buys and boosting conversion rates by making the shopping process seamless. In fact, a study by Baymard found that 17% of shoppers leave if the checkout process is too long or complicated. So, by leveraging Instagram’s Checkout feature, customers never even have to visit your website to purchase your product.
Fourthly, Instagram offers less competition. While many e-commerce brands use Instagram for advertising, it is still a relatively untapped marketing channel for B2B brands. However, a few B2B brands and influencers have proven that Instagram is also an excellent channel for a more professional audience. For example, Chris Do has amassed an impressive audience of over 800,000 B2B followers, which has helped him achieve 300% year over year growth for his second seven-figure business.
Lastly, Instagram provides plenty of influencer partnership opportunities. In fact, if you use an influencer marketing platform like Upfluence, you’ll find that most influencers available for partnership collaborations are primarily active on Instagram. While you can run influencer marketing campaigns without a highly active Instagram business profile, they probably won’t be as effective, as potential customers who view the influencer’s content will learn more bychecking your Instagram business profile. So, if there’s very little activity on your Instagram profile, that’s not a great sign to potential customers.
How to Harness Instagram for Business Promotion
Now that we’ve established the potential of Instagram for business, let’s delve into a detailed Instagram marketing strategy with best practices and pro tips to help you build a high-quality audience.
Step 1: Consistently Create Quality Content
Creating quality content may seem like an obvious key to success, but poor or inconsistent content is the most common reason companies fail on Instagram. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a fortune on design or production to create high-quality Instagram content. Instead, focus on improving the content ideas. Here are some examples for both e-commerce and B2B brands.
For B2B Brands:
- Case study style content (“How we achieved X”).
- Business hero quotes.
- Repurpose thought leadership content (executive interview clip, LinkedIn thought leadership post, etc.).
- Step-by-step “how to” content.
- Behind-the-scenes content.
- Team and company culture content.
For E-commerce Brands:
- Run a giveaway contest.
- User-generated content.
- Behind-the-scenes content.
- “How to” hacks.
- Team members doing popular challenges (e.g., Ice Bucket Challenge).
Now that you have a few content ideas, here’s a breakdown of all the different types of content you can create for Instagram.
Step 2: Run Ads
Instagram ads are excellent for generating more brand awareness and selling products. And you can use various content styles, including photos, videos, carousels, stories, and reels to create ads. These ads are particularly effective for e-commerce brands since you can add a call-to-action button to your product thanks to the Instagram app’s new Checkout feature. Then, customers can purchase your products directly inside the mobile app.
If you’re already running Facebook ads, you’ll be able to quickly pick up Instagram business ads because it uses the same Ads Manager. If you’re not running Facebook ads, the first step to running Instagram ads is setting up the Facebook ad pixel. Once you’ve done that, select one of the campaign objectives Instagram offers: Conversions, Lead generation, App installs, Video views, Engagement, Traffic, Reach, Brand awareness.
Step 3: Partner With Influencers (And Do Guest Carousels)
Instagram is the most popular platform for influencer marketing, meaning it will be easier for you to find influencers and run campaigns on Instagram than other social media platforms. To get started, consider signing up for an influencer marketing platform like Upfluence. These platforms allow you to find, message, hire, manage, and pay influencers in one place. Alternatively, you can run these campaigns manually if you don’t want to use a platform. To find relevant influencers, search for parallel brands to see their influencer partners. For example, if you sell hair products, look at influencers promoting makeup products.
Step 4: Cross-Promote With Similar Brands
While influencer marketing is a great way to scale reach quickly, you can also do mutual collaborations with parallel brands. The best part about this strategy is that you generally don’t have to pay for these partnerships. However, you will need a comparable audience size to make it mutually beneficial.
Step 5: Track Results
The tips above are a good basic framework to help you get started with Instagram for business, but there isn’t one perfect strategy for all businesses. Instead, you’ll have to test different aspects and find what works for your audience. So, as you run your Instagram campaigns, consider testing content formats, promotion strategies, ad audiences, and partners (brands and influencers). To track your results, you can use Instagram’s Insights dashboard, which gives you detailed analytics like accounts reached, accounts engaged, total followers, and impressions.
However, if you’re looking for a quicker way to establish your presence on Instagram, you might consider purchasing an already established Instagram account from a reliable platform
This can give you a head start by providing you with an existing follower base and engagement, allowing you to focus more on your content strategy and less on building your initial audience..
Moreover, to ensure the authenticity and quality of the Instagram accounts you’re considering, you can use FameAudit. This platform provides a comprehensive audit of social media accounts, helping you make an informed decision and avoid potential pitfalls.
A Key Player in Your Digital Marketing Strategy
There are plenty of different social networks you can use to promote your business, though Instagram is an excellent option if you’re an e-commerce company or already creating visual content. Just follow the step-by-step instructions above, and whether you’re growing a Fortune 500 company’s brand or a small business owner earning your first few customers, you’ll be well on your way to growing a valuable Instagram audience.