Uncover the power of visuals by learning the most effective strategies to market your business on Instagram.
Instagram is one of the major social media platforms that originally became known for photo sharing and messaging. However, as the most used platform for people between the ages of 18 and 29, it’s become the perfect place for businesses to raise brand awareness, reach broader audiences, increase website traffic and grow sales.
This article will help demystify Instagram marketing and explain how you can use Instagram for business growth.
What is Instagram marketing?
When it was first introduced in 2010, Instagram was a platform filled with selfies, photos of pets and food, and videos of people traveling. Over the years, it’s become a favorite platform for businesses to market their products and services.
Marketing on Instagram happens in the form of photos, reels, stories, videos, Instagram ads and influencer marketing. The platform has even introduced features like shoppable Instagram posts, advanced analytics, and IGTV, a standalone video platform.
Whatever industry you’re in and whatever products you sell, building an Instagram presence is often the best way to capture clients’ attention.
The basics to creating an instagram presence include a cohesive display of your brand through your Instagram bio, profile picture (usually your company’s logo), and Instagram content.
Why is Instagram marketing beneficial?
Perhaps the main thing that makes Instagram stand out from other social networks is its visual nature. The site is not only aesthetically appealing but easy to use because its editing features allow people to post the best photos and videos of their products and services without lowering the quality. It also offers businesses additional features, including shoppable Instagram posts and links in Instagram stories that take clients to the seller’s website.
Another obvious reason why Instagram is a great place to market your business is its high number of active monthly users, which totaled 2 billion worldwide as of December 2021.
And even more than that—Instagram users are more active than users on other platforms like Twitter and Facebook, giving it the highest business engagement rates of any social media platform. In fact, a recent study indicated that 72% of Instagram users bought something (like clothes, handbags, cosmetics or jewelry) after seeing it on Instagram.
New customers for your brand can come from different aspects of your Instagram marketing strategy. A potential customer may see your content or product through your business page or a personal Instagram account of a content creator. Your target audience may come across your brand through your Instagram shop, shoppable posts, relevant hashtags, creator accounts, or the content may be served up to the user based on their perceived interests analyzed by Instagram.
Whether your goal is to become a more established brand, maintain consistency or generate leads, there is a marketing campaign that can be strategically crafted using an Instagram business account.
How does Instagram work?
The key to experiencing success from marketing on Instagram is understanding its algorithm (or algorithms). In 2016, Instagram went from using a chronological feed to algorithms, resulting in a largely negative initial reaction from users.
However, Instagram justified this change by explaining that as the platform grew, it became impossible to keep up using the old system of streaming photos in chronological order. In fact, Instagram found that as more and more people joined Instagram and shared their photos, users were missing approximately 70% of the posts in their feeds (including about half of the posts from close friends).
Because of this, Instagram decided to pivot to an algorithm feed so that its users would continue to see the posts that mattered to them the most. Instagram says it now utilizes a number of algorithms, classifiers and processes, all with their own purposes, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the user experience.
One major downside of the algorithm is that, unlike a chronological feed, the algorithm feeds are influenced by a variety of factors, which can make it hard for users to optimize posts, especially with the constant updates of the platform.
What factors influence post performance in the Instagram algorithm?
While Instagram’s algorithm is constantly changing, below are some of the top factors that affect the performance of your posts.
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Instagram analyzes users’ past behaviors to help determine the posts they like. If users interact with your posts by commenting or sharing them, Instagram is more likely to show them similar posts from you in their feed.
Instagram usually prioritizes recent posts, meaning that if you want to increase your chances of reaching more people, you must post often. They did this to level the playground for all users and increase the chances of posts appearing on users’ pages regardless of the content or engagement.
Your posts will appear more or less in the users’ feeds depending on their relationship with you. If users interact with your posts by commenting on them or tagging their friends, they’re more likely to see future posts from you in their feeds.
Users who open Instagram a lot have feeds that look chronological because Instagram will bring new posts from their last visit. Those who open the app less, however, will get posts that are more dependent on what the algorithm thinks they like to see.
Users who follow many people and businesses are less likely to see posts from all of them. Instead, Instagram will prioritize posts from accounts the users interact with the most.
Users who spend more time on the app will see more posts from a larger variety of people and businesses they follow, even old ones, because the algorithm will dig deeper into their catalog of connections the longer they’re on the app.
Do you need help with online marketing for your business?
While social media platforms like Instagram are great tools for marketing your business, the way you implement your social media marketing strategy largely determines its effectiveness. Hiring a social media marketing company can help take your business to another level, saving time and money in the process.
If you need help implementing a social media strategy for your business, contact our team at Brown Bag. We’re a full-service digital marketing agency that is passionate about helping companies achieve their goals and reach that next level of success. Contact us today to see how we can help your business grow.