Instagram is a mobile photo and video sharing application that launched in 2010 on the heels of the success of other social sharing media services such Facebook. Since then, Instagram has risen to become a Titan in the social application industry, ranking in the top seven social applications for users and eclipsing Twitter by a wide margin.
Of course, as with any popular platform, businesses have taken to Instagram to promote their online presences and drive sales. However, leveraging an image-only platform for marketing can prove more complicated than expected for companies attempting to move onto the service. Arming yourself with some basic knowledge can help you launch a successful and productive Instagram account for your business.
- Pay for Advertising When It MattersJust as with other social media platforms, Instagram offers paid advertising options to businesses. These can include photo ads, video ads, or carousel ads. In order to take advantage of advertising options, you must be certain to register your account as a business and not a personal account. Instagram users have the highest interaction rate of any other social platform, so a well-thought advertisement is likely to have a high return on investment.
Outside of Instagram itself, various third-party services offer the opportunity to buy Instagram views, likes, or otherwise raise your ranking and reliability to appear in target feeds. No matter what the service, be sure to only promote excellent, well-branded content.
- Create a Marketing Strategy Specific to InstagramMany of the same strategies that apply to other social media sites apply to Instagram. However, with its visual basis and highly interactive user base, it is an excellent place to grow brand awareness through more personal content.
Visual campaigns don’t lend themselves particularly well to sales that require extensive explanation, and links are not possible in posts. Instead, consider showcasing your corporate culture, highlighting employee achievements, or inviting customers to share their experiences with your products. Use tags to increase traffic.
- Campaign Success StoriesInstagram has some pretty compelling case studies in its ability to be used as a marketing tool. From small businesses up to household name multinational corporations, the underlying commonality of successful campaigns has been creating fresh, compelling content that is visually consistent and targeted to a specific demographic.
Instagram does not have the same robust demographic information as other social media sites, but have no fear. Facebook, the number one social media site, owns Instagram and the two accounts are easily linked so you can use the Facebook interface to reach your target demographic on either platform.
- Instagram Marketing Don’ts for Your BusinessAs with any campaign, there are dos and don’ts for Instagram as well. Social media marketing can be both a powerful and inexpensive tool in your toolbelt, but it’s only one. Do not fall into the trap of letting other marketing streams die off out of favor for the relatively easy to deploy social campaigns. Keep careful records of all of your marketing endeavors and their returns to guide your company’s strategic planning.
Be careful to closely monitor the quality, relevance, and consistency of your business posts. Yes, it is important to post regularly, but sharing content that doesn’t fit with your brand and the interests of your clientele will only serve to weaken your ranking and even lose business for your company.
By following these basic guidelines, you can easily begin to see the benefits of an Instagram account for your business. Above all else, engaging your customers, both present and future, can be a rewarding opportunity to learn more about their desires, expectations, and feelings about your business and its place in their world.