While this happened, Instagram again made heads turn for yet another new launch – ‘Business Profiles’. This tool is truly an advantage for small businesses, which can enjoy the ease of mobile marketing on Instagram which will also help reduce the gap between the consumers and the brands. While Instagram’s carousal ad sets and videos have already been helpful for easy marketing, introducing mobile ad-buying and Analytics, which will help view the most viewed and liked posts, post engagement rate, website clicks, impressions, reach and a lot more is definitely a big step for Instagram that has been appreciated by 500 million users who see 95 million posts amongst which a minimum of 48 million posts are ads by marketers every day. If you are still deciding whether to use Instagram for your brand – here is a guide on how startups can use Instagram.
Key Features of Instagram Analytics
Instagram Analytics dominantly focuses on Follower Demographics and Post Analytics. Below, you can view your top posts segregated by Instagram based on its impressions for a 7 day or a 30 day period. This will help you understand how many people viewed your posts other than just liking it, giving you an accurate engagement rate, thereby helping you understand if there is a need to improve your marketing.
Amongst all the information that is available, Follower Demographics is a very useful tool, especially for the small time marketers. It helps them discover where their audiences are coming from. Apart from exact locations, it also helps determine the right time to market to them from different time zones.
Again, similar to any other analytics tool, Instagram also lets you break your audience by gender and age to quickly analyze if men or women have contributed to the most number of views, likes and engagement rate.
The ‘Followers’ module is yet another major advantage for marketers to keep a track of the time and the number of hours their consumers are on Instagram on a selected day. This will again help them understand the right day and time to advertise which will surely be beneficial to grow the brand.
Apart from hardcore analytics tools, Instagram has also been experimenting with a few other profile features that seem to be quite useful for businesses to lead traffic to their websites and increase their sales. One of these features is the new ‘Contact’ button besides the usual ‘Following’ button.
The ‘Contact’ button is a linkable location tag which when clicked will show two things – ‘Email’ the user or ‘Get Directions’ on your maps to their store.Since finding the location of Instagram brands has been a major pain point for both marketers and users alike, this new feature will be of some aid.
The second feature is a direct plus-point for brands/products that have been looked around or searched a lot in social media. While hashtags are used on Facebook and Twitter to quickly spot these products, Instagram has introduced an extra line underneath the name in the profile.
While these features are not yet open to all users, they have been introduced for marketers in the US, Australia and New Zealand and in the following months, will be accessible on a global level, including India. Boasting over 300,000 marketers leveraging on Instagram, it has become an ideal platform for small businesses to resort to a much easier and visually appealing mode of marketing that will be directly benefited by this new Analytics tool amongst the others and other special features for brand building.
We will have a more detailed analysis once we are able to use the tool for more brands.
The fourth edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha was held at Karya Space on Saturday, May 28th 2016. The turnout for this event was fantastic with over 60 entrepreneurs, working professionals and social media influencers participating in the session. The topic for this session was all about Instagram and how it could be used to leverage business.
Instagram is a very powerful platform which when used correctly can help brands and business reach out to a niche and specific audience. The customers that brands acquire through Instagram can display strong loyalty towards the product or service.
Here’s the presentation that was discussed during the session
It was a very interactive session with the participants sharing their personal experiences with Instagram and asking plenty of questions. Here are few tweets shared by participants about the event.
Here’s a quick recap for those who attended the session and for those who could not make it yet would like to leverage Instagram for their business
Instagram is a young and an emerging platform and great for Indian brands to get in early
Instagram pictures showcase not just a good looking product or a service but a lifestyle
High quality and organic pictures work very well on this platform and products need to be showcased with a story
Text showcased on images in a creative and aesthetic way can work very well to promote content like blogs and articles
Instagram does not allow clickable links on the content accompanying the image. Therefor the bio and the website link becomes extremely important to direct the potential customers to the website
Instagram Ads are a great way to reach the relevant target audience. To run ads on Instagram, one needs to use the Facebook ad manager and link the brands Instagram page to the corresponding Facebook page. More details are mentioned in the presentation shared above.
Instagram ads work especially well for mobile apps and websites that are mobile optimized
It is important to keep track of your followers and unfollowers through apps like Crowdfire, social rank etc
Hashtags are very important to help the right audience and can be broadly divided into three categories – Popular, Industry related and Brand specific
There are many influencers on Instagram who specialize in a certain industry, eg. Food, beauty, Fashion, Parenting etc. To help reach the right demographic brands need to leverage and tie with these influencers.
Using analytical tools available online, it is imperative to understand the progress of the page and even analyze the best performing hashtags
Maintaining a steady flow of interesting posts and content is crucial since a long break may result in losing the traction generated over time
While these pointers can help you, like any other platform, Instagram is constantly changing and brands will have to adapt and implement these changes. In fact over the past couple of days, Instagram has rolled out a massive algorithm change due to which you will see posts based on your interests rather than chronological order. The reach due to hashtags will decrease and your followers will be more important than ever.
What has you experience with Instagram been so far? Do share your feedback in the comments!
Instagram’s growth and spread as a social media platform is literally a tech fairy tale. What started out as a purely recreational app by two young entrepreneurs is now nothing short of a global phenomenon. It’s been 18 months since Facebook acquired Instagram and has estimated 400 million monthly active users. After Facebook’s acquisition, Instagram has opened up advertising opportunities on its platform making it official, that Instagram has truly arrived as a powerful marketing platform.
However, if you plan to use this platform to market your brand, product or service, you must be aware that the regular, run-of-the-mill content and strategy will not work for Instagram. If done well, Instagram can not only increase your brand’s visibility but also can help you engage with your customers and generate business and revenue through it. So here’s a list of 9 ways to use Instagram effectively for your business
You Are What You Click
Instagram is a very visual platform and therefore you have to use images and videos that can tell your brand story effectively. Use high-quality product images yet ensure that they are not over salesy. The pictures must look organic and as natural as possible. Take this photo shared by Good Earth India
To launch their new kids collection, they have captured the essence of being a child by showcasing a little girl painting on the floor. By choosing to showcase the product in its natural setting instead of a typical product image, Good Earth manages to create a marketing free look while promoting their new collection for children.
Here’s another category of images that work – text. One may think that only images with people or objects do well on Instagram. Contrary to popular belief, images with text do well too. You can follow it up with a question in the caption to get great engagement. Check out this post by Buzzfeed Life about their latest blog post featuring 10 looks created out of a single LBD (Little Black Dress, for the uninitiated)
Ensure that your captions are brief yet engaging. Adding a question always helps to interact with your audience.
You can share plenty of behind-the-scene pictures and videos that can let people know about the team that works for the brand. Remember, the more real you are, the better people connect to your brand.
Once your Instagram profile creates this fun, creative and organic atmosphere, you can start seeing an increased traffic to your site and curiosity about your product/service.
Bio and Website Link
Unlike Facebook and most other social media platforms, Instagram does not allow clickable links on the posts or on the post description. However the profile bio allows you to write a brief about yourself or your business. Use this space to exactly convey what you would like to say to your audiences. Most brands also use a few emojis here to make this section stand out and support the text with some colour.
The website link added here is the only way your customer can be redirected from Instagram to your website (other than ads).
To subtly push your target audience to engage with your website, blog or your app, end most of your post content with a gentle reminder that the link to reach you is available in the bio. Check out this post by Photo Concierge showcasing stock images directing customers to a link of their choice.
As of March 2016, there are over 200,000 advertisers on Instagram and it’s a great tool to reach your target audience. Since Facebook owns Instagram, you will need to go through a Facebook Ad Account to run ads on Instagram. Here’s a quick guide on how to run Instagram ads
Visit the Facebook Ads Manager and create an account. Skip this process if you already have an ad account with Facebook.
Link your Instagram profile to your page using the tab under ‘Settings’ on your business Facebook page
Select your goal from the options that are offered through Instagram. For instance you can send people to your website, get people to download your app or promote your Facebook post through your Instagram profile.
As of now, one cannot promote a post on Instagram unless it is shared on Facebook.
Now create the ad on the Facebook ads manager with the image and text of your choice.
When you reach the ad format section, you will have the option of deciding if you would like to show your ad on Instagram. Alternately, if you would only like to run your ad on Instagram, make sure that you uncheck the other platforms.
Now fix your budget, check the ad preview, hit ‘Place Order’ and your good to go!
Like any platform, you need to experiment with various combinations of ads and text to understand which ads are working well with your target demographic. Try the carousel format with multiple pictures or a video ad to get the desired business results.
It has been observed that running Facebook ads along with the Instagram ads can reduce your cost per conversion by around 20%.
Engage and Reach Out
Engagement with your followers is quite hard on a platform like Facebook, but Instagram is the perfect place to really engage with your followers. It’s also a place that is geared more for organic and real conversations.
Your followers are a gold mine of potential customers. Creating a loyal fan base is a surefire way to generate customers. Of course, unlike running ads, this process takes a bit of time, effort and patience.
Sorting and keeping in touch with followers is vital. Tools like SocialRank are a fantastic way to organize, manage and identify your Instagram followers.
SocialRank essentially pulls out the profiles of all your followers and lets you sort them out based on your preferences. You can create lists of your most valuable followers and ensure that you follow them back. A thoughtful message on their special posts can go a long way in ensuring brand affinity.
Another interesting way to grow your community is by searching relevant non-followers and liking as well commenting on their posts. Richard Lazazzera, Author of What to Sell Online : The definitive guide, ran a small experiment wherein he shortlisted 100 of his competitors’ followers and liked as well commented on their posts. He managed to get a whopping 34% follow back from this group.
Follow : 14% followback
Follow + Like : 22% followback
Follow + Like + Comment : 34% followback
This clearly shows that the more effort you put into your Instagram profile, the better are your chances to build a strong and relevant community which in turn helps with business results.
Another great way to engage with your users, is by reposting customer content. Most brands heavily rely on this and it’s a great way to make them feel special. Use the Repost app to share your customer’s content and tag them on the post! Infact, there are many tools that help you manage your Instagram profile. Here’s another list of top tools to help you with Instagram.
Keep Your Account Clean
Instagram is a platform where often unfollowing is as important as following!
Since following others is a definitive way to increase your reach, you have to constantly unfollow the people who do not engage with you in any way. Some accounts that you follow may have become inactive and can be weeded out.
Crowdfire is the perfect app to help keep your account clean. Through its simple dashboard, you can quickly see the number of people who follow/do not follow you. It also pops up the profiles of your recent unfollowers which can help you unfollow them as well. Alternately, it helps you quickly find the list of your competitors to follow. With this dashboard, you can ensure that your account is always fresh and updated!
Hashtag Your Way To Glory
We all love hashtags. We are all guilty of using them all the time. But nowhere are hashtags more important than on Instagram. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post and we recommend using it well. The hashtags can be broadly divided into three categories
Popular Hashtags (#tbt, #photooftheday, #igers #popular)
Industry Related Hashtags (#Fashion, #FoodPorn, #instatech, #FitnessFreak)
Brand Related Hashtag (#Vogue , #UberCode, #MyntraFashion)
Ideally, each post must have a few from each of these categories. Do not forget to coin a hashtag for your brand and promote it regularly till it can catch on and have its own identity among your customers.
Many brands also use clever hashtags to communicate an emotion or trend related to their product. Just like this Starbucks post, where they use the #BeGoodToYourself hashtag along with their tea to indicate a feeling of wellness and indulgence.
Instagram influencers are very powerful and have almost the same impact as a popular brand ambassador for your business. Anybody who has a large following and content that interests your customers can be an influencer.
The key to getting the most out of influencer marketing is ensuring that it is done using several influencers and within a short time period. Your customer’s memory is short and to ensure that your brand is noticed, a Blitz Krieg approach to influencer marketing can go a long way. This is especially true when you are launching a new product in the market.
One of the best case studies to understand the impact of Instagram influencers is the launch of the Uwheel, a self-balancing two-wheeled hoverboard. The co-founder’s girlfriend recruited famous rappers, singers, socialites, and other Instagram influencers to talk about the Uwheel, all at once. Some of the posts and reviews were paid for while some others were given the Uwheel in exchange for a word about their business and product on their profile. And suddenly, Uwheel was all everyone was talking about!
Using a marketing budget of $61,200 their team was able to generate a revenue of over 1 million dollars and since then Uwheel as a brand, has not turned back. Read all about it here.
Wanted to get started with influencers for your business soon? Here’s a fantastic list of influencers to help you get started!
Like all social media platforms, Instagram analytics can help you understand your account and follower behaviour to help optimize your business. Using tools like Social Insight or Iconosquare you can find out more about important analytical points. For instance, the best time to post your content, most engaging content, most engaging filters etc.
These tools help generate comprehensive reports that can speak volumes about the user behaviour and help you understand what works and what does not for your Instagram account.
With Instagram, consistency is very important. You must keep sharing your content in different forms to be relevant and sustain the community you have built. One way to achieve this is by scheduling your posts in advance. Use tools like Schedugram and Latergramme so that your workload does not stop you from posting regularly on Instagram.
However, do remember that the name Instagram is inspired from the act of capturing a moment the instant it happens. Nothing works better than taking a picture while as it happens and sharing it immediately with your followers. A successful sales figure, a new product launch, a new business venture – share it when it takes place! During a recent interview, Eva Chen, Instagram’s Head of Fashion Partnerships, speaks about how Instagram is more than just a numbers game and airbrushed photographs. Even grainy but real videos that were taken in poor lighting can do well on Instagram if they truly capture real life. So don’t be afraid to share it all.
Here are some more interesting case studies about using Instagram for business. Instagram is truly a treasure trove of new opportunities to expand your business and generate revenue. While it does work better for businesses that are more visual in nature, it still is emerging as the number one way to interact with the younger audiences with great spending potential. Have you tried to use Instagram for your business? We would love hear from you in our comments section!
Instagram allows companies to tell a visual story, to develop brands and to be engaged with customers. But just 28% of marketers currently use Instagram for their businesses. Popularity of Instagram in Google Trends shows a really fast growth for the last years.
So it’s time to start with Instagram marketing. Here is a list of top 10 tools to help your business to build, manage and grow a strong presence on Instagram.
Iconosquare is one of the leading analytical tools for Instagram. It allows you to manage your Instagram activity, analyze your performance and engage your customers. With this tool, you can track which top hashtags are being used on Instagram, get detailed dashboards with graphics on engagement with users and use comprehensive tools including functionality to create contests.
Is Instagram a part of your social media marketing? Schedugram, a startup in Australia, is an excellent tool for Instagram users and social media managers to manage multiple Instagram accounts. Instagram was designed as a mobile tool, but Schedugram gives the opportunity to post pics from your desktop or laptop. It allows you to schedule your posts and post photos as well as videos. You can also edit your pictures, including cropping, adding filters, adding light and saturation properties and other cool effects before posting.
Repost app is a good tool to make customers feel involved and appreciated. This application allows brands to demonstrate their user-generated content. Search a photo you like and easily repost it. You can find your customers by hashtags and follow them. Appreciate your customers by mentioning them on your page, to earn customer loyalty.
Like2buy is “Instagram’s missing link”, a tool to sell products on Instagram. This app gives an opportunity to drive traffic and revenue from Instagram. Like2buy transform images into gallery of products, available for purchase with a click. User should clicks on the link and it will take them to a page of the brand’s featured products.
Tapshop also helps your Instagram followers in shopping. With Tapshop, you can make any image in your brand gallery shoppable by adding a product or category page link. Once your fans find a custom page of their desirable products, they will get an email with direct links to your product pages.
Wispond is Instagram Hashtag Contest App. Gather Instagram photos and showcase them in a voting gallery on your Facebook page, website or mobile. Invite followers to submit their photos from Instagram and vote on their favourite ones. Add Instagram contests into your marketing plan to give your channels a viral impulse.
Create, share and discover fun photo-video stories along with your favourite music! Flipagram allows you to make slideshows, musical videos, stop-motion effects and more, with millions of free music clips for your Instagram page. You can demonstrate how one of your products can be used in different ways or create a slideshow with interesting photos with your team. The more pictures you have, the better the effect.
Piclab is a tool that allows you to add text to your pictures. If you want to have written information on our images this is a perfect programm to do it. Choose from different fonts, shapes, put stunning filters and photo effects, and add a collection of textures, borders, patterns, and more to your photos.
Hyperlapse is owned by Instagram and creates beautiful time lapse movies. Capture video, choose the acceleration (from 2 to 12 times) and the program will do the rest for you. The video helps in making a nice video that is easy to share with your followers.
Instagram for Business is one of the best places for businesses to find tools to grow their brands. The Instagram for Business blog has tips, brand spotlights, case studies, and news from Instagram. Use Instagram’s visual language to create your visual story and drive business growth.
Instagram is a powerful tool to connect with consumers and build a community. The key is to stay authentic to your brand and create content and engage with your customers. This will ensure that users not only “follow you” on Instagram, but also become your brand advocates.