About 10 years ago when Instagram launched on the 6th of October 2010, it started as a social application for sharing photos we love and want our friends and family to see, but as the platform grew, more and more businesses started using Instagram as a home to connect with their audiences and tell visual stories.
Today, Instagram has been designed to be the go-to social media app for business and almost every Instagram user follow one or more business accounts.
Before we go on to discuss this Instagram marketing strategies, here are some fun stats about business on Instagram that will interest you.
Instagram Stats That Will Shock You
- More than 200 million Instagram users visit at least one Instagram business account a day.
- More than 2 million advertisers use Instagram to share their story and drive results
- There are over 25 million advertisers worldwide
- One out of every three story view are for businesses
- 60 percent of people say they discover new products on Instagram
- Video viewership on Instagram has increased by 80%
But amidst all the millions of content created daily, it may be increasingly difficult to find your voice and create the kind of content that catches the attention of your target audience and moves them into making a buying decision.
This article examines a step by step guide for creating an Instagram business account that makes you heard, followed and grows your business.
Step 1 – Switch to a Business Account
When your intent is to do business on Instagram, the way you design your approach has to be different than if it were a personal profile, but you have to start the same way as a personal profile.
First, you have to download the latest update to the Instagram app on the App store for iOS or on Google Playstore for android and Windows phone store for windows mobile devices.
Once you’ve installed the app, it is time to launch it and sign up with your desired business name. You would need to provide an email address, a phone number or a Facebook account. This contact details will be a means for Instagram to reach out to you going forward.
With your account all set up or if you had a personal account before, it is time to switch to a free business account. To do that, follow the steps below.
- Under your posts, followers and following pane, you’ll see ‘edit profile’, click on it
- Then that opens up, scroll down to the options where it says ‘switch to professional account’ and click on it
- It will show up options for a creators account or a business account. Since you want to switch to a business account, click the option for businesses
You may want to connect your Instagram business account to your Facebook business page. One advantage of doing this is that you won’t need to create content twice for each individual platform. You can share posts to Facebook directly from Instagram. This saves you a lot of time and your content gets to be seen all over.
Now that you are a business on Instagram, how do you post content that will raise engagements?
Step 2 – Upload Engaging Content to Your Instagram Profile
The next step on the journey is to build your profile on Instagram. The best way to do this is to upload engaging content to your Instagram business account.
There are Instagram content marketing strategies that are guaranteed to work and there are some that will never work no matter how hard you try.
- To upload a photo or video, click on the ‘+’ sign below your feed
You’ll see all the photos in your gallery, choose the one that best serves you and upload it to your business account.
One pro tip for uploading photos to Instagram business account is to use high resolution images. This increases engagement more and increases the prospect of making a sale.
As a business on Instagram, it is most advisable to invest in a phone with a good camera that produces photos of high quality, better still, you can stand out by investing in a digital camera.
The better the quality of your photos and videos on Instagram, the more likes and engagements you will have.
Talking about videos, numerous studies have revealed that videos drive more engagements on Instagram than any other form of content, using videos to grow your engagements on Instagram is one strategy that can really help build your Instagram profile.
Instagram also allows you to explore your creativity with another form of content called stories. Instagram stories last just for 24 hours and are big attention catchers.
- To upload a post to your stories on Instagram, click on the camera sign on the upper left corner of your profile.
You’ll find options to upload photos of your choice to Instagram. Or you can make videos or create a boomerang or write text, you choose.
Having great content on your stories always, is key to always having viewership and staying on top of people’s minds.
Step 3 – Follow People
Following other Instagram accounts strategically is one of the ways to get your target audience to discover your account.
As a business that is new to the Instagram community, you want as much people to know of your presence as possible, one way to do this is to follow accounts your target audience follow and engage with them.
By showing up where your target audience is, they get to see and follow you.
Here’s a pro tip if you want to cut the long journey short.
Follow the Instagram accounts of your target audience directly. By doing this, you’ll tap into an Instagram culture of follow for follow, and before long, a multitude of your target audience will be following you. When you engage them with creative content, they will buy from you and refer your brand.
Step 4 – Use Hashtags
Hashtags on Instagram help your posts to be more visible to a wider audience that follow those tags.
There are different types of hashtags you can use on an Instagram post.
1. Trending hashtags.
These are hashtags that are currently trending in your country or globally. An example could be a movie hashtag like #LionKing.
2. Location hashtags
These are hashtags that are place specific. You can use these hashtags to target people in a certain area who could possibly search for your products e.g. #Lagos
3. Product hashtags
These hashtags help bring up your products when they are being searched for. E.g. #shoes.
4. Brand hashtags
These are hashtags created by brands to stir up discussion. You can create a hashtag for your brand and build on it over time an example of a brand hashtag is #ebusinessroom, #streamsofnaira, etc.
You can use as many as 30 hashtags on a single post differing them between trending tags, location tags, product tags and brand tags.
A pro tip: Putting all your hashtags in your post caption may make it look unkempt. To ensure your post look neat and still take advantage of hashtags, after uploading a post, write your hashtags in your first comment.
Step 4 – Run Ads
As you upload posts to Instagram, you’ll begin to notice a trend. Some posts will get more engagements than others. They’ll even go ahead to get you orders for your products. These posts are your winners and you should make the most out of them.
The best way to use them is to run ads with them, selecting a specific audience that you want your ads shown to and putting it out there. You can run an ad on Instagram with as low as $5 and get result.
Making sales on Instagram don’t have to be rocket science. You can take the guesswork out of it by following the steps and tips in this article. Maximizing your presence on Instagram is always a great way of growing your business.