Brunei world number two in Instagram usage | The Star

These days, Instagram has become even more relevant for business. If before your brand was already able to approach consumers using Instagram, now there are many other features to strengthen this relationship. For this, besides being able to invest in advertising, you can also make Stories, Lives, videos, carousels, and so on. All these serve to engage the public around your brand. Besides, they help you to work on branding and generate leads and sales. The results, however, depend on a good strategy for Instagram, with the definition of goals, metrics, and timelines. It is the planning that gives the basis for the success of your presence on the network, with consistency and coherence, generating a positive impact for the business. This post talks about the history of Instagram and reveals the best trick to make the most out of Instagram for business.

The Story Behind The Emerge of Instagram for Business

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger created Instagram. The development process started in San Fransisco and at that time it was being built as a check-in app, called Burbn. However, identifying the drastic similarity of Burbn with Foursquare, Kevin and Mike decided to upgrade the app and turn it into a photo-sharing platform.

In 2012, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, the owner of the world's most used social networking site Facebook, acquired the ownership of Instagram or approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock. The new name of the app, 'Instagram' is in actuality, a portmanteau of "Insta camera" and "Telegram".

In the initial days, Instagram used to allow content that was framed in a square aspect ratio with 640 pixels. The concept was aimed to match the display width of the iPhone. However, in 2015, Instagram relaxed the restriction and increased the limit to 1800 pixels. In addition, the platform also started to integrate features like messaging, adding multiple photos and videos in a single post, stories, and more. With time, the platform adopted even more advancements and turned today's one of the most potent tools for marketing - Instagram for business.

Instagram for Business - The Story of Change

Previously, there was no different room for personal and professional profiles on Instagram. However, companies began to demand some specific features that could generate more business opportunities while using the network.

In 2016, Instagram launched a landmark update - Instagram for Business. With it, businesses started to migrate to business profiles. This enabled them access to essential tools that can help in increasing reach and optimizing performance on the platform.

One of them is the option to insert contact options (phone, email, and address) in business profiles. Thus, the consumer interested in your brand can easily reach you. This function is not available for personal profiles.

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It has also opened up the possibilities to advertise on Instagram. Besides, it also allows evaluating more meaningful metrics about performance on the network.

Features of Instagram Stories That Can Help Businesses

Check out the vital features of Instagram Stories that are perfect to use for your brand's marketing strategies.

Location, hashtags and stickers

Instagram launched Stories stickers in 2017 and trust me; they're much more fun than useful. Since then, Instagram has added several features to the stickers, including the ability to search Stories by location and hashtag.

These updates have made a huge difference for businesses. Whereas in the beginning, you could only share stories with your own followers, these new features make it possible for anyone to see your Instagram Stories. The same goes for hashtag stickers. When a user codes a hashtag in their Instagram Stories, it appears on the corresponding hashtag page.

Clickable links

Instagram now allows you to add links to Instagram Stories. This way, you can add a link to your profile other than the bio link, which increases the ability to drive traffic to specific landing pages. Indeed. it's an extremely useful function for Instagram marketing.

Whether it's a product page or a new blog post, you can use this feature to drive Instagram traffic to all kinds of relevant landing pages.

Tag sponsored Stories

This paid partnership feature of Instagram makes it easy to tag companies in your sponsored Stories. By asking an influencer to tag your company in Stories, you make it easier for new users to discover your profile, who just need to tap the @ to find out more about the brand.

Question Sticker

The Instagram question sticker encourages interaction with followers. Some tips for using it in marketing strategies is by asking the opinions of followers about products or services to clarify the main doubts of the public.

This way, you can collect feedback on your products. Besides, you can also gather ideas from collective sources and engage with your audience on Instagram effortlessly.

Countdown Sticker

This interactive sticker counts down in Stories and can be used in your marketing strategies to generate a sense of urgency in followers. It's often used to publicize new events, such as the opening of a branch, the launch of a product, participation in an event, and more.

Your followers can sign up for your countdown event, which will send them a reminder when the time is up and the countdown is over!

Ads on Instagram

Instagram offers the possibility to grow your profile organically. However, investing in ads on Instagram can boost your results even more. Let's check out how it works.

Instagram is the second most active social network in the world after Facebook. Therefore, Instagram's ad platform offers a huge customer base to increase your brand's reach, awareness, and conversions.

However, it is impossible (and impractical) to advertise to everyone. That's why Instagram offers several audience targeting options based on users' profiles, interests, and behaviors. Thus, you reach only those you want to achieve the goals of your strategy.

In addition, a very important detail differentiates paid posts: It's the option of including a clickable call to action in the ads.

Thus, you can insert a link to a sales page or a contact button, and direct the user to the desired conversion.

Introduction to Instagram Advertising | Galaxy Marketing

Ad possibilities - How to advertise on Instagram?

Those who are already habituated with Facebook Ads will have no difficulty advertising on Instagram as well. This is because the tools are the same. You just need to integrate your Instagram account In the Ads Manager and select it as one of the ad placements.

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You can also advertise directly in the app, through the "promote" button, but the configuration options are more limited.

When it comes to setting up your advertising, you can select which result you want for your business from the following options:

  • Recognition: brand recognition or reach;
  • Consideration: traffic, engagement, app installs, video views, signups or message generation;
  • Conversions: conversions or catalog sales.

When you choose one of these goals, the platform optimizes performance with a focus on the outcome you want. For example, if you want traffic, you might not get as much engagement because Instagram will prioritize who clicks on the link, not so much who likes or comments on the post.

Instagram ads appear in the app as sponsored posts, in four different format possibilities:

  • Photo;
  • Video (up to 1min)
  • Carousel (up to 4 photos or videos);
  • Stories.

Here, a highlight is worth mentioning Stories Ads - a feature that was released in March 2017. More than 300 million people use Instagram Stories, so the potential reach is huge. In addition, the media occupies the entire mobile screen, which makes the ad experience more immersive and generates more engagement with the audience.

Instagram Metrics

With the advent of Instagram for Business, the metrics for tracking the performance of Instagram posts have become more complete and accessible. Before, only likes, comments, and views could be evaluated. Now, other even more relevant data is available. They help you know your followers better and know which posts perform best with them.

Learn the main Instagram metrics:

  • Follower information: Gender, age, location, and days of the week they are most active on Instagram.
  • Post information: Impressions, reach, engagement, likes, comments, and saved posts.
  • Stories information: Impressions, reach, and more.

To access these metrics, simply go to your Instagram business profile and click on the icon with four little bars, which is in the top right corner of the screen. You can also click "view information" on each post to see individual post data.

In addition, when you create an ad campaign for Instagram, performance metrics can be evaluated directly in the Ads Manager.

Instagram Reports

Instagram reports fulfilling a very important role when it comes to talking about Instagram for business. They allow you to track your brand's performance on the network, know if your strategies are working, correct mistakes, and reap the results of your work.

The data are made available for free by the platform, and it's possible to extract and organize them in a document, according to the metrics monitored on the social network.

But, for this, it is necessary to plan the report, identify the objectives, target audience, and know-how to define the information in an organized manner.

Instagram Marketing Best practices

Now that you know the main features and possibilities of Instagram, you must be ready to get started, right? But first, check out the best practices of Instagram marketing.

Be authentic

Instagram is not the best place to use pictures bought from image banks or to replicate your company's printed flyer. What people want to check is the essence of your brand. So this is a good opportunity to make it more human and closer to your consumers. So, invest in authentic content that generates identification with the public, not alienation.

Interact with your followers

Don't be just a post publisher who doesn't listen to his followers. Social networks were created to connect people and build relationships.

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Therefore, you should also reply to comments and messages, republish users' posts, follow other profiles, and like other's posts. Consumers like to be heard and valued by the brands they admire.

Explore the different formats

In this post, you have learned about different Instagram publishing formats, such as photos, videos, carousels, Lives, and Stories.

Each of them has its own peculiarities and generates different impacts, so you can mix posts of different formats to get the best results. Experiment with the possibilities and understand which ones have better acceptance with your audience.

Post on the best days and times

We know that Instagram is one of the most frequently visited places in the digital market, which represents the existence of a large audience. However, it brings wide competition along with. Therefore, publishing on the best days and times will ensure greater interaction with the audience and better performance of the post in an organic way. This is one of the best ways to make the most out of Instagram for business.

To find out what are the best times to post on Instagram, you will need to consider some aspects that are unique to you. Each Instagram account has its own unique audience, with different profiles, preferences, and access habits.

Therefore, figuring out the best times to post on Instagram is a process that requires testing, research, and, of course, tools.

Improve the quality of posts and images

Keep in mind that Instagram is a social network that prioritizes aesthetics. Therefore, all attention turns to the images, which must delight users.

When it comes to producing an image, you can rely on a photographer or a designer. But don't be afraid if you need to make your own productions. They can be even more interesting - as long as you always take care of the quality.

Also, pay attention to the recommended sizes for timeline posts (1080×1080 pixels) and Stories posts (1080×1920 pixels). And, in the case of ads, do not abuse texts in the image, which damages the reach of the post.

Make a good segmentation for the ads

To make the most of the potential of Instagram Ads, you need to explore the audience segmentation features. They help optimize campaign performance by reaching only the desired followers.

There are numerous targeting options. The integration with Facebook allows virtually any data a person provides on the network - gender, age, location, pages liked, devices used, etc. - can be used as a filter.

Know the digital influencers in your market

Instagram is one of the most used social networks by digital influencers, who are considered today's celebrities with a legion of fans and followers.

Your brand can also take advantage of the power of reach and engagement of these profiles. Just understand who the most influential personalities in your market are and establish a business partnership with them.

Adopt a good social network management tool

Instagram is a mobile application, and most of the actions can only be done on mobile devices. However, in the case of companies, agility and practicality are essential to professionalize the performance on social networks.

Therefore, you should rely on a good social network management tool that allows you to schedule posts, answer messages, and analyze reports, and more. Thus, you optimize your routine and increase your productivity with the management of all social networks - including Instagram - in a single platform.

Hope this helps! In case you're looking for help in increasing the follower count of your Instagram profile, let us know!