If you’ve never used Instagram before, or you’re only connected to a few friends, it can be easy to assume it’s all about showing off holiday snaps, boasting about children’s achievements or sharing pics of platefuls of food.
Believe us when we say it’s not.
Scratch below the surface and you’ll find a host of potential customers just waiting for you to find them. And because Instagram offers you a way to have natural conversations and offer help and advice, you won’t need to do icky sales pitches all the time either. Sound good?
We’re certain your business NEEDS to be on Instagram, but do you still need persuading?
Get it right and you have the potential to reach a LOT of people
Instagram has 1 million active monthly users, half of which use the platform daily, browsing content for an average 53 minutes throughout each 24-hour period.
In the UK, there are 22 million active users. That means an unbelievable 1 in 3 people have an Instagram account!
Add to that the fact that at least 50% of Instagram users follow at least one business and you’ll start to see why being active on the platform can put you in front of a lot of new ‘eyes’.
Instagram’s star is still rising
You may have heard people criticising Facebook recently, saying it’s not serving their business any more or the algorithm is working against organic content and wants you to pay for ads.
This is not the case for Instagram. Over here things are only improving when it comes to reach, with brands reporting that engagement is on the rise. In fact, according to SocialBakers, Instagram can generate 4x more on-platform interactions when compared to Facebook.
You can find and connect DIRECTLY with your target audience…
In order for someone to want to buy from us, particularly in a service-based industry, they have to get to know us, get to like us and get to trust that we can provide whatever it is they need.
That’s why business is about building relationships with people. The beauty of Instagram is that it allows you to identify your target audience and engage with them on many different levels. And as long as you have a business profile you can even add a phone number, email and address with the option for people to contact you directly at the push of a button.
…and you can have actual conversations
Thanks to the personal nature of Instagram Live, you’re able to show up in front of people in an instant, allowing them to respond to you in real time. And the interactivity of Stories means you can personalise everything with stickers, share other people’s content and run relevant polls and quizzes that will encourage your followers to get involved.
If you know who your audience are and what they’re into you can really start to build a community around your business or brand and chat with them on their level.
And THAT is marketing gold.
It can be everything to everyone
Eye-catching visuals, engaging written captions, both long and short-form video and an awesome search function that allows you to find anything you’re looking for. Posts can be funny, thought-provoking or serious – even global news outlets have begun using the platform more as they start to realise the reach it has.
Instagram really can cater for everyone.
…including a way of creating stories around your business
One of the big marketing buzz words in the last couple of years, storytelling is a great way to engage people and get them interested in what you’re about.
Instagram Stories and IGTV really help you to show off your personality and talk to people one on one. And because it’s only viewable for 24 hours you can take people behind the scenes and really have some fun with it…saving the beautiful stuff for the grid.
It is totally possible to grow an engaged audience for free…
Yes, we may have to put up with a few sponsored ads in our feeds, but Instagram is a free tool. You don’t have to pay to download it or set up a monthly direct debit to be able to do all the things you want to do.
You can pay for sponsored posts but there is really no need, particularly when you’re getting started. I teach how to grow your following organically. It is completely free to use all of the various bells and whistles, you just need to learn how to do it and get practising.
…with awesome analytics to help you understand and grow your audience…
If you’ve got an Instagram Business profile, once you have over 100 followers you will have access to Instagram Insights which can provide you with data about impressions and reach per post. As well as information about the demographics of your followers.
This can help you to understand what type of content your audience likes the most and therefore which you should be producing more of. Ultimately it takes the guesswork out of your content marketing.
…and new functionality being added all the time to help make doing business easier
Instagram is evolving really quickly. Just this year alone we’ve seen businesses being able to add clickable product tags to their posts and stories, small business stickers to help better promote your own and other small businesses, the ability to share Lives to IGTV, new clickable links in bios for ordering or donating, new following categories so you can better see who you’re interacting with and improved growth analytics.
Phew…and all that during a global pandemic!
Instagram is a powerful marketing tool that can help to expand your visibility and reach as a small business. Learn to use it correctly and put the effort into tapping its full potential and you will truly see amazing results no matter the type of business you run or the industry you’re in.
If you’re new to the platform or struggling to gain traction on Instagram, download 18 Ways to Increase Your Instagram Following Today to get the ball rolling.
It’ll help you to find those all-important first followers quickly and easily.
And you’ll soon be on your way to Instagram superstardom!