8 Tactics to Promote Business on Instagram

The opportunity to promote business on Instagram is huge. Did you know that Instagram ads can potentially reach nearly 850 million users? The Instagram platform is a great place to put a face to a brand through interaction, images, and videos. It’s a smart way to promote the heart and soul of a business while simultaneously building credibility with potential customers. Followers are able to get to know the business, and more importantly, the business owner is in control of the content.

It’s pretty straightforward to create an Instagram business account and fill out all the business information. Then comes planning the Instagram grid and adding some posts so that potential followers and customers have something worth looking at when they find a business. Once everything is set up, business clients will likely need help setting up their Instagram account for shopping. Learn more about making Instagram shoppable with these seven steps.

Everything is ready to go, Instagram shopping is set up, and the best link-in-bio tool option has been discerned, now what? As a local digital expert, the benefits of selling through Instagram are clear. The potential customer reach is huge, people use it to discover products, ecommerce platforms can be easily connected to Instagram, and it’s a visual platform that can be used to build trust with customers in a space where they are already expecting to interact with a business.  

These proven tips provide actionable steps to successfully promote a client's business on Instagram.

1. Create an Instagram marketing strategy

Social media management is a full-time job and many local businesses don’t have time to execute on creating a strategy or thoughtful posts. Enter an agency with fulfillment capacity, or an agency that is partnered with a business that has fulfillment capabilities. 

First, appeal to potential followers by creating an Instagram strategy framework that can work for most if not all clients. 

Categorize content into five pillars: 

  • Promotional
  • Educational
  • Community
  • Entertainment
  • Engagement.

These pillars separate content into types of posts to ensure there aren’t too many promotional posts and not enough educational posts for example. 

Recommended Reading: Check out these 39 ideas to post on social media to get a head start on a social media calendar.

Next, the Instagram grid should be plotted ahead of time. This collection of photos can be beautifully curated, creating a professional online appearance. Plotting the grid is akin to creating a content calendar using the five content pillars. Vendasta’s Social Marketing product allows for users to plot content within a calendar-style view so that all posts are easily scheduled ahead of time.

2. Use relevant hashtags and keywords

Hashtags are in a searchable database on Instagram so it’s highly important to use relevant hashtags in every post. Research for most followed hashtags is simple on Instagram. Just tap the search icon, type in the term, tap see all search results if the Tags option isn’t immediately available, and then select Tags. From here scroll down to see all the relevant hashtags that show up under that term and the number of posts that have used that tag.

Instagram hashtag search promote with instagram

Highly relevant keywords should be included in the Instagram profile including the name, and bio. Compelling captions need to be written with care to include the most important words at the top of the caption. Skimmers who are cruising through their feeds are looking for images or words to capture their attention so don’t waste valuable space by taking too much time getting to the point.

Crafting an instagram caption

3. Create interactive stories

There is an option in Instagram Stories that allows users to vote in an interactive poll. Interactive stories are a great way to engage with followers and quickly gain feedback. There are only ever two voting options so the poll question and the options for answering should be kept short, sweet, and clear. As a bonus, everyone who interacts with a promoted poll is now a part of a remarketing audience that can be targeted with new ads and stories. In addition to the polling option, the quiz sticker can be used to create multiple-choice questions.

The stories’ Live feature is another way for a business to interact with followers and potential customers. Instagram suggests using this feature for live tutorials or behind-the-scenes sneak peeks. According to Facebook, 62 percent of users that view stories across the Facebook family of apps said they have become more interested in a brand after seeing it in stories.

Instagram has a countdown sticker that can be used for a new product release, or just a teaser of something new and exciting that’s going to drop at the end of the countdown. Followers can opt-in to be reminded by Instagram at the end of a countdown so that they don’t forget and miss out.

Interactive polls in an Instagram story allow brands to ask big questions and gain valuable insights into the consumer’s mind.

Expert tip: keep in mind that a story only shows up for 15 seconds before Instagram is onto the next one so don’t have too much going on in a single frame.

4. Get on the Instagram explore page

No one can buy their way onto the Instagram Explore page, but the advantage of being featured is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. More than 50 percent of Instagram accounts use the Explore tab monthly. 

Businesses may experience spikes in reach and impressions, leading to increased sales. The process is organic and the algorithm evolves constantly In order to be featured here a business's best strategy is to stay on top of their accounts with regular posting and use features such as reels to stay relevant. In addition make sure you’re taking advantage of: 

  1. Hashtags and geotags 
  2. Engage with your audience 
  3. Post reels and videos 
  4. Pay attention to analytics performance

The Instagram Explore page features a stream of photo and video posts, reels, and stories that are tailored to individual users based on the type of content they interact with and the accounts they follow.

Instagram explore page promoting with instagram

5. Partner with influencers 

Influencers can be local or big-name celebrities -- someone who is well-known in a specific industry, or generally a person with a large following who makes money through sponsorships. These sponsorships come from brands that have a similar audience to the influencer, making it a good fit to sell their products. Selling on Instagram with an influencer provides an engaged ready-made audience that will trust a product or brand because they trust the influencer.

Using Instagram Insights to understand clients’ follower demographics is helpful in choosing an influencer to promote the client’s brand. Ensure the influencer is relevant to the brand to optimize selling potential. 

Influencers add credibility to a product or brand. It’s in the name, an influencer has the power to influence their followers to make purchase decisions. The price tag attached to hiring an influencer varies and depends on a number of factors. These include the number of followers they have, the type of post they are being asked to provide, and their celebrity status.

How much will it cost to hire an Instagram Influencer?

To break down the cost of an influencer, on average an image post will receive the most click-throughs. These posts range from $150-$2000. A story may cost between $50 and $700, and a video post ranges from $200-$3000.

6. Promote business on Instagram with paid advertising

Notice that a post is performing well? With a quick tap that post can be turned into a boosted advertisement. 

To create an ad directly from Instagram:

  1. Go to the business profile
  2. Tap Ad Tools
  3. Tap Choose a post
  4. Choose the post to be boosted
  5. Tap Next
  6. If there is no connected Facebook Page tap Skip
  7. Enter all the ad details in their prompted fields and tap Next
  8. Tap Create Ad under Review

This last step just means that the ad has been submitted for review by Instagram and will be approved assuming that the ad policies were followed.

Story ads are generally high-performing. According to Merkle, about one-third of ad spend on Instagram goes to story ads and Instagram stories are accountable for 35 percent of ad impressions on Instagram. These numbers have been increasing steadily, making stories a great driver of brand awareness. 

Familiar with Facebook Ads Manager? Use this tool to set the target audience, budget, run ads across multiple apps, create A/B testing, and any other parameters that can be done with a Facebook Ad. If going through Ads Manager.

7. Pin the top three comments

Fun fact, Instagram allows up to three of the best comments to be pinned to the top of a feed post. This feature gives the business some control over the online conversation and what new viewers are seeing first when they tap to read the comments. To pin a comment, swipe the comment to the left of the screen, tap the thumbtack icon, and then Pin Comment.

8. Get verified on Instagram

This is an important step to build trust with potential customers. A verified Instagram account signals that a business is reputable. Unfortunately, Instagram is very choosy with the accounts that they verify, but the process to apply for a verified status is simple and the follower count is not part of the criteria. Businesses working with an agency are more likely to get verified, so use that as a selling point.

Step 1. Tap on the profile and tap the triple line icon in the top right corner

Step 2. Tap Settings

Step 3. Tap Account

Step 4. Tap Request Verification

Step 5. Fill out the application form fields

Step 6. Tap Send

If a business’s application is denied Instagram just asks that it wait 30 days before applying again.

Conclusion

There are a number of different tactics for gaining followers, increasing traffic to websites, and becoming an overall trusted business on social media. Arm your clients with an air-tight Instagram strategy so that they can sell more to a wider audience in 2022.

About the Author

Emily is a Content Marketing Specialist at Vendasta. Over her career, Emily has worked as a Marketing Strategist, freelanced as a Social Media manager, and enjoyed working events for local and national not-for-profit agencies. When she's not researching her next blog topics you can bet she's challenging a friend to a card game or planning a hike in the wilderness.

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