Who would have thought that Instagram would transform from a simple photo and video sharing app into a powerful machine where sales and business development are taken to new levels every day!
Why? Look at some data:
- >1 billion MAU;
- about 25 million business accounts;
- 90% of users follow business profiles;
- > 2 million advertisers use IG to enhance their marketing campaign.
Fierce competition today — that’s the main drawback of this source of customers, partners, and, of course, money.
It’s getting harder and harder to keep up on the platform, and every marketer wonders which marketing strategy to choose. So, I won’t tell you what marketing strategy is ideal for your business.
Still, I will give you a kind of hint on what to pay attention to when growing your Instagram business and mention groundbreaking tools for Instagram that can help you succeed in this challenging but worthwhile endeavor!
But first…what does IG mean for each side of a successful sales process today: partners, clients, and brand owners?
How is Instagram Useful for Partnership?
An Instagram paid partnership makes it easier for both brands and influencers to develop their marketing campaign according to their chosen ways.
When you see a post tagged with “Paid partnership with + brand name”, it means that the influencer collaborates with the brand via commercial relationships.
Partnering with Instagram influencers will make your brand more recognizable, and of course, it will bring you a new and targeted audience.
But keep in mind that such partnerships cost from $1000 to $1 million p/post, so as always, it’s worth carefully researching an influencer and determining whether or not it’s worth it.
According to the Hubspot article, there are, of course, some more ways to “get your posts shown higher on Instagram” if a paid partnership exceeds your cash budget.
Posting on active time, the content that is interesting for your audience, and other tips work well also. Still, a collaboration with an influencer is one of the tools for Instagram account rapid growth.
How is Instagram Useful for Customers?
Indeed, for the consumer, Instagram is a treasure trove in which you can find almost anything you can find in a shop.
Design, cosmetics, food, and sports brand accounts are considered the most prominent and powerful. But you do realize that there are plenty of other accounts out there that will promote something else.
To make it easier for clients to make a purchase, Instagram has introduced a “shop” feature, where users are directed to a catalog page after clicking on a tag and can buy a desired thing.
It makes the interaction between customer and seller easier and more beneficial for both sides.
But you, as buyers, have to be on the lookout as sometimes you may buy into a pretty picture (Instagram’s main feature), but the reality is not what it seems.
As with influencers, you should also carefully examine the brand page, reviews, quality of work, etc., before buying a product/service.
How is Instagram Useful for Brand Owners?
Although the competition is tremendous, there are also benefits for you as business owners:
- the ability to unleash your creativity and thereby attract more customers;
- the convenience for customers to buy your product (IG online shops);
- the ability to advertise on Instagram (plus paid partnership);
- a variety of paid and free tools to facilitate your account management (more on this below).
In turn, the competition will make you more powerful and motivate you not to stop and do your best to become a worthy competitor and, of course, a recognizable brand owner.
Tips & Tools to Drive Up Your Insta Business
How to improve Your Visuals
Instagram is all about creativity and attractive visuals, and the more distinctive and appealing your profile is, the more likely you are to increase your readership (IG audience).
Here are examples of some successful brand accounts of various spheres. Perhaps exploring their profile will help you build your marketing campaign and inspire you to create the best visuals for your brand recognition.
Marketing Brand Account
- add bright colors and design your content logically and tastefully;
- include high level video content;
- show real stories about partners and customers.
Design Brand Account
- Convenient link building in bio that lead first to an Insta shop and then to a website with a product (Linktree, Curalate tools for Instagram can help you add more than one link into your Insta bio);
- A high-quality photo of the product with a price and a short description on it.
Fashion Brand Account
- focus on emotions and adventures, not just shoes;
- encourage to create UGC;
- great attention to customers’ feelings;
- inspiring and “lively” videos with product representation.
Food Brand Account
- focus on logos, slogans, and brand details;
- a well-organized profile feed (online schedulers usage);
- high-quality images and sticking to the same color palette.
The tools that can help you enhance your creativity and make a top-level profile:
- Canva, Snapseed, VSCO for image editing.
- Infogram, Venngage for infographics.
- InShot, Storyart for Stories improvements.
- Animoto, iMovie for video editing.
- PicMonkey for image overlays.
How to Improve Your Content Scheduling
Agree that content planning is quite a time-consuming endeavor: every day, you have to think about the next post, find or create pictures, think up captions
And often it all happens at top speed as you have to dedicate time to your audience, create a bunch of Stories, research the competitor’s account and do a ton of other account management stuff at the same time.
Today, time is money. So to save time for more important things, or at least take your time and “God willing, I’ll get everything done!”, you can try using online schedulers.
What benefit will you get from schedulers (in general)?
- you save you time by preparing and creating content for your profile in advance, spending only a few hours one day a week;
- preview what your profile feed/grid will look like after you post;
- create captions in advance at your best time for inspiration and not in a hurry;
- set the date & time of a post and an online calendar automatically publishes it.
Falcon, Later, Sendible, Agorapulse, ContentCal, Buffer Publish, Hootsuite schedulers have the same general function — a web-based planner — but such tools for Instagram have their own unique and different additional features, including a different price.
But the bottom line is the same: they enable you to plan content and free you up for more meaningful things.
How to Improve the Process of Analyzing Your Account
Analytics is crucial in any business, and your profile’s growth analytics is no exception.
What growth is possible without a detailed review of the outcomes of your business strategy?
What about assessing your growth by analyzing your competitor’s profile activity data? Analytics is the engine of progress.
There are three different ways to get your account running results: do it manually; use the analytics called Instagram Insights already available for business accounts; resort to additional tools that “equip” you with more comprehensive data.
What benefit will you get from analyzing your account in a more detailed way?
- analysis of your audience, their preferences, interactions, time of activity, engagement rate, and growth;
- your posts and hashtags analysis and exploring the most popular ones;
- likes, comments, follow and un-follow statistics;
- referral traffic info and Stories analytics.
Services like Iconosquare, Phalanx, Hootsuite Analytics, Union Metrics help you analyze your followers base and your account as a whole (besides, you are free to indicate another account for its detailed studying).
How to Improve Your Account Automation
Instagram automation is a new level of account handling where you spend less time but get better results.
What benefit will you get from smart automation?
- save time;
- you’ll get better audience engagement results;
- broaden the targeted audience;
- developing corresponding hashtags and setting up publications;
- full account statistics, etc.
Automation can be either auto-commenting, liking, DM, and more (frontend automation), or setting up post publications, defining relevant hashtags, profile statistics, and more (backend).
And while the backend automation will not be as dangerous for your account, the frontend automation can lead to account blocking as it can be seen as spamming.
But! Automation does not mean blockage. If you pick out an automation service wisely and study everything the service offers, it may very well work in your favor.
Here are some popular smart automation tools for Instagram: Inflact, Instamber, Growthoid, Upleap, Combin, etc.
Wrapping it up
- Instagram is a powerhouse platform for growing your business and leveling up your brand recognition, which brings benefits to both business owners and customers alike.
- The sheer competition on Instagram, on the one hand, encourages you to get better and on the other hinders you from implementing your growth marketing campaign;
- There is an improved version of doing business on the platform today, or more precisely, growth options if you choose the right tactics: focus on a beautiful profile, engage your audience with stunning and lively content, and use additional tools for planning, automation, and analytics.