However, it's not enough to simply have an Instagram business profile — you must set it up properly and have a strategy to reach your goals. Apply these Instagram marketing essentials to generate a higher ROI for your business!
13 Instagram Marketing Tips for Businesses
Regardless of your industry, Instagram is a strong visual marketing channel that can help grow your business, if done with intention. Leverage these Instagram marketing tips to build a successful profile and strategy.
1. Have an Instagram business account
First, make sure you have an Instagram business account
. If your current profile isn’t a business account, don’t worry — it’s easy to switch it. Having an Instagram business account is important because it’ll give you access to features like:
- Real-time insights
- Display business category
- Swipe-up links in Stories
- Ability to boost posts
- Online shops and shoppable posts
- Contact details
- Action buttons (e.g. Book Now, Start Order)
- Auto-post scheduling
2. Define your audience and goals
Posting random photos and captions won’t attract your ideal audience or achieve your goals. Defining your audience and goals will provide structure and guidance for your Instagram marketing strategy, from content creation
and messaging to ad targeting and scheduling.
3. Optimize your profile
Optimizing your profile is more than a quality profile photo and bio. Here are some other ways you should optimize your Instagram business profile:
- Profile Name: Have an easily searchable profile name that's consistent with your brand.
- Username: Create a recognizable and searchable "handle" (e.g. @businessname).
- URL: Include a URL that you want to drive traffic to like a website or landing page.
- Category: Tell people what your business is about without using up bio characters.
- Contact details: Help users contact you instantly for questions or comments.
- Action buttons: Give users a way to interact with you directly from your profile.
4. Get verified
Getting verified on Instagram helps establish brand credibility and gain customer trust. The blue checkmark next to your username shows that Instagram has confirmed that you are who you say you are and that your account is of public interest.
This can lead to increased visibility and engagement, as well as partnerships and collaborations with other verified accounts.
5. Create visually compelling content
Instagram is a media-sharing app after all so if your content isn’t visually compelling, then you’ll have a hard time attracting your ideal audience. Fortunately, smartphones have high-quality cameras and there are lots of free and paid tools, like Canva, you can use to create attractive graphics and videos.
6. Boost engagement with Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are great for connecting with your followers that feels more authentic and relatable, whether it's a behind-the-scenes look at your business or asking for feedback. For instance, you can use polls, questions, and stickers to engage with your audience and increase your reach.
7. Leverage Reels to connect with your audience
Instagram Reels is a feature that allows users to create short-form videos set to music or audio. With Reels, you can showcase your brand's personality, promote your offers, and engage with your audience in a fun and creative way.
8. Write engaging captions
In addition to posting great content, it’s also important to write engaging captions and use hashtags wisely. Instagram posts allow up to 2,200 characters, but you don’t need to use all of them to have effective captions. Whether your caption is a short quip or a detailed story, it should add value to the content and resonate with your audience.
9. Include hashtags
Hashtags allow users to discover your content and increase your reach while adding some SEO
juice to your content. Use relevant hashtags in your posts, stories, and reels to make it easier for users to find your content.
10. Post at the right times
Having compelling visuals and engaging captions won’t mean much if your audience doesn’t see them. That’s why posting at the right times is crucial for generating a higher ROI.
According to Sprout Social, the best times to post on Instagram
, in general, are Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. However, this can vary by industry, target audience, business goals, and even the content itself, so testing is key.
11. Engage with other users
Posting content without engaging with your followers and other accounts not only will make users less interested in following your profile, but it’s also just plain rude. At the minimum, you should respond to comments on your posts.
Make your brand visible in a non-promotional way by seeking out popular accounts in your niche, following them, and liking and commenting on their posts. If your profile gets tagged in a post, check it out to see if there’s a worthwhile engagement opportunity.
12. Invest in paid advertising
on Instagram can help you reach a wider audience and drive conversions. Consider investing in Instagram Shopping
, sponsored posts, stories, or influencer partnerships to encourage purchases, bookings, sign ups, and more.
13. Monitor analytics and track the right metrics
Take advantage of the wealth of free data you get with Instagram Insights. View statistics like impressions, engagement data, and follower demographics, such as age, gender, location, and most active hours.
You can even get insights on specific posts that show you how many impressions you earned for a time period and what your top posts were. This detailed information allows you to understand exactly how users are interacting with your content so you can adjust your strategy to boost engagement.
Grow Your Instagram Audience and Sales
Instagram marketing offers a variety of benefits, but if your business profile isn’t set up properly and you don’t have a strategy, then you’re not using the platform to its full potential. With these Instagram marketing essentials, your business will have a solid foundation to grow your audience and sales from one of the most popular social networks in the world.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in October 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.