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ntroduction

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a US-based social media platform for sharing and marketing photo and video content. The platform launched in 2010 and is now one of the most popular apps globally, with around one billion monthly active users. Garnering a broad and engaged audience, Instagram can be a powerful marketing tool for your small business. 

For business purposes, it’s generally best practice to set your profile to a business account. A business account will allow you to utilize a variety of analytics from your Instagram stories, posts, hashtags, and sponsored ads to monetize your social media marketing efforts. 

Why should you market on Instagram?

Over the last few years, Instagram has become one of the leading marketing tools businesses use to reach their target demographic. According to a recent study conducted by the Omnicore Agency, approximately 71% of U.S. businesses use Instagram for business ventures. Seventy percent of shopping enthusiasts use Instagram for product delivery,  and over 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile daily. There are around 500,000 active influencers on the platform globally, and one-third of the most viewed stories are from businesses. These are just a few statistics that demonstrate how valuable it can be to invest in developing an Instagram marketing strategy for your small business. 

Top 5 Instagram Marketing Tips 

Establish your Instagram Account as a Business Profile

One of the first steps you need to take to improve your Instagram marketing strategy is to switch your Instagram profile to a business account. This is an easy step that can help signal other  Instagram users that your account is a business and has a product or service to sell. With an Instagram business profile, you can also view analytics to understand the performance of individual posts or your profile overall. This data can help inform how you adjust your posting strategy and curate your content to reach and resonate with your target audience more effectively. 

Know your Audience and Target Demographic

Understanding your target audience and demographic will only support you in creating the type of content that appeals to your customers. It will help you as a creator to better reach the right audience and encourage them to create user-generated content, or UGC. UGC is content created by other people that promotes and discusses your product. These tactics improve your content strategy, ultimately giving you more exposure and increasing your Instagram audience. 

Create Quality and Engaging Instagram Content

High-quality and engaging content not only captures an audience but also keeps one. Establishing your unique brand can be done through quality content, encouraging your audience to become familiar with your brand’s identity. Investing in a high-quality camera (an iPhone or a professional camera), a ring light, and editing apps are just a few ways to stand out from the masses. It’s also necessary to post content that engages your audiences, as most consumers like to feel heard. A few ways to post engaging content include story quizzes, polls, or feedback sessions. While it's vital to post at least once per week, making sure the content is eye-catching and of a certain quality is paramount. You never want to sacrifice your brand’s identity, feel, or values for the sake of just posting. 

Engage with Instagram’s Features 

Instagram has a variety of mediums to create content, including static posts, reels, IGTV, lives, or stories. Effectively using all of these post formats enables you to reach a broader range of audiences while attracting new or different types of customers. 

1. Static posts 

A static post is simply a single photo or a carousel, a collection of several images in one post. 

2. Reels

A reel is a short video where you can participate in trends and challenges to showcase your brand. You can either post only in your reels tab or also on your profile grid. 

3. IGTV

IGTV functions like Youtube for Instagram. You can publish longer videos than with reels that are pre-recorded and edited. 

4. Instagram live videos

Instagram live videos, often referred to as “going live,” are a tool on your profile with which you can engage with your Instagram followers in real-time. 

5. Stories

Stories are photos, videos, or other creative content that appears on your profile icon for only 24 hours. To increase engagement, you can add clickable content (like links) or stickers (like questions and polls) to your story. 

Using all of these features will encourage your audience to engage with you and your business in different ways, which will keep them coming back.

Post Consistently 

The ultimate key to gaining exposure and new followers is to post consistently. While that's the golden rule for all social media platforms, each has its prime posting times. Additionally, consistent posting builds a relationship between your customers and your brand that allows them to know what content to expect from you and when. It’s generally helpful to determine when and how often you post.  Your posting calendar should include all of Instagram’s features, such as static posts, lives, stories, and reels.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Instagram marketing cost? 

According to Web Fx, Instagram ads typically cost anywhere between $0.20 to $6.70. For CPC (cost-per-click), you would normally pay between $0.20 and $2 per click. For CPM (cost-per-impressions), you would typically pay $6.70 per 1000 impressions. CPE (cost per engagement) typically costs between $0.01 and $0.05 per engagement. You can also participate in influencer marketing. However, those prices are circumstantial based on the influencer’s reach.

How do you use Instagram analytics? 

Instagram’s analytics tools are incredibly effective for understanding your business account’s performance on Instagram. You can track metrics involving impressions, engagement rate, and follower count. To access your business account’s analytics, go to your profile and tap on the Insights action button. From there, you can view the metrics under the overview section, which provides access to a detailed breakdown of your posts. 

How often should you post on Instagram? 

Regular posting on Instagram is vital to any successful Instagram marketing strategy, given that the algorithm favors consistency. When posting on social media, it’s generally best practice to post as often as possible while maintaining high-quality content that accurately and positively reflects your brand and its values. According to statistics released by the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, it’s suggested to post 1-3 static posts a week, with a couple of stories a day. You should use hashtags in these posts to help reach your target demographic and increase your overall reach. 

How do you get verified on Instagram? 

To get verified on Instagram and receive a blue badge on your profile, you’ll need to complete the authentication process from the app. Verifying your account helps signal to other Instagram users that your brand is established and legitimate. Verification on Instagram is a highly selective process, but the application is easy. 

In your Instagram app, Go to Settings > Account > Request Verification and fill out the application form. You’ll need to provide your legal name, industry genre, and a government-issued ID. A committee team then reviews your application. They will inform you of your results with either the coveted blue badge or a recommendation to apply again. In general, media coverage about you or your company and no previous violations of the app’s community guidelines can help you get verified. 

When is the best time to post on Instagram?

According to a study by Sprout Social, the best days to post on Instagram are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. More specifically, in Eastern Standard Time, the best posting times are Mondays at 11 a.m, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m to 1 p.m., and Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m to 11 a.m. are ideal times. Statistically, Sunday posts perform the worst. 

How do you make Instagram Reels? 

Making Instagram Reels can seem intimidating, but once you learn the basics, Reels can be fun and engaging for both you and your audience. Reels are an effective tool to promote engagement, whether you have a concept already in mind or need to browse audio and trending topics for inspiration. 

To make an Instagram Reel, first select the Reels tool at the bottom of the Instagram camera, where the app will then prompt you to select audio, visual effects and filters, speed and timer, and placement of clips. You can record Reels in a series of clips, all at once, or by uploading videos from the photo gallery on your phone. Make sure to engage in ongoing trends and Instagram hashtags that appeal to your business's target demographic, and you are sure to reach even more customers.

This page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as legal, financial or accounting advice. Please consult your own professional if you have any questions

Updated 
May 31, 2022
 in 
Business Building
 category