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7 Instagram Marketing Tips for Businesses

Published on 18.11.2020 by Luka

With more than a billion monthly active users worldwide, there has been a consistently substantial increase in users on the social media platform Instagram over the past few years. If you compare the development of the channel from 2013 to today, Instagram has become increasingly popular, especially in recent years.

In addition to the social channels Xing, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube, Instagram also serves as an essential tool for applicants. The platform is used to search for job advertisements and helps potential applicants get an idea of the company. As part of employer branding, Instagram offers the opportunity to present itself to the public as an attractive employer.

Despite the incredible popularity of the channel and the platform's associated potential, only a manageable number of companies have been active on Instagram so far. And this despite the fact that analogous to Facebook, companies also have special business profiles and advertising options available on Instagram.

The benefits of Instagram

Over 95 million photos and videos are uploaded to Instagram every day. Most of them by users and influencers, but also by companies. These photos and videos are from the core of the platform and serve to generate attention. As a result, there is excellent potential for Instagram in visual storytelling. In addition to insights behind the company's scenes, the contributions can also be used to shape the brand image, communicate products, and extend campaigns.

Instagram is also suitable for strengthening relationships with customers by presenting the company authentically and close to the user.

In contrast to other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, Instagram is particularly impressive because only images and no links can be shared. As a result, unlike Pinterest, it is impossible to add links to photos and videos on Instagram. As a result, direct traffic via Instagram to your own website cannot be realized. An exception are Instagram ads, which can be provided with a link and thus can generate traffic.

Instagram is particularly suitable for addressing a younger target group. The platform is incredibly popular for 14 to 29-year-old internet users. If companies want to address this target group, a presence on Instagram is inevitable in the future.

Advertising on Instagram

Due to the increasing number of users on Instagram, the platform also offers companies great potential to reach customers. The numerous advertising options, in particular, are an attractive option for targeting the Instagram audience. Many companies have already made this advantage their own and now place their advertising messages on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter. Instagram's mobile advertising sales have more than quadrupled in two years.

There are four main types of advertisements on the popular photo-sharing app. In addition to photo ads and video ads, carousel ads can also be placed. Also, to reach, video views and conversions, visitor traffic, and app installations are the primary objectives. Advertisements are also possible within the Instagram Stories. The latter are placed as sponsored content on Instagram Stories, while the first three ad types are listed in the users' feed.

Tips for your business profile on Instagram

Instagram is one of the most effective branding tools on the social web these days. A clear and structured approach is required to address the target group in a platform-appropriate manner. We have, therefore, summarized seven tips for your professional brand presence on the platform:

Tip N1 - Define an Instagram Strategy

It is advisable to carry out strategic considerations before setting up the sewer. The first thing you should do is set your goals for Instagram. These should be based on your company goals and be SMART. An exemplary objective would, therefore, be to increase brand awareness. The definition of the posting frequency, the publication times, and the content topics and hashtags are also part of the Instagram strategy. In this step, it is also important to develop special Instagram guidelines in which, for example, the responsibilities or the handling of critical fan comments are recorded.

Tip N2 - Rely on Visual Content

Due to the intense focus on visual content within the platform, you can use Instagram particularly well to stage your company or your brand visually. All content should be self-explanatory and understandable without text. In addition, you should always determine what content your photos and videos will focus on. This can range from the pure product presentation to the presentation of one's own company culture and character. A look at the target group's profiles or followers often helps to identify trending topics and popular forms of presentation. Insights from this can then be transferred to your own content. The design of your Instagram profile and the content played on it should always be based on the principles of your defined strategy. Besides, your content should be easy to understand even without text, as the latter only plays a subordinate role on the platform.

Tip N3 - Post Regularly

As with all social channels, the same applies to Instagram: Post regularly, but do not flood your followers' news feed with your content. You should play 2-3 posts per week on average. The time of publication depends primarily on your target group. Studies show that postings that are played during the week have more interactions. However, an individual test of the posting frequency and the time of publication is essential. To get a good overview of the postings, it is also useful to set up an editorial plan.

Tip N4 - Think Square and Mobile-First

The heart of the Instagram platform are the pictures and videos that are posted. To achieve the best possible result, the following applies when creating pictures for Instagram: Think square. For images with the best possible resolution, an image size of 1080px x 1080px is therefore recommended. When choosing your pictures, you should also keep in mind that Instagram is a mobile-first platform. The selected image material should, therefore, also come into its own on a small screen. For this reason, images and videos must always be of high quality and high resolution.

Tip N5 - Use Hashtags

Hashtags are mandatory on Instagram. The background to this is the fact that Instagram users often search for content using the search function using hashtags. Therefore, use the appropriate hashtags for each post relevant to your company and the topic being played. It should also always be ensured that the hashtags are selected in the user's respective national language or the language defined for communication. It is also advisable to use hashtags with high popularity, as users are increasingly looking for them. Hashtags with a (still) low popularity should also be used, as they could be relevant for your own target group, and it is also easier to place your contributions here.

Tip N6 - Build Subscribers

Especially at the beginning, the communication of the account on selected channels, such as your own website or other social networks, is crucial to establish a certain background noise and achieve initial interactions with published articles. The extension of the Instagram account via Facebook represents particularly great potential. Here, a considerable overlap of Instagram and Facebook users can be identified so that the first Instagram followers can be quickly established. Of course, it is crucial that the users feel addressed by the content on Instagram and that the channel relies on unique content tailored to Instagram's requirements.

Tip N7 - Analyze

To draw conclusions from already published posts and keep an eye on the development of the Instagram profile, you should continuously analyze the performance of your posts and the like and derive optimization approaches. "Statistics" is available in the business profile. Important key figures, such as range and number of subscribers, are listed here.