How to Use Instagram Marketing to Drive Sales (Even with Zero Budget)

By December 16, 2021 Marketing Tips
How to use Instagram for marketing aka Instagram marketing

Instagram marketing has seen a meteoric rise to 1 billion active users since its launch in October 2010. Today, over 500 million users access the app daily.

The platform is one of the top 4 social networks worldwide behind: WhatsApp 1.6b, YouTube 2.29b, and Facebook 2.85b users.

Instagram marketing has an audience of over 1 billion monthly

The social network is slowly moving from a photo app to a tool that businesses use to promote their products and services, so one question brings everything into perspective:

Why is Instagram Marketing Important?

To answer that correctly, let’s explore some interesting statistics about Instagram:

  • Over a billion active users access the Instagram app globally every month.
  • Instagram Stories have passed its rival Snap Chat’s 150 million daily active users, reaching 500 million people a day.
  • 81% of people use Instagram to help research products and services (Business Instagram).
  • 130 million Instagram users click on shopping posts every month (Business Instagram).
  • 58% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories (Business Instagram).
  • 90% of Instagram users follow a business on Instagram (Business Instagram).

In other words, a business that is not on Instagram is missing out. People don’t just visit Instagram — they spend significant amounts of time there.

In fact, an average user spend 30 minutes per day on Instagram, and that begs the question:

How Do You Create Business Account on Instagram?

How to create instagram account for business and use Instagram for marketing

To use Instagram for marketing, you’ll need an Instagram Business account — it takes a few minutes to create one.

Step 1: Head over to the Instagram app and sign up. You’ll have two sign-up options: 

  • Log in with Facebook
  • Sign Up with Phone or Email

Sign up with a business email. Avoid logging in with Facebook because it’ll link your business’s Instagram profile with your personal Facebook account.

Step 2: Key in your account details. Enter your business name under “Full Name” so that visitors can recognize your profile.

Step 3: Pick a username. This will be the unique name to your profile, and it allows other accounts to engage with your brand on Instagram. You want to pick a username that’s easy to find and is recognizable.

Step 4: Select a profile picture. Your profile picture is the first thing a new visitor will see, so keep it consistent with your branding. You can use your logo or other familiar images.

Step 5: Create your business Instagram bio. Instagram presents to you a maximum of 150 characters to tell the world who you’re and why people should follow you. Be direct and concise. You can ask users to take a specific action like visiting your website or using a certain hashtag.

Step 6: Switch to a professional account to allow Instagram to identify your profile as a business profile. Plus, a business account gives you access to Instagram’s Business tools that make it easier for users to contact you, provide you with insights, and allow you to promote your content. 

To switch to an Instagram business profile, you must have a Facebook business page. If you already have a Facebook page:

  • Head over to “Settings” on Instagram, find “Account.” 
  • Tap on “Switch to Profession Account.”
  • Select “Log in to Facebook” and allow Instagram to manage your pages on the screen that opens.
  • Choose the Facebook Page to connect to your Instagram profile.

Step 7: Add additional Instagram Accounts. You can add up to 5 Instagram accounts and switch between them without logging in and out. This is critical if several people will log in to your account simultaneously.

How To Add More Accounts

  • Click on “Add Account” at the bottom of the settings.
  • Then enter the username and password of the account you’re adding.

You can switch between accounts after linking them:

  • Head over to your profile and click your username at the top of the screen.
  • Choose an account you’d want to switch to.

After creating a business’s Instagram account, here’s a follow-up question:

How Do You Create Traction On Instagram?

The first short answer is:

Optimize your Instagram Profile to Get More Engagement

Your first tool for engagement is optimizing your account to convert a higher percentage of people who stumble upon your account into followers. 

You’ll start by optimizing your:

  1. Profile photo and bio
  2. Content on your profile
  3. Instagram story highlight reel

To know what to put in these different areas, you first need to understand your niche. 

You can assess successful accounts in your niche and emulate what seems to work for them and what resonates with you.

Here are some of the basic optimization to work on:

  • Use a unique profile picture and unforgettable bio.
  • Use seo keywords in your bio to higher the chances of people finding your business through search queries.
  • Have at least nine posts on your profile and ensure they pique interest and fitting for your niche
  • Make interesting and attention-grabbing Instagram stories and highlight reels.

Before you start posting on your Instagram, here’s an important point you should consider:

Create a Content Strategy To Build Powerful Brand Presence

Instagram's Content strategy -- How to use Instagram to reach new customers

Content strategy helps you answer one important question:

Why are you on Instagram?

As far as many businesses are on Instagram, being on Instagram because everyone else is on the platform isn’t the best strategy to create a powerful brand. To succeed, you’ll need a set of goals so that you can justify your time, energy, and monetary investment.

At the same time, there’s no one-answer-fits-all strategy for every business. Brands are on Instagram for different reasons. It might be to:

  • Use Instagram Feed to post your products for sales.
  • Share portfolio content so that your followers can see your product (service) in action.
  • Build brand awareness.
  • Share user-generated content to establish trust with your followers.

Whatever the reason, define your Instagram goals. It’s okay to have multiple goals. After all, it isn’t about the type of post you share, but more about why you’re sharing them.

However, the best way Instagram for social media marketing works is by getting as many reactions as possible within the first couple of hours of a new post. When your post doesn’t get enough engagement in the first few hours, Instagram won’t show it more to your follower, therefore, risking invisibility.

For that reason, content stacking is an excellent Instagram marketing strategy.

To stack content, first, create an Instagram post. Then, make a story or go Live with the post within the first hour of the release. 

The reason for Instagram stories or IG Live is to create a high engagement rate (because nearly everyone is tempted to click the shiny circle). 

The story or IG Live will create engagement for your post that users will want to click on the link in the story and check it out. Don’t forget to tag your post in the stories.

Only established accounts can add a link to their stories, but every business can link their IG post to their stories.

Generate Qualified Leads (with Real Potential) In Your Instagram Target Audience

How to use Instagram to target audience

Many businesses fail with Instagram marketing because they don’t know how to grow enough leads or potential customers.

They fail to move subscribers from the awareness stage into the consideration stage.

That’s a wrong assumption because human psychology prevents people from buying unless they get something beneficial.

You need to attract the audience with valuable and informative content, then move them to the buying stage.

Post Consistently to Cement Your Business on Instagram  

Consistency is super important.

The more you post on Instagram, the higher the chances of your customer seeing you on the platform. If your frequent posts are getting enough engagement, it’s easy to entice new customers to your business.

If you develop a habit of posting several times a day and then transition to a few times a week, you start to lose followers. The best posting frequency is the one you can maintain for the rest of your life.

Grow your Instagram Follower Base and Build a Community

Growing your Instagram follower base and community takes serious time and energy. 

It’s easy to be tempted to take the easy way and buy followers, which is a fatal flaw because purchased followers cannot drive engagement.

You can build the right follower base by:

  • Ensuring your user name is recognizable and searchable. After all, people can’t follow you if they can’t find you.
  • Fill in your bio because it’s the last thing people see when they decide to follow you and be clear on who you are and what you do.
  • Populate your feed with 10-15 high-quality posts before you start to engage with people. When people visit your profile and find it empty, they probably won’t follow you.
  • Start following accounts that relates to your business and interests you. Think of Instagram as a community and connect with influencers or other businesses who might enjoy your product or services to expand your reach.
  • Interact with the content of the accounts you’re following because it’s the natural way to draw attention to your business Instagram account without being spammy. When you interact with an account, the account owner gets a notification, which might trigger them visit your account and follow you.
  • Respond to your followers comments and react on their content to create an interactive community.
  • Encourage other people to share your content. For example, invite brand ambassadors to share your account or collaborate with similar accounts to improve your reach.

Utilize Instagram Hashtags to Expand Your Reach Beyond Your Network

Instagram's hashtag: How to market on Instagram

Hashtags are critical in Instagram marketing because:

  • It’s the only way that allows your business to be discovered outside of your followers for free.
  • It’s where to start from when you have no followers.
  • It gets you far more exposure for the first couple of hours of posting.

This begs the question:

How do you use hashtags to grow your business following?

First, you need to choose hashtags that match the size of your audience. 

If you have a small audience base, go for small hashtags so that your audience can discover you easily without competing against the best on Instagram.

For example, if you’re tagging #pets, you’ll be competing with tens of millions of pets posts. Chances that a user will see your post are almost none. On the positive side, you can use a specific hashtag for your content. 

For instance, if you’re posting a picture of a bulldog:

  • #bulldogs have over 21 million posts on IG. 
  • #bulldogpuppy has 1.8 million posts.
  • #bulldogpuppiesforsaleintexas has only over 1000 posts.

When starting a new account, start with hashtags with 5K posts and then work your way up.

Like keyword research, you can do Hashtag Research. Find at least 80 hashtags that are relevant in your niche, then construct a hashtag strategy. Select:

  • 15 hashtags from the 15k-100k hashtag size range.
  • 10 hashtags from 100k-250k hashtag size range.
  • 5 hashtags with 250k+ hashtag size.

Then, use this set of 30 hashtags in your future Instagram post caption to expose you to users searching for topics and following conversations using the hashtags.

What’s more, remember to:

  • Use local hashtags to build community awareness.
  • Use specific product and brand hashtags to spark conversation.
  • Before using a new hashtag, ensure you understand the meaning to avoid confusion.

Now that you know how to create traction, how do you convert it to revenue?

How to Run Instagram Marketing and Drive Sales

Here are some powerful Instagram marketing tips that you can use to get the most traction on Instagram.

#1. Use Free Instagram Marketing Tools to Assess What’s Working

how to uses Instagram for business tools. IG for business

Business profiles on Instagram come with a free marketing tool that gives you insights. The tool allows you to view statistics like:

  • Impressions
  • Engagements data
  • Demographic breakdowns of your followers

You can even get the most active hours of your engagement to help you schedule your post. 

The Instagram insight tool lets you see how users interact with your posts, so you can assess what’s working and what’s not and adjust your content to boost engagement and sales.

#2. Use Product Teasers to Urge People to Buy

Product teasers work excellent on Instagram because the platform allows you to advertise without annoying or scaring users away. They are a simple way to talk about your product and increase excitement without looking like you’re trying too hard.

Product teasers aim at creating a buzz about a new product or service. You use it to build anticipation by revealing enough about a product or service to launch to capture audience curiosity, but without revealing too much.

When launching a new product or service, create posts that don’t directly sell to generate curiosity before the official launch. Then, use a discount to make them want to pull the trigger and buy from you.

#3. Create Sponsored Ads

Instagram ads. Why use Instagram for business ads

Instagram ads are common and excellent in reaching new audiences.

Ads give your brand the power to target leads in a whole new way because it reaches people who aren’t your followers. 

In fact, without a sponsored post, only your followers can see your updates and photos.

For that reason, you should run different ad types to different audiences simultaneously for even more engagement. Instagram has multiple types of ads, which includes:

  • Photo
  • Video
  • Carousel/Dynamic Ads
  • Stories    
  • Stories Canvas
  • Reels
  • Shopping

If you already do Facebook marketing, running Instagram ads is easy. If not, follow the step-by-step procedure of getting started with Instagram Ads to run an Instagram campaign.

#4. Use Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are excellent for generating leads. 

Stories are different from regular Instagram posts because they come in a slideshow format.

The only problem is that Instagram stories are live for 24 hours, but you can save them to any of your devices for reuse. It’s similar to Snapchat Stories — rather than appearing in the news feed, Instagram stories appear in a small area above the platform.

You can use stories to capture behind-the-scene insider posts that may not be as high-quality as regular posts.

The platform has face filters, a text editor, and stickers that make it easier to edit images or create fun, eye-catching visuals.

Even more interesting, you can tag other accounts in stories, which is an excellent feature if you’re collaborating with another brand or influencer.

#5. Work with Influencers to Expand Your Reach

The best approach to reach prospects on Instagram is leveraging influencers who already have an audience and have a large following.

People today are buying services or products based on what they see in their feed from influential people they follow because they trust them.

It means that if you partner with the right industry influencer, you can get your brand in front of those users.

First, identify a few influencers with an audience relevant to your product or service. Then you can build relationships with influencers to build lasting brand awareness with a new audience.

Is It Difficult to Market on Instagram?

It isn’t and should actually be the opposite.

If you’re genuinely trying to help your customer solve their problems with products and services they love — offering them results that change their lives — and doing so with guarantees that remove all risk of them having to worry about being cheated:

 It shouldn’t be difficult.

However, when creating the right Instagram marketing strategy, maintaining engagement, and turning subscribers into buyers turns into an overwhelming task, we’ll be here to shoulder all the heavy-marketing tasks for you.

We’ll offer excellent Instagram Marketing services. We’ll:

  • Help you discover your irreplicable brand DNA and communicate it to the world through Instagram.
  • Draft hard-hitting, strategic Instagram campaigns built on proven formulas and statistics.
  • Help you penetrate the core of your brand and excavate its gold even before you post anything on Instagram. 
  • Tailor analytics to help you understand results so that you can continually improve your strategy.
  • Help you create content (videos, posts, pictures, and texts) that attracts leads and converts.

Book a free consultation right now to help you assess your Instagram marketing strategy.

Kevin

Author Kevin

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