Promote your business on Instagram to drive up awareness of your brand with new audiences, resulting in increased visibility and sales.
However, many business owners need help to get started.
Why your business should be on Instagram
Brands using the platform can effectively influence Instagram users. In fact, 83 per cent of respondents surveyed by Facebook Inc., which owns Instagram, said using Instagram helps them discover new products and services, while 80 per cent said they use Instagram to help make buying decisions.
In addition, 130 million Instagram accounts tap on a shopping post to learn more about products every month. These numbers show Instagram is a critical platform for businesses to engage and sell to audiences on social media.
How to promote your business on Instagram
To successfully promote your business on Instagram, you’ll need a strategy and plan to engage and build your audience. Let’s look at some of the steps you’ll need to take.
Create an Instagram strategy
Most business owners rush straight to posting on social media without considering why they are posting and who they are trying to reach.
Instead, first create a strategy that includes:
- Identifying your target audience and finding out if they spend time on Instagram.
- Researching how best to reach your target audience on the platform.
- Setting realistic goals for outcomes you can control.
- Figuring out how to measure your progress.
Each action you take should be deliberate and move you closer to your goals.
Optimize your Instagram profile
You’ll need to create a business account and fill out all the relevant sections with current information.
Most businesses use their logo as a profile picture to help customers recognize their brand easily.
Craft a compelling bio that gives your customers relevant information about your business. Add a link to your website home page, brand story page, product catalogue or wherever you’d like them to land first. Be sure to include a call to action that tells them what they should do, such as clicking to shop or subscribe to a newsletter.
Ensure your contact information is up to date and gives customers the details they need to shop with you.
With Instagram’s action buttons, people can now move from discovering your business to taking actions like reserve, get tickets, start an order or book through popular, third-party partners without having to leave the platform.
Decide how you will sell on Instagram
Many businesses simply showcase their products and services through different types of Instagram posts and stories, linking to their website in their bio.
However, Instagram also allows you to sell to customers without them ever leaving the platform. You can set up an Instagram shop that enables you to tag products and sell via Instagram or other e-commerce platform partners. Learning how to make the most of Instagram shopping can be a powerful sales driver for your business.
Create a content calendar
Social media posting for business is different than posting for personal use. While it’s always a good idea to communicate your brand with personality and engaging content, it’s not adequate to simply jump online and post whatever comes to mind each day.
Instead, consider what is most important to communicate to your customers over time. First, create a high-level editorial calendar to ensure you cover important topics and themes and incorporate seasonal messaging throughout the year. For example, if your business sells camping supplies, you may need to promote products through the spring and early summer while people plan their camping trips and pick up new gear.
Once you have a high-level plan in place, create a social media content calendar that maps out exactly what you’ll post over your chosen period. For example, a content calendar for May for the same camping business might include daily posts with a mix of product promotion, helpful camping tips, a few posts inviting discussion from your followers, and videos showing people using your products.
Planning your posts helps you balance selling with information and engagement, so your customers gain value from following you.
Post great content consistently
One way businesses fail in social media is faltering in their posting frequency or quality. Growing an audience also means keeping them engaged over the long term.
Choose a posting frequency you know you can maintain and ensure your content plan is ready in advance. Your plan will ensure you always have something to post, which helps avoid sporadic updates and momentum loss.
Instagram began as a photo-sharing platform with striking visuals people found appealing. You’ll want to post eye-catching images and high-quality videos to stand out on the platform.
Your written captions are marketing messages that will communicate your brand and your values. Therefore, you’ll want to craft them with care.
Use hashtags to help customers find your business and products when they are using Instagram. You can tap into conversations and show up when people search for topics.
Get comfortable using Instastories and organize past stories into highlight sections for your customers to view later. Over time you can curate a collection of posts and stories that help a customer understand your brand and what you’re selling.
Engage and grow your Instagram audience
Look for ways to build your audiences and help customers find you, like adding a link to your Instagram account on your website and email newsletters.
Posting interesting content is just the first step. You can also follow people you think might be interested in your brand. If they notice you engaging with their posts, and like what they see when they view your profile, they’ll likely follow you back. This ongoing interaction can grow your audience of engaged followers.
Amplify your message
Some businesses can benefit from engaging influencers to share brand experiences with their audiences. You might also want to explore ways to inspire your followers to share their content featuring your products. You can then share this user-generated content to build social proof and show followers that your company and products are in demand.
Measure results and adjust your plan
An important step many people skip when using social media is measuring progress against goals. Start with clear goals, create a strategy and plans to achieve them, and then check regularly to see how you’re doing.
Instagram offers a built-in analytics tool that allows you to access data about your posts and audience response from the past 30 days. You can use other online analytics tools to capture data over more extended periods.
How do Instagram metrics help with successful promotion?
Over time, your Instagram metrics show you what types of content your audience responds to and which posts move you closer to your business goals. Solid metrics also allow you to test different post versions, improving your strategy and content plans.
Posting to Instagram daily without a strategy and concrete goals can be a critical error that costs your business money through missed opportunities and lost sales.
Enlist the help of an experienced team to engage your audience effectively and get better overall results from your social media marketing efforts.