The benefits of Instagram for businesses
Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world at the moment with over 1 billion active monthly users, the most used platform after Facebook. Instagram has become especially popular for businesses of all sizes that are looking to market to their audiences through the use of imagery and video.
Another reason why businesses have started using Instagram is because of its advertising capabilities and the options that they give users to advertise their products and services to the audience that they choose to aim at.
Ad Formats businesses are using on Instagram
1. Photo ads
This is a form of advertising that looks like a normal basic Instagram post but will appear on the feed of users that are not directly following you. A learn more button is also added to this post that gives the viewer the option of finding out more information about your product or service.
2. Video ads
This is similar to a photo ad except using the medium of video instead of a photo, the same sponsored label is still present in the post which lets the viewer know that it is indeed an advertisement.
3. Carousel ads
This form of advertising is similar to both the photo and the video ad because it has the sponsored sign as well as the learn more button. It gives you the option of adding multiple photos so that the user can swipe across which some advertisers prefer as it can provide more context to the desired message given out.
How to maximize potential on Instagram
The great thing about Instagram for businesses is that any business whether it is a large, medium or small enterprise can thrive by using Instagram to its potential and do it properly.
1. Posts must relate to the brand
Many companies make the common mistake of uploading anything they personally think looks nice without having any relevance at all to their brand and what they are trying to sell. Keep your content consistent to the brand and use original content wherever possible.
A scattered Instagram can make the page look disjointed and therefore the company look confused and unprofessional.
2. Use Influencers
The Insta “Influencer” is a buzz word at the moment. This has become a new profession for many, with people such as Pippa O’Connor and Roz Purcell becoming online influencers.
Using an influencer to promote your brand is a great way to gain awareness and grow followers for your brand. In some cases product or samples can be sent to influencers, however a lot of the promotion is paid. Be sure to pick an influencer that aligns with your brand values and also be sure to check their price too!
3. Boost posts
It can be hard to grow a viewership on Instagram. A company can pay to boost certain posts and aim them directly at potential customers in the process. Examples of these are photo ads, video ads, carousel ads (as seen above).
A brand can choose the form that suits their advertising needs best and mix and match.
Boosted posts can have a shop now button, which means that you can sell your product to your customer directly via instagram. Boosted posts are very targeted and are not costly to do. A budget of as little as €200 would get you a long way.
4. Create a niche hashtag
Hashtags are created to relate certain posts to others of the same style and context.
Hashtags on Instagram are a great way of getting your brand found and increasing followers.
The average number of hashtags used in a post can be anywhere from 11 to 30 hashtags.
A great tool to help you choose the relevant hashtag for your brand is hashtagify.me – if you type in your hashtags it will give you the most popular ones to choose from.
Also some other tips on hashtags include hiding them in your comments and using niche hashtags. Using niche hashtags make posts more likely to be seen by users that either post similar content or are looking for images of a certain kind.
Finally remember to check, promote and engage your hashtags for maximum return.
Scrolling through the Instagram of a company in an effort to gain more information has become a rite of passage for customers. A well-managed is what is expected. Many businesses of all sizes have been thriving on Instagram. Businesses that are not yet on Instagram may unfortunately be left behind whilst others continue to do great business through this fantastic outlet.