Instagram is one of the companies that’s at the forefront of encouraging the use of visual content as a marketing tool. With close to a billion active users monthly, Instagram is a powerful tool for promoting your business and reaching new potential customers.
It is a cost-effective platform that requires as little as 6 hours a week to increase recognition towards your business, sales and more traffic with almost no financial burden on you. Getting real Instagram followers should be a substantial part of every business’s marketing strategy. It is a key element for improving the success of any business.
Instagram has high engagement rates
Instagram has the highest engagement rates of any social media network. In other words, your audience doesn’t just see your ads, they interact with them and are more likely to remember them than on any other social media channel.
The average engagement rate per account on Instagram is 4%. This will differ depending on the industry your company belongs to. For instance, the engagement rates of a shopping and retail account will be vastly different from that of a public figure.
Even then, Instagram still has higher engagement rates than all other social media networks. According to research by Forrester, ad recall from Instagram ads is about 2.8x higher than ad recall from other social media networks (ad recall is a more effective way of measuring the ad performance than the number of impressions).
Consumers are also 58 times more likely to engage with branded content on Instagram as compared to Facebook and 120 times as compared to Twitter.
New visitors to Instagram pages spend more time on individual pages than any other social media network, including Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. This means that Instagram is more likely to attract new users and drive them to your website as referral traffic.
Increased brand awareness
Social media networks are by far the most effective method of increasing your brand’s visibility when it comes to digital marketing. Instagram gives you access to millions of users at a time.
Instagram makes it easy to discover new photos, make new friends and discover new businesses through hashtags, curated suggestions and Instagram’s handy Discover tab. To get started, create a social media profile for your business and start interacting with other people. Get employees, social media partners and sponsors on board by liking and sharing the content. Each post shared is a post opening the world to a whole new network of individuals who can then grow into potential customers.
By investing their time on Instagram, 91% of marketers claim having had positive results in terms of growing their following and increasing the exposure of their brand. Simply having a page for your social media network is more than enough to start bringing in new faces and having familiar faces come back.
Access to comprehensive targeting tools
When Instagram was first launched, it was quickly bought out by Facebook, barely a month after it was released to the public. For better or for worse, Instagram’s whole business model and fate are deeply intertwined in everything that Facebook does.
Aside from Google, Facebook is known to have the most complex and comprehensive ad targeting algorithms in the world. As soon as Instagram joined Facebook, it was slowly granted access to the same technology and started matching Facebook in terms of scale and capability.
Facebook gives you access to advertising your content by age, location, interests and general behavior. Instagram now gives you access to the same tools.
Michelle Thomson, a social media content specialist and an essay services writer says that when it comes to marketing, the more precisely you can define your target audience, the more likely your marketing campaign is going to be successful.
Instagram also has access to Facebook’s powerful retargeting capabilities. Cold targeting is reaching out to people that have not seen or heard of your brand before. They are cold leads and have to be warmed up to your ideas and products before becoming buyers, or better, recurring buyers.
Retargeting, on the other hand, means targeting people that have already heard of your brand to draw them towards making purchases. The most common way of achieving this is by targeting people that visit your website, subscribe to your newsletters, or respond to your CTA but haven’t made a purchase yet.
This is a useful feature to have because it allows marketers a lot of flexibility when coming up with an Instagram marketing strategy. You can create retargeting audiences based on features such as your Instagram account’s post engagement, custom email lists and other pieces of data you own. Integrate a strategy that has Instagram ads infused in it to achieve ideal results.
Instagram ads get great results
Having one of the highest engagement rates on the internet, paying for advertisement space on Instagram pays off quickly. Combining Instagram’s capable ad-targeting capabilities and the high user engagement rates, paying for Instagram ads increases the chances that your posts will gain attention, new followers and new customers.
Instagram gives you access to a variety of tools that can be used to drive businesses towards your website, your apps, or to text you on WhatsApp and Messenger if you prefer. Each campaign should have you outline what your goals are, defining the same using Facebook Ad Manager. There are nine categories to choose from.
One of the most effective tools within the Ad Manager is awareness-based objectives. As the name suggests, objectives that fall under the ‘awareness’ umbrella should be selected by teams that want users to see and remember their brand.
If the aim is for your ad to be seen by as many people as possible, regardless of the outcome, select ‘Reach’ as your objective. ‘Brand Awareness’ can be used to achieve the same thing, but also helps to make sure users remember your brand. It’s normally more effective than using Reach on its own.
Besides, paying for Reach means you’re paying for each impression. You can’t be sure whether such a user interacted with your post or will remember it in the first place.
Nearly half of Instagram users use it to make purchases
At the end of the day, what you want from Instagram is more sales. It may be relieving to find out that of all the social media platforms, none responds as well to marketing as do Instagram users.
According to a report, almost 1/3 of the most-viewed stories on Instagram belong to brands and businesses. Additionally, more than a third of Instagram users have used it to purchase a product in the past. In other words, an Instagram user is 70% more likely to buy a product online as compared to non-Instagram users.
What makes Instagram users even more desirable is the fact that 75% of them take action after it’s presented to them. For example, after coming across your profile, 3/4 of users will either visit your website or follow the CTA button on your profile.
If the ‘Shop Now’ button is backed up by content on your profile and the right engagement metrics throughout, 3 out of every four people that visit your profile will take advantage of it.
Build a connected audience
Instagram comes with all the paid features that Facebook offers but has a few unique capabilities of its own as well. The most crucial of these is in-built organic reach functionality.
Facebook’s algorithms are built such that building your fanbase or your follower count has to be paid for. In direct contrast, Instagram gives businesses a lot of breathing room, allowing you to achieve direct results without having to pay for them directly using advertising dollars.
Organic reach is desirable because it allows for a natural relationship to form between brands and followers. Ads can be considered the opposite of this because most people see it as an intrusion on their privacy. This personal touch to the relationship between brands and followers is important for maintaining loyalty and ensuring they return.
Following your brand on Instagram is a commitment. When a consumer follows you, they are showing a direct interest in what you have to offer. As a marketer, it’s your role to realize this and work to grow the relationship from that point forward.
Instagram is constantly in the news for having the highest engagement rates of any other social media network. However, depending on the kind of account you run and the niche you’re involved in, getting new followers may be a lot more difficult than others.
However, Instagram is the most advantageous platform for a business to be part of because it has access to advanced ad-targeting tools, and is the best place to generate awareness for your brand. The results you get will depend on how much time and effort you dedicate to splitting, testing, iterating and trying out new tactics to maximize your engagement metrics.
Isabell Gaylord is a Chicago based professional content writer, resume writer, journalist and content marketing specialist. She specializes in subjects of business management, career development, startups and economics and finance. In her free time, she works on her business blog, writes poetry and goes biking in the city.