Instagram is simultaneously one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, the best place to share pictures of your food, and one of the most efficient sites to advertise your business on. If you don’t use Instagram to grow your business and attract new customers, you might be missing out.
In fact, if you use Instagram personally, a lot of the accounts you follow probably belong to businesses. That includes restaurants, apparel businesses, tech companies, influencers who advertise multiple brands, and much more. In this article, we’ll walk you through five ways to use Instagram to grow your business as well. Let’s get right to it!
1. Use Story Highlights to Share Offers
Stories are one of the most effective tools at your disposal to share offers and new products. They’re the first thing users see when they open the Instagram app or website. Depending on their level of engagement with your business, your stories might even show up in top positions.
The only downside to stories is that they’re temporary. This can work for some limited-time offers, but in other cases you’ll want to keep stories around so users can check them out any time they want. That way, if they see a new product or discount but don’t take advantage of it immediately, they can find the same information later on.
To make that possible, you can use story highlights. This feature enables you to save stories in your profile in categories you create. Most businesses can benefit from having highlights that focus on existing deals and offers:
Setting up highlights is simple. You already do the brunt of the work by creating and uploading stories. Afterwards, it’s just a matter of adding those stories to the corresponding highlights category.
2. Connect Your Product Catalog to Instagram (Or Create One)
The Instagram app enables you to set up a Shop section in your business profile. According to official Instagram numbers, up to half of users in key regions use the app to find new products and shop each week.
Instagram (and Facebook, by extension) enables you to set up a shop for your account, where you can link to products from other platforms. These platforms include WordPress + WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, Magento, and several other options.
If you don’t have an existing product catalog, you can also create shop items manually. Each product in your catalog can include one or more pictures, variations, prices, a description, extra details, and more:
Instead of a Buy Now button, most Instagram shop items include links to the original product page (which should be yours). This approach to using Instagram enables users to browse your product catalog without leaving the app.
Eventually, you’ll want users to end up at your actual storefront. However, with Instagram shops, you get an extra channel where you can show your products, control how your store looks, and even enable in-app checkout (which we’ll cover next).
3. Use Instagram Checkout To Make In-App Sales
If you spend a lot of time on Instagram, you might know that some shops not only link to other websites, but also enable you to shop directly through the app. This feature is called Checkout on Instagram, and is only available in the U.S.
There are pros and cons to using this tool. For one, if your business has a website, enabling users to check out on Instagram means you’re getting fewer visitors. The upside is that you can attract new customers you might not otherwise be able to convert:
This is because some shoppers prefer to pay through Instagram, because they consider the app more trustworthy than an unknown online business. If you use Checkout on Instagram, buyers will know they’re protected in the event of any problems.
One smart way to offset the potential reduction in traffic to your online store is to use marketing content on Instagram that leads users directly to the site. That way, you’ll be able to get sales on Instagram and traffic to your site that you can convert.
4. Use Influencers to Promote Your Products and Services
Instagram is the largest platform in the world when it comes to influence marketing. What’s more, 25% of brands invest around 10 to 20% of their marketing budgets into influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing can come in many shapes. You can pay influencers to promote specific products or your entire business, give out discount codes to their followers, offer affiliate deals, and more:
How much you spend on this type of marketing can also vary drastically. Some influencers will charge relatively small fees for tagging your business, whereas others might cost thousands of dollars for a single publication.
This means you have a lot of latitude when deciding how to approach influencer marketing. If your business doesn’t have a large budget for Instagram, you can use it to pay several smaller influencers, which should at least get your account more attention.
However you do it, if your business hasn’t begun experimenting with influencer marketing, now is a great time to do so. It’s a particularly smart move for new accounts, since it can help you increase your followers fast.
5. Post Content More Often
If you have a presence on any social media platform, the best way to grow it is to post content frequently. How effective you are will of course depend on the quality of the content, whether there’s an audience for it, and the hashtags you use. Even so, posting often significantly increases the chance that you’ll find an audience.
This is something to keep in mind if your Instagram marketing strategies aren’t working, or if you’re not able to get a decent number of conversions from the platform. In most cases, this is because your business’ social media presence isn’t well established and you don’t have a large enough audience.
Depending on the size of your business, it might be worthwhile to put someone in charge of your social media. This can lead to a higher output of content, which should translate to a larger following and more engagement (if they do it right!).
If you have a business, it needs a social media presence. Instagram is one of the best social media platforms to promote your business, and it offers a lot of fantastic tools that can help you drive growth. That includes Instagram shops, stories and highlights, influencers, and more. If you’re not using Instagram yet, it’s time to give it a try.
Do you have any questions about how to use Instagram to grow your business? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image credit: geralt.