What is Instagram marketing?
Instagram marketing is the way that brands use Instagram to connect with their target audiences and market their offerings. Recently, it’s gained popularity as an exciting method for brands to show off their cultures, recruit new employees, engage with customers, and show off products in a new light.
Similar to Facebook and Twitter, everybody who creates an Instagram account has a profile and newsfeed. Users can interact with one another by following, being followed, private messaging, and commenting on or liking photos or videos. The in-app filters and editing options Instagram offers make the app unique because it was the first app to offer in-app editing to this extent.
Instagram allows users to upload photos and videos to their profile and edit them with various options. Instagram hosts dozens of original filters that users can add to their photos. These preset filters make various changes to photos, including adding light, giving the image a warm or cool tone, increasing or decreasing saturation, and much more. Additionally, users can edit images directly in the platform, as opposed to using a third-party photo editor. If they don’t like one particular filter, they can use Instagram’s editing feature, to individually change the contrast, brightness, structure, warmth, saturation, sharpness, and more.
How to use Instagram for business
Now that we know what Instagram marketing is, we have to ask why we should use it?
There are dozens of social media platforms for marketers to choose from, with each and every one offering different features, opportunities, and nuances. For marketers, it’s all about understanding where your audience lives and what platform will enable you to best reach it.
With the growing popularity of Instagram marketing over recent years, the value is clear. If the features we listed above didn’t convince you of Instagram’s appeal, this might: the photo-sharing app recently celebrated 1 billion monthly active users. More importantly, these users are incredibly engaged, with more than 60 percent logging in every single day.
And that’s still not all. In this section, we’ll discuss the various other reasons marketers are flocking to Instagram to reach old and new audiences alike.
Instagram's high levels of engagement
Mentioned above, more than 60 percent of Instagram users are logging in every day. Do you know what that means? Your customers could already be using Instagram to reach you or to talk about your business without you even knowing about it! In fact, 75% of Instagram users take action after seeing a business post. Meaning, they'll maybe search for the product, tell a friend about it, or even buy your product or service.
If you’ve scrolled through your Instagram feed recently, I’d be willing to bet you saw at least one post of a tasty-looking meal from the trendy restaurant that just opened up down the street. In fact, you probably saw many more than just one post like that. It’s a fact – people love sharing their best life on Instagram. I don’t remember the last time I was at brunch where anybody took a single bite of their food before whipping out their phone for a picture.
If you work at an upscale, trendy restaurant or stylish boutique, it’s likely your offering has already been the subject of a customer’s Instagram post! Find more opportunities for engagement by interacting with customers who have tagged you, and don't forget to tag people on Instagram posts you share, too.
These are excellent opportunities to engage with your customers, but they could be wasted if you’re not on the platform on which they’re happening.
Advertising on Instagram
Because Instagram has more than 1 billion active users, it's no wonder why people are taking advantage of the advertising opportunity the platform offers.
Did you know that 2.2 percent of Instagram users will interact with an ad. This tops all social media networks, with Facebook coming in second at 0.22 percent. Additionally, by 2020, more than $4.5 billion in mobile ad revenue will be generated by Instagram alone. Other social media networks don’t even come close to this.
Whether you're a small business or a large corporation, learning how to advertise on Instagram will be nothing but beneficial when you're trying to broaden your audience.
Instagram reaches new audiences through hashtags
Instagram makes it exceptionally easy to reach new audiences.
When you include a hashtag on your post, it creates a link that leads to every post that has been shared with that hashtag. This is why it’s essential to take advantage of hashtags.
You don’t want to go overboard (between five to 10 hashtags on a given post is a good rule of thumb), but taking advantage of popular and related hashtags will make your brand easier to discover.
I need two hands (and probably some of my toes) to count how many brands I’ve discovered on Instagram, thanks to its use of hashtags and influencer marketing. Something as simple as taking advantage of trending hashtags can be an effective aspect of your Instagram marketing strategy.