In this fast-paced digital world, effective marketing is crucial in helping businesses to cut through the noise and stand out from the crowd. Traditional marketing methods are still a viable way to connect with consumers, but it is strategically fundamental that your business is actively promoting itself on social media. As of October 2020, there were almost 4.66 billion active internet users or about 59% of the global population. According to Brian Dean at Backlinko.com, there are 3.96 billion people currently using social media worldwide.
That is a big audience with a great deal of potential.
When it comes to choosing which platform to use to promote your brand and connect with followers, it can be very confusing. As one of the fastest-growing and most popular platforms, Instagram should be a strong contender in your digital marketing plan.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a video and photo-based social media channel, allowing brands to connect with their followers through attractive and engaging content. Alongside sharing images and clips through a News Feed, Instagram also lets brands share:
These are images or short video clips that only remain live for 24 hours before disappearing.
These are short 15s video clips that live on your profile and make use of the full screen of your smartphone.
IGTV, or Instagram TV, allows users to post longer-form videos on their profile.
Why use Instagram?
Incorporating Instagram into your digital marketing strategy can unlock a range of significant benefits. There are currently over one billion users on the platform, with 500 million visiting at least once every day. With such a huge probable audience, regularly posting and sharing content will ensure that you are able to place your brand in front of even more customers.
Instagram not only lets you showcase your company to more people, but it is also highly engaging and helps brands build a deeper connection with followers. Customers can easily engage in conversation with you, see more of your ‘personality’, develop a stronger rapport, and become more familiar with your brand and culture.
The nature of Instagram also lets you directly link to your products or services through Instagram stories or product tagging, driving more traffic back towards your website. If you are using Buffer, you can incorporate the Shop Grid into your Insta bio with direct links from your dynamic photo to a specific URL.
How to use Instagram for your business
There are many benefits of using Instagram for your business, so if you are looking to incorporate it into your digital marketing, consider starting with these tips:
Set up a business account
The first thing you should do is to confirm your account is set up correctly. Instagram features both personal and business profiles, and setting yours up to be a business account will unlock a range of additional benefits, like ads, analytics, and insights.
Share high-quality images
Instagram is a photo-based social media platform, so to grab your followers’ attention and stand out from your competitors, you need to create and share images that cause followers to stop scrolling.
This means every image you share needs to be as high-quality as possible. Utilizing image editing software such as Canva can help you develop eye-catching visuals. Invest in a paid account – it is cost-effective and offers a greater image inventory, elements, and extras.
Utilize Instagram stories
To truly engage and connect with your followers, make sure you are frequently posting Instagram Stories. These are a highly engaging method of communication, allowing you to post quizzes, hold polls, and can also significantly boost your reach.
Engage with your followers
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make on social media is thinking it a one-way street. Simply sharing content is not enough. You need to engage and respond with your followers. Answering questions and queries and interacting with comments will help you to build richer connections with your followers and guides them to become loyal customers. Remember this is SOCIAL media. Be social. Humanize your brand.
Utilize the right hashtags
With so many users, Instagram is a fantastic tool for helping you to increase your brand awareness. In order to ensure you are reaching your target audience, incorporate the most appropriate and relevant hashtags possible. While it can be tempting to only use the high-traffic hashtags, using smaller, niche tags will give you a better chance of reaching your desired market. Quick tip: use your brand hashtag too.