Instagram has over 1 billion active users, its advertising business is exploding and some argue that the popularity of Instagram Stories dominates over Snapchat.

For small businesses, large corporations, influencers, and other users alike, Instagram is a powerful marketing tool when used correctly. It’s an easy quick way to increase brand awareness (and followers) and to reach your target market on a visual-based online platform.

Here’s our 5-step guide to using Instagram to grow your business…

  1. Set up an effective profile. To begin, you must make sure to set your profile up correctly. To do this, consider these 5 tips:
    • Create an impactful profile picture. Don’t use a generic photo. Consider using your company logo so customers can identify your brand quickly.
    • Set up an account name. Don’t think too hard about this. Your company name will work just fine.
    • Use the company’s name for the username.
    • Add your website’s URL. You can either use your main URL or send people to a landing page with a specific offer. You could even interchange these.
    • Set up your bio. Your bio should be a short, clear description that explains your business’s value proposition, products, services, and other business information.
  2. Make sure your posts exude your brand image. Once you have your profile set up, start building a community of followers and posting. Make sure each post is applicable to your business. This Forbes article describes it perfectly: “Instagram is all about the aesthetic. The images should be impeccable as should the feed, so it’s important to take time to plan out what your feed strategy will be then publishing photos accordingly.” You might consider alternating images like product and lifestyle shots and choosing one filter that will portrait your artistic vision/brand. Stick to it to tell a compelling story.
  3. Follow the rule of thirds. Your posts should all either be 1) promotional posts, 2) conversational posts or 3) sharing posts. A promotional post includes a product post or anything company-related, whereas a conversational post engages with your audience. This could be a post that asks your followers a question or gets them to enter a giveaway or contest. A sharing post simply shares industry news or can promote other companies, bloggers, etc. It could even be a repost of someone posting about you!
  4. Use hashtags. Hashtags are powerful because they will promote your content in search results. Create branded hashtags and add them to your bio. Do hashtag research to see what’s trending and change them out from time to time. Create new ones for different campaigns. This will help you track and measure results.
  5. Strategize and engage. Create strategies with measurable goals. Map out how many times a week you will post, when you will do it and how. You might even consider mixing it up. Next, create a list of influencers you want to reach out to help push your content and build followers. It might also be beneficial to run a competitor analysis to see what your competition is doing on Instagram so you can map out your strategies and goals to stay ahead of the game.

Instagram advertising

Once you feel confident in your profile and account setup, consider Instagram advertising. Like Facebook ads, you can target your content and get the results you want. You can choose between image, video and carousel ads with calls-to-action in each.

As a social media management team, we can track campaigns and clicks for you and help you set up, run and analyze each campaign.

To learn more about Instagram and other digital advertising campaign opportunities,  contact us today.