Five snappy tips for using Instagram for business marketing.

For most successful businesses, digital (and especially social media) channels have become an important part of an integrated and effective marketing strategy. From Facebook to LinkedIn, mastering the art of digital marketing is a must for businesses wanting to grow their brand awareness and boost their sales. And, as a blossoming social media channel, Instagram has the potential to do just that.

Created in 2010 and bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion, Instagram is a photo-sharing platform with over 800 million monthly users. Using posts, ads, and stories, it offers a visually attractive and effective way to interact with your target audience and develop your relationship with your loyal fans.

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Ways to promote your business on Instagram

1. Interact with other users

There are a number of ways to engage with other users, including those you are following and those following you. Like and comment on their posts, tag them in your images, and mention them in your captions.

2. Use the Stories feature

Appearing at the top of your news feed, Instagram Stories are available to view for 24 hours. They are a useful way to reach followers that might not see your regular posts and to share with them your most recent and exciting news. They allow you to be super creative too, with options for live video, adding text, and boomerangs (a boost of photos that turns into a mini video). You can also group stories together into a highlights reel and save them to your profile. A note on video - video is a powerful way to connect with your followers. Use it to give your followers a sneak peek of a current project, a look behind the scenes, or just a bit of creative fun and inspiration. Research shows that followers are more likely to stop their scroll and watch video than a static post.

3. Use hashtags (but with care)

Hashtags can be a great way to raise the profile of your posts and connect with people looking for what you’re offering. Just don’t go crazy with general hashtags (#selfie #bestlife #lovingit etc etc) if they don’t fit with your brand. Rather choose specific hashtags to create awareness and get noticed. Also maximise hashtag influence by creating custom hashtags for your business or for specific events, making for easy searching.

4. Try your hand at advertising

Like most social media platforms, Instagram offers the opportunity to advertise your business though photo and video posts. These look like regular posts but have a ‘sponsored’ header. These appear in users’ home feeds and can be used for viewing, click-throughs, and to encourage increased awareness.

5. Be brand conscious

Whatever you decide to feature on your Instagram feed, make sure it’s relevant to your brand and business. With busy feeds and scrolling the name of the game, the brands that get the most attention are those with a consistent look, feel, and theme. When you post an image, ask yourself how it relates back your business and what brand message you’re sending.

At Switch, we love working with innovative technologies to create the best marketing experiences for our clients’ businesses. When it comes to digital marketing, we have the expertise, experience, and energy to make the most of those channels most likely to get your business noticed and your sales up. Talk to one of our marketing consultants to find out how we can help your business excel in the digital marketing space.

Want to know how we can use digital marketing to help your business? Read our Handbook.