Many small business owners wonder if Instagram marketing is something that should be included in their marketing strategy.
The social media platform may seem like a waste of time, but with just a little effort on your part, it can be one of the most effective tools you use to market your company.
If you are wondering how an app that was designed for sharing family photos could be worth including in your business strategy, you have come to the right place.
In this post, we’re going to look at whether or not Instagram marketing is worth it or just a waste of resources.
But First… A Little Backstory on Instagram
In the last ten years, Instagram has grown from a basic photo-sharing app to a major player in the social media space.
The Facebook-owned social media site made itself more business-friendly by launching a suite of tools companies could use to better engage with their audiences and track the performance of their campaigns.
The tools weren’t tacked on as an afterthought to entice businesses to unload their advertising budget on Instagram marketing. Instead, the social media company worked with hundreds of organizations to develop tools that would help them create attention-grabbing posts, publish stand-out content, and understand more about their target audience.
The result of the close collaborations was a suite of applications like Insights (Instagram’s version of analytics), business profiles, and tools to promote posts more efficiently.
Instagram is a space where brands can grow and thrive.
But not only are people using it for business purposes; they’re also still on there actively posting their own personal photos of themselves and family members or friends. This has made Instagram more than just another site you check once every few months–it’s now something we use daily!
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Why is Instagram Important for Marketing?
One of the best things about getting started on Instagram to promote your business is that you can test the waters for free. There is even a high probability that you could significantly increase your follower count before you consider investing any real money into the platform. Of course, you have to factor in your time commitment, but that’s true for any marketing, paid or not.
That being said, as much fun as it may seem like at first glance, IG isn’t all rainbows & butterflies: if left unattended without proper planning or strategy behind the marketing efforts (creating posts, captions, interacting, etc.) your company could be lost among each other within minutes due to the amount of content being posted daily.
As with any marketing strategy, brands must put thought into how they’ll build their profile in the Instagram space, how they’ll reach and engage their target audience, and what metrics will prove if their efforts are reaching–or at least trying to reach–their goals.
Other than you can get started for free, here are a few more reasons why your business shouldn’t be ignoring Instagram.
Instagram Has A Growing Audience
Most investment decisions are based on a detailed examination of the numbers, so let’s have a look at a few statistics that make Instagram an essential marketing tool.
- One Billion Active Users — this figure is based on how many users are active on Instagram each month.
- More than 500 million users log on each day
- Ninety percent of Instagram users follow one or more businesses
- More than 500 million accounts access Instagram Stories every day [*1]
- Fifty percent of people say they are more interested in brands they see advertising on Instagram [*2]
People Love Visual Content
Part of Instagram’s rise can be attributed to its visual content. Attractive photos consistently attract the highest levels of engagement in digital content everywhere.
From blog posts to Facebook newsfeeds, the content with appealing images gets the most shares, comments, and likes. Posts with quality images receive 94% more total views than posts without them. Almost 70% of consumers surveyed stated the quality of an image factored heavily in their decision to purchase. [*3]
Reach Your Target Audience
Plenty of people criticize hashtags, but they can be a powerful way to rally an audience around your brand when used correctly.
An Instagram post with at least one hashtag gets almost 13% more engagement. [*4] Users on Instagram can also follow hashtags to ensure they are always informed about the latest updates, product releases, and industry news related to your brand.
In short, hashtags provide a convenient mechanism for cutting through the information overload prevalent on social media. Think of them like SEO for social media (that’s pretty much what it is).
Hashtags are also a convenient tool you can use to keep an eye on your competition. Checking out what hashtags your competitors are using can give you a lot of insight into the type of content working for them. Plus, you will find more hashtags you haven’t yet considered during your research.
Instagram Marketing with Instagram Stories
An Instagram Story is a type of post that exists for 24 hours before disappearing, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a powerful strategy for engaging with your audience.
More than 500 million people access Instagram stories every day, and almost 60% of those say they become more engaged with a brand when they see it featured in Stories.
Even more exciting is that 58% stated they have purchased after seeing a product or brand in their Stories feed. With figures like that, you can surely see why you should be joining the more than 4 million businesses using Instagram marketing to reach an audience.
Instagram is Pushing Video
Research into the power of video for increasing conversions has shown marketers that prospects respond favorably to video content.
Adding a video to sales pages increases conversion, improves dwell time on blog posts, and holds people’s attention for much longer than using text alone. Including video in your content also ensures you are catering to every type of preference for consuming media.
- A report published by Forrester revealed that video in an email could increase conversions by up to 300%
- Unbounce reported that videos could increase conversions by up to 80%
- YouTube reports a year-on-year growth of 100% usage
- 90% of users state that watching videos helps purchase decisions [*5]
Instagram Reels provides a similar 15-second to 60-second video loop you may already be familiar with, which is fantastic news if you target a demographic that doesn’t feature heavily on TikTok.
The feature works pretty much the same as TikTok’s version. You can record a short clip in silence or choose a song from Instagram’s library.
More good news, shopping is also available on Reels. When you create your Reel, you will have the option to tag products displayed in the video, which will link to their e-commerce page.
The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, announced on June, 30th (2021) that Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app. This tells us loud and clear that video is here to stay.
With so many Instagram video-centric features like IGTV, Stories, Live, and Reels, it’s clear to see that your audience craves video, and it is fast becoming the future of Instagram marketing.
Access Valuable Feedback and Insights
Switched on marketers will already monitor the online chatter about their brand on channels like forums, Facebook, and blog posts. However, you will be missing out on a lot of valuable feedback if you are not on Instagram.
Some conversations from the other platforms will have spilled over onto Instagram, whether you have a business presence there or not.
Instagram’s users may already be posting images of your products or creating reviews about your service, making it a fantastic resource for understanding what the Instagram crowd thinks of your business even without a business profile.
Immersing yourself into the narrative with an Instagram business profile is a powerful strategy for connecting with your fans, engaging positively with those who may not be, and build your followers.
How Instagram Complements Marketing Strategies
Marketing strategies can complement each other to compound your results. Traditional marketing channels like print advertisements are passive forms of advertising, while social media can promote active engagement from your audience. The more engaged your audience the more trust they have in your brand, business, or service. Additionally, the more trust they have in you the more they convert.
You can provide information in your traditional advertising channels that encourage people to visit your social media channels to learn more. Coca-Cola delivers one of the best examples of how well different marketing strategies can complement each other to produce fantastic results.
Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign inspired customers to search for their names and the names of friends on their favorite drinks. Hashtags accompanied each name to encourage people to share the images on Instagram and other social media platforms and to tag their friends online.
The campaign was incredibly effective, as all social media news feeds were soon inundated with images of people enjoying a cool beverage with the Coca-Cola brand front and center in every post.
Instagram can be an excellent tool for siphoning off a portion of Instagram’s massive daily traffic volume to your online properties, such as your business website. You can significantly boost your exposure to a new product, company announcement, or special deal by featuring it in an Instagram Story or promoted post and using a prominent call-to-action that links to a landing page.
If email marketing is part of your digital campaign, you can grow your email list by using Instagram to engage your followers and encourage them to sign up as a subscriber.
How an Instagram Marketing Agency Can Help
At this point, you should be seeing the value of Instagram marketing and realizing that it can be a valuable resource for building your brand online and attracting new leads and prospects to your business.
Instagram is a highly visual platform, and while average users can get away with using their phone’s camera, Instagrammers expect businesses to produce higher quality content. However, creating compelling, entertaining Instagram stories every day may be an overwhelming experience for most small business owners.
An Instagram marketing agency can help you build a brand on Instagram that will be sure to attract a legion of followers and keep them coming back for more. Here are just a few ways an Instagram marketing agency can help you grow your influence on the platform.
Create Engaging Content
People flock to Instagram to be entertained. Run-of-the-mill bland advertisements will work against you on this platform. An experienced creative team at an Instagram marketing agency will populate your Instagram feed with the thoughtful, educational, and entertaining content your fans crave.
Build Your Fan Base
Years of testing and experience have shown the team at our Instagram marketing agency what it takes to attract followers and keep them engaged with your channel. Not only will we help you keep your followers, but we will ensure more are brought into the fold every month.
Boost Your Overall Account Engagement
Followers are great, sure. But engagement is where it’s really at when it comes to Instagram marketing. More engagement means more trust. More trust means more new sales, repeat buyers, and overall revenue increase.
It takes a lot of time and strategy to do this, but the long-term return is incredibly worth it.
Start Growing Your Instagram Audience Today
Whether you’ve been using Instagram for a while or are considering it as your next marketing channel, the numbers don’t lie. Instagram is worth the investment! There is no better time to invest in growing your account and increasing engagement than now!
If you’ve been considering investing in an Instagram account but have been hesitant because of the cost, we hope this article has helped change your mind. We can help you create a stellar marketing plan that boosts engagement and sales by using these principles to engage with potential customers on social media.
The more engaging content you offer, the better chance of capturing eyeballs and boosting sales! Contact us today if you would like help building up your presence or need any advice about how we can boost engagement! That’s why we’re here!
Contact us today to learn how we can boost your engagement and get more followers on this platform that has so many potential benefits for brands of all sizes.
[*1] Facebook.com, https://www.facebook.com/business/marketing/instagram
[*2] Instagram.com, https://business.instagram.com/
[*3] JeffBullas.com, 2017, https://www.jeffbullas.com/6-powerful-reasons-why-you-should-include-images-in-your-marketing-infographic/
[*4] Later.com, https://later.com/blog/ultimate-guide-to-using-instagram-hashtags/
[*5] Invisia.com, https://www.insivia.com/50-must-know-stats-about-video-marketing-2016/