This is the simplest guide to understand how you can leverage Instagram for your business.
So if you want to:
- Reach out to a wider audience and build your business’s social network
- Keep your audience engaged and build long-lasting, trust-based connections
- Use Instagram as a sales funnel for your business
then you need to read this step-by-step guide that covers everything - from optimizing your Instagram Business account to creating scroll-stopping content. Let’s jump right in!
- What is an Instagram Business account?
- Why use Instagram for business?
- How to create an Instagram account for business?
- How to set up Instagram for business?
- Identifying your business’s objective
- How to use Instagram feed posts for business?
- How to use Instagram Stories for business?
- How to use IGTV for business?
- How to use Instagram Reels for business?
- How to use Instagram Guides for business?
- How to use Instagram for business: Planning a successful content strategy
- Creating a stylebook for your Instagram business account
- Instagram analytics for business
- Instagram for business best practices
- Instagram for business tips to increase growth and engagement
An Instagram Business account is one of the two free professional accounts on Instagram for users who want to leverage the platform and reach out to audiences who will connect with their work and business.
This type of account is best for retailers, brands, organizations, and service providers.
An Instagram business account gives you access to social media marketing tools like -
1- Sharing your contact information for potential customers to reach out
2- Analytics on every post to help you understand what your audience needs
3- Creating and manage selling and promotion tools like advertising, promotions, booking integrations, and Instagram shoppable posts
4- Action buttons like Order Food, Book Now and Reserve
Let’s look at the difference between an Instagram business, creator and personal account:
Instagram has slowly transformed into a marketing channel that allows businesses to reach out and connect with their audience. Their features like shoppable posts, swipe-up stories, reels, and engaging stickers have been built keeping businesses and marketing in mind.
3 Reasons Why Instagram Is A Great Marketing Channel For Businesses
A. Instagram is a marketing platform in the truest sense. If your audience loves your content, they will follow you – allowing you to connect with them and reach out to them.
B. Unlike other platforms, ads and marketing content are interspersed with content from your friends, family, and celebrities you follow – it is why we enjoy consuming content from our favourite brands.
When your audience is connected to your brand, they will share your posts and stories with their friends and on their profiles. Not only are they building a relationship with you but they are also getting more people to notice you.
C. Instagram’s bite-sized and super-visual content makes it very addictive and engaging for its users. It also makes for a great space for retail and e-commerce businesses to build their visibility and showcase their products.
A recent study on this suggests that most users who shop online have made their purchase decision after seeing something on Instagram. The most beneficial industries in their case were make-up, jewelry, accessories, and clothing.
Next, let’s understand how to set up your Instagram business account. If you already have an Instagram business account, jump directly to section 4 where we discuss how to create content for your Instagram business account.
If this is your first time with Instagram and you want to set up an account for your business - here are the steps you need to follow:
Step 2: Choose a username for your business account and click ‘Next’. You can now add a password for this Instagram account.
Step 3: Put in your contact details, either an email or a phone number.
Step 4: Click ‘Complete signup’
By default, your new account is a personal account. Here are the steps you can follow to switch it to a business account.
Note: These are also the exact steps you need to follow if you want to switch your current personal account to an Instagram Business account.
Step 1: Go to the profile page of your Instagram account and tap the menu button (hamburger icon) on the top right corner.
Step 2: Tap the settings button at the bottom of the menu
Step 3: Scroll down to the menu and tap on ‘Account’
Step 4: Scroll down the menu and tap on ‘Switch to Professional Account’
Step 5: Instagram will display features of professional accounts. Click ‘Continue’
Step 6: Select a category that best fits your brand
Step 7: Select ‘Business’ as your account preference
Step 8: Review your contact information - add and edit your contact details as required
Step 9: Connect your existing Facebook page to your Instagram business account or create a new one (it takes 2 minutes!)
When you switch to a business account, Instagram will ask you to fill in details like your contact number, email ID, and address for people to be able to reach out to your business. Apart from that, here are a few things you can do to optimize your Instagram business account.
Edit your Instagram bio for business
Your description is representative of your business and should tell your audience about you and why they should connect with you.
Here are 4 three things you should add to your Instagram bio:
1- Many businesses add their tagline or a statement that summarizes what they do, like Nokia does in the example below.
2- You can add your brand hashtags or hashtags of movements you’re supporting. For example, Nike shows support for the Black Lives Matter & Stop Asian Hate movements.
3- If you are a product or service providing business, you can list the benefits for your customers in your bio. CheekyGlo also uses emoticons to make their bio more interesting.
4- A call-to-action for the link below because otherwise your audience does not know what you are redirecting them to and will often not click on it.
Add links to redirect your audience
Unlike other social platforms, Instagram does not allow you to add links to your posts and so the only option for putting up a link is in your bio.
You can use this link to direct your users to your website, a YouTube video, an online store – wherever you want to drive traffic.
If you want people to purchase a product you posted about, make sure you write ‘Link in bio’ in the feed post and stories and you can also mention it in your IGTV description.
Third-party tools like Linktree & Linkin.bio allow you to curate multiple links and share them on your Instagram profile, like in the example below.
When someone clicks on the link, it opens up a menu and you can choose where you want to navigate to.
Update your profile picture
The profile picture on your Instagram business page is the best place to do some branding. You can choose to put your logo, the logomark (logo without text), or even a picture of your mascot.
3 things you should be cognizant of when choosing a logo for your Instagram profile:
1- The image you choose for your profile picture should immediately help people connect it with your brand, like Bira put a picture of their mascot.
2- Use colours that pop on Instagram’s off-white background. Colours 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.
Make your Instagram name SEO friendly
Many businesses and creators have started adding their business’ top keyword in their name to make it more SEO friendly.
For example, look how Sue Zimmerman has added ‘Business Coach’ in her Instagram name. So when people search for business coaches on Instagram, she is one of the first recommended profiles.
Before you start working on your content strategy, it is important to talk about what your business’s objectives and goals are on Instagram. This allows you to plan a strategy to achieve your goals and measure your success.
Everyone measures success differently and it’s important to know that the goals you choose will have a direct influence on the insights you track on Instagram.
For example, if you want to increase brand awareness and grow a community, the most important metric you will be tracking is engagement – who has liked, commented, and shared your posts. Whereas if your goal is to drive sales, you will keep a check on the traffic that comes to your website from Instagram.
Here is a list of common goals businesses may have for Instagram. You should prioritise not more than 2 goals to ensure consistent growth.
Your business goals may not necessarily fit into any of these categories and you could be chasing a completely customized objective. In such cases, here are some questions you’d want to ask yourself:
1- Why are you on Instagram?
2- How can Instagram assist you in achieving your marketing goals?
3- How much time or budget can you commit to Instagram?
4- What is Instagram offering you that is different from other platforms you have a presence in?
For example, when you look at Fenty Beauty on Instagram, you’ll realise they have two main objectives:
- Reach out to new customers
- Build a strong relationship with their current customers.
Their content includes:
- Tutorial videos to show their audience how to use their products
- Product catalogues and shoppable posts for interested customers who want to make a purchase
- User-generated content which not only builds their social proof but also helps their community grow
- Celebrity takeovers and influencer collaborations that helps them reach a wider audience
Their content is structured in a way that appeals to their current customers and also inspires conversion from new customers
3 tactical ways to help you figure out your business’s objective on Instagram
Align with your overall marketing objective
One of the simplest ways to figure out your objective is to align it with your overall marketing object and work backwards. If your marketing objective for your business is to build a community around your brand as a space for your audience to interact and engage with you like Nike, then you must focus on creating content that will bring your audience together. However, on the other hand, if your marketing objective is to reach a sales goal, then Instagram can be another platform for you to reach new customers and get them into your sales funnel.
Listing down your expectations
When you post on Instagram, what end result are you expecting? Do you want your audience to appreciate and support your business or buy from you? Are you looking to interact and engage with them to form a relationship or do you want the platform to act as your sales funnel? When you understand your expectations from the platform, it is easier to pick an objective for your business on Instagram.
Research your competitors
You will have to deep dive into your competitor’s Instagram page to know what their objectives are. It will also tell you if Instagram is helping them achieve these objective goals and whether or not they are working for them. You can then choose to take inspiration from them or choose something entirely unique which may help you stand out.
With your business’s objectives in place, it’s time to understand how you can leverage Instagram’s content tools to achieve these goals.
Think of your feed as an evergreen, curated blog that lives on and so, it should represent your business and its portfolio. Your feed should let people know who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer to them. You need to consistently show up on the feed to be visible and build trust with your audience.
Let’s look at the basic thumb rules of posts:
– You can post a single still image, multiple images (carousel), or a 1-minute video on your feed.
– The maximum length of your description can be 2200 characters.
– Your audience can like, comment, share (in both DMs and on their stories), and save your feed posts.
Easy to create, edit, and share, posting a photo on your Instagram feed is the most popular form of content. You can share images in a square (1:1), landscape (16:9), and portrait (9:16) format.
As a business, use this content tool to showcase your product range, share user-generated content and simple updates, like an upcoming sale.
Instagram allows you to post 1-minute videos 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.
You don’t need a professional crew to help you create stunning videos for your Instagram. With InVideo, you’ll be able to create scroll-stopping videos in less than 15 minutes, even if you’ve never edited a video before.
You’ll be able to choose from 4000+ templates, an inbuilt library of 1 million+ premium photos, and stock footage from Shutterstock and iStock. There is also music to suit every mood, animated text, stickers, and effects that you can add to your video ad.
A carousel post allows you to share multiple photos and videos to your Instagram feed. They have become very popular and many businesses have creatively used it to show their product range, photos from an event, before and after images, and also tutorials on how to use the product.
Carousel posts can be shared in all three formats – square (1:1), landscape (16:9), and portrait (9:16) but you have to stick to one choice for all the consecutive images and videos. You can share a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 10 photos and videos on a carousel post.
Imagine if your audience could purchase your product directly from your Instagram post. A shoppable post on Instagram allows users to tap on a feed post (photos only) that features your product in it and buy it - without having to redirect them to find a link in your bio.
All your customer needs to do is tap on the product or the shopping bag icon if they’re interested in buying the product and Instagram will redirect them to the URL you provide to make the final purchase or let them check out on Instagram itself. It is a great way to showcase your products and drive sales from your Instagram feed.
We have a complete guide on how to sell on Instagram using shoppable posts so you can start using Instagram as a sales funnel.
It’s not easy to come up with new post ideas every day. We have built a repository of 32 Instagram post ideas after analysing the best performing posts across 100+ brands that you can use for your business. We have also included ready-to-use templates so you can start creating immediately.
With many people tuning in to stories every day, it is no wonder that it has become an essential channel for marketing on Instagram. A lot of businesses are using stories to create short-lived video content that is fun, light-hearted, and more personal.
Let’s look at the basic building blocks for Instagram stories:
– Each story lasts for 24 hours and will disappear unless you add them to a highlight. It will then show on your Instagram profile, below your bio and contact details.
– If you have more than 10K followers, you get a swipe-up feature that allows you to redirect your audience to a URL of your choice when they swipe up on your story.
– Your audience can engage with your stories by reacting to them, sending you a message on DM, or responding to an engagement sticker (like Ask me anything, Yes/No).
– Go live on Instagram via stories and engage with your audience in real-time. You can also save your Instagram Live as an IGTV video.
One of the best features of Instagram stories are the engagement stickers that were created keeping marketers in mind. These stickers on Instagram Stories are perfect for businesses to engage with their audience and also collect quality data.
Let’s take a look at some of these stickers:
Location And Hashtag
When you use the location sticker on your story, you amplify its reach to someone who is currently in that location – like when you add the location sticker for a restaurant you’re having dinner at on your stories.
It’s the same for hashtags too. When you use a hashtag sticker on your stories, it will show up on the corresponding hashtag page.
Polls And Emoji Sliders
Want to conduct a quick survey of your new product? Use the poll or emoji slider stickers on Instagram stories and get your audience to engage with it. You can see the results live as your followers engage with it and you can also check who clicked on what option and you can choose to DM them to take the conversation further.
Unlike a poll sticker where your audience can only vote on one of the two options, a question sticker gives them space to type in and send a response. Whether you want to get feedback on your products or you want to understand your audience better, the question sticker is a powerful marketing tool.
Got an upcoming sale, opening event, or launch? Use the countdown sticker to get your audience excited for it. Interested people can subscribe to your countdown sticker and they will be notified when your countdown is complete.
Share a shoppable link of your best-selling products on your Instagram Stories. This will allow your audience to tap on the product to view its details and make a purchase.
Want a fun, expressive GIF to tell your audience how you feel or what’s going on? In 2017, Instagram paired up with GIPHY to build a library of high-quality GIFs that can be posted to Instagram stories. Using GIFs can add a fun personality to your brand and will help your audience relate to you.
Are you planning an Instagram challenge to promote your next product line? Just use the challenge sticker and nominate as many people as you want. A great challenge can spread like wildfire and soon you will have many people participating in it – increasing brand awareness and visibility.
Stories are also a great way to amplify, promote, and broadcast your content. You can share your feed posts, reels, and IGTV videos on your Instagram stories.
There is a lot you can do with Instagram Stories - and so we have compiled a swipe file of tried and tested Instagram Stories ideas that you can leverage for your business right away.
One of the things Instagram was short of was a space to share long-format videos. It launched IGTV in 2017 as a standalone video platform that would enable businesses to showcase their products, talk to their audiences, and give information.
IGTV videos are not supposed to be necessarily planned and perfectly curated like your feed posts. You can consider them to be a step up from your Instagram stories. IGTV videos are best fit for tutorials, product demos, showcase collection videos, BTS videos, and interviews.
Let’s look at the basic thumb rules of IGTV:
– You can post videos that range from 15 seconds to 10 minutes. If you have a verified account, you can post videos for up to 60 minutes.
– You can tag other Instagram accounts, put relevant keywords and links in your video description on IGTV.
– It is recommended your IGTV video is vertical and should have a maximum aspect ratio of 9:16 and a minimum of 4:5
IGTV wants to be more like YouTube and Netflix and that’s why it has been encouraging businesses and influencers to use the format to create content. It is the right time to start posting on IGTV and join the party early rather than be too late.
5 ways you can leverage IGTV videos for your business
Showcase your product or service
An IGTV video is a great space to show how your product can add value to your audience’s life. You can show your viewers the features of your product and share information about your product range. People are more likely to purchase a product when they see it being used in a video.
Answer questions and solve queries
Building a great connection with your audience comes with solving their problems. Imagine if they were at your store - you would be able to address their questions face to face. IGTV lets you do the same thing with thousands of people at one time. You can start by answering the frequently asked questions and you can also ask your audience to drop questions in the comments. Here’s an example of writer Elizabeth Gilbert who answered questions about her new book on IGTV.
Create tutorials and DIY videos
One of the ways businesses can help their audience is show them how to use their products. As a makeup brand, Fenty Beauty is constantly putting out tutorials on IGTV to help their audience and customers make the most of their products. Check out this quick tutorial on their IGTV.
You can do an Instagram Live interview that is later posted on IGTV or you can also post a pre-recorded video interview. You can interview guests and collaborators who share your business values and speak on topics that are of interest to your audience.
Take your audience behind the scenes
Let your audience get a peek of what goes on behind the curtain. Whether it is an event or manufacturing process, audiences are always keen to know how something is made or done. Check out this behind the scenes video by Nat Geo that lets us follow photographer Jimmy Chin on an adventure shoot.
There is so much more we have to share about IGTV videos and how you can leverage them for your business, so we created this guide that shows you how to create IGTV videos from scratch and also has free templates that you can start using right away.
Instagram’s latest addition to its content roster - a quirky form of video for instant gratification that can be used to send offers, updates and give quick information to your audience.
Many businesses are also participating in the latest trends in their own unique way to ensure they keep their audience entertained. They’re currently the most discoverable content on Instagram and are a great way to reach new audiences.
Let’s look at the basic building blocks for Instagram reels:
– A reel is a bite-sized video of 15 - 30 seconds.
– It is recommended that your reel is vertical and should have a maximum aspect ratio of 9:16 and a minimum of 4:5
– Remix Reels feature allows you to respond to an existing reel and be a part of it by appearing next to the original reel video.
– Making reels on trending audios and effects amplifies your reach to audiences who have responded positively to that content
6 ways you can leverage Instagram Reels for your business
Introduce yourself and your business
Share value-adding information
Reels are a great way to disperse information that can help your audience. Check out this example in which Alexa Donner shares her favourite marketing tools.
Teach your audience how to do something
While Reels are not made for full blown tutorials, you can definitely teach your audience quick and handy things - like Mel does in this reel where she shows her audience how to perfect every pose.
Behind the scenes
Give your audience a quick 30-second tour of what your day, week or month is like. You can also take them around your store, manufacturing unit, sales desk, etc to let them take a peek into how you do business.
Show your product range
You can use trending audios or simply record yourself as you show your product range or products in a kit, like Sephora does in the reel below.
We have a massive repository of Instagram reel ideas that we have put in a swipe file with tonnes of examples and templates for you to use right away.
Create reels on the latest trends
If we know one thing that definitely works on Instagram reels is creating content on the latest trend. Businesses are finding unique ways to share their stories, products and values using these trends on reels. At InVideo we also created reels on popular trends like in the example below.
You can create reels on the latest trends on InVideo in minutes. It’s super simple and much more convenient than doing it all by yourself on the platform. Check out this video where we show you how to edit the latest reels trends on InVideo.
We also have a repository that can be your one stop shop for ideas so you always have something new to create on reels for your business.
Instagram’s latest content tool is Guides which allows you to share curated content in a scrollable format. This is a great format for businesses to use when they want to share information, tips, recommendations and show their product range in an easy-to-consume format.
Let’s look at the basic building blocks for Instagram Guides:
– You can curate and share up to 30 posts in a single Instagram Guide.
– Create an Instagram product guide from your Instagram shop to showcase your product range.
– You can curate posts from your feed as well as other feeds as long as they are public accounts.
3 ways you can leverage Instagram Guides for your business
Share tips and tricks
Curate your Instagram posts that fit under one umbrella category and turn it into an Instagram Guide for your audience. In the example below, Sue Zimmerman has curated 3 feed posts and turned them into a quick guide on how to increase engagement on Instagram Stories.
Create a gift guide
You can create seasonal gift guides for your audience showcasing your products that are already posted on your Instagram shop, like this Instagram Guide by Afrocenchix.
Share your story or business values
Create a guide to introduce your business and its values. You can also share success stories, like Arizona State University did in this creative Instagram guide.
Share step-by-step tutorials
Show your audience how they can do something using Instagram Guides to share a step-by-step tutorial. You can curate posts from your feed or other public feeds on Instagram.
Here’s a classic example from the Instagram for Businesses account:
Provide resources for social causes
As a business, it is your duty to support your community. You can curate your efforts and resources that can educate and inform your community about social causes that impact them. Here’s Instagram’s guide where they have shared resources from Black creators and Black-led organizations to inform their community on how to fight for racial justice.
Instagram business account, check.
Scroll-stopping posts, check.
Successful content strategy, on it.
Start with audience research
One of the first things you need for a successful content strategy is to know who your audience is. Who are you creating content for? If you already know who your target audience is, you could find people with similar personas on Instagram.
Unsure of who your target audience is?
Just research your competitors’ profiles. See who is following them, what are their interests and how can your business add value to them. One of the things you should not do is go and follow everyone on your competitors’ list – they may never follow you back. Instead, use the information you collate to create a strategy and target them organically.
Once you know your target audience well, you can create posts that are most relevant to them and post them at a time when they are active on Instagram.
For example - if you were an upcoming home chef business that is looking to reach new customers on Instagram, you should check out profiles of other home chefs, homebakers, and cooks. This will give you an insight of who their audience is, what is the best received content on their page and what are their audience looking for? All you have to do is screen through their posts and comments to take note of audience feedback and check their hashtags on best performing posts.
A good content strategy needs a solid foundation or what we call content pillars. Content pillars let you categorize your content into themes, making it easier to pull out ideas and strategize them towards achieving your end goal.
Your content pillars need to align with your business objectives. So if you are looking to showcase your products and advertise on Instagram, then your 2 major content pillars would be product catalogue and user-generated content. Whereas, if you want to build a community around your business or increase brand awareness - you should focus on insider stories, behind-the-scenes and culture-focused content.
When you have chalked out your pillar content for your business, scribble down first thoughts about what you can create within these frameworks.
You can also take inspiration from your competitor’s page or other business pages and see what they’re creating.
It is important that when you start you don’t have more than 2-3 pillar contents. You can slowly add more as you see the interest of your audience peak.
Let’s look at businesses who create quality content by leveraging their content themes.
Pop Tart’s fun and engaging Instagram account is very creatively product-centric. It is almost as if the Pop Tarts have their own personalities. Their instagram feed showcases their product and they also share a lot of user generated content.
Fenty Beauty’s Instagram feed is so well-curated – it is no wonder that most of their sales happen from their Instagram account. Their pillar contents include product catalogues, tutorials, takeovers and user-generated content. They encourage their audience to be a part of their feed by throwing challenges, asking them to send their created looks, and also helping them find the right product via DM on Instagram.
Made By Google
Like many big businesses, Google too has more than one business account on Instagram. This specific one – Made By Google is a great example of how you can showcase your product catalogue. The content pillars for this Instagram account are purely product-centric and revolve around what inspired the product, how it makes your life better, and the product itself. It is aimed at an audience who wants to know what is baking in Google’s oven and to be the first ones to get their hands on new merchandise.
Make A Content Plan
With so many content tools available, a content plan will help you leverage each of them to grow your business on Instagram.
Posts: You must post 4-5 times a day, every day on your feed. However if you’re a small business, start with 1-2 posts a day for consistency and slowly increase the number of posts. We’ve got a list of 32 Instagram post ideas that you can start with.
Stories: A minimum of 10-15 Stories spread across the day are important for engagement. You can repost content from your feed, reels, IGTV and you can also post content from other pages that may interest your audience. You can also take inspiration from this swipe file of 51 Instagram Stories ideas.
IGTV: Try to post 1 IGTV video every week. You can also do Instagram lives that can be saved as IGTV posts. We have a step-by-step guide to help you leverage IGTV videos for your business which includes examples and templates.
Reels: Instagram reels are the latest content tool on the platform and so when you consistently create reels, the algorithm will push your account to relevant audiences. You should post 3-4 reels every week. So the next time you want to post a video on your feed, make it a reel instead.
As a business, it can be tough coming up with ideas week after week, so here’s a list of 40+ reel ideas (with templates) for you to start creating today.
Once your content pillars are in place, it is time for you to think of executing them. Since Instagram is a visual platform, it is important to consider how your content will look when it is published as a single post and amongst other posts. To make things simpler, you can create a style guide that will ensure that your feed matches your brand’s aesthetics.
How your subject (in your case a product) is placed in an image can make a big difference. Good composition intrigues the viewers and makes them stop scrolling to see the image. You don’t necessarily need to be a photographer – these quick and simple composition techniques can help you create great images.
– Try to have a solid colour, clean background to make your product pop.
– You can use simple composition rules like the rule of thirds, leading lines, and symmetry to create images. Check out the video below to understand the simple rules of composition that will help you take more compelling photos.
– Leave breathing space in your images for adding text. You can crop it later if you don’t need it but having space makes it easier to edit.
Don’t we all love a well-curated aesthetic feed? Choosing a colour palette will help you stay focused and consistent with the content you create. Your colour palette does not need to be a strictly impressed rule but rather, it can be a guideline to create familiar content.
If colour theory is new to you, check out this website that gives you colour sets that you can use as a guide to creating posts that will complement each other.
If you plan to post a lot of quotes or images with text, it is important to fix on a font family to stay consistent with your brand. You can choose from the font family you have used on your website and other marketing materials.
To help you choose the best font for your stylebook, you can test font pairings and typefaces on TypeWolf.
Captions are a great way to connect with your audience. While a visual can get their attention, a great caption can seal the deal with good storytelling. Your captions can be a space for you to share stories, product details, information about new updates – anything really. What matters is that your copy is aligned with your brand guidelines.
If you’re a retail brand, check out this excellent copy example by Everlane in which they not only talk about their pants but also give away the price upfront.
You don’t need a professional copywriter to do this for you. Check out our complete guide for copywriting on social media.
Hashtags are synonymous to Instagram. It is a way to categorize content and deliver it to the most relevant audience on the platform. While you can add over 30 hashtags to your post, Instagram suggests that you keep it to 10-15 most relevant hashtags.
One of the biggest plus points of switching to an Instagram business account is the access to Instagram Insights. These analytics are to understand your audience better and what content is working for them.
We have listed down the top 5 Instagram Analytics you need to focus on as a business on Instagram.
Ever since the Saved option was introduced it has become an important metric for businesses and creators alike. A saved post means someone has positively engaged with your content and has found it valuable enough to save it for later. It is also an indication of what content has worked for your audience.
Here are 3 kinds of posts that get saved on Instagram the most:
1- Informative videos, tips, hacks or how-to posts that give out value-adding information on relevant topics or solve a problem for your audience, like this post by Harry Needham.
2- Posts with rich captions that help your audience by inspiring or motivating them. Check out this post’s caption.
3- Quotes from movies, entrepreneurs, celebrities that inspire and motivate your audience make for saveable and shareable posts.
You can also create a CTA on the image for your audience to remind them to save the post for later - like Ankur Warikoo does in this pos.
B. Website clicks
This metric helps you track the number of people who took an action on your profile and visited your website, or any other site you had redirected them to via the link in your bio.
It helps businesses understand how many leads from Instagram went ahead and converted to a sale when compared with their website statistics. If the number of website clicks is high and coverts are low - it is an indicator to check your landing page or retarget your audience with an offer.
Here are 3 ways to increase your website clicks:
1- Add a call-to-action in your bio that lets your audience know what you’re redirecting them to.
2- If you have 10k followers, you can use the Swipe up features on your Instagram Stories to increase your website clicks.
3- Make sure to talk about the link in your bio and how it can benefit your audience in your IGTV, live videos, video posts, caption, etc.
Impressions are a count of the number of times your post has been seen. Whether your audience has seen it while scrolling through their feed, on the explore page or received it via DM from their friends - it counts as an impression.
You can use hashtags to increase your reach and be seen by audience’s who are interested in your product and service.
Here are 2 ways to find hashtags for Instagram:
1- Check your competitors' posts to see what hashtags they are using.
2- Use a third-party application like Ingramer to generate hashtags.
The engagement metric tells you how many users engaged with your post by liking, commenting, saving, and sharing it. The closer your engagement numbers are to your impressions, the more positively your audience has reacted to your content.
It is also important to note that the engagement metric does not take into account multiple comments from the same user - like during a giveaway or competition.
Here are 3 things you can do to help increase engagement:
1- Reply to comments especially in the first few hours and pin the best comments so they show up on the top.
2- Use Instagram Stories to engage with your audience by using engagement stickers. Share your feed posts, reels and IGTV to Stories.
3- Encourage your audience to save and share your content with their friends. You can add CTAs in the caption, say it on video posts and illustrate it on image posts.
E. Audience retention (IGTV only)
This metric tells you how long your IGTV video could hold your audience’s attention. The greater the retention value the better - suggesting that your content has either added value or hooked your user to stay till the end. This metric is a great indicator to know the ideal length for your IGTV videos.
Here are 3 ways to increase your audience retention rate:
- Always create content that your audience needs and help them solve their problems.
- Script your IGTV videos well to ensure that they catch your audience's attention from the very beginning.
- Pay attention to what your audience is saying in the comments. These are qualitative insights that can give you a peek into your audience’s problems and needs.
If you want to understand Instagram analytics better, you must read our Instagram insights cheat sheet for businesses.
5 things you can do to ensure your business grows on Instagram:
As a business, you want to consistently show up and engage with your audience - so you get their attention every time they are online. Plan a content strategy such that lets you post a mix of reels, stories and feed posts on a regular basis.
Jump on the latest trends
As a business, you also want to stay ahead of the game and make the most of every trend. Trends are topical and will grab your audience’s attention when they’re scrolling through their feed.
Whether it is something that has just gone viral - like Friend’s Reunion or a reel challenge, creating content on a trend will help you get discovered by a wider audience. Here’s how we at InVideo jumped on the ‘hopeful for today’ trend.
We have an entire YouTube playlist dedicated to show you how to create these latest trending reels - don’t forget to save it for later.
Listen to your insights
Treat your insights as guideposts for your content strategy. They will help you understand your audience’s preferences and what content works for them. You also want to double down on things that are working. For example, if your reels have fetched you more attention from your audience as compared to feed posts, make sure you do more reels every week.
Keep a check on the posts your audience is saving and sharing - this is the kind of content you want to create more of.
Read the comments to get more qualitative data - what is your audience saying? Have they left questions that you can turn into value-adding content?
Post user-generated content
There is no better way of marketing your business and products than the word of your customers. Ask your audience to share their best images of them using your product so you can share these on your feed - brands like GoPro & Apple run on user-generated content. User-generated content also helps you build social proof.
Promote your best organically performing post
The thumb rule for promoting a post on Instagram is to choose a post that has organically performed well. Why - because the purpose of a promotion is to reach a wider audience, so you should choose a content piece that has been positively received by your current audience. Choose a post that has maximum engagement in terms of likes, comments, saves, and shares.
We’ve looked at many business accounts to curate these tips that will ensure that you get the maximum engagement to grow your business on Instagram.
Add A CTA To Your Captions
Always end your captions with a CTA that directs your audience to take an action after interacting with your post. Your call-to-action does not need to necessarily send them to your website or have them purchase a product, instead start with simpler stuff like commenting with an emoji on your post or responding to a question.
In the example below, Sue Zimmerman talks about Instagram Live in a 5-minute IGTV video. At the end of the caption, she asks her audience to tell her when they are going live on Instagram and what they will be talking about. When you scroll down and browse through the comments – you will see that she has replied to so many of them, asking them relevant questions to help her understand her audience better.
Focus On Creating Value-Adding Content
What you put out on Instagram every day is of utmost importance. Don’t just post because you have to. Each post must add value to your users.
Find different ways to connect with your audience to get to know them, like going live or doing a Q&A on stories. The more interactions you have with your audience, the more focused and value-adding content you will be able to create.
Use Visual Cues To Subconsciously Make People Take Actions You Want Them To
Make the best use of visual cues by adding arrows, GIFs, and other elements to your Instagram posts and stories to subconsciously make people take the actions you want them to. For example, if you want people to save your post, put an arrow pointing at the save button to lead their attention to it.
Find Your Golden Content
Golden content is the kind of content that gets you the most engagement on your posts. This does not necessarily mean the number of likes, comments, and shares but it also looks in depth at the kind of conversations the content sparked with your audience.
According to Harry Needham, your golden content is staring right at your face. All you need to do is comb through your best performing posts, compare them to find recurring themes, and viola, those 5-7 ideas are your golden content. Innovating and recreating more of these value-adding content pieces will help you get higher engagement and grow your Instagram.
Make The Most Of Quick Replies On DM
One of the coolest features of Instagram DM is that you can save customized quick replies to your most asked questions. These can also be links to your website, blog, payment link, etc. Set up quick replies in DM to make your job faster and easier, enabling you to interact with many people at a time, especially when you announce something people would be most interested in, like a flash sale.
Here’s how you can add quick replies to your Instagram DM:
Wrapping up -
We’ve spilled the beans on everything you need to know about leveraging Instagram for your business to help you plan and execute successful marketing strategies. All you have got to do is start and when better than today.
If you found this article helpful and you want to start creating content for your business on Instagram, here are 32 Instagram post ideas (with templates) and 51 Instagram Stories ideas to inspire you. We have also written an exhaustive guide on Instagram Reels and how you can leverage them for your business.
Don’t forget to share this article with your friends or colleagues who are looking to switch their Instagram accounts to business, and if you have any questions, drop them in the comments below.
With social media always upgrading to something new, here’s space for you to find answers to all your questions and of course, inspiration. You’d love what we have built at the InVideo community – a place for you to connect and learn from 20,000+ other marketers, business owners, and creators like yourself.
1. Is the business account free on Instagram?
A business account on Instagram is a free feature and anyone can switch to an Instagram Business account if you already have an account on Instagram. We have a step-by-step guide that you can follow to switch from a personal account to a business account.
2. How does Instagram work for business?
For any business, Instagram is a great place to connect with your audience. A well-planned content strategy will allow your business to reach out and connect with audiences who may be interested in your product or your business values. Instagram also has features like Swipe Up in Stories and Shoppable posts in feed posts that allow you to redirect your customer to your online store or directly sell your product on Instagram.
In this article, we show you how to plan a successful strategy, set up your Instagram business account and also help you with tips and best practices to make sure your business does well on Instagram.
3. Is Instagram business account worth it?
With an Instagram business account - you can get access to insights and statistics about your followers. Important data for businesses and marketers like impressions, reach, website clicks, etc. are all available on the app itself. This information will help you understand your audience better so you can create value-adding content for them that results in a strong, trusting relationship.
4. How do I open an Instagram account for my business?
An Instagram business account is a free feature and you can simply switch from a personal account to a business account on the app itself..
We have a step-by-step guide that you can follow to switch from a personal account to a business account.
5. How can I use Instagram for business?
For a business - Instagram provides great space to build a connection with your audience. Unlike a website - Instagram is more personal, this is where your audience is hanging out and sharing their social life with their friends and family.
In this article, we show you how to plan a successful content strategy for Instagram by understanding all of their content tools. We also show you how to optimise your business account for Instagram and use insights to understand your audience’s needs.