How To Make Instagram Work For Your Business

How To Make Instagram Work For Your Business

Hit the bull’s eye with Gen Z with Instagram for Business in 2023.

Instagram is more than just a fun way to share photos and videos with your friends—it’s also a powerful marketing tool that can be tailored to suit the needs of your business. With around 1.2 billion monthly active users worldwide, Instagram is the fourth most popular photo and video-sharing social networking service and the perfect place to advertise services or products. What’s more, 81% of Instagrammers use the platform for researching new items, while over 150 million people reach out to businesses directly each month. 

Unsurprisingly, 93% of marketers have already managed to attract potential customers by leveraging Instagram! If your business is still not making full use of Instagram yet, start today! This blog post will guide you through you the most effective strategies for getting the best results on Instagram. 

Begin by creating an Instagram business account

If you’re looking to take your marketing efforts on Instagram to the next level, you need to create a business account. This will offer you access to free tools like account insights (e.g. numbers of accounts reached and engaged), Professional Dashboard—where you can track performance, use professional tools and find educational resources curated by Instagram—as well as the option to show or hide your business category and contact info on your profile. 

To set up a business profile, create an Instagram account or use an existing one, then switch to your professional or business account in the app. Next, include all the important information related to your business, such as business categories, operating hours, location(s) and contact methods. Then, link to any service or product catalogs you have. Finally, make sure your profile elements (such as your bio and profile image) are visually appealing. The better your profile looks, the more likely customers will be to follow you and engage with your content.

Optimize your bio 

Your Instagram bio is an excellent opportunity to showcase your brand identity and creative side. It allows you to express your business’s uniqueness and offerings and bring in more potential customers. For example, Grove Collaborative’s Instagram bio mentions a bit of what they offer and their overall mission; GoPro adds another layer by advertising ongoing sales in their description box.

Additionally, you can add a link in your bio to direct people to your website or product catalog. For example, fashion brand Madewell included a link to their menswear account on their profile page. If you want to include more than one URL in your bio, you can use links-in-bio tools, like Linktree, Shorby and Pallyy, to add multiple links. For instance, Weezie included the accounts of their founders and brick-and-mortar stores. General Electric (GE) also did the same. 

Your Instagram bio presents a great chance to boost your online presence, increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your websites. So if you’re not displaying links in your bio yet, now is the time to start!

Use highlights to convey the essence of your company

There is only so much you can do with a bio due to its limited space. That’s why you need to master the Instagram highlights feature to engage with your customers and share more information about your business. Highlights are amassed Instagram stories (which are only visible for 24 hours) with a preserved life span that appear on your profile. 

As they appear atop your profile, start with the basics, such as outlining what you do, your values, operating hours and company ethos. You can create aesthetic story/highlight posts and covers with tools like Canva, PicsArt Photo Editor and Adobe Spark Post which offers numerous templates for you to play with. You can also showcase customer reviews or posts—either via reposting from their feed or through creating graphical representations of positive feedback—or feature FAQs to respond to customer questions. Of course, you should also promote your latest or hot-selling products, offers, upcoming launches, etc. in your highlights. 

Pampers India’s official Instagram account is a good example of this. They make use of highlights to give their followers an insight into the products they offer as well as running giveaways, sharing mom reviews and highlighting events.

Use Instagram features wisely

Instagram is always rolling out new features, and it’s important to make sure you’re using them effectively:

  • Reels are full-screen, vertical videos that can last up to 90 seconds long. They are a great way to show off your products or services engagingly and creatively. 
  • Add-yours stickers can be used to promote special offers or call-outs. By posting a story with an Add-Yours sticker, you’re essentially saying to your followers and the Instagram community, “Hey, show us your story!” For example, if you post an OOTD (i.e. outfit of the day) story with an Add-Yours prompt, your followers can add their images with the sticker you made and so do their followers. Each participant can see who started the chain when they add their image, making the Add-Yours sticker a great way to get people talking about your brand!
  • Stories are full-screen, vertical photos or videos that disappear after 24 hours. Posting stories regularly lets your customers know you are active and reminds them of your business. For instance, you can create stories to give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your business. 
  • Insta Live is an excellent method to connect with your audience in real time—whether it’s just answering their questions or catching up with them! 

By utilizing all of these features wisely, you’ll ensure that your business stays ahead of the competition on Instagram.

Take advantage of Insta Ads

Instagram offers paid advertising services to help businesses reach their target audience. Ad costs on Instagram vary depending on factors like the target devices and demographics, time of the day/week/year, whether an ad is being shown during a major televised event, etc. For reference, it costs around US$0.40-0.70 per engagement (i.e. clicks, comments and likes) for an Instagram ad. Adding a URL to an ad will bring up the cost to around US$0.50-$0.95.

There are three distinct formats for Instagram ads: regular photo posts with a “Sponsored” label above the photo, videos with the same “Sponsored” label and carousel ads featuring several photos that viewers can swipe through. 

You can run ads directly with your professional Instagram account or through your Facebook page with the help of Meta Ads Manager. The latter will be helpful if you already have a Facebook page for your business, and you want to expand your reach by running ads on both Facebook and Instagram. You can also track the results of your advertising efforts on Facebook and Instagram in one place and see which platform is performing best for your business.

Regardless of which route you choose, remember that quality is key. Make sure your ads are well-crafted and relevant to your target audience, and you’ll be sure to see results.

Optimize your content based on your performance on Instagram

By analyzing the number of likes, comments and shares as well as the growth in engagement and followers you get from each post, you can start to get an idea of which content resonates well with your audience. You can then make more informed decisions about the kind of content you post on Instagram and posting frequency. It can also give you insights into when is the best time to reach your target audience. So if you’re looking to step up your Instagram game, start by evaluating your current performance!

Instagram is a powerful platform for businesses of all sizes, from small local stores to global brands. With the help of these tips, you can make Instagram work for your business and reach potential customers with ease. By creating an attractive profile page, crafting compelling content, engaging with an audience and following best practices, your business can reap the rewards that come from a successful Instagram presence. So why not take advantage of this social media powerhouse today?

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Header image courtesy of Freepik

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