Standing out on Instagram is getting harder, but that’s true of most social media platforms. There are so many posts and ads trying to grab our attention that it’s hard to see straight.
But have you ever thought about why some posts get your attention? Is it because they’re bright, full of fluffy animals, or brands? Why did you follow those accounts in the first place?
The answers to these questions can offer valuable insight into how you’d prefer to market to an audience. Whether you want to find a niche for your B2B company or you want to speed up your social media customer service, finding a strategy that works for your customers is essential.
That sounds great and all, but what if you’re also pressed for time? Fortunately, you can still promote your business on Instagram, even if you only have a few hours to spare each week.
This article will show you how to set up your Instagram and how to promote it successfully.
Before you can start promoting your business on social media, you need to download the app and create a personal account. From there, switch your new account to a business one.
To switch to a business account, select “Settings” after you click the dropdown menu in the upper right section of the app. Then, select “Account,” then “Switch to Professional Account.”
From there, follow the instructions on the page. The app will instruct you on how to create visual content and use Instagram’s Insights and Ad tools to set social media goals. If you don’t do this, you won’t gain access to the Insights or Ad tabs, which are important for tracking projects.
If you have a lot of followers, consider getting verified. Approximately 73.4% of creators that have over a million followers are verified, and you’ll want to do this to build trust in your brand.
To apply for Instagram verification, select “Settings” after you click the dropdown menu in the upper right section of the app. Then, select “Account,” then “Request Verification.”
Just because you apply, it doesn’t mean you’ll be selected for the account verification program. Typically, Instagram favors prominent creators due to their relevancy and trustworthiness. Keep working on building your Instagram following if you’re rejected, or try again in 30 days.
There are two ways to create an advertisement on Instagram. The first, and the easiest way, is by selecting “Boost post” underneath one of your Instagram posts. But, if you want to do a full content marketing campaign, you’ll have to log into Meta Business Suite and select “Create Ad.”
Whether you choose Meta Business Suite or Instagram, the console will allow you to choose an ad goal, but you would pick “boost and Instagram post.” Then, you can create your ad using the screen below. We recommend A/B testing your ads if you want to maximize your reach.
After this screen, you can define your audience yourself using the “People You Choose Through Targeting,” “People Who Engaged With Any Post,” and “People Who Like Your Page” options.
If you’re a beginner, select “Advantage Audience” for an AI-optimized demographic based on your audience. Then, scroll down the page to set your budget. The more money you spend on ads, the more people you’ll reach per day. For example, $10 will reach 671 to 1.9K a day.
Once finished, you can click the “Promote Now” button to launch your first Instagram campaign.
According to Instagram, 44% of Instagram users shop on the app weekly. If you want to get in on the action, you’ll need to meet Instagram Shopping requirements and sign up for commerce manager. This can be done through an eCommerce platform or through Meta Business Suite.
Meta Business Suite is compatible with over 15 eCommerce platforms, including Shopify, Wix, and BigCommerce. To activate Commerce Manager on these sites, go to your settings.
Or, you can go directly through Meta Business Suite. From the Login page, select Commerce on the left-hand side. Select “Add Account” and choose your checkout method. The best option is “Checkout With Facebook or Instagram,” but if your shop isn’t inside the US, select “Website.”
Select which Instagram profiles you want to set up, then click “Next.” It can take 30 days for your shop to be approved, so you might as well optimize the rest of your Instagram for now.
If you want to get the most out of your presence on Instagram, you’ll need to take advantage of all of its features and utilize best practices. For example, a brewery could use their bio to feature popular hashtags, like #craftbeer or #instabeer, to bring more interested visitors to their profile.
With that said, here are some great ways to promote your business quickly on Instagram.
If you already have content on Instagram, you should perform a social media audit. Not only will an audit help you get more use out of your already posted content, but it’ll also teach you how to be consistent. If you’re unfamiliar with SEO, start learning the basics to optimize your content.
It’s recommended to post once or twice a day on Instagram while posting three times a day is spammy. But if you post once daily, your brand will stay relevant to your customers.
To attract potential customers to your page, start using hashtags. Instagram uses hashtags to categorize content and allows users to discover new profiles. According to research, posts with over 11 hashtags are engaged with the most, so try to use a lot of brand-relevant keywords.
According to Sprout Social, the best days to post on Instagram are Tuesdays and Wednesdays:
Mondays at 11 AM, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 AM to 1 PM, and Thursdays and Fridays at 10 AM and 11 AM are the best times to post, while Sunday is the worst day.
Since Instagram is an image-based social media platform, upgrading your social media graphic design is the key to success. While you’ll achieve better success with your own photos, you can also use and edit stock photos with great quality, use templates for Reels, or hire a designer.
Optimize your profile by reworking your bio, adding a call to action, and including a high-quality profile photo. It also helps to have well-designed story highlight covers (more on that later).
These profiles excel at optimization because they answer common customer questions (OLAPLEX: “Compatible with all color lines), a call-to-action (altairluna_: “DM/Email me for collabs!”), and easy-to-understand story highlight covers (marleadrakior_llc: “FAQ”/“Shipping”).
To top it off, their profile pictures look professional, whether they’re headshots or logos.
Customers aren’t going to hand you their cash just because you have some incredible social media post ideas, but it doesn’t hurt to look good. Consistency is important when it comes to branding.
There are several online tools that can help you create a consistent brand look, such as Wepik and Canva. Both of these resources are free and have many great assets— such as templates and font—that will ensure your branding efforts turn out beautifully.
Just take a look at ana_nava, Brit + Co, and Essence Makeup on Instagram:
You can immediately see that ana_nava likes pastel pinks, selfies, and fashion. For Brit + Co, you’ll notice they prefer text posts and bright colors. Essence Makeup goes back and forth between products and user-generated content. All companies have a recognizable vibe.
Brand voice is just as important as the image. Your post captions, tone, and bio copy can tell people about your values, customer base, and how you want to interact with your audience.
With that in mind, it’s okay to post unpolished content once and a while. An Instagram study showed that 58% of customers wouldn’t mind seeing the nitty-gritty parts of your business.
If you don’t have a lot of time to spare, focus on replying to your customers. By replying to positive and negative comments, you build a community, improve engagement, and generate more feedback. Plus, customers love to purchase from brands they have a connection to.
Stories and reels offer businesses another great way to produce content. Stories and Reels are similar, except Stories are only available for 24 hours, whereas Reels stay on your feed forever.
Let’s look at Stories first. A Story is 15 seconds long, can include a video or a picture, and is found at the top of your feed (unless you save it to your profile). Here’s an example of a Story:
Inku Crate is a Japanese stationery subscription box. Using stories to show off their latest haul (a possible sneak peek?) is a great idea, as it gets their customers excited for the next month. As another positive, posting one Story per day results in a 100% retention rate, so start posting!
Next, we have Reels. A Reel can be up to 90 seconds long, is usually a video, but can include a picture, and is accessible on your feed or your profile when you click the “Reel” button.
Reels are a perfect way to feature video content on your profile, which is a very good thing for your conversion rate. Videos convert faster than photos, so make them a part of your strategy.
Stories only last for 24 hours, but you can turn them into Stories Highlights if you need them to stick around longer. However, your Stories should only include the best content. For example, you can use Stories to feature a new product or to answer commonly asked questions.
But no story highlight is complete without a good-looking cover! Just take a look at Swatch On and Dollar Flight Club, who use their brand colors and products for their Story cover photos.
We don’t mean to pick on MoxieLash, but they’re a great example of what not to do. Their “Silk Collection” Stories are cut off, and their photos don’t fit inside the circle. Both are big no-nos.
Stories, Reels, and Instagram Live give you a lot of options to play around with. For example, on the left of Stories, you can select “create” to add text, shoutouts, GIFs, templates, and polls (as seen in the red box). You can also add filters to spruce things up (as seen in the green box).
Instagram tools can make your content look more interesting, which boosts engagement. If you post something that requires viewer input (i.e., asking a question), you’ll encourage interaction.
If you want an easy way to promote your Instagram for free, look no further than user-generated content. User-generated content is brand-specific content created by your users. For example, if a customer is wearing, using, or eating your products, that qualifies as user-generated content.
This type of content is crucial because it makes you authentic and trustworthy. If a medium to large-sized influencer gives your brand a shoutout, that could generate thousands of followers.
Haus Labs, Calvin Klein, and Starbucks all share user-generated content for a simple reason: users are 2.4x more likely to say this content is the most authentic compared to brand content.
Before you use someone else’s content, ask for their permission and tag them in the post.
You don’t need to pay popular influencers millions to get a piece of the 16.4 billion dollar influencer market share. In fact, smaller influencers (1,000 to 100,000 followers) tend to have closer relationships with their followers, as they can communicate with them one-on-one.
If you have employees, be sure to create an advocacy program. You can start this program by asking your employees to create content for your Instagram or be featured in photographs.
Everyone loves free stuff, which is why contests and giveaways are so effective. But you can’t just expect your viewers to enter into your draw without a great call-to-action. For example, you can ask users to like, tag someone, or comment on the post (or all three) to boost engagement.
Keep in mind that your call-to-action can be in the image itself or in the text box underneath.
The Unsealed and Fern Hotels examples make it very clear that a contest is being held, but Indigo Kids could use some work. That simple white text doesn’t look great on top of the photo.
By activating Instagram Insights, you can access your analytics. This data can help you see which posts are performing well. However, you can also use this feature to understand why your content is performing poorly. This will help you adjust your strategy before things get worse.
If you’re a social media manager or you work on behalf of an agency, you can use data and analytics to create incredible social media reports for your managers, employers, and clients.
If you need a reason to justify an increase in your paid advertising budget, or you just need an excuse to create new content, check your Instagram Insights dashboard regularly.
Promoting your business on Instagram, especially when you’re really busy, can be tough.
Fortunately, you can set up your Instagram Business page in as little as 20 minutes. From there, you can build an Instagram content marketing strategy by starting with an audit. Then, you can use our 15 tips and tricks to easily promote your business on social media without much hassle.
Keep in mind that optimizing your marketing and promotion strategy will take a while at first. But if you take the time to build an incredible brand, the rest of your content will fall into place.