Instagram for Business: How to [Guide] and Top 10 Best Tips
Sharing Is Caring
Most businesses don't understand the importance of building their brand on Instagram. If you're a brand is lacking a visual presence online, Instagram for business is the place to be.
Do yourself a favor and make yourself a personal Instagram account, for research purposes. What you'll find is a plethora of brands that share everything they have with pictures, videos, livestreams, and much more. You might think doesn't apply to your B2B business, but it surely does.
Let me ask you a question.
Who comprises the B2B businesses your business targets? People right and those people are most likely on Instagram whether you think they are or not.
Here are some statistics to show you what I mean.
These statistics come from Hootsuite, so if you want the full article, click the picture and get more great statistics to pitch your boss on creating an Instagram for business account.
How to Research Your Industry on Instagram
After you get setup, click on the search bar and type in your industry and any synonyms too. As you type it in, notice what happens. There is a drop-down box telling you other hashtags (search terms) that people post to their feed. The number next to it is how many posts have been attached to that hashtag, which is a good indicator to how popular the industry is. Go ahead and pick one of the hashtags.
What you automatically see when you select a hashtag is the most popular posts for that hashtag. Check out the amount of likes and comments on each post, then compare that with other hashtags in your industry.
What you're looking for when you do is a few things to keep in mind...
- The quality of the images (filters, quality, etc.) Can you replicate or beat?
- The depth of the descriptions and length. Do you need to hire a writer?
- What hashtags are they using? How many are they using? Where are they putting them? Check these out too, for volume and current usage.
- Are they tagging individual people in the comments? These are a good way to spread the word beyond your following.
Those are a good set of questions to size up your competition.
Now Turn Instagram Traffic into Real Money
Usually, businesses don't use Instagram solely. They link to their business in their profile and use Instagram to build a following. Then they send that following to their web page or online store, which is monetized.
Now, this strategy works well for B2C businesses, but what about B2B? How does this apply to businesses that require a physical sales pitch?
Literally, a different objective to the same process will work, except instead of the customer going to an online store, they go to a contact form or a quiz to create a lead. Then that lead can be nurtured with an email campaign of rich content and text-marketing or directly to a sales rep to set up a webinar. Or, skip the sales rep and go straight to a calendar to sign them up for a webinar at their convenience.
Of course, you should look at all of your competition and see how they are using Instagram. Click on their links to see their strategy and if it's within your budget try out their products and go through their funnel to see where you can improve. Some would call that spying and it's very valuable and loads of fun.
What Makes Quality Content on Instagram
The answer to this question is different for every industry, brand, and person. It's not an exact science, where you can look at a brand and say you need this specifically even though there are many experts that can get really close. Really close will certainly make you tons of money, so if you have the budget you should definitely get an brand expert to ensure you're business comes off in the right way.
Most companies have brand issues from my point of view. I believe that is because they use a variety of platforms and try to adapt content from one platform to another instead of creating native content.
Native content is content that works best on the platform it's intended. Turning an Instagram post into a blog is not the way to get more followers. A well-written description can do wonders, but treating every piece content just like so other platform is not a good way to make friends. Plus, if you're currently using multiple platforms, you want every post to be different so people don't see duplicates and get bored. You'll find that keeping your viewers entertained is more than half the battle.
Use All the Features Available
Every feature on Instagram should be used as intended, but not using all the features, like Instagram stories, IGTV, posting regularly, Live streaming, and more is a major fallacy.
The best Instagrammers use all the functions plus boost their work to reach thousands every day no matter what. The best part is that boosting is inexpensive and well worth it, it you're selling a hot product.
For a B2B business, this could a gold mine of sales appointments if done at the right time with the right messages. This is where a copywriter combined with a videographer is so important to being a relevant force on Instagram. Just look at your competition regularly and follow everything they do, then 1-up their efforts by spending more time creating native content and then boost it.
Running Instagram ads is also very easy if you're familiar with Audience Insights. Facebook ads and Instagram ads run on the same platform, so if you know one then you know both.
The 10 Best Instagram for Business Tips
Create a Winning Profile
The first thing you should do before you post anything is get your profile as perfect as possible. Your entire brand relies on your ability to provide consistent content, but what happens when people love what you create. They check out your profile your profile looks cheap or "scammy" and doesn't reflect the image your present in your posts, then your business plan will fall apart.
Boost Your IGTV Channel
Every time you do a live stream or IGTV, you should boost it. It only takes a few dollars to get it seen by thousands, so take advantage of this as soon as possible.
Also, make sure the quality of your IGTV is worth watching for over an hour. Don't make the mistake of thinking that since your competitors put up low-quality videos that you can too. Remember, it doesn't cost $10,000 to have a professional camera, lighting, and microphones these days. Find something in your budget.
Give Your Viewers Behind-the-Scenes Videos of Your Business
A quick 1-minute behind-the-scenes video as a post or Instagram story gives a feeling of humanity to your brand in an instant. Just make sure you're making them either interesting, professionally funny, or creative in some way. No one wants to watch a boring video.
Introduce Your Key Players
Each person in your organization needs to leverage their own network to build the organization's network. This means that they should put the organization on their profiles and each day you should highlight a different person. They can share that information on their own profile and boost it to make sure it is seen.
Watch Your Engagement
Notice how people are reacting to your posts. Instagram is a great way to test your market and find out what makes them tick. If you're posting on a regular basis and not getting the likes and comments that you used to then start adding different kinds of content incites more conversation. Asking a question in meme form is a great way to do that.
Use Instagram Stories Like a Visual Daily Journal
Instagram stories are your daily journal to keep your loyal followers in the loop of your day-to-day operations. B2B operations need more transparency, not less, so post the inner-workings of your business every chance you get. I have yet to see a business broadcast their meetings to the masses.
Create a Solid Sales Funnel
Your Instagram can make money for you if you set up your funnel correctly. That means that you don't direct traffic to the funnel unless it's flawless. Every sales pitch polarizes your brand. Fun, useful, and creative content expands your brand, so too much sales will crush your company and not enough won't give you the money you're looking for.
Don't Use Instagram for a Hard-Sell
Just like the last tip, stay away from selling services on Instagram. Selling products is great, and Instagram has a method for doing that.
Pointing people in the direction of a sales pitch is a good idea, but do not sell on Instagram. It's not the place for it.
Give Your Customers Valuable Information
Real value is what sells products on Instagram. Businesses need to understand what their customers view as valuable content. Once you figure that out, it's your job to make that more engaging and conversation-worthy.
Watch the Best in the Business
Studying your competition is one thing, but analyzing the best in the Instagram world is the best thing you can do. If you're B2B find the best in that world.
For more information on building a following on Instagram, check out the Digital Cartel Blog for a ton of create information to start today.