Instagram is a free photo and video sharing app owned by Facebook. It was created in 2010 before being bought in 2012 by Mark Zukerberg’s Facebook for $1 billion. With approximately 1 billion monthly users, as of June 2018, it has become one of the largest market places for any business as well as brand and even freelancers. Between posts, ads and stories, there is no shortage of marketing features on the platform.
We have therefore outlined five things we think your brand or business should know if Instagram is a platform you operate on.
CREATE A BUSINESS PROFILE: The Business Profile feature was specifically designed to help businesses and brands to achieve set goals and gain access to features that a personal Instagram account won’t give access to. When you sign up, you have to convert your brand’s Instagram profile to a business account to get access to analytics. To do this, you’ll need to connect the account with your business’ Facebook page. Once your Instagram account is created, you can go to the Profile tab and edit or add your name, username, profile picture, website and a short biography. It is essential to note also that the business profile also provides you with a “contact” button which sends an alert whenever a customer clicks on it. This way of customer service response is faster. It also provides space for office hours and location. These features are only active on mobile since IG is primarily designed for mobile. Check out the EchoHouse business page on Instagram: @thisisecho_
USE INSTAGRAM STORIES: Instagram Stories has become a great and valuable marketing tool, offering brands and businesses eight features to play around with to produce and share fun and exciting content with your audience. You can either TYPE, go LIVE, use NORMAL cam, BOOMERANG, SUPERZOOM, FOCUS, REWIND or HANDS-FREE to create these content which only last 24hrs and disappear. As a brand, your creativity is tested in this space since the consumer only stays through you stories depending on how exciting and intriguing they are. You can also draw, type, and place stickers, run polls and use GIFs on the photos and videos. You can reach followers that otherwise won’t see regular Instagram posts in their feed because of the latest changes in algorithm. Stories highlights allow you to group stories together into a highlights and pin them on your profile so people who visit the page can view. You have the chance to select the best of your stories to create your highlights. Highlights stay on your profile until you decide to remove them. Check out these Ghanaian pages using IG stories creatively: @kuulpeeps, @afromusicon
USE IGTV: This is the latest addition to the many cool things happening on IG. IGTV is built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical. This new feature allows you to post up to an hour long for each video. IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. People don’t have to search to start watching content from you. Once they follow you and have liked things of interest that fall within your kind of content, they will find you. Brands can therefore take advantage of this to share longer videos on this platform. The difference however is that videos made for YouTube won’t work for IG since YouTube videos are horizontal. This means a lot of extra creative thinking for brands, content creators and agencies. Artistes like Stonebwoy, DJ Juls, and Sarkodie as well as Ben Bond the photographer, have taken to IGTV to share amazing content.
ADVERTISE: Live we mentioned earlier, between posts, ads and stories, there is no shortage of marketing features on Instagram. Just like other platforms, you have the option to choose your targets; age, location, interests etc. This allows your brand to be specific about the people you intend to reach thus eliminating promotions that just fly around without a clear-cut trajectory. You can do photo ads, video ads and or carousel ads. These ads allows you to add a call to action to either view more, visit page or website link or take a specific action. The unique feature of the carousel ad however is th
e fact that it allows you to promote multiple images at the same time in one post. You can add a maximum of 10 photos in a single carousel post which you can promote. A very creative brand can find ways of using carousels to tell very exciting and mind blowing stories as well as fun engagements with followers.
BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR BRAND: People naturally don’t care about your brand unless they can find a benefit or an attachment with it. It is therefore important for you to be able to create an identity and personality for your brand. The easier it is for the people to understand what your mission and direction is as a brand, the easier it is for you to succeed. Your brand should have a distinct theme that is being put out to customers, and this should be easily identifiable through your Instagram feed. Your feed shouldn’t contain conflicting ideas that may confuse your audience. You may want to check out the food blog called @Telandeworld
POST THINGS TO INTEREST CUSTOMERS: Your feed needs to be captivating and interesting. It needs to draw people to view more on your page. Avoid monotony and introduce a variety of interesting posts to catch viewer’s attention.
With these simple tips, your Instagram business page should grow steadily towards achieving your goals.