There is no other social media platform that grew so rapidly in such a short period of time bringing together over 600 million users. Yet not every startup or entrepreneur uses this platform for marketing purposes to its full potential.

With its recent features, such as carousel posts available to everybody and Instagram Stories, marketers are creating great content and getting great results. With over 400 Million people using Instagram worldwide on a daily basis, 70 percent of Instagrammers follow a business profile on Instagram. Taking under consideration that: over 150 Million Instagrammers use stories every day, over 500K advertisers use Instagram stories to drive business results and 75 percent of Instagram users take action inspired by a post, I do not know why you haven’t recorded your first Boomerang video yet.

With this post we will give you a couple of tips on how to use Instagram to boost your marketing efforts and making the most of the platform. Keep on reading!

Set up a business profile

If you haven’t switched to a business profile on Instagram, do it now. All business profiles are granted access to Instagram analytics, can post to Facebook Business Page, and based on the contact information you included, can show easy access buttons for telephone, e-mail and directions to your store on your profile. This mean you can monitor how effective Instagram is in your  content marketing strategy and if it is bringing you the results you anticipated. In addition, while business profile is not a requirement for creating Instagram ads via Facebook Ad Manager, having one gives the people you advertise to an opportunity to find out more about you without leaving the platform – Facebook adverts for brands, which do not have a profile on Instagram, do not have a clickable username leading to a profile page, which sometimes discourages users from seeking out information on the brand.

Advertise on Instagram

Instagram helps over 8 Million businesses reach their corporate goals. There are over 1 Million active advertisers each month, resulting in 80% increase in followers on Instagram for advertising accounts. Creating an ad on Instagram is very straightforward, fast, and easily done in just four clicks. And if your brand is targeting millennial consumer segment, then Instagram is the way to go. A study conducted by Pew Research Center revealed that 18-29 years old represent the highest demographic of Instagram, accounting for 59%.

Social Media  Source: Based on data from Pew Research Center, 2017

  • Photo ads

Tell your brand story with beautiful, high resolution photos in square or landscape format. You do not even need a professional camera and equipment for quality pictures – all you need is your smartphone and a good light, the rest can be done with Instagram’s additional apps such as Layout and Boomerang – these features offer possibilities to post pictures and videos in different formats and try out something new every time.

For example, Storets is a Korean online fashion company that attracted new customers through Instagram and Facebook photo ads promoting its unique fashionable designs. The company aimed its marketing efforts towards women aged between 20-34 worldwide. The campaign successfully achieved 48% increase in unique visitors, and increase sales by 4x as compared to their previous campaigns.

  • Carousel ads

This feature can combine up to add 10 photos and videos in just one post, allowing you to tell a story in a compelling way. Carousel ads enables the audience to view ads and swipe left to see more images, click on the link to a website for further information or a Shop now button that directly drives users from Instagram to your app or landing page. This creative feature lets you share your business experience from behind the scenes to a step by step tutorials showcasinng your product or service.

  • Video Ads

Using Instagram videos to display your products, ideas, and services is a great way to combine the power of sight, sound, and motion.Make sure you optimise the ad for muted viewing – add subtitles or text, which will encourage your audience to tap on the ad and listen to it.

Diplom-Is is a Norwegian ice-cream company that used Instagram video ads to launch its six new flavours targeted at millennials. This well-recognized, yet a small-business company in Norway, reached out to six influencers and entertainers for the ad campaign. The influencers posted live videos on Instagram during the making of ads, which created a buzz even before the campaign officially rolled out. The series of Instagram video ads increased the brand awareness by 53%, ad recall by 34%, and generated 634,000 video views.

  • Dynamic Ads

Instagram recently launched dynamic ads which enables brands to market their products to the audience, who have browsed your website or mobile app. In other words, custom audiences. Several e-commerce and retailer businesses have used them to increase conversion rate and lower their cost per acquisition across each device.

MeUndies, an underwear and loungewear brand, had success in increasing sales of its product line during Black Friday and Cyber Monday by using dynamic ads to retarget audience that had visited their website but not purchased. This resulted in 5x return on ad spend, 25% decrease in cost per purchase on Instagram, and 30% decrease in cost per add-to-cart action on Instagram.

Stream live videos and tell stories

Another excellent feature on Instagram, which you can use to connect with your audience, is Instagram Stories. Stories is an ephemeral video function, meaning that once you post the story it will disappear after 24 hours. In addition to that there is Instagram Live streaming option, great for showing how to videos, Q&A or just for checking in with your audience.

Why you should be exploring Insta Stories? Because this year video content will represent 74% of all internet traffic (Source). What moreover, Instagram Stories give you the rare opportunity to share valuable content with your audience, run short promotions, publish content, which otherwise does not fit with your account’s style and show the backstage of your start up.

Market Land revealed that “15 to 25 percent of the people who see a link in an Instagram Story are swiping on it, according to a handful of brands and publishers that have been experimenting with the feature.”
The head of Digital Marketing of Mulberry said:

“We’ve been early adopters of Instagram Stories and were impressed by the reach and engagement. Our recent campaigns which included a stories link, received 5x more clicks to site and engagement when compared to the average seen across our other social channels”

UGC aka turning your audience into brand advocates

In the past brand advocacy could not be measured as easily as it is today. By encouraging users to tag you and hashtag their photos of you/your product with a dedicated hashtag, you create plenty of free PR, which can be recycled to leverage your reputation even further. Ever heard of UGC, which stands for user generated content? You can both appreciate your faithful followers by featuring them on your accounts and also show other viewers that your brand is worth trusting and values its customers. With 88% of people trusting online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts (BrightLocal), an Instagram post is nothing else but a visual representation of somebody endorsing your brand.

Ask your customers to use your branded hashtag to easily find them and make sure your username is easily connected with your brand. You can also feature a fan of the month, repost users’ photos or create a graphic with your customer’s testimonial.

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Shivani Sohal

Shivani Sohal

A marketing student based in Vienna, who loves reading, and writing her random philosophical thoughts artistically on a piece of paper.