Today we’ll be answering the question, ‘Is Instagram Marketing right for me?’
Now we all know the struggle.
You can get so much information online—different tips, advice all telling you one thing and then the other.
- 1 Instagram Myths and Rumors
- 2 What is Instagram Marketing?
- 3 How does Instagram Marketing Work?
- 4 Professional Account Vs. Personal Account on Instagram
- 5 How Do I Market my Business on Instagram?
- 6 How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost?
- 7 Is it Worth it Promoting on Instagram?
- 8 Who Should Use Instagram Marketing?
- 9 Some Downsides to Instagram Marketing
- 10 Final Verdict
Instagram Myths and Rumors
People may say Instagram is just a pay-to-play platform trying to get your money.
Others will say that it’s excellent, and all you need is to post a bunch of photos, and people will start to stream in, giving you an audience to sell to.
You may even have heard that the more followers you have, the better, so just focus on getting followers. And your business will grow.
Which of these is true? What can work for you? Which advice can you really follow to get great results?
Well, that is what we’ll be answering in this blog.
We’ll be diving into Instagram marketing, helping you filter out all the noise. We will see what it is, how it works, and some key things you need to consider before trying out Instagram marketing.
Read through to learn all about it, and you can make a better-informed decision for yourself!
Let’s start right away, shall we?
What is Instagram Marketing?
Instagram is no longer just a social media platform for personal use.
If you have an Instagram account, then the chances are that you follow at least one or more business accounts.
Or, a few creator accounts.
What are Creator Accounts?
You know, those people that you may not know personally, but they have a large following, and are known by many people. You’ve seen so much of their life (well, at least what they choose to share) that you feel like you know them.
And as more people join Instagram, it continues to be more attractive for businesses. It provides a place for these businesses to share their story, market their products, establish their brand, and gain an audience.
A quick scroll through your Instagram newsfeed, or your stories, would show numerous ads. The paid posts or “ads” are the ones that appear with a ‘Sponsored’ label.
Businesses have invested a lot of resources to build their brands on Instagram. They strategize and make their content with their audience in mind.
When businesses use Instagram for their marketing activities, then it is called Instagram marketing.
Let’s see how it works.
How does Instagram Marketing Work?
It starts with an Instagram account.
You would need to get one set up to share content, interact with people and build an audience.
Creating Your Instagram Business Account
If you don’t have Instagram, you would need to download the app on your phone and create a new account.
If you already have an account (A personal one), you can create a new business one.
It is really easy!
Here are the steps:
- Just go to your profile.
- Click on the three lines at the top right corner of the tab
- Scroll to the bottom of the menu that appears to ‘Settings.’
- Tap on ‘Add Account’ > New account.
- Choose ‘Professional Account.’
- When prompted to, pick the ‘Business’ Option to get your business account set up.
And that’s it! You have your business account all set up.
Now the professional business account does have some perks over a personal account. Let’s see why you would go for one over the other.
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Professional Account Vs. Personal Account on Instagram
In case, you’re wondering, “What’s the difference anyway?”, let’s discuss the professional vs. personal accounts…
The Personal Account
A personal Instagram account lets you create and share content with others and view other people’s content as well.
It works best to share your images, videos and more with a small group of people, preferably family and friends.
And for more privacy, you can set a personal account to private mode. This ensures that only your followers can view what you post, and you are also in control of who follows you.
The Professional Account (Business)
The professional account is suitable for people with a larger following or aiming to get a larger audience.
There are two types of professional accounts: A creator account and a business account.
Creator accounts work well for famous people, influencers, and other content creators with a large following.
But our focus for the day is on business accounts.
These are available to the public, which means anyone who searches for your business would have access to your account.
It also brings with it some extra features.
Features of a Professional (business) Account
Some of these features are:
A professional account comes with an analytics tool that you can use to see how your posts are performing.
Find out more about your followers including their age range, gender and where they are viewing from.
You also get access to your posts’ metrics. Get a report on how many impressions your posts have, the number of views, followers and interactions with your content.
And these insights are great to help you make business decisions.
You could even decide to change your products or their design based on the kind of engagement you get with these products.
The next thing you can do with a professional account is to promote your content.
An Instagram business account lets you boost your content by paying to have it appear on people’s timelines.
This comes in handy to reach an audience beyond your followers and improve your conversion rates: the higher your reach, the higher your chances of increasing sales.
Last on our list of features is a contacts button.
An Instagram business account enables you to add a contact button so people can get in touch with you with the click of a button (or the tap of their finger since they would most likely be on their phones).
And these features are great to help you market your business on Instagram beyond a few followers.
However, for these features to work, you would need to be very intentional in the way you market your business.
That brings us to the next section.
How Do I Market my Business on Instagram?
Marketing on Instagram goes beyond posting a few images and responding to queries.
Let’s see some ways to use Instagram to market your business.
1. Establish Your Brand
The first thing to do is to establish your brand.
Instagram is a very visual platform, which means your visuals need to be great.
And it provides a great avenue to establish your brand.
This starts from the colors you pick to the images you choose to share and the message you have on your Instagram page.
Stick to your brand. If you have a brand style guide, it will come in handy here.
Make it such that your audience can pick out and remember your brand once they visit your profile.
Some ideas to help you establish your brand would include:
- Stick to brand colors.
- Use a consistent tone of voice.
- Use branded hashtags to help people remember you. Like #YourBusinessName.
- Post images that have a similar look and feel.
2. Create a Community
Instagram offers a great platform to build a relationship with your audience.
If done right, you could get more than just followers. You can convert people from an audience to ambassadors for your brand.
Creating a relationship with your audience starts from personalizing your business. Making it such that people can connect with it.
And there are different ways to do this. Let’s see a couple of them.
- Post Behind-the-scenes footage to show people some aspects of your business, the team behind it and the production process.
- Add polls and ask questions to interact with your audience. But make them interesting enough for people to engage with.
- Encourage user-generated content. For instance, if you sell hair products, you can encourage your audience to post their hair journeys and tag you. Share these on your stories.
- Engage with your audience in the comments section of your posts. Be friendly, and add some humor in there if you can.
- Follow your audience, leave comments on their posts and like their content as well. And don’t leave those salesy comments here. Make it friendly. The time to sell will come, but later on.
3. Get Seen by More People
Invest in getting more people to see your business profile.
And not just anybody, but those already interested in your industry.
How do you do this?
- Use appropriate hashtags. For instance, for a business selling hair products, you can use hashtags like #hairgoals #healthyhair #haircare. See how they are all related to hair?
- Partner up with influencers to tap into their audience and increase your reach.
- Cross-post. Post Instagram content on other platforms as well. Add the images to your blog, for instance, to get people to your Instagram page. Or share it on Facebook or Pinterest to get people from these platforms also seeing your Instagram.
- Boost your posts through Instagram Ads.
And speaking of Instagram ads, let’s see how much they are.
How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost?
According to WebFX, the average cost per click on an ad is $0.20 to $2.00.
The cost, however, depends on several things.
- Your campaign objectives determine how much it costs to post an ad on Instagram.
If you have top-of-the-funnel objectives where your audience is in the initial stages of the buyer’s journey, it may cost you less.
The costs increase as you go further along the buyer’s journey.
This usually happens as the more specific you are with your target market, the more competition there’s likely to be.
And in the initial stages of the buyer’s journey, the target audience is usually much more extensive.
Other areas that determine your cost include:
- Your Ad relevance. If people are interacting with your ads, then your costs will be lower.
- The type of ad. It could be CPC (Cost Per Click) or CPM (Cost per Impression).
But the great thing is that you can post ads on almost any budget.
Instagram, similar to Facebook, allows you to set a budget for your ads. This puts a daily and overall limit to your ad spend to not go over the budget.
Is it Worth it Promoting on Instagram?
Statista puts the number of Instagram users at about 1 Billion!
Out of these one billion users, the US has the largest share, with an audience size of approximately 140 million users.
Now how many of those users research products or services on Instagram?
Well, according to a survey done by Facebook, 81% of them do!
That’s quite a large percentage right there!
And it shows that there’s a high chance your target audience will at one point be looking for the products or services you provide.
So it is worth it to consider advertising on Instagram based on the numbers.
But, before we get too excited, let’s see who is most suitable to use Instagram Marketing.
Who Should Use Instagram Marketing?
While Instagram has a large following, some types of businesses are more likely to succeed than others. Here’s what to look at.
The Age Group of your Target Audience
The largest group of Instagram users in the US is aged 25 to 34 years, followed by 17 to 24 years.
If your target audience falls within this age group, you have better chances of positive results from Instagram marketing.
The Kind of Product or Service you Sell
Instagram is a visual platform.
That means that if your product or service is picturesque, you would have a higher chance of success with Instagram marketing.
However, you can also simply invest in great visuals that define the products or services you offer.
With this investment, then you have a higher potential for success.
But what about the disadvantages of Instagram?
Some Downsides to Instagram Marketing
This guide wouldn’t be complete without looking at some of the cons of Instagram marketing.
And you can’t decide on whether it’s right for you or not without also seeing some negatives.
So let’s see some of them.
1. Limited Organic Reach
When you have a business account, your posts may take longer to reach many of your followers unless you boost them.
And Instagram does this to give the users (with personal accounts) a better experience (and make money from the ads).
They show more content from family and friends and just a few professional accounts.
While this sucks for those trying to promote their business, it works pretty well.
You probably wouldn’t like it if you kept seeing business content all the time too. Not when you could be seeing what your ex is up to (coughs).
2. You May Have to Work on your Phone
The app is tailored for mobile phones.
The web version doesn’t give the best user experience. So you may end up being forced to work on your phone, which isn’t always ideal for a business.
3. Some Features are Unavailable for Small Businesses
The ‘Swipe Up’ feature, for instance, is only made available to business accounts with over 10,000 followers.
And yet, this swipe-up feature is such a convenient way to guide your audience to your website.
You will then be stuck sending people to your bio if they want to visit your website. And this extra step may reduce the number of people visiting your website.
And those are all the negatives we have for you.
If you have a good strategy in place, a budget for marketing, and you know your audience is on Instagram, we recommend trying out Instagram marketing.
But once you start marketing on Instagram, then we recommend doing it right. Start by strategizing, outline clear objectives that you want to achieve, and work towards achieving them.
Don’t wait for chance or luck, but rather work methodically to market your business on Instagram.
Now, if you’d like help setting up your Instagram marketing strategy, just book a quick and FREE! Consultation call with us here.