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Why Your Business Should Be On Instagram

Marketing has one primary goal: To reach a target audience and elicit a specific action.

That action varies for every business. But it typically involves making a purchase or clicking through to a website to find out more. The only way to elicit such actions is to be visible where your target market is.

This is where Instagram comes in.

Instagram is one of the most popular social networks in the world. The platform lets anyone on a mobile device share and discover new images. As Instagram has seen explosive growth in recent years, companies around the world have started to pay attention. Many of the largest brands now have active profiles with massive followings.

Even if your business is on Facebook and Twitter, ignoring this channel means losing a competitive advantage. Here we look at why your brand should be on Instagram and tips to make the most of this platform.

A Hub For Millennials

Instagram currently attracts one of the most highly coveted demographics: Millennials aged 18 to 24 years old who earn between $50,000 to $74,000.

The younger generation grew up with breakthrough devices such as the iPhone. It’s not surprising then that this age group is also the most technologically savvy. According to data from the Pew Research Center, millenials represent approximately 55% of Instagram users — more than any other social network.

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If your products or services are primarily aimed at a younger audience, Instagram is one of the best social media platforms to reach this demographic. Even more so than other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Not marketing on Instagram means missing out on the opportunity to engage with this age group.

Higher Engagement

Engagement is the key to marketing success. You could have commercials playing during prime time, but poor engagement translates to meager results.

What differentiates Instagram from other networks is its level of engagement. According to data from Forrester Resarch, users on Instagram were 58 times more likely to like, comment, or share a post from a brand than Facebook and Twitter users. Another study has found that 47% of Instagram users rank the platform in their top channels for product discovery.

The reason for the high engagement is the nature of the platform itself where powerful visuals win. People are able to instantly relate to images compared to large blocks of text. The largest brands understand this of course so they increase engagement by using quality photos that share a personal story or offer valuable tips.

Connecting With Influencers

Instagram is a powerful platform for another reason: Influencers.

These are people who have amassed a large following in their niche and command the attention of their audience. A single post can reach hundreds of thousands of people in an instant, resulting in massive referral traffic to branded pages. Connecting with the right influencers in your industry can do more for your marketing than any other marketing channel.

But there are some things to keep in mind when embarking on this strategy:

  • Audience: It is not uncommon for celebrities to have millions of followers. But they may not be the best individuals to connect with for a number of reasons. Their audience could be vastly different from your target market. And connecting with them in the first place can be extremely challenging. This is why it is important to connect with the right influencers.
  • Content: Another important aspect is the type of content that is being shared by certain influencers. Even two businesses in the same industry can be selling completely different products. Look for influencers that share content that aligns with your brands. Any post of yours they share will have a high level of engagement.

Here we look at making the most of Instagram for your brand.

Building Your Brand on Instagram

With any marketing channel you need a strategy.

The same applies for Instagram. So you need to build a strategy that pushes your objectives forward whether that involves driving more referral traffic or increasing brand awareness. Instagram is driven primarily by visuals.

Start by signing up for an account then verify your account. Before you begin posting, take some time to familiarise yourself with the app and check out other businesses that are in your industry. How active are they? What kind of content are they posting? How many followers do they have?

The next step is to consider the visual style you want for your brand.

This includes the type of images you will be sharing. Using the same filters may seem boring but it helps your followers instantly recognise your posts. Remember that your goal is to get users to like, share or comment on your post. So post quality images or another side of your brand that most people aren’t privy to.

Set a Regular Posting Schedule

Consistency is another important aspect.

You cannot expect to gain any traction if you only post once a month. At the same time you don’t want to barrage your followers with posts every half an hour. The key is to maintain a regular posting schedule. Test posts at different times and see what works best. Measure metrics such as likes and shares for even more insight.

Use the information you gain to establish a content calendar. The point is to establish a regular posting schedule and designate someone in charge. There are also a number of tools available that can schedule your posts in advance. These can help save you time each day so spend some time at the end of each week to prepare what you want to post the following week.

Engage and Cross Post

The key to success with Instagram is engaging with your audience.

Make active use of hashtags with your images and follow those who closely match the demographics your business targets. If you have a physical location, make sure to also tag your photos with the location. This helps to increase the visibility of your posts as other users can see photos around their area.

What makes Instagram even more appealing is the ability to cross post your images within the app to your Facebook, Twitter, and even Flickr accounts. Your audience is likely using a range of social networks for product discovery. This level of integration further increases awareness of your brand.

Cross posting only takes a few more steps so take the opportunity to do so.

Conclusion

Instagram is one of the most popular social networks in the world.

An active presence is an absolute must as this platform helps your business target a younger demographic and connect with industry influencers. Engagement on Instagram is also much higher than on other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Post quality images and engage with your audience to build your brand on Instagram.