With over 300 million daily active users, Instagram truly is a social media giant that any business would be crazy not to use for marketing. It started as a simple photo editing and sharing app, but has since evolved into one of the most popular visual social community platforms in the world.
In fact, Instagram grew so big that in 2012, when the app was still in its adolescence, Facebook bought it for record-shattering $1 billion. Today, anyone can take professional looking photos and videos with the free app by using the many features, including photo filters and advanced image editing and then share their work with their followers.
Instagram allows any company to showcase their brand, products and day-to-day business operations through a series of photos and videos while reaching some of their worldwide audience of over 500 million users.
Before you start officially advertising on Instagram, you’ll want to have an active account and profile for your business. You’ll have to do some research if you don’t know who your target audience is yet, but once you do, you can start tailoring your Instagram posts to reach them specifically.
Finding, following, and liking users within your target audience can also help you get noticed. Liking somebody else’s post might prompt them to look at your profile and like your content. With more likes and followers on Instagram your prominence will rise as well. 4.2 billion posts are ‘liked’ daily, meaning there are plenty of people out there exploring Instagram for new content. Give people an idea of what your business is all about by showing them what it is like to work at your company, or give them a behind the scenes look at an upcoming product.
You’ll want to add #hashtags all of your posts for maximum visibility, so that potential clients can find you through the Explore tab or the search function. When you post a picture you can also tag people in the photo which is handy if one of your loyal customers is an Instragram user (you can upload a shot of them enjoying your product, and @tag them so they can see it).
There are over 95 million posts published daily on Instagram. Using the appropriate hashtags, and tagging users, can help people find your posts through the massive outpouring of photos and videos daily. For even more exposure you can hold contests and giveaways through your Instagram account, because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love free stuff? The more you post and interact with the community on Instagram the more of a following you’ll be able to gather.
Instagram Ad Solutions:
There are three different ad formats that Instagram offers to businesses looking to boost their exposure within the app: Photo Ads, Video Ads, and Carousel Ads—all of which have similar features, but showcase your business and products in slightly different ways. Users will know your post is an official ad, and not just a personal post because the word “Sponsored” will appear just above the right hand corner of the photo or video.
Share your story through imagery, with up-close looks at products or behind the scenes shots of events. Use some of the many filters and features that Instagram offers to take the perfect picture and grab everyone’s attention.
If a picture can say a thousand words, how many does a video say? Although Instagram used to be just a photo taking app, the popularity of video social media platforms like Vine forced the social media giant to add video functionality to their app. With a video advertisement, you can display a video up to 60 seconds in length to showcase your business, products or even staff members. All of Instagram’s photo editing features are available to make an eye-catching video.
Carousel style advertisements add yet another layer to a regular photo ad. When someone sees your carousel ad they have the option to swipe the image right and left in order to view even more pictures. This allows you to get more information across without requiring the user to continue scrolling through their feed or having to visit your company profile.
If you manage to spark the interest of any potential customers or clients there is a “Learn More” call to action button at the bottom of every Instagram advertisement. The learn more button can send users to your business website, suggest they take a specific action on your website, show them a play a video, and much more.
Many companies have already used Instagram Ad Solutions and have enjoyed plenty of success. Take McDonald’s Poland for example, they ran an ad campaign through Instagram called “I crave for a Mac”. The campaign was geared towards millennials to try and get them to buy McDonald’s for their next meal. The campaign became incredibly successful and saw a 57pt (814%) uplift in ad effectiveness. If that doesn’t convince you, there are many more success stories that you can see on Instagram’s business page.
Recently Instagram released a new feature known as Business Profiles. Business Profiles add even more ways for Instagram users to interact with, and find, businesses within the platform. A business can add a “CONTACT” button to their profile page that users can interact with to either email or phone the business with a single click, or get directions to the business’ location.
Along with this new button, Instagram has added categorization to business Instagram pages, so that users can find new businesses by simply searching through the category that they are interested in. But perhaps the most important aspect of an Instagram Business profile is the added feature of analytics. These insights on Instagram give businesses actionable information about who their followers are and which posts resonate better than others—all from within the mobile app. By learning more about the behavior and demographics of your audience, you can create more relevant and timely content.
As a small business, Instagram offers you not only a fun, social experience but also the ability to pay to reach a greater number of their constantly growing audience. Post on a regular basis with eye-catching content to keep growing your Instagram viewership. And consider hiring a professional photographer and using those shots to further improve the look and professionalism of your Instagram profile and feed.
Not only are there over 300 million daily active users, but 90% of them are under 35, making the platform a perfect way to get in touch with millennials and young adults all over the world.