Any business can be marketed on Instagram
Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012. Instagram is a place where businesses use images and visual storytelling to connect with their customers in meaningful ways.
Just to review some user statistics:
Instagram Business Tools can help you, the advertiser, grow your business presence and more easily connect with customers within the Instagram mobile app.And since people are becoming more and more visually inclined, it makes sense to take advantage of this excellent marketing tool.
- 60% of people learn about a product or service on Instagram.
- 75% take action after being inspired by a post.(ComScore, Jan 2016, Instagram user survey, Nov 2015.)
- Business profiles are used by 1.5 million businesses on Instagram. (Facebook data, Nov 2016)
- There are 600 million monthly active Instagram user with more than 400 million of them visiting the app every single day.(Instagram Internal Data, Mar 2017)
- 95 million photos and videos are shared every day
- Photos earn 4.2 billion likes per day
- Research firm L2 found that Instagram had the highest conversion rate – more than 15 times that of Facebook
- The average engagement rate on Instagram is 2.26% vs Facebook’s 0.21% and Twitter’s 0.02%
Instagram is easy to set up and it’s FREE! How cool is that?!!
Make sure you select the business account option. To do that you’ll need to have a Facebook Fan Page, which your business should already have.
Why a business account? Once your Instagram business account is set up, you’ll have access to the analytics, which is so important to assist you in measuring the success of your strategies. You’ll want to know what’s working well so you can do more of that. You’ll also be able to create a contact’ button, get a verified badge, and add a category for your business, which will help people find you.
How to create an Instagram business account
To get started, you must have administrator access to the Facebook Page you’re going to connect to.
Log in to Instagram account on a mobile device and go to your Profile page.
Tap the Settings icon.
Tap the Switch to Business Profile option.
You’ll be prompted to connect your profile to your Facebook Page. This allows Instagram to import your business information. Be sure to include a phone number, and physical or email address so that customers can reach you.
Tap Done to save.
You can edit the information on your business profile at any time by tapping the Settings icon, then choosing Edit Profile and Business Contact Information.
Write a compelling Bio
Tell people about you business from the angle of how your services will benefit your ideal customer. What makes you unique – Free shipping? Your target audience? Your location?
- Use keywords – when people search for specific topics, these keywords will make you visible.
- Instead of a block of words, use line breaks and emojis to make it more appealing and easier to scan.
- Don’t forget to add your websiteURL because this is the only place you can insert a clickable link.
- And if you have a custom hashtag include it. #yourbusiness #anevent
Define your marketing objective for Instagram
What are your goals for using social media marketing? How do your objective differ for each platform? For example, you may use Facebook for creating a community via your FB group, while your Instagram strategy could be to create brand awareness and keep customers up to date on your latest offerings.
Here are a few examples of some great Instagram goals:
• Generating brand awareness.
• Building a highly interactive community.
• Increasing engagement with customers/prospects/clients.
Tracking and Measuring Your Success
After working out your goals, you need a way to track and measure them. How you measure will depend entirely on what you have set out to accomplish. Instagram has traditionally been harder for brands to track because it doesn’t provide its own analytics platform for brands.
Learn more about the behavior and demographics of your audience so you can create relevant content that’s effective at driving business results. Using the insights provided by the Instagram Business Tools, you can learn about the people who are connected with your business and the performance of your posts.
Some ideas to get you started:
- Follower growth
- Average post engagement – likes and comments
- Custom hashtag use
- Audience Demographics – Once you have 100 followers, you can find out your followers age, gender and location. Also the time and days they’re active on Instagram.
- Impressions – the number of times your image has been viewed over the last 7 days
- Reach – how many unique individuals have viewed your post over the last 7 days
- Website clicks – number of times people have clicked your website URL over the last 7 days
- Top Posts – find your most popular post(s) so you know what’s resonating with your audience. You can sort posts and videos by views, impressions, reach, engagement, likes and comments.
- Referral Traffic from Instagram
You’ll be able to see the following metrics for Instagram Stories: However, Insights on stories are only available for media created during the past 14 days.
- Impressions – Total number of times your post or story was seen
- Reach – Number of unique accounts who saw your post or story
- Replies – Number of times people send messages through the Send Message option on your story
- Exits – The number of times someone swiped from one of your stories to someone else’s story, or returned to their Feed.
How to Access Instagram Analytics
Log in to your business’s Instagram account on your mobile device.
Tap the “bar chart” icon in the top right.
Insights will appear blank at first — insight information will begin appearing after you create your business profile.
The first section of the Insights page will show total impressions, or number of times your posts have been seen on Instagram, in the last seven days.
To see how many people your post has reached in the last seven days, swipe left on the number of impressions.
The second section shows insights from your Top Posts.
Tap “See More” to view the most popular posts from your business’s profile over the last seven days.
The posts are sorted by total number of impressions.
You can also filter your top posts by photos or videos, by metrics like impressions, reach, engagement, likes or comments, video views for videos, and by date.
To filter your insights for Top Posts, tap on the blue text and select your filters, then tap apply.
If you want to view the insights on a single post, tap the post you want to learn more about.
Then tap “View Insights” below the post.
You’ll see your post’s total number of impressions, reach, and engagements.
The third section of the Insights page is Follower Activity and shows when your followers are most active on Instagram.
Tap “See More” to view your total number of followers, a breakdown of their gender, age, and location, and when they are most likely to log in to Instagram by hour and day.
Click the gray text to get more details about your followers. For example, if you click on women, you’ll see the age breakdown of your female followers.
To see a definition of each insight, click on “What do these mean?” at the bottom of each insights page.
Create Your InstaStyle
Develop guidelines for your team to follow. I like to create images with Canva and upload to my Drop Box. Both online tools have free accounts that are plenty for what most small businesses would need.
- Color palette – I like using a tool called ColorCop to identify the colors on the website, so they match exactly.
- What is your dominant color(s)?
- What are your supportive colors?
- Will you use filters?
- Are they warm or cool-toned filters?
- How much white space will you use? E.g. many lifestyle brands like to keep about 30% white space
- Are you going to be posting landscape or portrait? Pick one and stick with it.
- Action shots or still lifes?
- If you want to use filters, I suggest you avoid the built in ones, and use an app called A Color Story.
- What is your image ratios?
What kind of Content Can You Use on Instagram
Of course, IG is a very visual platform, so you’ll want to use high quality images. Here are some ideas:
- Quote images
- Behind the scenes
- Meet the staff
Leverage user’s content – if someone’s posted a picture of them using your product, re-post these images.
Beyond images think about using the caption to tell your story. It can be quite lengthy in fact.
Using Hashtags on Instagram
When you post your image add a caption that has at the maximum 3 very relevant hashtags. Then immediately upon posting, add a follow up comment with 10-20 relevant hashtags. These will be searchable yet hidden enough not to be offensive to your viewers.
How to find relevant hashtags to use on Instagram:
- Check out your competition and see what they’re using.
- Use the Search feature (the magnifying glass) and enter keywords relevant to your site.
- Use a trending hashtag if you can do so in a non-spammy way.
As you find hashtags, categorize them according to topics and put them in notes in your device. This way you can copy and paste them as needed. I like to use the Google Keep APP and I have notes according to categories I use such as copywriting, search engine optimization, marketing, Seasons, Flora and Fauna. You’ll save a lot of time as you copy and paste rather than wracking your brain each time you post.
You can post videos to your profile, which last forever. They can only be 1 minute long.
Instagram Stories that last for only 24 hours. Today, more than 200 million people use Instagram Stories every day.(Instagram Internal Data, Apr 2017)
Look at the bar of circled Profiles across the top of your app. These are the stories that have been shared in the last 2 hours. If the ring is colored it’s new. If the ring is gray, you’ve already viewed it.
Tapping on a profile photo opens the story in a slideshow format, displaying the person’s or brand’s photos and videos. You can view the story at your own pace by tapping to go back or swiping forward to jump to another story. You can also hold to pause a story.
People can give personality to photos and videos with filters, text overlay, drawing tools, and other Instagram apps.
- Add colorful text, emojis, and stickers to photos and videos in your story.
- Choose from different brush styles and colors to draw on your photos or videos.
- Apply creative filters to your story.
- Use hyperlapse,stop motion, interactivity, slow reveal, real time, illustration layers, gifs,
- Use Boomerang or live video to create your story.
There are no likes or public comments, but you can send a private message on Instagram Direct. Swipe down to exit the stories viewer.
They’re great for:
- Limited time sales.
- Giveaway rules
- Behind-the-scenes footage
- Product promotions
- Interactive tours
- Real-time news
Ads in Instagram Stories
Advertisers can post photos or videos that are up to 15 seconds and will have a sponsored label below the handle. The photo or video will appear as a full-screen, immersive story between people’s stories as they’re viewing on the Instagram app. Ads in stories have the same functionalities as organic stories, so you can interact with it just as you would any other story.
Ads in Instagram Stories are great for showcasing limited-time opportunities (Ex. seasonal, sales), product inspiration, product launches, exclusive experiences, promotions, how-tos, behind the scenes, and more. In fact, one-third of the most viewed stories in Instagram are from businesses.1
Also, ads in stories use the same targeting and measurement tools as Facebook and Instagram. For example, you can retarget audiences who have seen your ad between stories with another ad on Facebook or Instagram. You can also do the reverse — create ads in stories that are targeted to people who have seen your Facebook or Instagram feed ads.
The Ads Create Tool, Power Editor, and API. Also, ads in stories use the same powerful backend targeting, measurement, and reporting tools as Facebook and Instagram feed ads.
- Aspect Ratio: 9:16 Full-Screen Vertical Ad
- Minimum: 600 x 1067 px
- Recommended: 1080 x 1920 px
- Video length:
- No minimum
- Maximum: 15 seconds
- Video length:
- Photo content:
- Plays for 5 seconds by default
- Photo content:
- File type:
- Video: .mp4 or .mov
- Photo: .jpg or .png
- File type:
- Max file size:
- Video: 4GB
- Photo: 30 MB
- Max file size:
- Supported codecs:
- Video: H.264, VP8
- Audio: AAC, Vorbisx
- Supported codecs:
- Available objectives: Reach
Avoid placing text in the top left corner, because the handle will cover it.
You can create the Ads in 3 ways: Facebook Ads Manager, Power Editor or Via API.
Promoting Your Posts on Instagram
With the promote feature in Instagram, you can quickly launch a promotion directly from your Instagram mobile app. Instagram uses the same people-based targeting available on Facebook, allowing your business to reach real people. Today, more than one million businesses are already advertising on Instagram.according to Instagram data, Mar 2017.
Promote currently supports two ad objectives — visit your website or call/visit your business — both focused on reaching new customers.There are other call to action options available for the call or visit your business objective on Facebook, but in Instagram via promote, only the Get Directions and Call Now options are available at this time.
Select a post you’ve already shared.
Tap on Promote just below your photo or video.
Select the objective that best aligns with your business goals. Options for ad objectives:
- Visit your website
- Call or visit your business
You should use the Ads Create Tool or Power Editor for additional objectives, including website conversions.
Encourage people to visit your website or call your business by selecting from the one of the following calls to action:
- Learn More
- Watch More
- Shop Now
- Book Now
- Sign Up
- Contact Us
Once you’ve made your selection, you can add your website, business address, and/or phone number, depending on the objective you’ve chosen.
Select your audience.
- If you select the Automate option, an audience will be selected for you. Instagram looks at a number of signals, like demographics, locations, and behaviors, to find people who might be interested in your business.
- Or you can Create your own audience by customizing who you want to reach based on age, gender, location, or interests.
- Define the budget for your promotion.You may choose from the available budgets or set your own. The pre-set budget options also give you an idea of estimated reach based on the amount. For example, this promoted post can reach between 1,900 and 5,100 people with a budget of $5.
- Set the duration for your campaign. You may choose from one of the available durations or set your own.Tap Next to continue.
- Review your order.If your payment information is already entered for your Facebook ad account, you can use it to pay for the promotion. Otherwise, you will be asked to add a payment method.
- Tap Promote to confirm your promotion
Instagram and Facebook lets you do “people-based marketing” you choose your audience based on the traits of your ideal customer or client. It works because Facebook has A LOT of data about their users.
You can tailor your audience to a broad reach that serves the objectives at the top of your funnel like:brand awareness and website visits
Or you can tailor your audience to a narrow reach (which costs more, but it’s very precise) that serves your objectives – website conversion and lead generation.
My Instagram Certifications via Facebook Blueprint eLearning Program: