— March 10, 2019
Acquired by Facebook in August 2012, Instagram is one of the most popular social networks in the world. Last June, it exceeded the billion-user mark. At first, a simple platform for sharing photos and videos with loved ones or people with similar interests, it has become a valuable marketing tool for businesses. They are investing more and more on Instagram to promote their products. Here are some tips for using the app to highlight your business.
Create a Business Account
In the beginning, Instagram offered the same type of account and the same features for the profiles of individuals and companies. Since the end of 2016, the platform has evolved by offering a business account for companies. With this new profile, the entrepreneur can access four elements: contact information, analysis tools, the Promote option of a publication and the addition of links in the stories. The first element allows customers to reach the company via an email address, a phone number or a postal address, visible through the profile biography.
The second gives the professional access to statistics such as the number of visits to his account, the hours at which users are present, the most popular publications as well as the age, sex or city of its subscribers. The entrepreneur can then understand the scope and commitment of your publications and how he can improve your reach and performance.
With the “Promote” option, a brand has the opportunity to carry out an advertising campaign: it must just choose the desired objective as more visits or views of publications, the target audience from ten criteria such as age or location and define the duration of advertising and the budget it wishes to devote to it. Stories, ephemeral videos visible on the platform for 24 hours can intervene with companies to promote their product. A link “Learn more” is added to drive the user directly to their website.
What Opportunities Instagram Give Businesses
The Instagram social network offers many opportunities for image communication, such as balancing a communication considered too rigid in certain sectors or even allowing the sharing of the internal life of his company. In this case, we will pass on community management carefully thought out to disseminate specific content.
As long as it meets objectives, it can be interesting for a company to create an Instagram account and entrust the animation and management to a community manager.
- Do you have a business?
- Do you want to work on your image?
- Do you want to expand your presence and gain visibility?
- Do you want to sell your products?
How does Instagram Work?
Creating an Instagram account on mobile involves a recurring sharing of photos to grow your community. As an aside, it’s about knowing how to create an Instagram community to get interaction and therefore engagement.
The photos on Instagram can be improved or retouched by adding filters available within the social network. Some small adjustments like cropping can also be applied.
The publications are generally accompanied by a short explicit text around the shared photo, as well as a set of Instagram hashtags (#) that index all the photos that are broadcast on the social network.
The use of hashtags also allows many users of Instagram to identify the content by which they are interested and to subscribe back to the account that distributes them.
Some sectors are also very buoyant on the social network such as travel, fashion, and beauty, lifestyle, gastronomy etc…
It is important to remember the main makeup of Instagram users. The public on the social network is mainly composed of accounts belonging to a fairly large age range between 14 and 40 years. Everyone can create an Instagram account and share what they want in terms of visuals (without breaking the rules)
The average connection frequency on Instagram is about 2 to 3 times a day. It is, therefore, a real opportunity to share content by defining specific objectives as to the publications to be broadcast and the line of communication to be used.
Instagram continues to grow month after month by offering an experience that is enriched for each user of the network. For companies, Instagram is a real opportunity to position itself on buoyant sectors or to communicate on a specific editorial line.
Instagram Account to Communicate with The Image
As raised in the introduction, if you want to create an Instagram account know that communication can be oriented in different ways:
- Communicating about its products/services
- Communicate in a quirky way to share the fun
- Balancing a communication that can be rigid (banking, insurance, agricultural …)
- Share the internal life of the company
- Share short speeches in videos …
Think ahead about what you want to share on Instagram and measure the time needed to manage your account and create visuals. Measure the working time around your photos if necessary and the animation of the account (interactions, sharing, comments, likes, respond and engage on your subject).
You can also evaluate the image capital that you already have if it is possible to share it on Instagram. It can be photos taken during vents internally or otherwise.
Take care than to distribute photos on the agreement of the people who would be present there.
Instagram Account to Sell Your Products
Instagram is gradually developing the sale of products within the social network. If it is already possible to ensure sales by leveraging post sponsorship for example or by directly distributing its products, it will soon be possible to work more effectively. One can also opt for the monetization of his Instagram account.
It is nevertheless considered that Instagram is not essential for the sale of its products but we will approach it within the following points in a logical progression.
Creating an e-commerce website can sometimes be preferable to ensure sales, but Instagram can, in this case, come as reinforcement or complement according to its objectives.
Instagram Advertising Tips for Brands
With more than Billions of active users every day, this network is a real engine for the marketing of your products or services.
Instagram link problem
The biggest disadvantage of Instagram marketing is redirecting your followers to your website. It is not possible to put text with links in network messages and brands are forced to redirect Instagram to their bio every time. This implies a permanent update in addition to adding new products.
Nevertheless, Instagram is and remains a platform for buying and sales of several companies and individuals. This is the very springboard of traffic in the world of sales, especially with the “bio bond”.
And to fix the link problem, you can always include links to your site in Instagram ads. For example, you can bring your followers to your product page by clicking a button such as “Buy Now” or “Buy Now”.
Instagram Advertising Examples:
Shopping on Instagram
To offer more and deepen the market, Instagram now offers, by partnering with Shopify, product labels and a Shop tab directly on its interface.
With the new Shopify shopping channel on Instagram, you can sell more and label your products in your publications. You can turn your messages or posts into a purchase with this system. Read more at 25 Stats on Consumer Shopping Trends for 2019
Introduction on how to advertise on Instagram
Previously, to advertise on Instagram it was necessary to use sponsored messages. To do this, brands had to negotiate with Instagram influencers in private and ask them to promote their product or brand.
While this mechanism is very effective at attracting customers and increasing sales with Instagram ads, there are some limitations:
- Influencers are often expensive paid
- This process requires finding effective influencers and negotiating at length
- There is no recourse if they decide not to keep their word
- Audience targeting is quite limited
Promoted messages still have their place in Instagram advertising. Finding a person to promote your product has indeed several attractive benefits. This adds a huge cool factor to your box.
Influencers, in recommending your products, increase your chances of finding buyers since they are more confident about products that have already been tested by someone. They provide social proof of the quality of your product.
In addition, you are free from the responsibilities of influencers, freeing you from difficult decisions, including targeting potential customers.
To attract customers, you can also use sponsored messages. But that’s not the only way. In October 2017, Instagram launched a paid contribution call to users and influencers as well as brands to increase transparency on the site regarding their identity and advertising opportunities.
Thus, accounts with more subscribers and commitment benefit from more functionality and more information and reports than simple standard sponsored messages.
How advertising works on Instagram
From the end of 2015, brands and all users can learn how to create ads on Instagram via Facebook’s self-service platform.
Thanks to this system, you get more control over your ads, including their view, but also who sees them. Your ads are directly viewed from your direct account, unlike sponsored ads and paid partnerships.
THIS METHOD HAS SEVERAL ADVANTAGES:
- Scalable pricing
- A free and instant service
- Stronger relationships where you keep control
- More accurate customer targeting
In addition, since Instagram has moved from a timeline to a scheduled stream, you will not know how many subscribers will have seen your posts.
The different types of ads on Instagram
You can choose between 5 types of ads on Instagram:
- Photo ads
- Video ads
- Carousel ads
- Slideshow ads
- Announcements stories
1. Photo ads
A photo advertisement is an advertisement in the form of a landscape or square photo. With a few visual resources, this type of ad needs only one image. Best example is LGBTQ clothing brand Daddy Couture, the Daddy Couture Instagram page gained 18.6k followers since launching in May.
2. Video ads
A video on Instagram had a limit of 15 seconds ago, but the site removed that rule. Nowadays, you can post videos up to 60 seconds in landscape or square format. Dollar Shave Club is among the brands that have opted for video advertising on Instagram in order to promote its new membership offer.
In this announcement, this brand has focused on the various products included in its offer.
3. Carousel ads
These Carousel ads can contain 2 to 10 images and / or videos that users can scroll through. West Elm uses this type of advertising to showcase its product lines in its Instagram advertising campaigns.
4. Slideshow ads
Slideshow ads are more or less equal to videos, because they appear as a movie about user feeds.
The difference is that these ads consist of a series of still images that scroll like a slide instead of a video. You can also add text and audio background to this type of advertisement.
5. The ads stories
The stories ads are part of the latest news available to companies on Instagram. Much like Snapchat, this ad allows users and brands to share photos and videos.
Companies can also advertise stories with a photo or video content. The ASOS brand has used this announcement mode with a convincing result and has managed to increase its reputation.
B2B brands tend to underestimate the opportunities offered by this platform. Yet, thousands of recognized B2B brands and companies use Instagram to build brand awareness, interact with their audience and attract new customers.
These tips will help B2B companies unlock the full potential of Instagram.
1. Use genuine, user-generated content
Image banks and openly promotional photos have no place on Instagram. Users of this social network focus on real-time, real-time content that provides a fresh and intimate insight into a company’s culture and activity.
It’s about delivering spontaneous content, like videos and live broadcasts. This type of communication makes it possible to value the human factor, too often invisible in B2B companies, in order to build trusting relationships with potential customers. An excessively professional image may produce an impression of coldness and distance. Nowadays, customers enjoy meeting people who are hiding behind the branding of a company.
2. Combine spontaneity and variety
With Instagram’s mobile app, posting a photo or video is extremely easy. Open the app and just tap the add button to select a photo or video to load.
The time spent creating content is thus minimized. The platform allows users to publish different types of content without planning or editing. Diversifying content allows a business not only to reach different audience segments but also to reveal different facets of its business. It is therefore important to focus on variety, rather than confined to monotonous series of photos or quotes.
3. Do you actively invest in your sector
Instagram invites users not to be spectators, but to participate.
As on all social networks, beyond the publication of content, it is important to take an active part in the conversation. In addition to publishing images and videos, a company must be careful to respond to comments from its subscribers. It is also interesting to browse other profiles, to like relevant content and to leave some comments.
A company that takes the time to interact with others is more likely to receive interest in return.
4. Optimize the link embedded in your biography
Instagram does not include links to legends of published images or videos. On the other hand, it is possible to integrate a hypertext link in the biography of an account. This can be up to 150 characters long, including a URL. Tools like bitly.com allow you to create a custom link to a page with up to five other links.
Instagram Stories can also link links to published content. This content lasts only 24 hours, which represents both a limit and an opportunity, for example in terms of distributing offers and producing added value in real time.
5. Tell a story with each post
On Instagram, the most popular companies are the ones that tell the most compelling stories. To attract a committed audience, you need to invest in high-quality visual storytelling, which allows your company to stand out and establish a consistent presence on the platform.
This presence is not limited to the photo and video stream. The Stories feature of Instagram allows the creation of presentations and photo or video editing. Used to weave unique stories, they capture the attention of a relevant audience.
6. Measure meaningful indicators
All indicators are not equal. An increase in clicks or likes is good news, but these superficial indicators do not make it possible to evaluate the real interest of an audience for content. It is best to focus on data that signals active engagement, such as comments or the number of new subscribers. These indicators make it possible to evaluate concretely the performances of the company and the effective quality of the generated exposure.
B2B companies have their place on Instagram
Instagram is acclaimed mainly by B2C brands. However, the platform represents a real opportunity for B2B companies, provided these good practices are applied.
If you have come to the end of this article, you should have a good idea of the steps to put in place to get started on Instagram.
Obviously, it was not possible for me to explain each point in detail, but I think you have all the keys to get started.
To summarize, the first step is to convert your personal profile into a business account, in which case you will not have access to Instagram advertising and analytics tools.
Then you should work your bio to make it unique and memorable.
Your written bio, it’s time to set your goals. Set a maximum of 2 goals so you do not scatter.
After that, regularly post quality content. Remember to add a bit of storytelling to your descriptions to engage the conversation with your followers.
Make Stories to announce an event, share your universe or announce exclusive promotions.
Remember to regularly analyze the results of your marketing efforts.
The rest of this article was about growing your Instagram account that can be done via:
- The Instagram ad
- Using a branded hashtag
- Your customers or followers (CGU)
Did this article make you want to spend more time on Instagram?