Instagram is no longer just the latest trend. With over a billion monthly users, its popularity is second only to Facebook—its parent company. If you have time to put the effort into building your presence, it is among the least expensive advertising available. The platform allows for highly targeted marketing, so theoretically, everyone who sees your posts is a potential customer.
Instagram has some of the highest user engagement, which builds brand loyalty and drives sales. And to make sales even more convenient for consumers, a recent feature allows you to make your post shoppable. Users can now buy your products with a few convenient clicks.
Instagram is Worth the Time
Users are more likely to buy products after seeing them on Instagram. Madewell, the top brand on the social media platform, saw a 39% increase in sales in 2018. If you want to see an increase in your sales, one of the most effective ways to do this is through a solid, well-followed Instagram account. But Instagram can be time-consuming to manage if you want to make it work.
You need to post at least once a day. And that doesn’t mean slapping up a meme and being done with it. It means creating quality content that users will want to engage with. Then once users start engaging, you will need to reciprocate in order to keep them coming back.
Not only is Instagram time-consuming, but the reward can feel painfully slow in building at first. It may feel like it is taking forever to gain Instagram followers. To make matters seem impossible, you need followers in order to be found by other users who may be interested in following your brand.
The point is, that this is not an overnight, set-it-and-forget-it sort of venture, but there are tools and services that will help you get Instagram followers and boost engagement in a reputable way so that you will never have to do any guesswork. Plus, Instagram insights will always give you feedback about how you are doing, so you can tweak your content to target your audience.
Instagram Targets Your Audience to the Max
Instagram only shows your content to people if it thinks they may be interested in your brand. This is far more effective than traditional advertising, which is a bit like throwing money into the ocean and waiting to see if it comes back. When you use Instagram, you narrow your efforts down. You can ensure your marketing gets in front of women who love cats, the color pink, and podcasts about outer space. Or whichever target audience you want.
There are a couple of ways you can go about targeting your audience, and you will likely do best to have a marketing strategy that includes both. The first thing you need is content that no one can ignore. Once you have a posting groove, and you have built a consistent aesthetic that accurately communicates your brand identity, you may want to consider strategically using Instagram’s paid advertising, but not before you have set the foundation for a great account with or without the advertising.
Instagram’s paid advertising gets your brand in front of more people who may be interested in your content. So the content needs to reflect your brand and its products. Hashtags and carefully worded descriptions will make your posts easier to find, and they will tell Instagram exactly who to target with your advertising.
Instagram Has Highly Engaged Users
Out of all the social media platforms, Instagram has some of the highest user engagement rates. When you have a successful account on Instagram, you will be building a community. Users love to get involved and love it when your brand recognizes them. The robust platform gives you one of the strongest opportunities to build a relationship with your followers, and have fun doing it.
When you engage with your followers in a meaningful way on Instagram, they feel heard and recognized. Creating authentic content and interaction makes followers feel like they really know you and your brand. This builds a type of brand loyalty that cannot be found through other, more impersonal forms of marketing.
Instagram is Fun!
We’ve been discussing how financially rewarding it is to have your small business on Instagram, but Instagram is also fun. It provides a wealth of tools that allow you to be creative in the way you communicate your brand, and you get to interact with people who are enthusiastic about your products and services. Everyone knows that getting positive interaction on social media will give you at least a tiny dopamine rush. Running a small business, you could probably use the boost.
When you use Instagram to market your small business, you use images and videos to show off your personality, and your brand identity, in a way that gets people involved and excited. It may take patience and hard work to get your account up and running, but when you do, you will reap the financial and emotional rewards of a community built around your brand.