Instagram & Business: Part 1
8 Reasons You Need to Be Using Instagram for Your Business
In this day and age, Instagram isn’t just an inspirational platform for personal-only use. Over the past 9 years of its operation, Instagram has grown to be a major hub for business, creating space for everything from brand-building to retail sales. Many growing businesses are still unsure about the best approach to take when trying to grow a presence on a social-savvy app, and as a growing small business ourselves, we’re here to attest that it isn’t easy, and you’re not alone! Maybe you know what Instagram is, but haven’t made the leap to set up a business account. Or, maybe you have an Instagram account for your business, but it tends to fall at the very bottom of your to-do list and priorities (we get it). Whatever camp you land in, we’re here to tell you why Instagram should be a focal point of your digital marketing strategy!
Instagram currently has over 1 billion monthly users (yep, you read that right–billion with a “b!”). And out of that billion, over 500 million people log into the app on a daily basis. Next to Facebook, it’s the largest and most engaging social platform.
Instagram is also one of the leading platforms that people run to in order to find out about new trends in products, and now, most recently, even shop for them. Instagram’s newest retail feature allows companies to sell their products directly through the pictures they post–users don’t even have to leave the app to make a purchase (welcome to the future!).
Considering these stats and more, we think it’s safe to say that if you haven’t set up an Instagram business profile yet, why wait any longer?
So without further ado, here are our top 8 reasons (in no particular order) of why we think you need to be using Instagram for your business!
1. Reach your target audience without limitations
Like we mentioned above, with over a billion monthly users, there is seemingly no limit to the level of success that your business could gain from that many potential followers/customers. With the right Instagram strategy, you could reach your target audience on a daily basis while not only continuously serving your current customers, but also gaining new ones.
2. Get relatable with the story feature
The “story” feature on Instagram is one of the most critical tools to utilize for your business. What’s a story, you ask? The story feature allows you to add moments in time that disappear after 24 hours (similar to Snapchat), allowing brands to be a bit more casual and to show more of their personality, while still keeping their main feed more professional and curated. Through Instagram stories, you are able to show your audience that you are so much more than just a faceless, stuffy corporation! Taking your audience behind the scenes into what the day-to-day looks like for your company, showing some of the faces that help make things go round, and allowing them to see more of your overall personality will help you to not only further connect with the customers you already have, but also to attract new ones. It’s an overall win-win! If your followers see you as more than another business just looking to sell something to them, they are way more likely to trust you and to become a loyal fan.
3. Directly engage with your audience
What could be better than being on a platform that allows you to reach hundreds of millions of potential customers a day? How about actually getting to engage with those customers every single day? Not only can you directly engage and communicate with your audience and target market on Instagram through direct messages, liking, and commenting, you also have the opportunity for your followers to share YOU. People are constantly using Instagram to talk about the things they love and what they do/the products they use on a daily basis. Being active on Instagram allows your business to be organically talked about by people who are big fans of what you’re doing (hello, free advertising!).
4.Utilize Influencer marketing
Here’s another term you may have heard of and potentially even tried to avoid: “influencer marketing.” If you aren’t currently utilizing influencer marketing, it may be time you look into it. Studies have shown that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people–even if they don’t actually know them personally–over promotional content that they view directly from a brand. Most influencers have very large and engaged audiences and can organically introduce your product or service to their audience, giving you exposure and opportunities to gain genuine fans of what you’re doing. The key is finding influencers that align with your brand. If the partnership doesn’t make sense for your brand or for the influencer’s brand, the campaign will fail because it won’t feel natural and people will perceive that and disengage. Stay tuned for another upcoming blog post where we will take a deeper dive into influencer marketing and how you can use it for your business!
5. Take advantage of user-generated content
You’ve heard the saying, “Work smarter, not harder,” right? Well, guess what? Instagram allows you to do just that through user-generated content! If your followers like your brand enough, they will create their own content to post on their own feed to show their followers. If the images they post are in line with your brand, you can repost those images (with permission and photo credit) on your own feed. This is a super easy way to consistently post, without having to do all the work of creating organic content yourself (insert praise-hand emojis here).
6.Organically test content for ads
Want to get the best bang for your buck when it comes to ads (whether Google ads, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, etc.)? Instagram is the perfect platform for getting insights into organic content that seems to be performing well. If you have an Instagram business account, you get access to tons of analytics and can view a deep dive into which of your posts are performing well. If/when you have a post that seems to be performing really well, you can use that same content in an advertisement across all your channels, which makes it likely to do even better. No more staring blankly into the distance trying to think of what specific content you should use for an ad; find out what’s already working and make it work even more for you!
7. Drive sales directly from the app
As we mentioned above, Instagram has a feature called “shopable posts” that allows businesses to add tags to certain products in their photos with links that include a product description, price, and the ability to actually purchase the item directly from the app. This is a super simple and easy way for Instagram users to see products they like and to purchase them without being directed away from the app. Like the words of the great modern wordsmith Ariana Grande: they see it, they like it, they want it, they got it. In fact, 72% of Instagram users have admitted to purchasing products through the app (impressive). If you have a product that you sell online, this is definitely the tool for you to drive more sales!
8. Put a face to your brand
Want to build a loyal and genuine fan base? Who wouldn’t want a tribe of loyal customers who genuinely care about their business and are excited about everything they do? Instagram is the place to create just this. The app allows you to put a face and a personality behind your brand. No matter what product you’re selling or service you’re offering, you can build a loyal tribe of followers by sharing a story that people can connect with.
Instagram allows you to show your audience another side to your company. From stories, to live streaming, to the opportunity to engage back and forth with followers, there are plenty of ways for you to show off your personality and to make meaningful connections with your target market. You may think that no one cares about your story, or that you don’t have anything exciting to share, but we’re here to tell you that this couldn’t be further from the truth! You might think that your brand story isn’t interesting enough for Instagram, but we’re here to tell you that there are loads of people out there who will connect to what you’re saying. You just have to take a leap, put yourself out there, and find them!
If you’ve been avoiding using Instagram for your business, we hope that this quick blog has served as a little piece of encouragement for why and how to approach using Instagram to grow your business. While there are tons of different strategies and approaches you could use when it comes to tackling Instagram, anything is better than nothing. You don’t have to have it all figured out, you just need to get started! Never forget the rule of thumb: #Doitforthegram. You’ve got this!