Instagram has over one billion users and 90% of them follow at least one business while 50% of them are more interested in a brand when they see it on Instagram. Using Instagram for your business is a no brainer. But getting a hang of the platform and understanding how to use it well is a different ball game.
For instance, did you know that engagement is two times higher for video posts on Instagram? To that effect you should definitely be leveraging Instagram videos if you want to grow your business online. And you can use InVideo’s Instagram video editor to do that easily and quickly. But apart from videos as well there are several factors that affect your growth as a business on Instagram. And in this article we’ll take you through everything you need to know about using Instagram for business along with pro-tips, ideas, and instagram for business tutorial to get you started.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What is Instagram for business?
- How is posting on Instagram for business different?
- How to use Instagram for business
- Instagram tips for business accounts
- 15 best Instagram for business post ideas
If you want to see all of this in action, you should check out our Instagram account where we practice what we preach. With that, let’s dive right in
Using Instagram for business allows companies and brands to engage with audiences and analyze their reach with features that aren’t available to other Instagram users.
A business Instagram account functions much like a Facebook page - it is a repository of all your business information, contains important links to your website or shop, and presents curated images and videos of your brand to Instagram users.
What is an Instagram for Business account?
When you’re using Instagram for your business, you’ll need to open a business Instagram account. This is a type of professional Instagram account which has been specifically designed for companies and businesses looking to sell products and engage with consumers online.
With Instagram for business you can promote your posts through Instagram ads, make your shopping experience seamless with the ability to use links in your stories, and get detailed analytics on audience behavior through Instagram insights. You can even set up an Instagram shop, which allows customers to buy products directly without ever having to leave the Instagram app!
Instagram provides its users with three types of accounts to choose from: Business, Creator and Personal. Each of these accounts have different uses, features and requirements.
How do you use Instagram right now? Think you might need to open an Instagram business account? Let’s take a look at the ways in which Business accounts are different in the next section of our Instagram for business tutorial.
If you want to grow your brand, you’ll need to optimize the content on your Instagram account to generate leads and convert potential buyers - right from your first Instagram post for business!
After you open a business Instagram account you need to be super strategic about everything you post. You’ll need to build a content strategy, create videos, push out your products, run ads, and consistently engage with your audience in order to sell and stay relevant.
Pro-tip: Videos can really help increase your visibility and get you in front of more potential customers than any other medium - so if you want to make great Instagram videos in minutes - check out InVideo’s online video editor, which has a ton of templates to get you started!
Here’s a bit more about all the business account features currently available when you open a Instagram business account:
- Add links to your Stories.
- Add a label for your business - this will help your customers easily find you when they’re searching for a particular type of business or brand. With Business accounts you have to choose the same label across both your Instagram and Facebook accounts. Instagram creators, however can choose whatever label they like and don’t have to match these with the labels on their Facebook page. Creators also get a lot more label options which allows them to really go niche with their personal brands.
- Access Instagram insights which provide you with a breakdown of your Instagram performance, including new followers, profile views, impressions, number of posts, reach, website clicks, and email clicks along with detailed demographic data about your followers, such as gender, age, location, and activity peaks. Creator accounts get additional insights, apart from the ones already available on an Instagram Business profile such as access to the Instagram Creator Studio dashboard which will help you track follower growth and learn what content is resonating (or isn’t) with your followers! The Creator dashboard also comes with insights on when your followers are online, growth metrics, and new discovery data. As well as data on the reach and performance of your posts, stories and videos. You might want to decide between a Business and Creator account depending on the analytics you require. With a creator account you can’t manage multiple accounts from one dashboard or schedule posts ahead of time. But if you don’t need these features - the increased insights on follower behavior can be a real advantage!
- Create Shoppable posts, which allow you to sell directly from Instagram posts. This means you can share content with direct links to your product pages, making it super easy for users to click through, engage with products, and hit buy. Creator accounts can also do this by tagging products from brands directly on their Instagram posts and can make sales from their own accounts.
- Add partner accounts as branded partners, who can post on your behalf
- Manage your inbox with filtered messages. Business profiles can filter messages into 3 categories: requests, general and primary - so you can prioritize your DMs
- Use quick replies to save frequent responses so you can provide a comprehensive reply using just one shortcut word
- Clickable CTAs to drive people to your site, book appointments or buy tickets. You can also add a Contact button to the top of your profile to make it even easier for followers to get in touch!
- Unlike Business and Creator accounts personal accounts also generally tend to have a higher organic reach since Instagram wants to prioritize their main user base over potential advertisers and businesses.
- As a Business or Creator on Instagram you can’t make your account private (for obvious reasons) - this option is only available to personal account users. With a personal account, people interested in seeing your content will have to ask to follow you. Some meme accounts have used this to their advantage by making their accounts private when they want to grow their followers - the idea being that when one of your followers sends a post to their friends, that person has to follow you in order to see it. (Note - this only works well for extremely famous and viral meme accounts)
Knowing how to use Instagram for Business is important. As a business, your posts need to be more strategic and planned for the express purpose of growing your audience or selling your products. You’ll also need to ensure that all your posts have a consistent brand voice and tone which is also reflected in all your creatives. For more pro-tips on how to use Instagram for business, skip ahead to the final section.
Now that you know how a business account is different from other types of accounts on Instagram, let’s go ahead and figure out how to open an Instagram business account and set up your profile for success.
In this section, we’ll take you through a few critical steps you’ll need to know about how to open an Instagram business account, what your first Instagram post for business should be, and how you can optimize your Instagram for business profile. We’ll use super easy Instagram for business tutorials to help to learn how to:
- Set up a business profile
- Optimize your profile for search and discoverability
- Figure out the best Instagram post formats to use
- Create a winning Instagram strategy
- Create content for your Instagram account
- Schedule content on Instagram
- Understand how to analyze your Instagram content performance
Think of this section as our own version of Instagram for business for dummies!
In order to create a business profile on Instagram, you must first create a personal Instagram account and then switch it to a business profile. If you already have an Instagram account, skip to the next section for instructions on making the switch.
Create an Account
2. Open Instagram and tap or click on Sign up.
If you plan to grant access to multiple users or you want to connect your Instagram business account to your Facebook Page, make sure you use an admin email address to sign up or tap Log in with Facebook.
Using this option will automatically connect your Instagram account to your Facebook, and save you an additional step.
3. Enter sign up details including your name and email address. You will also have to choose a unique username that will become your Instagram handle. This will help others search and find you on Instagram so make sure your username is memorable and easy to type!
If you are a company try using your company name. Also make sure your password follows all recommended guidelines (include a number, special characters, etc.)
Once you’ve entered the details, tap on Sign up and that’s it! You now have an Instagram account.
To switch your Instagram account to a Business profile go to your profile and click the three lines in the top right corner. Then tap on Settings in the menu that opens up.
On the Settings page, select Account to open up your account settings. Select Switch to Professional Account, which should be one of the last options that appear on the list.
You will now be asked to select between a Creator and Instagram for Business account. Select, Business and tap Next. That’s it.
You have now set up a Business profile for your Instagram account! Next let’s go through a quick Instagram for business tutorial on how to set up and optimize your profile.
Once you’ve switched to a Business Account you’ll need to set it up so Instagram users can easily find you and learn more about what you have to offer. Business accounts offer a host of options to make it easy for you to advertise your products and services, and lead viewers to your website or shop.
Here are 5 steps you’ll need to take to set up and optimize your account for search:
- Step 01: Add a profile picture
- Step 02: Make Your Instagram Name SEO Friendly
- Step 03: Optimize your Instagram business bio
- Step 04: Add Redirect Links
- Step 05: Add Business Category and other Public Information
- Step 06: Connect your Instagram Business Account to your Facebook page
- Step 07: Post Some Content Before Sharing
To get started, open Instagram, go to your profile, and tap on Edit Profile. This is where you can input vital information your customers will want to see.
Your profile picture should represent what your business is about. So either using your logo or an image of your core product/service is a great idea. Remember that your profile picture is also a branding element. Here are three things you should be cognizant of when choosing a picture for your Instagram profile:
1. The image you choose for your profile picture should immediately help people connect it with your brand. Most brands use their logos for their profile pictures
2. Use colors that pop on Instagram’s off-white background. Colors like yellow, teal, blue, green and red work best.
3. If you want to upload your logo which has text on it, make sure people can read the text because you can’t expand an Instagram profile photo.
Many businesses and creators have started adding their business’ top keyword in their name to make it more SEO friendly. This makes it easy for people to find you based on what they’re looking for.
For example, Sue Zimmerman has the words ‘Business Coach’ in her Instagram name. So now when people search for business coaches on Instagram, she is one of the first recommended profiles that shows up.
Note: Your Instagram name is different from your handle, which is why it’s easy to do this. Avoid making your handle overly complicated or long because that will make it tougher for people to find you using your handle!
Instagram provides businesses with 150 characters in their bio so make sure you use this wisely! Write a sentence that summarizes what your business is about. SEO is also important here as people can use keywords to find you - so make sure you spend some time looking at the best keywords you and use for your Instagram bio.
Here are some ways in which you can write a bio:
- Add a tagline or statement that summarizes your business
- Add brand hashtags, or hashtags of causes you support or something you represent
- List benefits to customers
- Use emojis to make your bio interesting - they’re also known to improve audience interaction and can help you include more information in fewer characters.
- Include a call-to-action and link to your website. Tap on Edit profile on your business account, then add your URL to the section that says Website and tap Done. That’s it!
- Don’t forget to think clearly about your marketing and business goals before you decide what your CTA should be!
More than anything else, make sure your bio looks clean and organized so that your Instagram business account looks professional, but also fun. InVideo’s Instagram account uses a mix of emojis and simple clear sentences to introduce themselves to people on Instagram - while also having clear CTAs to download and use their online tools and apps.
Watch this video for more business instagram tips on how to write a bio:
Unlike most other social media platforms, Instagram doesn’t allow you to link your posts - so the only place where you can add links is in your bio and CTA buttons. If you are a business with a lot of content to share, then redirect links might help your viewers access the information they need.
News platforms and blogs especially need to link their viewers to a number of articles and a single link doesn’t help. This is where third-party tools like Linktree & Linkin.bio come in. They allow you to curate multiple links and share them on your Instagram profile bio.
Check out how Magnum Learn does this - their link opens up to a host of photos which you can click on to learn more. The photos are the same as on their IG page, so users looking for a specific photo story can easily find it.
If you don’t need to replicate all your Instagram photos on your redirect links, you can also use a tool such as linktree, to direct users to different actions - like subscribe to your newsletter, contact you, visit your shop or view a recently published article.
Now you have added basic information such as your business name, website and bio to your professional Instagram account you can get started adding your business category, contact information and call to action.
Your call-to-action buttons are a critical part of your Instagram business account so make sure you choose these very carefully. Think about what you want visitors to your page to do after they’ve viewed your stories or posts and direct them accordingly.
Instagram allows you to redirect users to your website or shop, email you or call your business directly. Take a look at Cheeky Glo’s Insta page - they have a link to their Instagram shop already, so they use their CTA button for Email.
If you don’t have an Instagram shop, then you can use the CTA button to direct users to your website instead.
Now’s a good time to connect your Instagram account with your Facebook page. This will allow you to advertise seamlessly on both platforms and create posts that will appear on both pages - targeting a wider audience for the same amount of effort!
Once your accounts are connected, your Instagram page will automatically display a business category underneath your account name. A business account doesn’t allow you to have different categories on Facebook and Instagram, so make sure you select one that works on both platforms.
Watch this quick video to learn how you can connect your accounts:
Your first Instagram post for business must happen before you share your account with the world! As soon as you’ve set up your Instagram business account, make sure you have a few posts up before telling anyone about the account.
The best thing to do is have a grid of around 6 to 9 posts uploaded on your Instagram business account before you begin following others, sharing your account and communicating via hashtags.
If you share an empty account, users will visit your page expecting to see some interesting photos and won’t know what to do once they see an empty page. It’s also likely that you’ll lose out on potential followers and waste the effort you’ve spent in publicizing your new account.
Consider creating a quick welcome video to get viewers more enticed by your account. Videos are also more likely to be viewed by new followers since Instagram prioritizes video content over photos. Check out InVideo’s Instagram video editor to make some stunning videos that will wow your audience.
And that’s all you need to do to optimize your business profile for users. Now let’s learn about the different types of content and formats you can use to maximize your reach on Instagram!
Instagram started out as a photo sharing app with just one capability: to share photos. But it’s long since expanded its capabilities and now hosts everything from live broadcasts to Reels.
While it’s useful to ask yourself how do I use Instagram and put yourself in the viewer’s shoes, as a business you need to be a lot more strategic. Leveraging video as one of your key formats is important, but you also need to test out other various formats available to see which works best for you.
For example, if you're a fashion brand, having shoppable Instagram posts should be a top priority so people can see the outfits and buy items directly from your shop. But if you're a coaching service, then you might need to use more interactive formats like Instagram live or stories frequently.
Regardless of the types of posts that you share, some things like formats and aspect ratios remain universal on Instagram. These are as follows:
- The maximum length of your caption or image description can be 2200 characters and can include hashtags to enable people to search for your image
- Your audience can like, comment, share (in both DMs and on their stories), and save your feed posts.
- You can share images in a square (1:1), landscape (16:9), and portrait (9:16) aspect ratios. For video sizes, click here.
- All posts are displayed on your main page in a square grid format while stories disappear after 24 hours unless added to your Highlights section.
- You might also want to learn about the best time to post on Instagram to get the most traction for your posts!
Let’s go through each of the available formats on Instagram and learn a bit more about them to help you figure out which of these best suits your brand!
A. Instagram Video Posts
Video posts on Instagram can get you a lot more views and engagements regardless of where you post them. This is because the Instagram algorithm prioritzes video. Making videos are 2x more likely to generate engagement than image posts! And overall video posts get 38 percent more engagement than any image posts.
Now that we’ve established the importance of video on Instagram, let’s take a look at some of the types of videos you can post on Instagram.
Videos can be uploaded on your feed, stories and reels. But there are a few general rules:
- The format should be MP4 or MOV.
- The file size should be of a maximum of 4GB with a frame rate of a maximum of 30 FPS.
- Video resolution for a horizontal video should be 600 x 315 pixels, square video should be 600 x 600 pixels, and vertical video should be 600 x 750 pixels.
Videos on your Instagram Feed
Instagram also allows you to post videos up to 1 minute on your feed. Even though feed videos are not a popular choice, they do attract a lot of engagement and should be a part of your marketing mix. (And with Invideo’s Instagram video maker, you can create videos with ease!)
Videos on your feed need to be a minimum of 3 seconds and a maximum of 60 seconds. But if you want to include longer videos, break them up into smaller chunks and post them as a carousel (more on this format later!)
Here’s an example of Invideo’s 2021 wrap video posted on our feed: