When Instagram initially appeared on the scene in 2010, it was like any other social platform: full of selfies, pets, and food photos. By 2022, Instagram's evolution from a basic picture sharing app to a full-fledged marketing platform is practically complete.
Just take a peek at some of the platform's most recent additions! Instagram has introduced hundreds of new tools for companies in the last year alone, including enhanced analytics, shoppable Instagram posts, new methods to generate visitors from Instagram Stories, and the new independent video platform, IGTV.
It pays to have a presence on Instagram if you work in eCommerce, education, or media and publishing. But if you truly want to move ahead, you need to know the platform (and your audience) through and out, including what sort of content works best, how to create an Instagram Stories plan, and how to manage your analytics and KPIs.
Instagram marketing is a sort of social media marketing in which marketers advertise their businesses using the Instagram platform. If the phrase "promote their business" seems broad, that's because it is: Instagram marketing may include a variety of various methods and tactics used to achieve a variety of different goals that a business may have.
When it comes to different strategies to utilise Instagram for marketing, there are two primary areas to consider:
Instagram is great for sharing photographs and videos with friends and family, but it's also a fantastic medium for eCommerce promotion. But why is that?
The format of Instagram is one clear explanation. Instagram, because of its visual nature, provides an enormous opportunity for eCommerce retailers wishing to exhibit their items. Millions of companies have discovered that having a visual presence on Instagram, whether through regular images, videos, or Instagram Stories, can greatly complement their eCommerce promotion.
In addition, Instagram users are more engaged than the average social media user. And, while trends appear to indicate that Instagram interaction is declining, the platform is still providing greater engagement rates for companies than both Twitter and Facebook.
However, Instagram users are more than just engaged; they are also frequent online consumers. According to a recent survey, 72% of Instagram users report making a purchase choice after seeing something on Instagram, with apparel, beauty, shoes, and jewellery being the most popular categories. Because of their buying attitude, Instagram users are the ideal demographic because they are high-intent and quick to convert.
Another reason Instagram is ideal for shopping is the platform itself. As we discussed in the last chapter, Instagram has lately announced a slew of new business-focused capabilities – and there will undoubtedly be more to come! Whether through links in Instagram Stories or shoppable Instagram posts, many of our online purchasing experiences will begin (and conclude) on Instagram in the near future.
Having said that, it would be a mistake to believe that simply because your company does not offer eCommerce items, it does not belong on Instagram! Instagram is a fantastic location for businesses to boost brand awareness and engage with new audiences, in addition to its unique ability to move things (and potential customers).
Instagram originally started in 2016 that they would be replacing the chronological feed with an algorithm. So, why did Instagram shift from chronological to the algorithm?
It had something to do with its size. As Instagram's popularity expanded, it became more difficult to keep up with all of the photographs and videos that users shared. In fact, individuals missed an average of 70% of their feeds when it was chronological, according to Instagram.
In response, Instagram developed an algorithm that reorganised people's feeds, allowing them to view more information that was relevant to them.
Unfortunately, it also had some negative consequences.
Whereas a chronological feed needs little to no guesswork (all you have to worry about is posting when your audience is most engaged), algorithm-based feeds may be impacted by a variety of things, such as how much engagement a post receives or how long people spend watching your posts.
And, because Instagram's algorithm is always being updated to improve user experience and favour particular sorts of content, it can be tough to know how to optimise your posts to obtain the most interaction and reach.
But it’s not impossible!
Instagram went on record last year on how the Instagram algorithm works, including the criteria that affect how your post will perform in the Instagram algorithm. They are listed below in order of significance:
This is Instagram predicting how much you’ll care about a post.
The higher it shows on your feed, the more they believe you will "like" that post. According to Instagram, this is based on “past behaviour on similar content and potentially machine vision analyzing the actual content of the post,”.
Consider Instagram's Explore page: after you like one slime video, your entire Explore page is filled with slime videos. And if someone in your feed publishes a video of slime, Instagram will assume you'll enjoy it as well.
When was a photo or video posted? Because the new Instagram algorithm prioritises current posts, you should see fewer posts from more than a week ago.
While the feed isn't returning to chronological order, Instagram is becoming more concerned with when you publish rather than simply the content or interaction on the post.
How do you know who the accounts on your feed are? If you often comment on someone's images or are tagged in photos with them, Instagram assumes they are "friends and family." As a consequence, you'll probably see more stuff from them (and vice versa!).
This is fantastic news for businesses since it allows them to stay top-of-mind. Simply invite your followers to tag you in their photos, and make sure your Instagram posts and stories are optimised to generate as many comments as possible.
How frequently do you use the Instagram app? If you browse frequently, your feed will appear more "chronological," as Instagram attempts to "present you the finest posts since your last visit."
If you use the Instagram app less frequently, your feed will be ordered based on what Instagram believes you'll enjoy rather than chronologically.
How many Instagram users do you follow? If you follow a lot of people, Instagram will give you more alternatives to pick from, so you won't see every post from every account.
If you spend a lot of time on Instagram, you'll notice more postings as the platform "digs deeper into its catalogue." If you simply spend a few minutes every day on the app, you'll only get the highlights from the algorithm.
Now that we’ve covered how the Instagram algorithm works, let’s talk about how you can Instagram marketing for your business.
To begin, go to your settings and select "Switch to Business Profile."
There are several obvious advantages to establishing a company profile. For example, followers may contact you directly from your Instagram profile by clicking on your contact button, just like they would on your website. With a business profile, you may develop and post Instagram advertisements without using Facebook's advertising tools. You may also have access to Instagram analytics tools known as Insights, which give statistics on the impressions and reach of your posts.
Once you've unlocked the free privileges that come with having a business profile, you should start using them to measure analytics and better understand your audience.
Instagram business accounts are quite similar to Facebook business profiles.
Insights allow you to access statistics such as impressions, engagement data, and more. You may even obtain a breakdown of your followers' demographics, including their age, gender, location, and most active hours.
You may obtain particular insights on posts for the week that show you how many impressions you received during that time period and which posts were the most popular. These free tools are invaluable because they allow you to see exactly how consumers engage with your content.
The more you understand how consumers interact with your postings, the more you can tailor your content to increase engagement.
Post product teasers that will (gently) urge people to buy
What if you could sell more things simply by teasing them on Instagram?
You certainly can.
Instagram is an excellent platform for product promotion. And, if you play your cards well, you won't bother or frighten users away with adverts. Followers will drop like flies if you are overly aggressive.
When you tease individuals with items they're interested in without pressuring them to buy anything, they're more likely to pull the trigger and buy anything. If not, they will at the very least interact with your content by enjoying it, commenting on it, or sharing it with a friend.
So don’t be afraid to show off the goods by posting product photos.
Instagram advertising has become increasingly popular on the network. What's the best part? Setting an ad budget allows you to specify exactly how much money you want to spend on them. With the carousel option, you may display a single sponsored ad or several ads.
This enables businesses to target their audiences in whole new ways. Previously, only those who followed your account could view your updates and images. Brands can now promote their photos to anyone who fits their target audience, allowing them to reach a wider audience than ever before.
Keep in mind that there are several types of sponsored advertisements that you may place, like:
If you want to reach potential customers on Instagram, the fastest way to do that is through influencers who have already built an audience with a large following.
More and more consumers are buying services or products based on what they see in their feed from the important people they follow. They have faith in them. You can get your brand in front of those users if you collaborate with the correct industry influencer.
Oversharing on Instagram is a certain way to lose your current followers. If all they see on their news feed is your brand, they'll unfollow you as soon as possible.
However, you should post on a frequent basis so that you appear in their news stream. One of the most effective methods to do this is to limit your posting to peak days and hours when your followers are online.
You can't increase or optimise your Instagram performance until you know how well your page and posts are performing (or underperforming). You'll know what works and what doesn't when you have concrete outcomes.
Even though Instagram may be one of the fastest-growing apps, this is not to say that Instagram marketing is suitable for every business. Here are some pros and cons for you to consider before deciding whether you would want to use Instagram marketing for your business:
|Detailed targeting||Limited audience|
|Sell more||Words aren't pretty|
|Unique ad formats||Time-consuming|
Detailed targeting: Instagram's paid advertising offers a tremendous potential to target your audience. Instagram advertising ensures that your message is seen by the proper audience, whether you want to target by interests, regions, behaviours, demographics, or even match a current customer list. In addition to comprehensive targeting, you can use one of Instagram's 11 campaign goals to verify you're meeting your business objectives.
Sell more: Instagram business pages have had the option to generate shopping posts for over a year now, but Instagram has begun to roll out some more paid ad capabilities that should help firms showcase more of their items which results in businesses selling more of their products.
Unique ad formats: Instagram advertising is no longer limited to photographs on a timeline. Brands that want to leverage their visual content may employ Instagram's ad types, which include pictures, videos, stories, and carousel.
However, there are also cons to Instagram marketing:
Limited audience: With around 800 million active monthly users, Instagram has a sizable active monthly user base. Users between the ages of 18 and 29 make up the majority of this audience. Instagram advertisements may not be the ideal option for firms looking to reach out to an older demographic.
Words aren't pretty: Instagram may not be the greatest platform for firms with a lot of text or written material to showcase. You may use creativity to highlight or tease information and attract viewers to the site, but some companies may discover that Instagram isn't the best location to spend their advertising dollars.
Time-consuming: Instagram advertisements, like other social media advertising, require time to maintain and update. Consumers have the ability to comment and interact with the ads, which will require monitoring. Furthermore, because Instagram is so visual, creative aspects will need to be updated on a regular basis to keep messages fresh and avoid ad fatigue.
As Instagram evolves as a marketing platform, it is more crucial than ever for businesses to develop an efficient Instagram marketing strategy. That requires a solid awareness of the Instagram marketing environment as well as measurable insights into what works and what doesn't.
At the end of the day, companies of all sizes may benefit greatly from establishing a presence on Instagram, whether it's for cultivating an engaged community, finding new consumers, or even selling online. All it takes is a little effort!