How to Use Instagram For Your Business

Instagram is one of the most popular social-networking sites today. More than 1 billion users visit Instagram every month, creating a huge audience for businesses to reach. Users come to be inspired, connect with others and discover new content. For brands, this provides a key opportunity to market their products to a targeted, engaged audience without following the traditional rules and cost of advertising. Though you may have a personal account already, Instagram for Business offers a lot of new capabilities for Instagram marketing, like tracking targeted analytics on your Instagram Stories. Keep reading our guide on the top 5 tips for using Instagram for your Business, and transforming your Instagram marketing strategy.

1. Create a good Instagram Strategy

Many businesses have failed on Instagram by just throwing out content with no schedule or strategy. Great Instagram marketing requires setting a goal for your business, finding the right audience and optimizing your profile’s visibility through a strong, carefully-curated content strategy. Start by discussing your goals with your team, and how an Instagram account would help achieve these goals. For example, an initial goal could be simply increasing brand awareness, and later you could upgrade your goal to actually selling a certain amount of products through Instagram per month. Each goal should have a numerical metric attached, like monitoring follower growth or revenue earned.After you’ve ironed out your goals, you need to find the right audience to market to. Instagram analytics allows a lot of possibilities here. When you post content to Instagram Stories, Instagram allows you to see targeted demographic information. This includes seeing how old your followers are and where they’re accessing your content from. Once you’ve narrowed down a demographic, you’ll be able to conduct more market research on your audience and curate the best content for them. It’s important to constantly analyze audience trends, especially every time you post something new. Audience preferences are fleeting and can change based on a number of factors. Make sure you’re marketing the right content to the right people.Lastly, make sure you create an actionable strategy that is not overwhelming to you or your followers. If you post every single day, it may annoy your followers. But, if you don’t post enough, your followers may get bored with your account. According to DowSocial, major brands should be posting to Instagram a minimum of 3 times a day. If you’re a small business, it may be best to start slowly and work up to this number. A cool feature of Instagram marketing is being able to schedule posts ahead of time, so use this functionality to take some of the initial stress away.

2. Create the Best Profile Possible

In order to constantly impress and market to your followers, you need a great, engaging profile. You can do this by creating an Instagram for Business Account, the first and most important feature of Instagram marketing. You should also add a fun profile picture and an engaging bio, and include a link to your website. If you already have an established personal Instagram account with a solid follower base, you can easily convert this to an Instagram Business account. This is the best way to get the most out of each Instagram marketing feature. To make the switch, go to Instagram’s settings and click “Switch to Professional Account.” This will give you access to a whole host of cool features, like targeted analytic and tagging products directly in a post. SproutSocial offers a step-by-step guide on how to properly set up your business account.For a bit more personalisation, your profile picture should be clean, properly cropped and eye-catching, consistent with the rest of the content on your page. Your bio should be short and snappy and include a call-to-action. This is also the best place to describe your business and include a clickable link, taking your audience to your main site. Always make sure this link is working!

3. Try Instagram Stories and Instagram Reels

In 2016, Instagram launched Instagram Stories, a feature similar to Snapchat. Since, this social functionality has become a staple of the Instagram experience. Instagram Stories are also perhaps the best way to sell products and build awareness, driving serious engagement with your audience. Instagram Stories provide a great way for businesses to stay top-of-mind, as they are often the first thing a user checks. They also allow your business to get creative, with fun colours, features and graphics. Stories are also prime spots to highlight user-generated content. When a follower posts a story and tags your business, you can repost their story onto your story, and even preserve it forever with the Highlight feature. This is especially helpful if you’re running a promotion, a common tactic used in Instagram marketing. If you want to learn the specifics of creating an Instagram story, check out Hootsuite’s short guide here.Reels is a newer feature of Instagram marketing, released in 2020. Reels is a new way to record 15-to-30 second videos and create engaging, interactive content. A cool feature of Reels is that they can be seen and pushed globally, connecting you to audiences you may have otherwise not been able to reach. Instagram also often “features” reels, meaning they choose certain reels to showcase on a broader scale. Lastly, you can also add music and other effects to your Reels, further creating brand recognition for your business and modernising your advertising. published a great blog post outlining how to create a reel.

4. Consistency is Key

There’s nothing worse than stumbling on an Instagram Business profile and not being able to understand their products or messaging. Disorganised content can really hurt a business if a user can’t find what they’re looking for. Your profile should always remain uniform, clean, aesthetically-pleasing and organised. This goes back to the first point of never posting arbitrarily. You should always know what picture or video will be posted next, so it blends seamlessly with every post before it.

A great way to ensure consistency across your profile is by creating a brand standards guide for your business. A brand standards guide outlines what fonts, colors and images to follow when posting. For example, if you always use a certain typeface in your Instagram Stories, you should stick to using that same choice whenever you post a story. That’s not to say you shouldn’t mix it up every now and again, but the more standardised your look, the better your audience will be

able to identify (and remember) you. In addition, running an advertising or marketing campaign on Instagram is a great way to gain traction with your audience and generate consistent content for a measurable period of time.

5. Finding Your Voice is the Hardest Part of Your Instagram Strategy

Instagram is home to over a million profiles, many of them businesses trying to sell similar products or capture the same sector of market share. In fact, according to Instagram, over 60% of users say they find products directly through the platform. This boosts the notion that paid or earned media isn’t always enough. Your products must be able to cut through the digital noise and forge a connection with your audience. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and worry that your content will become lost, rendering your profile useless. But with a little creativity, experimentation and understanding, your profile will stand out against the pack. How? Really think about your content and the messaging you want to get across. Does the world need another client testimonial video saying how great your business is? Are the influencers you’re reaching out to helping to amplify your core values or distracting from them?

In 2019, Millennials made up 59% of Instagram’s active users. And, millennials love transparency and realness from the brands they consume. Whether that’s through promoting a cause or maintaining honest supply chains, your voice should be strong and, more than anything, consistent. Use similar messaging every time you post or respond to comments from users. Now more than ever, brands and businesses are losing support on Instagram for saying one thing and doing another. Your voice and selling points are unique, so don’t lose them!

If you’re ready to amplify your Instagram marketing strategy, make the switch to an Instagram business profile today and get ready to wow your audiences.


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