We know what you’re thinking, “I use Twitter and Facebook, does my business really need Instagram?”
Well, studies show that people can recall 65% of visual content that they see after three days. For written content, this figure is only 10%. As a business, being memorable, engaging and recognisable is crucial. Here’s how and why Instagram is a tool that your business cannot afford to ignore…
Getting Started with Instagram for Business
Let’s begin with some handy facts and figures! Most recent stats show that the platform has over 800 million monthly users. With figures like this, it’s no surprise that Instagram has huge potential to expand your following. In fact, estimates show that 80% of those users follow a business on Instagram. That business could be yours!
Setting up your profile is the first step to success on Instagram. We recommend using a business profile. This will provide you with many tools that can establish your following. One of these tools includes adding a contact button to your profile, working as a call to action. The contact button encourages followers to take a step beyond your profile and towards a purchase!
Instagram for business will also allow you to create and publish your own ads to boost your presence on the site. You will also gain access to Instagram analytic tools called insights. Insights provide facts about the impressions and reach that your post creates. They also offer a breakdown of your follower demographics, including age, gender, location and most active hours. This means that you can create content which targets your specific audience. Using these helpful tools will form the foundation for your business’s success on Instagram.
Utilise its Unique Selling Point (USP)
It goes without saying that the real USP of Instagram is its visual interface. Use this to your advantage! If your business offers a visual product or service, then the platform isn’t one to ignore. In fact, the app offers users the ability to tag their posts with “shoppable” links, directing traffic straight to your online store. The stats prove this as well. At least 30% of Instagram users have purchased a product that they first discovered on the social network.
As a general rule, the platform is predominantly focused around visually appealing content. For success on Instagram, it is a good idea that your business follows this. You should stick to a consistent colour scheme, style and theme for the content you provide. Think of this as the visual equivalent to developing a particular tone of voice on Twitter or Facebook.
Due to the nature of the platform, an attractive looking feed is likely to increase followers. But, you can also use this as a smart marketing tool. For example, if your logo is primarily black, white or grey, choosing a muted, grey-scale colour scheme works well. Not only will your feed be aesthetic and uniform, it will also match your brand identity. A great example of this is Reese’s profile, notice the clever reinforcement of their signature orange hue.
Market Research and Customer Interaction
Instagram is also a great tool for customer feedback and interaction! Like other social platforms, it offers the ability to like, comment, hashtag and direct message. These are useful features to help you analyse what your followers like (literally) about your business. Unlike other social platforms, Instagram’s visual interface offers greater opportunity for engagement. Statistically speaking, visual posts produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts.
The opportunities for customer interaction on Instagram are endless. In fact, with the sheer amount of users, there’s a chance that conversation about your business already exists. For example, a satisfied customer may have uploaded a photo of your product. This is a great gateway to marketing your brand. User-generated content such as this produces a 4.5% higher conversion rate. This means that followers are valuing the opinions of real customers.
You can utilise this in many ways. For example, you could run a competition where people have to re-post your product. Or, you can use it as customer feedback on what is liked and what isn’t. Or, you may re-post (with consent) these images to your own feed. Each of these examples allows for invaluable interaction between you and your customers. This encourages customer loyalty and acts as quick and instant market research.
Instagram is also a great place to inject some personality into your brand, particularly through stories! As one of the newer features of Instagram, it’s frequently updated, and for marketing purposes, has many great functions. These include behind the scenes footage, competitions and influencer takeovers!
Stories only live for 24 hours but are archived, with the choice to add them to your page as a highlight. A great example where you could utilise this feature is creating an “About Us” highlight. This will be one of the first things somebody visiting your page will see. It can generate an excellent opportunity to advertise your brand’s personality. Demonstrating personality can encourage higher user engagement and trustworthiness, transforming followers into loyal paying customers!
There are many features in stories that can be used to market your business. Some of our favourites include polls, questions, hashtags, location tags and user mentions.
Polls and questions are a great tool for market research. Hashtags, location tags and mentions work in a similar fashion to the main feed. Generally speaking, they enable your business to be identified by new followers and (potential) customers. Using popular hashtags or your own branded hashtag is a great way to facilitate this.
If Instagram isn’t part of your core marketing strategy, you’re missing a key opportunity to reach your target audience. With over 800 million users, your next customer could be waiting! For more advice on marketing on Instagram, or for help with your marketing strategy, contact redPepper today.