60% of Instagram users say they’ve learned about a product or service through the platform
Is Instagram Marketing Really Worth It?
As a digital marketer if this is the question you have in your mind, get ready for some interesting facts about how Instagram marketing works and how you can utilize this medium to get most out of it.
Before we get started, here are some fun facts about Instagram
#1 – More than 800 million active users per month
#2 – 60% of adults use Instagram
#3 – More than 25 million business accounts
#4 – Half of the users (i.e., 50%) follow at-least one business account
#5 – 60% of Instagram users say they’ve learned of a product or service through the platform
#6 – 80% of user base is outside United States
#7 – 25% of smartphone owners use Instagram
From these facts, we get an idea that Instagram isn’t what it used to be anymore. It has now become a medium for businesses and brands to inspire their audience and engage with them.
Other than 500 million monthly active users, 38% of the users check the app multiple times a day. The users are not just active but they are engaged.
Why This Image & Video Platform Is Important?
As a marketer you should know the importance of visual content. Visual representation of product is highly important in 93% of cases when making a purchase. It is fast and easy for human brain to process information. Poor visual content may even have negative impact and break your marketing strategy.
Visual representation of information is 60k times faster to process by brain than text content. 40% of users immediately respond to image content than text data. This is why on social media, visual contents like images and videos gets more engagement than plain text content.
So hopefully these statistic numbers might have convinced you to explore into Instagram Marketing. And for those unconvinced souls out there, read again from top until you get convinced 😜.
What It Is And How It Helps Me (business)?
First of all, you must get this straight Instagram is not the place for converting sales, its main purpose is to grow your audience base. Sure you can run campaign ads on Instagram with CTAs such as Learn More, Buy Now, Read More etc. But primarily it is best for organically creating brand awareness and loyal audience.
Also you might know that you can’t use links in description of posts. Only one link is allowed in Instagram and that is in place of your Bio section. As a digital marketer this might upset you, but there is a chance to utilize that one link for conversion.
So you want to plan Instagram Marketing strategies to grow your audience but “how” is the question. So lets first look at what industries performs well.
Top Performing Industries On Instagram
The top performers on Instagram are Media, Fashion, Beauty, Auto Industries and Sports. Normally these industries gets more engagement on this medium. But it doesn’t mean other industries won’t have a chance to get more audience.
What about Instagram Marketing For Industries That Are Not On Top Charts?
You might think that you can’t promote your brand with pictures and videos for industries like Tech related or consultant etc.
It is true but it doesn’t mean you can’t, you still can reach potential customers. All it needs is more indirect approach and a little bit imagination. You can use it to drive more engagements using humanizing techniques to promote events or deals etc.
So Which Kind Of Content Works Best?
Did you know that Psychology Today called Instagram as the “Happiest Place On The Internet“. Since this platform is all about positive and heartwarming visuals. The most common used hashtags are #instagood #love and most commonly used emoji is heart ❤️. So generally positive content tend to perform better on Instagram.
Coming back to “One Link” rule, it is not possible to beg users to click the link on bio in every post. So instead try to create platform specific posts.
Target Younger Audience
We already know that Insta has more than 800 million active users per month. In that 80% of those audience are less than 35 years of age. So if you are looking to target younger audience, maybe Instagram is the best place to start building your audience.
How To Get Started?
So at this point of time, you might think “Okay, I’ll invest my time and effort and maybe even some money in Instagram Marketing, But Where And How Do I Get Started?”
Well congrats on choosing to invest you time and effort in Instagram Marketing, So to get started follow these five things,
#1 – Create an Instagram Business Account
#2 – Optimize Your Account
#3 – Creating Instagram Content
#4 – Instagram Marketing Strategy to Grow Audience
#5 – Instagram Advertising
#1. Set Up Your Instagram Business Account
If you’re just setting up your account, be sure to sign up with your business email address or your Facebook Business Fan Page or Business Phone number so that Instagram won’t link this new account with your personal Facebook account.
#2. Optimize Your Account
Proper Profile Picture
Next step is to give a easy to remember and recognizable username (for example our Instagram account’s username is “@incredulousfacts“). Then choose the right profile picture for your account.
Being careful here is important, your profile picture plays a big role in creating first impression on your visitors so be consistent and true to your brand (a good example would be having your brand logo or symbol or mascot etc).
A Killer Profile Bio
Next thing is to come up with an awesome bio. This is also a very important area where your visitors know about your brand and what you do. So be precise, direct and write a killer bio. You are limited to 150 characters maximum so make proper use of it.
The bio section is the only place where you are allowed to have a link (only one link). So try to encourage your users to take some actions like clicking on the link to go to a landing page and convert them as subscribers or sending them to a product page to make a sale etc.
And if your URL is long then it is best to use URL shortener like Goo.gl or Bitly so that it won’t look clustered or clumsy.
Switch To Business Profile
Now you need to change your Instagram account into Business Profile but in order to do that you must have a Facebook Business Page. So if you haven’t already do create a Facebook Business Page.
To switch from personal account business account, Go to “Settings -> Switch To Business Profile“. Then it’ll ask you to log in Facebook and all to manage your page (You must be the Facebook Page administrator for connecting these two mediums).
Now Instagram automatically imports some relevant settings and your Business Account has been successfully created. Optional settings can be configured according to your needs such as enabling or disabling privacy settings, comment feature etc.
#3. Creating Instagram Content
The Business Account has been setup successfully, so its time to publish some awesome content. There are different types of content that you can post like Insta Stories, Images, Videos.
Images are the most common format of content on Instagram. This format of content is great for reach and audience growth but audience always expect original work not stock photography or constant ads.
Also posting too many photos of your product is bad. Your audience want genuine posts and also on Instagram you can use humanizing strategies like sharing your behind-the-scenes images or general work place images etc.
Influencer images can be hugely helpful on Instagram. Influencer is a person who has fame or popular among certain audience. The main advantage of these kinds of images can help you target a whole new set of audience.
(I’ll soon write another post specifically dedicated to “How Influencer Marketing Works? And How You Can Use It To Convert More Sales?”)
Instagram Stories are also a great place to show off a featured content. It usually disappears after 24 hours. Stories need not be polished like feed images or videos but it is all about authenticity. You can post any type of stories like, text, videos, vote, etc.
Stories can help you brand add personality value and an added advantage is that it doesn’t populate the feed. Since Instagram auto-plays subsequent stories, the engagement frequency could be high if you try to capture user’s interest within few seconds.
Videos are the next thing that quickly captures audience. Be creative and produce original content to engage with audience. The video shouldn’t be too long, make it short and informative.
Important thing is that Instagram videos plays default without sound, when user taps on for sound the first few seconds might have been played out. So you can try to start videos for few frames with no important audio information. You can maybe use opener sound or a few frames just revealing the captions etc.
For short capturing videos, you can use the “Boomerang” which is built inside Instagram, you can use it to take a three-second loop. Also you might want to use “Hyperlapse” if you want to have smooth time lapse videos.
Instagram also has live feature that you could use to share information in real-time.
Live videos are proven to drive more audience interaction. Best scenarios to go live is when you reveal a product or an event or meetup with an influencer or a celebrity etc.
This is a feature to give your audience content that they won’t get more often like something exciting or surprising information.
#4. Instagram Marketing Strategy to Grow Audience
The most common mistake that most brands do is that they want to be present on all social channels but they tend to forget the most important thing “Marketing Strategy“. Please do not make this mistake. Instagram Marketing Strategy is very much different from other social media strategies.
Crafting Instagram Marketing Strategy is a little bit wider topic to be covered in this article itself. I’ll just list the overview in here.
#1 – Choose your target audience
#2 – Determine your competition analysis
#3 – Be consistent and stay true to your niche
#4 – Build more audience by engaging with them at the right time with the right content
#5 – Convert followers into customers
#5. Instagram Advertising
The final thing that we are gonna discuss regarding Instagram marketing is “Running Instagram Advertisements”. The positive thing about Instagram Ads are, the advertisements appear same as post feeds so there is no harm done regarding user experience.
If you have experience on creating and running Facebook ads, then you know the procedure. To run an ad, you can either select a post to promote or you can create a new Ad from Facebook Ads Manager.
If you haven’t run any ads on Facebook before, you need to setup Facebook Business Account and link your Instagram accounts first.
Now coming back to running campaign, you now need to enter a name for the campaign and must select an objective. Regarding objectives you have the following options,
– Brand Awareness
– Video Views
– Application Installs
– Store Visits
– Lead Generation
– Product Sales
Depending upon the objective different details will be asked to enter. After picking an objective, you now need to enter a name for your Ad.
Choosing Target Audience
Next thing is to pick your target audience which is crucial to select properly. You can calculate various factors while choosing your target audience. There are many such factors, some of them include age, location, gender, language, education, marital status etc.
Then you will be asked to select the placement of your Ad, make sure you select Instagram or maybe both Instagram and Facebook. Followed by Ad placements, you will be prompted to enter your budget.
There are different options to select in here, you can either run an Ad for a single day with some amount of money or run it as a campaign for a specified number of day by allocating how much to spend each day.
You could also schedule your Ad according to your audience engagement frequency time and day etc. These are the things that comes under your Instagram Marketing Strategy planning part.
How Much To Invest In Instagram Marketing Campaigns/ Ads?
There is no specific answer to this question since it depends on your goal and expectation. It depends on your brand, your target audience and what you want from your campaign like you want sales conversation or traffic etc.
And you must keep this in mind while running campaigns, Just because you spend money on Ads it doesn’t mean the sales and conversion happens immediately. It is a process, it depends on how well you have created your marketing strategy.
*CLV – Customer Lifetime Value
I guess now you might have realized the power of Instagram platform. Keep in mind that user of Instagram value original and high quality content. So present yourself with original and good quality content and showcase it in a unique manner to inspire your audience.
With that said, Start creating content, form a killer Instagram Marketing strategy and target audience. Finally run amazing and engaging Ads.
Running campaigns is a repetitive process which involves learning form previous results and adapting to new trends etc, but make sure you have fun doing it. You might fail but try to do it again, do better.
Good luck with your marketing process 👍
Credits: Growthlab, Hubspot, Sproutsocial