Instagram is one of the biggest and most influential social media platforms today. Launched in 2010, Instagram has grown to over 1.440 billion users. The app’s popularity has led to it becoming the 7th most downloaded app on the Google Play Store and the 3rd most-downloaded social app on the App Store.
While users love the app for its quirky candids and colorful filters, it’s not just a fun social media app. Instagram’s primary purpose is to allow businesses to connect with and engage with their customers. In other words, the app is all about marketing. Well, not just any kind of marketing, but effective Instagram marketing that delivers results.
To get these results, you need to put in the time to understand the platform and how to use it to its full potential. If you want a clearer picture of how to use Instagram for business, continue reading.
From Early Adopter to Influencer
Instagram started as a simple image-based social network, allowing users to follow and connect with content that looked good on their phone’s small display. Naturally, as the network grew, so did the features.
One of the most significant developments came in early 2018 with the introduction of IGTV. Essentially, IGTV is a competitor to TikTok, with the app’s main purpose being to display long-form videos.
While long-form videos on TikTok can be entertaining and even informative, the value of a video on Instagram is often debated.
Some businesses, such as YouTube and TikTok’s own creator platform, TikTok Live, make a lot of money from ads shown before, during, and after videos. So, to create more engaging content, many creators moved to IGTV, which offers more monetization opportunities.
With more video content comes the opportunity for advertisers to get in on the action and drive more traffic to their sites. Advertisers often pay creators to show their ads on their content to engage their audience best and encourage them to engage with their content. So, while you might not get paid to post directly on Instagram, the platform is about to become much more lucrative if you’re a content creator.
From Zero to Hero
Although Instagram is now one of the most popular and profitable social media platforms, it was not always the case. When the app first launched, it was a total failure. In its early days, Instagram had few features and was mostly used to post quick pictures with witty captions. To make matters worse, the app was extremely difficult to use, and almost impossible to find any meaningful engagement.
But that was then. This is now.
Since Instagram version 3.0, the platform has been reworked to make it accessible to all users, not just the tech-savvy users of yore. Now, to increase brand awareness and drive website traffic, the platform can be an invaluable tool for marketing.
Thanks to version 3.0 and beyond, Instagram has changed the game entirely. Now, with over 200 million active monthly users, the platform offers a wealth of features that can be utilized for marketing purposes. If you want to understand better how to use Instagram for business, continue reading.
From Discovery to Influencer Marketing
Instagram started as a platform to share cute animal and nature-themed pictures with your followers. Naturally, as the network grew, so did the range of content posted on the app.
But soon, brands began to see the platform’s value beyond just showing off puppy pics and started employing it to discover new talent and gain brand awareness. To this day, Instagram continues to grow and evolve, adding new features and functionality to retain its user base and keep users coming back for more content.
While Instagram continues to evolve and add new features, the basics of the app remain the same. Still, a fantastic way to remain memorable is to develop a presence on the platform that is both consistent and compelling.
Top Tips for Instagram Marketing
Since Instagram is such an ever-evolving platform, you’ll likely want to try and figure out how to use the app for business purposes. If this is the case, continue reading for some essential tips on effectively marketing on the platform.
No matter your business’s stage, there’s always room for improvement. To evolve and grow, you need inspiration. As a business owner, your number one source of inspiration should be your customers. These people you want to build relationships with and earn their trust and loyalty. So, to get the most out of your Instagram marketing, find inspiration in your customers and what they want. Then, you can craft marketing strategies to fit their needs.
Vary Your Content
Instagram users love a consistent feed, which is why the platform is often called “Instagramming” or “Instagram famine.” Naturally, when users scroll through their Instagram feed, they want to see constant engagement from the posts they follow and interact with. To keep your users interested and engaged, you need to make sure you post a mix of videos and pictures and, naturally, vary your content regularly.
For example, suppose your users repeatedly return to your content because they see you post regularly and consistently. In that case, it may be time to experiment with shorter-form videos or GIFs to see how these fare on the platform.
Since Instagram is all about marketing and business, it’s essential that brands remain active on the platform. Even if you have a healthy and growing Instagram account, you’re losing out on the possible revenue streams the platform can offer if you don’t engage with your followers. So, to keep your accounts fresh and interesting, you must ensure you engage with your audience regularly. This means posting regularly and, naturally, being active on the platform.
Instagram isn’t just about inspiring your customers and establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. The platform is also about making money. If you can demonstrate to advertisers that you have a large and engaged audience, you’re guaranteed to earn money from the ads shown on the app.
Evolve alongside Instagram
To get the most out of Instagram, you must establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. If you’re looking to understand better how to use Instagram for business, consider reading our blog’s articles or listening to our podcast’s episodes. In fact, if you want to be considered an expert, then put yourself out there by creating and sharing videos on the topic on social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram.
Establishing yourself as an expert on the topic will not only make you stand out in the crowd, it will also draw more people to your content. Naturally, these are all key elements to driving traffic to your site and boosting your social media presence.