As of 2022, Instagram boasts approximately one billion monthly active users. The photo-sharing platform is still reigning as one of the top social media networks around — and as a result, offers a wealth of opportunities to market your business, drive brand awareness and promote your products and services.
Any good marketing strategy will leave a large digital footprint, but not all are made equally — for maximum return on investment, you’ll want recognisable branded content to fill your followers’ feeds and encourage new customer conversions.
If you’re keen to learn more, we can help. Let’s discuss how to use Instagram for marketing and the best strategies to add to your arsenal of social media tactics.
Set up a professional account
An important first step is to set up your page’s business account. Whether you’re upscaling from a side hustle or establishing your company’s online presence, it’s important to distinguish yourself from a standard personal profile. This can be done from the ‘Account’ section of your Instagram settings page.
Professional status opens up new opportunities for your business on Instagram. For example, only business accounts can access important analytics about who is visiting their page and engaging with content. These metrics include data such as:
- Profile visits
- Website click-throughs
- Post view counts
- Follower growth
- Audience demographics
- Peak engagement times
Businesses can use this information to inform their social strategy, highlighting who their target audience is and the best times of day to achieve good rates of engagement, for instance.
Once you’re attracting attention, it’s also a wise idea to apply for Instagram verification and dress your shiny new business profile up with that coveted blue badge. This will demonstrate to users that you’re the real deal — a trustworthy profile that they should follow and invest in —, with verified accounts receiving higher average engagement among audiences too.
Curate your brand identity
A strong storefront serves to entice customers, and when you’re a digital business, a visual platform like Instagram is your shop window. Here, you have the unique opportunity to curate a recognisable brand identity using imagery and tone of voice.
A cohesive, eye-catching theme shared between your brand profile picture, grid posts, highlight reels and stories can help your business to stand out so that your audience will know whose content they’re absorbing even just from a mindless timeline scroll. This way, you’ll be the first name that they think of when they have a need you can meet. The platform can also help to capture your brand identity in the tone of voice you use for communications. Be it in a keyword-optimised bio, an engaging photo caption or a live Q&A, you’ll want to be putting your best foot forward whenever you put content out to your audience.
Once your followers get a feel for your business and engage with your content, they’ll be more likely to buy from you than your competitors — research shows that a staggering 89% of customers prefer to buy from a brand they follow on social media. Thankfully, Instagram provides the opportunity to take them right to your product. Simply embed a clickable link to your website or service and consider adding a shopping tab to your profile to let them buy from you right on the platform.
Use Instagram ads
Sponsored advertisements are all over social media, whether we notice that they’re ads or not. To build your initial audience, it might be beneficial to invest in ‘boosting’ your Instagram post. This way, you can push your promotional photos and videos to appear in the feeds of those most likely to invest in your product.
When boosting your post, Instagram gives you the option to tailor its audience to the specific demographics that you’d like to target, as well as the duration it will go out and the budget constraints to adhere to. Alternatively, it also offers the option to let the app’s algorithm do the heavy lifting and control who sees your ad, based on the interest data that it collects.
As for producing gram-worthy promo materials, the platform can even help you to design the best timeline shot or short-form video. Using the Meta Business Suite, you can select from a range of templates to show off your product or service, schedule content to run at different times, and even conduct A/B testing to determine the most effective ad in your lineup.
Interact with your audience
One of the most cost-effective Instagram marketing strategies is to let your audience do the promotion for you. Encourage your followers to produce user-generated content by distributing polls, quizzes, contests and giveaways on Instagram. This way, users can engage with your content and build a relationship with your brand, all the while sharing the content and spreading awareness to their followers.
66% of consumers have been inspired to purchase from a brand after seeing others’ photos on social media, according to a report by Stackla. So, story shares and tagged posts can be a lifeline for product marketing.
A quick tip to ensure that you’re only highlighting the good publicity is to toggle ‘manual approval’ for tagged posts, so that you can check whether they’re aligned with your brand aesthetic before they appear on your page. After all, you’ll only want to showcase your wares in the best possible light — and not everyone is a professional photographer, even with Insta filters at their disposal.
Collaborate with influencers
Influencer marketing capitalises on the large online platforms built by social media ‘influencers’. These are the celeb brand deals of the digital age — businesses use them to target and promote their products to the highly-engaged followers of popular public figures.
Partnering with brand ambassadors high in the social pecking order can pay dividends for companies willing to invest. Data shows that the new-fangled marketing strategy is no passing fad — influencer deals are capable of generating as much as eight times the return on investment than traditional marketing methods such as TV spots or paid internet ads.
There are several ways to go about an influencer collaboration on Instagram, ranging from simple sponsored posts featuring your product, all the way up to livestreams, interactive camera filters and dance challenges.
Pitch Platforms is our dedicated service specialising in all things digital, including comprehensive Instagram marketing strategies that put our clients at the front of the cultural conversation. To learn more about how Pitch can take your business’ social media marketing to the next level, get in touch with us today. We’d love to hear from you!