Instagram is the in-thing currently. With millions of people watching reels and 873 million being online every day, it is hard to not see why this has very high potential as a marketing tool.
In this article, we’ll be taking you by the hand and leading you through all the various avenues of making sales on Instagram. We’re taking our cue from the post, “Social Media Marketing Made Easy“. It’s very easy. Buckle up. It’s going to be a smooth ride.
- Instagram History
- Instagram Basics
- Instagram Marketing Stats And What They Mean to You.
- How to use Instagram for business
- In conclusion
Instagram is a social app that allows the sharing of photos and videos, primarily while allowing for text to be added. It is owned by the Meta group currently and has 1.386 billion people using the app to share photos and videos.
It has camera features that allow it to take pictures on supported smart devices. It has the ability to link to other smart devices via Twitter and Facebook, has a wide reach
Instagram started way back, as far as 2009. It was created by Kevin Systrom and first called Burbn, based on his delight in fine whiskey and bourbons. It allowed people to check in and share their locations like so many other social media platforms in those days. But beyond that, it had the unique feature of allowing people to share their photos.
As its success story grew, Kevin partnered with Mike Kriedger. It was at this point that Burbn was renamed Instagram. Instagram is the combination of the words “Instant” and “Telegram”. Together, the two men stripped Burbn of its excesses, relegating it to a photo-sharing app dedicated to photos taken on mobile devices. They added the functionality that allowed it to share to other social media platforms like Facebook.
As of the time Instagram was being acquired by the then Facebook group in April 2012, the platform had already recorded over 27 million users.
In 2020, more than 1 billion people used Instagram every month. This number has multiplied as people have had to cope with the lockdown.
Before we discuss how this app can help your marketing there are a few key features that you should know.
- Instagram Feed: This is where a majority of posts fall. You can post photos and videos on your feed and back them up with a text caption. There are amazing filters as well as other photo/video editing features to enhance the appearance of your content. You could add hashtags to your content to increase its visibility. You can also promote posts, tag people and tag locations so that people can know where you’ve been.
- Instagram stories: this is another content area that allows you to post pictures and short videos (30 seconds at most). The content here lasts for 24 hours only; however, you can add them to your highlights under categories in your profile so that people can always see them. The Stories feature shows all your images and videos in the form of slideshows. It allows you to add filters, stickers and text to your photos and videos, post polls, ask your followers questions and engage likes and comments there. Hashtags also work for the Storyboard. 500 million people make use of Instagram Stories daily.
- IG-TV: Instagram Television allows you to post long-form videos (60 minutes maximum) to your content. Somewhat like YouTube, you can post videos; users can like and comment on the videos, and you can add thumbnails and other metadata to the videos. IG-TV videos are recommended to Instagram users based on their preferences. Still, when you post an iG-TV video, the highlight of the video is also posted to your feed so that your followers can get a taste of your new content and decide if they want to keep watching.
- IG Live: IG Live allows users to stream videos in real-time. Your followers can watch and comment. You could also invite your followers to co-host your live broadcast. The amazing part is that you can use filters and other effects for the live video appearance. When the broadcast is over, you can save the video to your feed or download it to your device,
- Instagram Reels: Reels allow you to post short videos that you can overlay with text and stickers. These videos are easily discovered through the reel section of other Instagram users. Reels are recommended to people based on their preferences also. For maximum effect, your reels should be entertaining or educational and should be captivating from the moment they start.
- Shoppable Tags/Instagram Shopping: Instagram has a shopping feature that allows you to tag photos and videos of items that can be bought in your posts. When users click these items, they are sent directly to your sales landing page where they can close the deal.
Now that we’re up to date on the major features of Instagram, we can’t help but wonder if these tools can be used for marketing. What purpose can they serve for your business ultimately? Here are some stats that show you how effective Instagram is for marketing.
INSTAGRAM STATS AND WHAT THEY MEAN TO YOU.
How successful has Instagram been for marketers and other brands in the past year? The following stats and facts will do that to us.
- Instagram records 1.386 billion users every month. 34% of users are 25-34 years old and 31% of users are 18-24 years old. 49% of them are male while the remaining 51% are female. This shows you how large your potential reach is via Instagram. Not all of these people may be interested in your product but if only one 1% of this number were, that’s 13.86 million.
- 63% of the total Instagram users log in every day and spend about 30 minutes online. The best part is that different people groups have similar times they’re online. Most working class people are on Instagram between 7-8am and 5-8pm every day. Teenagers and students are mostly online between 6pm and 12am on average. Targeting the right ’30 minutes” of your target people group means serious marketing success for you.
- According to Instagram, about 849.3 million people could be reached via ads. This reach comprises about 14% aged 13 and above. Since Instagram is still far from its endpoint, this reach is still likely to increase. From statistics, we expect that its reach should improve by about 5.9% this year. Ads are really powerful and shouldn’t be neglected in preference to organic growth. You should employ both together with strategy.
- Over 130 million Instagram users click on shopping posts to learn more about displayed products each month. Despite how recent the feature is, it has become a popular tool for marketers. Instagram shopping is a relatively new product from Instagram, yet, it’s meeting tremendous success. Creatively display your items for sale with your post and you will find people repeatedly requesting your product.
- 83% of consumers say that they use Instagram to find new products or services. Instagram remains a widely used search engine. Brands, communities and products could be well publicized and discovered there. This has led to the success of many brands and influencers. With the right practices, your brand too could experience this level of publicity.
- Another 81% make use of Instagram to research products and brands. This shows us that a brand’s social presence speaks volumes of their reputation. Brands with tawdy and haphazard content get discarded for those with a higher level of organization. If you want your prospects to choose you, you should get your page in order.
- Finally, 80% of people claim to use Instagram to make final purchase decisions. This means that if you play all your cards right, you could actually be the one people want to buy from.
It is obvious that the Instagram noise is not just hype. There is gold in it when it comes to marketing your business! it’s time to learn how we can use these stats and features to turn up our sales strategy.
HOW TO USE INSTAGRAM FOR BUSINESS
Here are our top tips on how to make the most of your Instagram account for marketing.
- Use a business account: Personal accounts are great but, when it comes to marketing, business accounts are far better. They offer higher functionalities such as Instagram insights, post promotion options and added profile display.
You can add the name of your brand, your industry, your brand’s contact address and a Call-to-action button to your profile. You can set up your Instagram shop, choose if people can tag your account in posts, create quick replies and add links to your stories. The last feature I mentioned is reserved for business accounts with over 10,000 followers, though.
Clearly, there’s no reason why your business should keep using an ordinary account when you can switch to a business account is there? You can learn how to switch to a business account or open one here.
- Create great cornerstone content: This is very important. Remember the statistic where people made final buying decisions from Instagram? They did so because the brand they bought from had enough content to stand out as a trusted authority in the niche.
Create entertaining, encouraging and educational content centered primarily on your niche. This way people have fun and subscribe to your ideas subconsciously at the same time.
Since we have discussed some Instagram features, let me show you how you can use them to stand out:
- Use your feed daily to share industry-related thoughts, images and other forms of content. Use great captions and remember that images will always be better than text.
- Also, use your stories! You can share short videos of your behind-the-scenes work process, inspirational or even funny posts. Just ensure you’re visible there. The great thing is that you can ask for your follower’s opinions using polls. Be creative with your stories.
- Frequently, though not necessarily daily, you can come up with short skits for your reels. They should be relatable and entertaining. They should be funny enough to keep people’s attention but also essential enough to point people to your brand. I’d recommend this to be once every two days.
- Go Live as often as once a week. All your followers receive a notification when you go live. This has a way of ingraining your brand in their subconscious. You could invite any of your followers randomly to go live with you. You could run a competition and reward the winner with a live showcase. It’s all up to you. Just ensure that your broadcast has value and addresses a physical or emotional need of your audience. Also, try to keep it as short as possible so that people stay to the end.
- Do you have products to sell? Use the shoppable tags on them. Prior to this, you should have designed your landing page to ensure that they buy once they get there. The shoppable items can go on your feed or even in your stories.
- Finally, for the day when you’re in the mood for long content or when you find some that your audience will be interested in, let them go on your IG-TV.
Don’t forget to let your followers know when you have a new product or offer for them to try. You can use the profile for skits, in your feed and soon this will turn to sales. An example of this is what Zendesk did on their Youtube:
- Promote your posts: Choose certain posts that you’re sure will captivate more people and promote them. promoting posts allows the posts to be viewed by a larger audience, outside your followers. It is cheap and is a sure way to gather more followers for your brand. You can run a test by promoting several content pieces at once. Using Insights, you can decide what type of posts perform better than the others. Keep promoting those kinds of posts.
- Run ads: When you have new offers that you know people should try, allow Instagram ads to tell them of your offer. Ads are most effective when they are targeted at the right people groups. You can learn how to select the right people groups here.
- Use Insights: Don’t just post content and ads randomly. Check out the performance of your efforts using instagram insights. If some posts performed poorly than others last month, limit posting those kinds and focus on content types that have more engagement. These kinds of content are the ones to be promoted to a larger audience.
That’s how to turn your Instagram page into your bag of money!
Instagram is a proven marketing material. It is not just for fun. The Facebook group knows this. That’s why they included the business face of it. It’s time to get working, making the most out of your Instagram to drive sales.
Which of these tips are you going to be trying out on your Instagram next? Let us know in the comment section. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @_Level.up.10 to get more Instagram marketing tips delivered to your handle.