Instagram has grown into one of the most active social media platforms in the world. In 2020, the platform had over 1 billion users. For businesses, that’s a huge number of people that you can immediately reach and target market to in an effort to grow your business and drive conversions.
The key to succeeding as an Instagram brand is to generate the right kind of visual content. As a platform, Instagram is uniquely positioned as a platform where people share, engage with, and enjoy visual and video content. Brands quickly made a note of Instagram as a driver of business growth early on, and today, multiple businesses actively compete to sell their products on Instagram.
With a high number of users who regularly use the social media platform, your brand too can quickly take off. Find business success by implementing the right strategies to boost your content on the app. Unlike traditional marketing or marketing through other social media channels like Facebook or Twitter, Instagram marketing is different.
You’ll need to find the right combination of high-quality visual content, hashtag use, as well as consistency to increase traffic to your content. But when done right, Instagram offers lucrative growth opportunities, unlike any other social media platform.
But why Instagram?
1. A Visual Catalog For Your Products
72% of users report buying a product after seeing it first. The Instagram shop is a platform where visual content is the primary focus. From Instagram Stories to carousel posts, you’ll be relying on visual content to showcase your catalog. For businesses, this is good news. All you need is a good photoshoot and regular content to drive business growth. Compare this to paid advertising campaigns that both require financial investment on your part, and offer no real data on how that campaign will play out.
Much of what you post on Instagram is free, and you won’t have to pay to post unless you’re specifically looking to promote specific content. This saves money that you can relocate to promote your brand through other marketing strategies, such as through better photoshoots, concept art, and even marker research.
2. Availability of Useful Tools
Promoting your brand on Instagram is made easier by the fact that the platform itself will equip you with the tools you need to reach your target market. Aside from posting on your feed, you can also utilize Instagram Stories, IGTV, or carousel posts to bring people to your Instagram shop. These create multiple ways that you can promote your products or services.
This lets you be creative about the kind of content you create. You aren’t just limited to posting pictures on the platform but are actively encouraged to use multiple formats to drive engagement rates and interact with your audience. Tools like Instagram Analytics further assist you by providing you with data on how your posts are performing. This helps you make better decisions in the future about what kind of content you should create, and what kind of posts you should promote.
You can also turn individual posts and stories into shoppable posts. Users can simply click on the post and buy your product or service through Instagram itself.
3. Fast and Lucrative Growth Opportunities
Statistics show that over 90% of users follow at least one business account.
That means that a huge number of the 1 billion and growing active user base on Instagram is a potential customer. Out of these, 71% of active users are young adults under the age of 35 with disposable income.
For businesses, disposable income is crucial for sales and growth. People are more likely to purchase from your brand directly on Instagram, and then create promotional content for you themselves. This is done through user-generated content where people showcase your product, very often tagging your brand in their posts as well. Simply put, if your product or service is good and your audience likes it, they’ll promote it themselves.
User-generated content is a great way to engage in word-of-mouth marketing. This form of marketing is known to drive sales figures and can have a real impact on your business growth. Look at it this way – you’re running a fashion brand on Instagram. A user loves a dress you’re selling. They purchase the dress from you, wear it themselves, and then make a post about it on the app. They tag your brand in it, a common courtesy on the app, and immediately all their friends and followers can see what they look like in your dress. If they like what they see, the chances of them visiting your page go up exponentially.
This is how multiple smaller brands have grown on the app through the years, with many smaller brands now reaching high sales figures as well.
4. Users Spend More Time on Instagram
The concept of the Instagram shop is growing because Instagram users spend as much as 53 minutes per day on the app.
That number is greater than time spent on various other social media platforms, like Facebook. This number is crucial, as every time potential customer opens their Instagram feed, they are exposed to promotional content as well. The kind of promotional content they find depends on their preferences, habits, and posts they’ve previously interacted with. In fact, Instagram itself helps 80% of users make purchases through the app.
This is done by showing users content and promotional posts that they’re more likely to engage with. Your work on Instagram should be more focused on creating content that users engage with and adding relevant hashtags to your posts. Instagram will take care of various aspects of your growth for you.
So how do you sell on Instagram?
1. Optimize Your Profile
The first thing a user will see when they land on your profile page is your profile picture and bio. These need to be tailored to appear professional and interesting. Don’t put up a stock photo or a low-quality graphic as your profile pic.
Similarly, don’t let your bio go to waste. These two spaces are core areas that you can use to generate business growth.
Your profile pic should be your brand logo. Ensure that the dimensions match Instagram requirements and that it looks good. A badly cropped logo or using a random picture as your profile pic are warning signs that may throw off customers.
Your bio is also essential. Aside from being your one shot at giving your target market some idea about what your brand is about, it’s also the only space where you can add links. Instagram doesn’t allow you to add links to posts. But through your bio, you can add a link to your website. You can also update this link to increase traffic to any sales your brand is having, or drive traffic to websites or content you specifically want to draw attention to.
2. Know the Right Hashtags
Hashtag marketing is the lifeblood of Instagram marketing for brands. Knowing what the right hashtags are will immediately let you reach people that are more likely to buy from your brand. At the same time, using the wrong hashtags will drown out your content among a sea of other content from businesses and users.
If you aren’t sure about the kind of hashtags you should use, then there are various online hashtag and keyword search tools that can help you. An even simpler way is to do it yourself. First, identify your industry and niche. Now type in keywords relevant to your industry to see which hashtags are trending there. Look at your competitors – what are they doing? What kind of hashtags are they using?
It isn’t enough to just use any hashtag. The more popular and on-trend the hashtags you choose are, the greater the number of people from within your target audience that will see your posts.
3. Post Regularly, Engage Consistently
Instagram is at the end of the day, a social media platform. This means that you need to actively engage with your users on a consistent basis to drive growth. This has the double benefit of also building brand loyalty. But posting regularly can feel like a rush if you don’t have a content bucket in place.
creating content ahead of time, such as pictures and videos, stories and tutorials, together with captions, saves you time and energy on the day when you have to make the post itself.
Having a month’s content ready ahead of time allows you to focus on user engagement and market analytics over creating new posts every single day. On Instagram, you also need to moderate the content you’re posting to create an aesthetic feed. As a visually-driven platform, a pleasing feed will attract more customers and increase your Instagram followers. Organic growth on Instagram is generated through Instagram likes and comments.
If people like your content as while, you’ll generate more real Instagram followers. You should absolutely avoid purchasing followers on Instagram. This clearly shows in your posts and makes your brand look bad. A profile with 100,000 Instagram followers, but only one or two like per post and no comments is a clear warning sign. To get real Instagram followers, you need engaging content that’s curated to look aesthetically pleasing.
You can also consider posting about what people care about. Data shows that over 70% of users want brands to speak up for social causes.
Be a part of protecting the environment and gain even more real Instagram followers by being a part of the contemporary zeitgeist on the platform.
4. Use Instagram Analytics
Finally, actively use tools available to you to promote your content. Your analytics will show you the optimal times when people are engaging with your posts. Try to post often during peak hours to generate more traffic and engagement.
If you find that certain content is performing well on the app, then promote them through paid advertising to showcase the best of your brand to your viewers. Ask influencers to promote your products for you, in exchange for a small sum or a sample of your products or services.
Instagram is a powerful platform that lets both small and large businesses grow. And it’s set to only get bigger. Grow your brand today by turning to Instagram to sell and promote your business.