Instagram is a social network that has more than 1 billion active users. However, it might also be attractive to a business as a marketing tool for promotion. Ringostat created a basic guide with tips for advertising on this platform. Discover with us why a business needs Instagram, ways to promote products for free, hacks on design, and many more!
Why a business needs Instagram
As of the 3rd quarter of 2019, Instagram is used several times a day by 37% of users from the United States. Moreover, as you can see from the scheme below, this platform is in the first place among social networks that are used by American users to promote their business.
Even Instagram itself has a business page on Instagram 🙂 There are collected offers from designers and stores all over the world. The opportunity to make a purchase right from the app is as well available.
NB Before starting to allocate your advertising budget for promotion on Instagram consider that this platform is not suitable for several niches and products with a narrow audience. For example, people probably won’t buy industrial equipment via Instagram. However, brushes for makeup or shoes will find their customers.
Anyway, if you understand that your product is not suitable for Instagram, don’t write off this social network. It’s still a good way to achieve high brand awareness. Thus, even if you don’t open a store, you can show your company “from inside” and, for example, can start a blog that would describe the advantages of the product you are selling.
How to present a business profile on Instagram
Here’s the check-list that will help to create a business page ready for effective SMM.
- Each element of the profile corresponds to the brand book, which is an official document that contains standards of the corporate style. It is better to prepare everything in advance so there won’t be a need to search for a designer. Things that have to be in the set for the business profile presentation: b&w and colored logo — all types if you have several, corporate colors, font, pattern. Discover snickers Instagram page on the example below:
- Prepared profile image for Instagram. The classic choice is to use the brand logo. The profile image has to inform the audience about the page and its usefulness via visual or text methods.
- Images and videos for publications have to fit Instagram’s requirements. Here’s the hint so you won’t struggle with sizes for the social network:
- Having materials for 7-14 days in advance. We were talking about templates and prepared posts that include infographics and images that have to be processed. You need to think twice before posting photos. Otherwise, you may have fingers in the picture or cropped legs. The rest of the content is better to be published with the substrates that contain corporate font, colors, and watermark.
- Create covers for Highlights. Business profiles and famous people on Instagram often put covers on Highlights that are made in the same style. It merely makes the profile looking organic and structured.
- Create a useful Bio. Don’t know what to write about yourself? Describe the product and advantages that it gives to customers. Offer a discount or valuable material. Bio is limited by 150 symbols, so you can also use emojis to shorten the text and make it more attractive. Put the link to your website. You can also use services like Mssg.me to create a single link that will combine all the ways to contact you.
- Define the traffic source. If you have several channels for promotion and use analytic tools to track the traffic, you can create UTM marks for Instagram. For example, such an opportunity is offered by Tilda.
- Create a corporate hashtag. This will simplify the process of searching for you or your posts on Instagram. Put this hashtag in the Bio and mention it under each post as well. Your followers will also be able to follow your corporate hashtag. This increases your chances of being displayed in the feed.
How to promote products via Instagram for free
As you judge from the statistic mentioned above, 77% of users from the USA are viewing pictures and videos on Instagram rather than reading news or networking. Thus, you need to constantly work on your visual content.
In this article, we won’t explain how to launch ad campaigns on Instagram, as we would prefer to provide you with essential tips for free promotion. However, if you are working with ads on Instagram and your company receives calls, you should discover the advantages of Ringostat and Instagram integration.
You can also read more about Ringostat’s integrations with advertising accounts of popular social networks in the article “Ringostat integration with Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Pixel”.
The first thing that you can do for free to promote the business profile is to use popular hashtags and communicate with followers. The classic trick is to combine popular hashtags with ones that are narrow and common in a specific niche. There are even special tools that allow searching popular hashtags by the keyword. For example, Keyword Tool finds hashtags and people for Instagram and Twitter. The advantage of this service is that hashtags are available in different languages. Thus, your audience can become global.
The general design of posts
A business profile on Instagram would look holistically if you plan how your content will look like before posting. Some tricks will be useful in this case. Moreover, you can also use apps like Preview to understand the general look of your business page before the publication itself.
- B&W style. Making posts using black and white pictures only is a rather creative choice. Don’t be afraid that your page “may seem depressing.” Black is classics, and content made in the same color scheme looks elegant. You can also mix colored and b&w photos, but it is better to make them chequered rather than random.
- Vertical or horizontal line. Each row or column is presented in a united style or color scheme. It may also be devoted to a single theme or type of content.
- Frames style. There were times when Instagram allowed its users to publish square images only. At that time, people had to put their pictures in white frames to post a rectangular photo. Well, now, Instagram allows sharing both square and rectangular pictures. However, some users still use frames to make their content unique.
Choosing several primary colors and using them only in pictures will make your brand well-known. The number of colors has to be few. From one to three basic shades is enough. If you have a brand book, the color scheme should match it. Meanwhile, it is also possible to apply similar filters and settings for all images. Thus, your posts will have the same unique style.
Popular Instagram marketing mistakes
Instagram is a social network that reserves the right to block users for the activity that might be considered by moderators as spam or unacceptable one. Nevertheless, some users suggest that they are blocked or “shadowbanned” without any prevention.
Shadowban is a term used to describe the sharp reduction of views on Instagram for no apparent reason.
The ones who are sure that they were shadowbanned, claim that their posts stop appearing in the followers’ feeds as well as in the search. However, the profile hasn’t received any warnings or cautions from admins. Instagram itself doesn’t confirm or reject encounters about the existence of such a way to influence users.
Let’s discover the most popular mistakes that make newbies on Instagram.
Not relevant hashtags
It is not forbidden to put dozens of hashtags on Instagram and copy similar markers under all posts. However, the ones who are sure that they are shadowbanned blame exactly hashtags.
We haven’t found the official information from Instagram about forbidden hashtags. Nevertheless, some services confirm that they make such lists via API Instagram. According to The Data Pack, the list of 118 forbidden hashtags is especially popular.
Instagram is a socially responsible brand that reserves the right to delete the unacceptable content according to the opinion of moderators. Lots of reports on posts and ads may lead to the ban, and you are lucky if it’s only the “shadow” one.
That’s why it is better to leave DPR for other promotion channels. Concentrate on the product and its valuable characteristics, the advantages that it will bring to customers. It is better not to publish material if you have any doubts that it may be offensive for someone. Be especially careful with the following topics:
- ethnic background;
- sexual orientation;
- religious beliefs;
Instagram also reserves the right to delete posts that contain:
- full or partial nudity, only if it’s not a piece of art;
- full or partial nudity of children — you would have to promote the pool membership for children via cartoons;
- offensive materials including jokes about harassment;
- slander, persecution, condemnation, insulting other people — criticism of celebrities only is allowed;
- content that belongs to another person.
Instagram is not only a social network but also a powerful instrument for business promotion. There are both commercial and free ways to promote the company on Instagram. The first one includes paid ads that might be displayed in the feed or stories. The second one is about making creative and unique content that will attract followers.
Be socially responsible, and don’t post provocative publications on Instagram. Thus, you won’t get to the “blacklist” or be “shadowbanned.”