With more than a billion active users each month, Instagram is the social media platform you can’t afford to avoid. Compared to the other two major social networks, Twitter and Facebook, it offers a more engaged audience and less advertising competition.
This gives businesses a chance to show their products and services to broader but also more focused audiences without spending huge amounts of money on targeted ads.
With creative branding services and third-party social media management tools, taking full advantage of Instagram’s arsenal of features has never been easier.
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4 Tips to Master Advertising on Instagram
Whether you need to update your social media marketing strategy, or if you’ve never had contact with Instagram from a business perspective before, the four tips we’ve listed here will help you use Instagram for business creatively.
Take Advantage of all of the Formats Instagram Has to Offer
On Instagram, like in any other form of marketing, it is best to find a way to show how your products can add value to your customers’ lives. The idea is to move the focus towards the solutions you can provide to your prospects’ problems, rather than on the products themselves.
Thankfully, a picture is worth a thousand words, so visual content on Instagram can help you reach your goals quickly if you know what you’re doing.
If you don’t sell products, but your business is service-oriented, it is best to showcase the process behind your services. Present your company’s culture, broadcast your message, and share tips within your area of expertise.
Instagram provides many different formats you can use to do all of the above. You can not only upload photos but short videos too, GIFs, stories, and even long-format content in the form of IGTV.
This innovative post type utilizes a slideshow format and only remains on your page for up to 24 hours. That said, you can add Stories to your profile as highlights, which allows you to keep them alive for longer.
Instagram didn’t come up with this concept — it first appeared on Snapchat, but it is safe to say that Instagram made the idea globally recognizable. Here are a few benefits of using Instagram Stories for your business:
- Stories don’t have to be as high-quality as the posts on your feed.
- Stories are displayed just below the Instagram logo, right at the top of the timeline.
- Tagging in Stories can be a powerful tool in influencer marketing and collaborations.
- Stories are a great place for experimentation with different content types such as videos, photos, stickers, filters, and even live videos.
- You can edit your Stories in a matter of seconds using fun additions like stylized text and face filters.
- Stories always play in the sequence they are added, giving you more control.
- Ads in Instagram Stories allow you to reach new audiences.
Stories only became viewable on desktop relatively recently, so their reach is expected to grow in the future.
Instagram TV allows users to upload longer videos to this social media platform. These videos give brands plenty of opportunities to create engaging, fresh and fun video content. Here are some of the most notable benefits of using IGTV for your brand:
- Videos can be up to one hour long, leaving you a lot of room to be creative.
- Your audience can use the Following tab to get notified whenever you post a new video to IGTV.
- You can incorporate one-minute previews of IGTV videos into your feed, increasing their discoverability and visibility.
- If you already have a YouTube channel, you can upload your videos to IGTV and increase their reach.
Long-form video is rising in popularity, so there’s never been a better time to start experimenting with this format.
Create a Business Profile and Update Your Bio Regularly
Chances are that your company offers more than just a few products, services or solutions. Trying to fit all of them in your 150-character Instagram bio would be quite challenging.
Instead, focus on your unique selling proposition (USP) or on your next big announcement. This can be a promotion, product launch, event, or anything else that works.
Because the only clickable link on your Instagram page is the one you can place in your Bio, use it well. This doesn’t just mean putting your company’s website in there and hoping for the best. You can use the link in the Bio to promote different things at different times, so update it frequently.
There are also several advantages to creating an Instagram Business profile for your company. It will give you access to paid advertising and to extensive analytics data. It will also allow you to add a phone number to your Bio.
Take Your Audience Behind the Scenes
Human beings are curious. In fact, it is one of our primary traits as a species. Therefore, you can expect your audience to have an innate curiosity about your products, your company, and your processes. Don’t be afraid to use Instagram to show your customers what they’re looking for.
If you sell products, post images demonstrating how they are made, starting from the base material and ending with production and distribution. In case this isn’t an option for any reason, share photos of your brainstorming sessions along with sketches and notes.
Feel free to try out different post types until you find the one that engages your particular audience.
Use Hashtags to Expand Your Reach
Instagram hashtags (#) are a powerful tool. There are a variety of hashtag types out there, ranging from general to super-specific. No matter which you use, it’s critical to keep them relevant.
If you haven’t already, make sure to create your company hashtag and use it not only on Instagram but also on LinkedIn and Twitter. This will make your accounts on all of these platforms easier to find.
You can add up to 30 hashtags per Instagram post, but you should stick to no more than five. Utilize the range of specificity we mentioned earlier and use both campaign-specific hashtags as well as more general ones to make your content more discoverable.
Use Mentions to Collaborate and Share
On a similar note, in addition to hashtags, mentions, or tags (@) can help you in various ways on Instagram. If you’re looking to share customer success stories or highlight your collaborators, this is the way to do it.
Whenever you do a fundraiser or collaborate with a charity that aligns with your company’s mission and its brand value, take the opportunity to tag the non-profit organization in a post on your feed. Tagging an account usually gets more eyes on your content than hashtags, as not everyone monitors the latter.
Another creative way to use mentions involves the use of paid or unpaid shout-outs.
If you have a bigger social marketing budget, you can pay influencers with lots of followers to promote your brand. A paid shout-out can quickly garner many new followers, as long as you can make it seem genuine and your call to action is strong.
You can also partner with another brand with a similar number of followers. Promoting each other via an Instagram post allows you both to grow your audiences at no cost.
Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. He is focused on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels.