TMCnet Feature
May 14, 2019

Instagram as a Marketing Tool for Businesses

Every company needs an active social media presence. This statement applies regardless of whether you have a small, medium or large business. But in fact it is more important for smaller companies than big ones. Big names like Apple (News - Alert) and Nike are already well-known names. If they stop using social media, they will probably still generate sales. However, you cannot sell to people who do not yet know who you are. Just as you cannot rely on the numbers of visitors to your brick-and-mortar store, you cannot rely solely on visitors to your website to do business online. 

If you're not using Instagram right now, you're lagging behind: 71% of companies are already using Instagram as a marketing channel. But it's not too late to get started. According to Instagram user data, 80% of all accounts follow a business. It's obvious that people are willing to follow brands on Instagram. The key for you as a small business is to figure out how to use this opportunity to grow your business. This article discusses some beginner strategies that will help you grow your business on Instagram and show you how to turn your followers into customers.

Promote your profile to your existing customers

When you open your account, you will initially have zero followers. It can be a bit daunting to start from scratch, but you do not have to start from scratch. Instead of trying to find random followers who do not know who you are and know nothing about your brand, contact your existing customers. Start with your email subscribers. Your email list is not the only place to attract current Instagram customers. You can also promote your Instagram profile on your other marketing channels: YouTube (News - Alert) videos, website, blog entries, other social media profiles, and signs in the store.

Present your products

Now that you have followers, let's take a look at why they follow your profile. Vouchers? Sales? The most important reason why people follow brands is that they are interested in the products and services of that brand. This reason is higher than discounts and other incentives. While it is not a bad idea to give people an incentive to offer an exclusive discount or other offer on your profile, studies have shown that more people follow a brand for the sake of their own interest.

That means it's definitely okay to show them your products. In fact, 65% of Instagram posts that have produced the best results have one product. However, they do not want to overstate Instagram: 58% of users find it annoying when brands offer too many promotions. Present your products but sparingly.

Take advantage of shopping mails

It's a great opportunity to show your customers products. Instagram gives companies the ability to sell products directly through their platform. 60% of people use Instagram to search for new products, and 75% of them take action after viewing a post. These actions can lead to conversions, especially if you use purchasing mail. A shopping mail is just a normal photo. The advertised product is however marked. The tag (News - Alert) contains the name of the product and the price. When a user clicks the link, they are directed to a product page where they can buy the product.

Mark a convenient place

Next: location tags. If you have not used location tags, do not maximize your potential engagement. Posts with location tags show more engagement. There are several reasons for this. By tagging the location, your post can be made visible on the popular page for people in the area. Second, people who follow or watch this particular location on Instagram have a better chance of seeing your contribution. The great thing about the location tag is that you do not need to be in the area you mark with a tag.

Add photos with faces

Let's talk about engagement. Photos of products alone do not work as well as photos with faces. In fact, photos with faces produce 38% more likes than non-face posts. In addition, posts with faces get 32% more comments. The more people engage in your posts, the greater your chance of achieving conversions that will ultimately help your small business grow.

Partner with social influencers

In Influencer Marketing, Instagram is at the forefront of brand collaboration with social influencers. Your competitors may already use this strategy. Now you can jump aboard to keep up with them. You should find influencers who have a strong following in a particular niche those appeals to your target audience.

Run ads to generate leads and sales

Depending on the marketing budget, Instagram ads can be a suitable strategy for you. If you already have Facebook (News - Alert) ads, you already know how it works. Facebook has Instagram, and both platforms use the same Ad Manager. The best thing about advertising on Instagram is that you can run ads in multiple formats: photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, collection ads, and story ads.

Involve your followers

It's important that you connect with your Instagram followers. Now that you have found so many new ways to get followers, likes and comments. They do not want to lose these relationships. Reply to your comments and answer direct messages. If you do not do this, you will not offer the proper after-sales service needed to grow the business. On the other hand, using Instagram to improve your customer service definitely helps your business.

Conclusion: Instagram as a marketing tool for businesses

As a small business owner, you need to establish an active presence on Instagram to grow your business. If you start from scratch or do not have many followers, contact your existing customers to build a follow-up page for your profile. Use Instagram to showcase your products. Increase sales directly with purchasing mail. Find ways to increase your engagement. For example, tagging your location, uploading photos with faces, and using relationships with social influencers. You can also run ads to increase brand awareness, increase followers, and increase sales. Do not ignore customers when they reach your brand with comments and direct messages.

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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