When Instagram first came on the scene in 2010, it was hard for most companies to imagine how it would be useful. The photo-focused social platform offered few opportunities for sales-centric marketing, and hashtags could only get you so far.
But a lot has changed since then. All sorts of businesses are finding ways to be successful on Instagram.
Whether you’re already on Insta or you’re starting your following from scratch, here are four reasons why your organization should be active on it.
1. More than 1 billion people use it
First and foremost, your company should be on Instagram because your audience is. In 2018, Instagram passed 1 billion monthly users, including more than 100 million Americans. That’s almost one out of every three U.S. consumers, and about one third of the global Internet-using population.
If you want to reach your audience, you need to go where they are . . . and odds are they’re on Instagram.
2. Most Instagram users purchase things they see in the app
Instagram is built around images. You have to pay to add hyperlinks. And when scrolling through their feeds, Instagram users don’t even see the text you use to caption your images. So you might assume that Instagram wouldn’t have much impact on your sales.
But even if it doesn’t drive tons of traffic to your landing page, a well-run Instagram account can expose thousands of people to your brand, products, and services. And when you increase brand awareness, it makes your other marketing efforts (like advertising) that much more effective.
Plus, don’t forget: depending on your product or service, images can play a vital role in the shopping experience. That’s why many ecommerce sites have had success bringing the shopping experience directly into the app.
Bottom line? People buy things they see on Instagram. In 2015, 65 percent of the top performing Instagram posts featured products. And 72 percent of Instagram users say they have bought something they saw in the app.
If your audience is here, and they’re responding to the products and services in their feed, you should be here, too.
3. Creating Instagram content is easy
Instagram adopted a unique concept from Snapchat: temporary photos and videos. Instagram calls them stories, and gives you the option to save your favorites permanently. While it may sound like a waste of effort to create content that lasts such a short time, stories give organizations the opportunity to share more informal content (without having to worry about production standards).
Knowing these photos and videos are temporary frees organizations to create content on-the-fly, hyping big announcements, showing off events, or giving their audiences a glimpse behind-the-scenes. You could also use it to share testimonials or things your sales reps wished people knew.
So do other companies actually use them? Over 50 percent of businesses on Instagram use stories to reach their audience.
4. It’s easy to work with influencers
Influencer marketing is one of the big reasons brands love Instagram. It’s incredibly easy to find influencers in your space and collaborate on campaigns. Some influencers will promote your products or services in exchange for freebies, but you can also use other compensation structures like paying influencers based on the engagement they receive on the posts they use to promote you.
This can be a valuable way for you to reach more of your target audience and associate your brand with the people they’re already listening to.
Expand your reach
Instagram isn’t just a trendy new social platform anymore. It’s a serious marketing channel that many organizations are failing to capitalize on. If your company is struggling to connect with more of your audience, Instagram could be a great way to capture the attention of the people you want to reach.