An Instagram Business Account can be very successful in driving sales and for brand building activities. All of Instagram’s features are carefully designed to help you craft a visual marketing strategy to tell your brand’s story.
Whether you create short Instagram videos, photos or longer IGTV videos, it is a representative of your brand and therefore must be imbibed its visual identity.
We see this time and again. We see this with Wimbledon sharing points from the match with its logo on it.
We see Credr Auto, an up and coming account in Automobile niche, sharing all major image posts with a frame made of white and red, which are its logo colors.
These accounts have unlocked the key secrets to grow their brand.
Is Instagram Marketing beneficial for your Brand?
Instagram has revolutionized visual marketing since its inception. It has evolved from a simple video and photo sharing platform to one of the most valuable marketing assets any brand can have!
Source: pixabay.com / 3dman_eu
So, exactly which features truly establish Instagram as a social media marketing behemoth?
1. It has truly one of the largest audiences online. Out of the many stats of Instagram, you need to know these two: First, Instagram has over 1 Billion active users and second, more than 50% of these people use Instagram every day for an average of 53 minutes per day. This makes it only second to Facebook in the list of most engaged social networks. With access to such a large audience, you can confidently find your congregation to market your product/services on Instagram.
2. You can make your brand come alive with Instagram lives and stories. If you don’t want to be viewed as a bland, emotionless brand, Instagram is the perfect social media network to inject some much-needed life into your brand. With stories and IGTV, you can share video messages from real people in your company. With Instagram Live, you can do the same in a two-way communication mode and in real-time. Creative profile layouts are yet another way to wow your followers; creative layouts offer a rich feel to any profile page and elevate your brand instantly.
3. You can increase brand reach with Influencers and Hashtags. Like Twitter, you can find expert individuals in your niche to help market your product/service to their audience. What’s really unique about Instagram is that the users don’t need to follow you to see your posts; they can follow hashtags and your posts using those hashtags will be visible to them. Both of these features enable you to expand your reach beyond your followers.
4. Instagram is more customer-centric than Twitter. You can post images, videos, and text (tweets) to Twitter. There is not much going on that ties all of these asynchronous bits of your brand messaging together. With Instagram, you can share an image, post a story or IGTV video, and tie all of them together to create a single cohesive marketing campaign. Not just that, you get to drive traffic to your website from this campaign. By creating a story this way, Instagram relies on the human affinity to storytelling and this curiosity drives the users to your brand naturally. For brand engagement, Instagram beat Facebook by miles, indicating people respond to brands much more readily on Instagram than they do on Facebook.
Is an Instagram Business Page suitable for your brand?
Let’s take a hypothetical scenario:
Jack is an individual who is highly interested in men’s fashion. He is handsome and he knows it. He keeps on trying new trends and styles to create refreshing new looks. He has posted high-quality content regularly and gathered a decent number of followers in his niche (i.e. fashion blogging).
He has noticed a pattern that fellow fashion bloggers with a decent audience strength have begun to post sponsored ads. They earn a good amount of money from their collaborations with big brands and now Jack wants to become a fashion influencer too.
Let’s take a second hypothetical scenario:
Sara is a college student but also has a side hustle where she makes and sells scented candles and floral perfumes. She has recently discovered the power of Instagram for her personal profile. After regularly posting about her products, she has amassed a good number of followers within just a few weeks on her Instagram account.
Both Sara and Jack are stuck on the same decision – how to upgrade their personal Instagram account?
Instagram offers two types of profile upgrades:
- Instagram Creator Account
- Instagram Business Account
The first step in making this decision is understanding which of these do you want to opt for. If you are stuck on a similar decision, read along to help understand the difference between the two.
Here is a brief look at what a personal Instagram account – the most basic type of account – offers:
- Private account: This is for people who do not want to showcase their life to anyone outside their close social circle. A business Instagram account cannot be private.
Instagram Growth Hack Quick Tip: Converting a public business account to a private account is possible. Some brands convert their public business page to personal private page and run a contest in which their current audience has to refer a friend to enter the contest. These newly tagged people must follow the brand account in order to see the content.
- Link to multiple Facebook pages from one profile: This is needed in some peculiar scenarios whereby one social media person (or a small team) manages one Instagram page linked to multiple Facebook brand pages.
While Business and creator accounts can only link to one Facebook page at a time, they rarely need to link to more than one page.
Features of an Instagram Creator Account
These are perfect for influencers who create content regularly.
Here is a snapshot of the features you will get with an Instagram creator profile:
- Creator Studio Dashboard: On this dashboard, influencers can monitor the growth of their account over time. They can also find the most engaging times for different types of content – images, IGTV videos, and stories. Access to reach and post impressions data is also available in this profile. This is very useful in proving the strength of your Creator account when negotiating deals with major brands.
- Segmented DM Inbox: On a personal profile, you can’t do much in the way of Inbox Management. On a creator profile, Instagram lets you see the high-priority DM messages from other brands or your close friends under the “Primary” messages tab. All other messages are kept under “Secondary” tab for you to reply at a convenient time.
- Flexible Profile Control Options: Instagram lets creators hide their contact information which lets them use their “Primary” DM inbox as their main source of communication with brands. Simply put, brands will first have to message you on Instagram to initiate a collaboration. They won’t be able to access the email or phone number of an individual using an Instagram creator profile.
- Influencer Attribution on Referral Sales: If you own an Instagram Creator profile, you can promote any brand’s products on your posts by using direct product tags. This helps to more accurately attribute sales that were referrals from your followers.
Click here to know how to switch to a business account on Instagram.
Features of an Instagram Business Account
Business profiles, as the name suggests, are for brands on Instagram who want deeper insights and a lot of other advanced features.
Here is a systematic breakdown of what you can expect when (or if) you choose to switch to an Instagram Business Account.
If you already know these features, skip to the relevant section to know how to use these advanced features on an Instagram Business account.
1. Instagram Analytics: This is a goldmine of a feature that gives you deeper insights into how your account is growing. Business users get the usual creator profile benefits i.e. follower count progression, profile views, and post impressions. Apart from this, you also data about website clicks and detailed demographic data about your audience.
2. Integration of paid ads with Facebook Ads manager: Ever since Facebook acquired Instagram, they have made it very easy for business users to manage sponsored ads from under a single ads manager interface. This gives you the power of Facebook Ad Pixel, higher ad reach, custom audiences, lookalike audiences, and retargeting. You get a lot of resources to optimize your paid ad budget.
3. Facebook-like feature to promote posts: Sometimes a particular post reaches high levels of engagement. Instagram, like Facebook, auto-suggests these posts for business users to monetize through a sponsored ad.
4. Contact option for businesses: If yours is an Instagram-only business account, you can set up a contact button on your profile as an email contact, a phone number, or a button to get directions to their physical location.
5. Instagram Store: Recently, Instagram has started beta testing feature that allows users to view product details, add the chosen ones to cart, and check out with payment options. Checkout was not integrated into Instagram until a while ago. This feature is currently available to large US brands, but you can be sure to get the full Instagram store feature outside of the United States pretty soon.
6. Canned DM Replies: One of my absolute favorite features of Gmail is the ability to set a detailed email reply against a single word. Business accounts on Instagram also get a similar feature. This lets you quickly send pre-set replies without breaking a sweat for a large number of incoming messages of the same type.
7. Prevent falsified brand associations: Anyone can tag a personal account or a creator account anywhere on Instagram. Business accounts on Instagram can approve the tag requests from anyone outside a specific list of approved accounts.
8. “Swipe Up” link with Instagram stories: Anyone with a little experience will tell you how bad Instagram is in terms of handling in-content links. If you hate to “click the link in bio”, you know what I am talking about. Business account holders don’t have to wait till they get 10,000 followers; they can activate this feature regardless of their follower count. This opens up a second, much-needed way to publish links to your Instagram profile.
9. Third-party Integrations for Scheduling: If you are a fan of content calendars, you are going to love this feature. When you switch to an Instagram business account, you can use third-party tools to implement your social media content calendar on Instagram. While you may not need a duly planned content calendar to use this feature, we strongly suggest making one in consideration of Instagram mandatory as you create a long-term content marketing strategy.
How to create an Instagram Business Page
Business page (or Business Account) is an essential Instagram upgrade for companies or individuals starting a new business. You will first create a personal account and convert it to a business account.
Its features will change the way you do business online. It enables you to ride the visual marketing wave and scale your business to new heights.
Use these steps to create an Instagram account from scratch:
1. Download the app and register for an account
The easiest way to create an Instagram business page is by downloading the app on a mobile phone. You could also use the website from a desktop/laptop device for account registration. However, for posting content, Instagram has no option to post content directly from a desktop browser.
Make sure you use your work email if you want to use this new account as a business account. Do not use your personal Facebook account to register at this step as it will take your name as your business name. This is not appropriate if you intend to use this account for business purposes.
2. Set your company name as this account’s username
You want the account name to reflect your company name as well be searchable for keywords in your niche. This is easy. Simply combine company name with the name of your niche. For example, if your company’s name is “Easy Homes” and you are a real estate agent, you can use “Easy Homes Real Estate” as your account name.
The “handle” on your Instagram business account (the name which comes after the ‘@’ symbol), is used by your followers to tag you in their posts. This handle can be different from your account name but should follow the same keyword combination rules to make searchable within your niche.
Understand that your handle goes on to become your brand’s identity. So, keep it short and easy to remember.
Some business accounts also combine their location with their brand name. For example, Niyama Private Islands are luxury island resorts situated in the Maldives; their Instagram handle reads “@NiyamaMaldives”.
In the next step, Instagram will ask you to find your Facebook friends on Instagram. This is an optional step and since this will become a business account, it’s not necessary either. You can skip it for now.
3. Choose a business profile photo
Since this is a business account, it is pretty obvious that you should have a company logo as your profile photo. If you don’t have a logo, you can get it made from a logo designer on Fiverr or get it for free with Design Hill.
If your business account is for an individual (say, a personal coach or an artist), you can use the person’s smiling photo. Be sure to select a photo that focuses on the shows the person’s whole face with a pleasant demeanor.
This profile photo can be changed later on.
4. Follow relevant accounts and complete the profile
Do not follow a page out of personal interest. Follow only those pages which belong to your niche or related niches. This one of the ways to spy on your competitors and see what they’re doing.
You can skip this step and find relevant accounts to follow after completing the signup process.
5. Fill out profile bio and set up your business contact details
On the next step, you are asked to fill out the bio. This is the perfect place to draw your customers toward your website. The simplest way to write copy for Instagram business profiles is to follow a simple copywriting rule i.e. write benefits, don’t just highlight features.
Also, fill the website field with the URL of your business website. Businesses without a website can use Facebook business page URL here. If you don’t have a business page on Facebook, you should create one now; they’re free and really easy to set up.
Note that Instagram does not allow any clickable URLs anywhere in your posts. You can also link your Instagram stories to a specific page URL.
In the next step, we will see how to convert this personal account into a business account.
6. Set up your Instagram business account
To convert your business-optimized personal Instagram account into an Instagram business page, follow these steps in sequence:
- Go to your profile page
- Tap the menu icon (three parallel lines) located in the top-right corner
- Tap Settings
- Tap Account
- Tap Switch to Business Account
- Connect your Instagram account to a Facebook business page. This makes it easier to use all of the features available for businesses.
- Add business hours, business category, and other details to complete your business profile.
- Tap Done
This completes your Instagram business account setup.
How to use an Instagram Business Page to increase your brand’s visibility
After creating a personal Instagram account and then converting it into a business account, you have now arrived at a fresh business account.
In 2019, you have the most advanced versions of all the features on the platform ready to be leveraged for branding your business. You could start by posting some content (photos and videos) to your profile, interact with your followers in your stories or use IGTV to post longer, more detailed videos.
Here are the steps to help you build a brand out of your business on Instagram:
1. Create an Instagram strategy
Creating your Instagram marketing strategy starts with identifying your audience. There are a few sources – your social media analytics, competitors’ social media, and your existing customers. Once you know your audience, you will create goals to achieve business objectives. Typically, Instagram allows you to see likes and comments on a post. But with Instagram Analytics, you get actionable business insights. Make sure you decide and stick to a consistent posting schedule; without enough content, analytics won’t be very effective.
2. Optimize your profile elements
Tweak your bio to include benefits of your product/service and write it in a tone that fits the persona of your customer. line breaks and emojis too are allowed but the maximum character count for Instagram bio is 150. You can set your website address as profile URL or as you post campaigns, you can use this link to send followers to the landing page of that campaign. An Instagram business account can also use contact details, category type, and a call-to-action in the bio.
3. Share great visual content
When posting videos and photos on Instagram for your business, make sure you use a high-res camera and allow ample natural light to illuminate them. Editing is another aspect you need to master to create professional-looking content on Instagram. Professional creators rely on Photoshop and LightRoom editors (on Mac), but you don’t need all the heavy software to get started. You could also hire a freelancing Graphic Designer to create a few brand templates for you which you can use by simply inserting text into them. Create supplementary video or photo content to be posted on Instagram stories and link them to your website or a specific landing page.
4. Engage and grow your audience
Use common and trending hashtags relevant in your niche to allow new users to discover your content and follow you. Reply to comments on your posts to engage with your own audience. Run contests to increase your brand reach. There are a lot of different types of content you can post on Instagram.
5. Promote popular posts on Instagram
Got a great piece of content that has generated amazing engagement numbers? Since you are using a Business account, Instagram will help you promote it with the click of a button without having to go set up a full ad in the ad manager.
An Instagram Business Page is much more advanced than a personal account. You can view deep insights, promote your most popular posts, sell your products, or use Stories to send your visitors to a specific landing page. B2B companies can also use an Instagram Business account for increasing their brand reach. The key to running a successful Instagram Business Page is to understand your audience and using the features to share content they would like and understand in a tone that matches their persona.