Businesses have started to react more and more to this rapidly growing platform, and if you analyze the top 100 brands in the world, 90% of them have an Instagram account. With so many brands and businesses on Instagram, you may be thinking, “There must be some incentive for them to consistently use Instagram, but is it really just to post some cool photos of their brand?” Not quite. As proven by some of the top brands in the world (as well as by some of the small to mid-sized businesses that LYFE Marketing works with!), there are several clear-cut methods to generate sales, leads and more via Instagram. However, Instagram is still a relatively new platform (compared to other social media sites), and new app updates are rolling out all the time. So how do you stay updated and capitalize on all of the new features? What do all of the benefits of Instagram include and how do you tap into them? Whether you’re new to the platform or whether you’re looking to better your existing account, you may just be overall wondering where to start. Well, not to worry. We’ve put together the top 10 benefits of Instagram for business and how to use them to your advantage. 1. Over ⅓ of Instagram Users Have Used The App To Purchase A Product Online We just have one word: sales. At the end of the day, sales are what most business owners are striving for, and it’s no different when it comes to the benefits of Instagram. Sales guide the bottom line, and trying to learn how to increase sales is probably the main reason you’re reading this blog! And we don’t blame you. It’s important to know that what you’re investing in is worth it (aka is going to provide a return on your investment)! So how worth it is Instagram? Well, let’s take a look at some of the facts. Over ⅓ of Instagram users have used Instagram to purchase a product online, making them 70% more likely to do so than non-Instagram users. Now, let’s break this down a little bit. We mentioned earlier that there are 800 million monthly active users on Instagram, so ⅓ of them would mean at least 266,666,667 Instagram users have used Instagram to purchase a product online! Before diving into the other benefits of Instagram and its user base, we wanted to point out the sheer volume of potential customers that are just waiting to interact with your brand. These are not just followers; these are people who have a history of buying on the Instagram platform. Their next purchase on Instagram could be from your company! In addition to this, 75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post. Now, an Instagram advertising post (or an Instagram ad) is different than an organic post you’d publish on your Instagram account. An Instagram ad is a post that you sponsor with advertising dollars so that it reaches more people. This statistic is saying 75% of Instagram users take an action on these ads, such as clicking the Shop Now or Contact Us buttons. Even if these people do not purchase on the first click, the action is still valuable because you can retarget them with Instagram ads from that point on until they do purchase! 2. Instagram’s Ad Platform Has Access To The Most Advanced Social Media Advertising Targeting Options Available Now that we’ve established how many Instagram users there are and how likely they are to purchase, let’s talk about how to leverage this data to your advantage. As stated previously, Instagram was bought out by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a few years back. Due to this, Instagram’s capabilities rapidly broadened to start matching Facebook’s capabilities. Facebook is known for having one of the most advanced social media advertising platforms. You can advertise to people by age, interests, behavior, and location on Facebook, which means you can now do the same on Instagram. What this means for you, is that you can hone in on your specific target audience within the 266,666,667 Instagram users who are already likely to purchase. In addition to the cold targeting options listed above, Instagram has the same extensive retargeting capabilities that Facebook does! Here, cold targeting refers to people who have never seen or heard of your brand and business before. They’re cold and need to be “warmed up” in order to become a buyer and hopefully repeat buyer. Retargeting means targeting people again who have somehow already seen or heard of your brand and business. The most common form of retargeting is targeting your website visitors who haven’t made a purchase yet (or filled out a contact us form, or completed whatever action you’re wanting them to take on your site). Instagram offers this and more! You can create custom retargeting audiences based around Instagram post engagement, customer email lists, Instagram video views and more. You’d be surprised to learn that other social media platforms that have been established for a lot longer, simply do not have some of the targeting capabilities that Instagram now has. Having these options allows you to take your Instagram marketing strategy to the next level and implement a specific sales funnel with your Instagram ads to achieve more results. 3. Sales and Leads Are Trackable Through Instagram Ads So You Can See Clear ROI This benefit of Instagram may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many companies invest into platforms without gauging the effectiveness of it! Since Instagram uses the same Ads Manager platform as Facebook, it has all of the same tracking capabilities that Facebook has. You can see everything from link clicks, to leads to conversions, and you can see the cost per result on any campaign you run. This means depending on what objective or goal you’re measuring, you can always see how many results you achieved and at what cost. In addition to this, you can break down the results you receive to see who or where they came from (i.e. which gender, which age range, which region, which device etc.). Having this knowledge allows you to understand where your money is going to best be invested. At LYFE, we always A/B split test ads and ad sets for our clients. A/B split testing means running a group of different ads at the same time to see which is going to perform the best. We also test these ads in different ad sets to see which target audience + ad combination is going to provide our clients the most results at the lowest cost per result. Instagram’s analytics and tracking capabilities are what make A/B split testing efforts not only worth it, but highly effective. Tracking metrics is one of the most important benefits of Instagram. It’s important to clearly see which ad and ad set is bringing in the most revenue, and business owners can see this with Instagram ads. 4. Instagram Differentiates Personal Profiles from Business Profiles Like Facebook, Instagram differentiates account by personal accounts and business accounts. If you turn your account into a business account, you will unlock a world of features to help promote your business. Some of these features include having a call to action button for your page visitors, the ability to promote your posts with ad dollars, and access to account insights. It also gives Instagram users a clear understanding that the page they are on is owned by a business and is not just a personal Instagram page. Making this adjustment allows you to set your account up for success to reap all of the benefits of Instagram. 5. Instagram’s User Base Allows You To Tap Into An Otherwise Unreached Customer Base We mentioned earlier that there are 500 million Instagram users who are active on the platform at least once a day, and at least 266,666,667 of them are actively purchasing specifically via Instagram ads and profiles. If your business is not present on Instagram, can you be sure that you’re reaching them? 200 million Instagrammers actively visit the profile of a business every day, but your company will not be one of them if you don’t have an Instagram account! Think of Instagram as a hand or extension of your company. The more present you are on Instagram, the more present you will be to your potential customers on Instagram. 6. Build An Audience That Will Stay Connected With Your Brand One of the beauties of Instagram is that it has all of the paid advertising capabilities of Facebook, but it has something in addition to this that Facebook does not have: organic functionality. When we refer to organic functions, we mean actions you can perform or results you can achieve without having to directly pay for them in advertising dollars. On Facebook, if you want to build the amount of fans (or followers) that your business page has, you have to pay for them with Facebook ads. On Instagram, you can build your followers organically. This allows for a very natural relationship to occur between your brand and your followers from the start as opposed to forcing the connection with paid ads. It’s like a grassroots movement that takes effect where the more followers you have, the more others start to follow you. That organic, word-of-mouth type follower growth is priceless, especially for newer businesses. In addition to whatever efforts you put forth into building your followers, 50% of Instagrammers follow brands anyway! This means that half of the 800 million people on the Instagram platform are specifically more likely to follow your brand just for being on Instagram. When a consumer follows your brand on Instagram, they are making the active decision to see your posts on their timeline moving forward. This shows strong, initial interest on their part, and you can continue to build the relationship from there! 7. Strengthen Your Relationship With Your Followers And Potential Customers Another one of the benefits of Instagram being an organic platform is that you can see a lot of engagement on your posts without having to pay for it. Engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter. Additionally, Instagram users “like” 4.2 billion posts per day. With these kind of engagement rates, you can count on your ever-growing follower base to interact with your posts more and more, for free! Whether they are liking the post or commenting on it, they are making the decision to interact with your post which shows interest in your brand. Specifically within Instagram, once you like a post, it gets archived under your profile settings under “Posts You’ve Liked.” This means that Instagram users who like your company’s posts are simultaneously saving your posts to their bank of liked images that they can reference whenever they choose! Businesses can capitalize on this opportunity to stimulate conversation and comment back directly with their followers. On Instagram, you can use the @ sign to tag users and reply directly back to someone who either liked the image or commented on the post. The more transparent and responsive a brand is with their followers on Instagram, the more trust is built between that brand and its potential customers. The more trust a consumer has with a brand, the more likely they are to purchase from them over competitors. 8. Learn The Likes And Dislikes Of Your Customer Base How much do you really know about your customer base? Sure, they might be between the ages of 25-54, but what is their sense of humor like? What are their pet peeves? Whether you’re a startup who has everything to learn about exactly who your target market is or whether you’re a seasoned company that’s just new to Instagram, there’s always going to be room to learn more about your target market. It’s important to remember that a target market is more than just an audience with statistical demographics and behaviors. A target market is comprised of real people, so your marketing efforts have to stay as fluid and flexible as they are to stay in front of them. Having said that, Instagram is a great tool to learning the ever-changing likes and dislikes of your customer base and followers. You can see what kind of content they like best and are drawn to, and which they aren’t. You can see which accounts they like to follow and which they don’t. This information will be crucial to know as you create content for your Instagram account, but it’s also valuable to know for your marketing strategy as a whole! 9. Instagram Is A Visual Platform One of the main benefits of Instagram that separates it from all other social media platforms is that it’s photo-centric. Unlike other social media sites, Instagram is comprised solely of photos and videos that can be accompanied with text, but text is not mandatory. This is beneficial to you because most people remember more of what they see than what they read or hear! Additionally, videos tend to outperform images on social media when it comes to engagement and results, but both videos and images outperform social media posts without either. This instantly gives Instagram the leg up on other social media platforms that don’t require one of the two to post! Having a photo or video centric platform allows your followers to remember your brand betters, and it makes them more likely to engage with your content. Both of these factors bring your followers on Instagram one step closer to a purchase. 10. You Can Constantly Use Instagram To Fuel Your Other Marketing Efforts One of the biggest benefits of Instagram is that you can take all of the information and data you gather from it and use it across all of your other marketing efforts. All of the website traffic you send from Instagram can be retargeted on other platforms as well such as Facebook, Google etc. You can even use your Instagram posts to promote other marketing efforts you have going on and vice versa! Cross-promoting channels and marketing efforts allows you to extend the reach of that channel and encourage existing followers to keep track with your brand on other platforms. The more touch points your brand has with a consumer, the more likely they are to purchase from you over competitors!
Advertise in two areas : the "Stories" and the "Feed" section. Also advertise on Facebook.