How to do business on Instagram in 2021
Instagram’isation is the brightest trend in recent years. More than 800 million people visit this social network every month. 49% of netizens are millennials, who research shows make up the majority of eCommerce buyers Instagram’s capabilities are enough to be the main and even the only sales channel. Therefore, if you are not already doing business on Instagram, now is the time to fix it.
Business on Instagram: where to start?
The conquest of Instagram should start with getting to know this social network and its users. Of course, people come to Instagram to communicate and express themselves. But the days when this was the only purpose of this social network are over. Now users follow popular bloggers, subscribe to public pages, and even make purchases.
According to Statista, the main segment of the Instagram audience is equally divided by men and women 25-34 years old. This group, beloved by marketers, makes up the main core of Instagram users, namely 34%. Another 31% are girls and boys aged 18-24 who are a good target audience for buying inexpensive goods.
With the right approach, an Instagram account can be turned into a convenient platform for business, through which you can communicate with customers, distribute selling and engaging content, and launch ads on the social network. And considering also a solvent audience that loves online shopping, Instagram is simply a must have for a business.
6 steps to start an Instagram business
Business in the social media space, as elsewhere, requires the development of a clear strategy and adherence to the set goals. Let’s take a look at the first 6 steps to starting your own Instagram business.
Step 1. Choose a niche
The key stage in creating a business on Instagram is choosing your niche. Conventionally, a niche is your place. It determines what product you sell and what content you publish.
Choose a niche based on your personal interests. If you love fitness, you can, for example, run a fitness blog or create fitness tours. If you are a young mom and know everything about children and what they need, you can sell baby products. Do you know how to build a successful business, create passive income – become a business coach, run an info business.
Sometimes it seems that there are no talents or preferences. But actually it is not. Any knowledge and skills, ranging from love of TV shows and household, can create a successful personal business. Just write down everything that you love and know how to do, and look for examples of people who built their business on these interests.
Step 2. Develop the concept
Business on Instagram does not start with the first post and not with the first photo session, but with the development of a concept and strategy.
A concept is a kind of action plan that is based on understanding the uniqueness of the brand, its place in the market, target audience and characteristics of the marketing channel.
Concept Development Checklist:
- Set goals. First, define the goals that your account will fulfill. This can be active sales, collecting customer reviews, increasing awareness, or all at once.
- Studying competitors. Competitor analysis is an important element in drawing up a business development strategy. Pay attention to how your competitors position themselves, how they engage subscribers, design posts. This information will help you choose the right promotion strategy and not create the perfect clone of a popular profile in your niche.
- We are looking for a target audience. To successfully promote your business Instagram, you need to have an idea of who the account is targeting, who your main customers are and what they are interested in. Having a detailed portrait of your client, you can correctly develop relevant content for him.
- We develop a content plan. This will help to make work on Instagram systemic, not to overload users with selling materials, or, on the contrary, not to turn a business account into an entertainment one.
- Define the KPI. These are the KPIs for your account – engagement rate, likes, comments, followers, and so on. KPIs are individual and depend on the goals. With their help, you will be able to track the dynamics of development, determine which materials and actions work better, and which ones are better to refuse.
For all its friendliness, Instagram is a serious tool, and if you decide to attract your customers through this social network, you need to take this matter seriously
Step 3. Open a business account on Instagram
Users can create two types of accounts – personal and business profiles. The latter have a number of advantages over regular profiles, namely:
- access to account statistics;
- ability to select a category;
- the active link button, which is located next to the “Subscribe” button;
- the ability to add a clickable link to Stories;
- optionally, you can add the address of the company, clicking on which will open
- google map user with your tag;
- it becomes possible to use targeted advertising services.
Yes, and in general, business profiles look more presentable. It is not difficult to get to the company profile – go to the “Account” menu, select the “Transfer to business account” option and follow the further instructions. The social network will offer to link its profile with the Facebook page and partially import data from it. For example, the category will be set automatically, similar to the one set in the Facebook profile.
Step 4. Customize your profile
Most Instagrammers decide to stay or leave after a few seconds of familiarizing themselves with the account, so you need to fill out the profile so that casual visitors immediately understand who you are, what you offer, and why they need to subscribe to you.
To accomplish this task, you have 4 main elements:
- Avatar. This is the face of your brand, by which you will be recognized, remembered and fall in love. Set a high-quality picture as an avatar, preferably against a light background and expressing positive emotions. The photo should not contain small details, it should be clear and reflect the essence. A brand logo or a stylistically designed product photo is well suited.
- Nickname. The main rule in choosing a name is simplicity. It should be easy to remember and help to find you in the search. For example, the name of your service / product and city.
- Name (30 characters). Duplicating your nickname on this line is ineffective. It is better to list several services and location, for example, Shellac, Manicure, Kiev.
- Description (130 characters). With this short text, you need to hook a person, tell about your advantages. In this section, you need to fit your USP, your key benefits, a call to action and suggest communication channels.
Account name, name and description is your first selling post. Your casual visitors don’t want to joke, their attention is focused on understanding who you are and what you are doing.
Step 5. Make a content plan
It is impossible to develop a successful business through Instagram without a well-written content plan. Even if you are truly genius and generate ideas on the fly, there will come a time – in a month or two – when ideas run out and Instagram needs regular posting. In addition, the content plan allows you to harmoniously distribute different types of content to prevent subscribers from getting bored or forgetting about you.
In terms of emotional coloring, conditionally, all content can be divided into four categories:
- Informational – carries important information about your brand, product or service.
- Salesperson – posts that motivate users to buy.
- Entertaining – posts that don’t let users get bored, make them smile, like, leave a comment.
- Image – forms an idea of the brand, talks about its mission, philosophy, principles.
Content can be of a combined type. For example, you can add a call to purchase to informative posts, and it will not look so advertizing.
There is no universal ratio of different types of posts. On average, the following proportions of content distribution can be observed:
- 10% – image posts;
- 20% – entertainment;
- 30% – sellers;
- 40% – informative.
The correct ratio is selected individually, by analyzing the audience and its preferences. There are accounts in which 99% of posts are selling, and they work successfully, because the main thing is for the content to “enter” your target audience.
Step 6. Start Publishing Content
Instagram content can be published in three sections at once:
- main feed;
- short stories;
You need to work with all types of content, and do everything with high quality – picture, text and video. Brands that publish only to feed are simply giving away a huge chunk of their target audience to competitors who are not afraid to experiment.
Instagram developers made the main bias on visual content. This social network is designed primarily for those who like to consume information with their eyes, which largely determines the behavior of the audience and its preferences for content.
The first thing that users see in their main feed is a picture. All published images must be of high quality and visually attractive. Instagram has created an interesting trend for lifestyle images. Here even big brands show their products as they would in real life, without using glossy shots from lookbooks and catalogs.
An equally strong and important part of the post is the text. With it, you can share useful professional materials, share your own successes, present your services and products.
To engage subscribers, write brightly and emotionally. Texts for posts have a limited length of 2200 characters, and the recommended length of one post is 800 characters. Large text can be broken down into a series of posts. It is also recommended to alternate large and small texts.
It is recommended to post to the main feed 1-3 times a day. Also, at least once, and preferably several times a day, it is recommended to release Stories or videos for IGTV.
How to promote Instagram for business
Users subscribe to a useful and interesting profile on Instagram on their own, but at a very leisurely pace. Therefore, Instagram business is impossible without promotion and advertising.
There are many ways to promote your Instagram account, from illegal black-box methods such as buying followers to official advertising. Consider effective ways to help you not miss out on your customers and not waste your advertising budget.
Effective promotion on Instagram can be built on correctly selected hashtags. In this social network, people search for information mainly with the help of hashtags, so their use is more than justified.
Hashtag – keywords for searching in social networks. The word in the tag is preceded by a pound sign #, which turns the word into a hyperlink, by clicking on which the user will see all posts marked with this tag.
Hashtags help to attract users, provide visibility of content in Instagram searches, are suitable for creating unique tags for products and navigation through content.
It is recommended to select 3-5 hashtags for each post. If this is not enough, the rest of the tags can be placed in the first comment below the post. It is recommended to bet not on the popularity of the tag, but on its relevance to your content within the profile.
With geotags, everything is also extremely simple – mark specific locations of places where your target audience is in order to attract their attention. For example, children’s entertainment clubs, fitness centers, cafes, restaurants, etc.
By the way, Instagram notifies the owners of establishments about mentioning their geolocation in posts. Therefore, it is also a good way for offline business owners to collect feedback and customer reviews.
Instagram Stories are viewed by over 500 million users per day, making them a powerful marketing tool. Stories allow you to constantly stay in sight of your audience, involve people in various activities, share content that does not fit into the main feed.
Stories can be used for promotion in different ways. Now the trend is the game. For example, screenshots with predictions, various puzzles and mazes. Effective stories have also proven themselves as a storytelling tool. On multiple spreads, you can write about anything. In addition, account holders with more than 10K subscribers or a blue checkmark can attach a clickable link to their Stories.
Contests and Giveaways
Users willingly subscribe to profiles if they can get any benefit, discount or gift from it. Of course, giving out gifts to everyone in a row will not work, so it is optimal to hold a competition and give away any prize between everyone who subscribed, liked, commented on a post or tagged a friend.
With the help of a successful competition, you can attract thousands of subscribers by spending only on buying a gift. You can organize a competition both by your own efforts and by taking part in the Giveaway.
Giveaways are collective contests with several sponsors and more valuable prizes for users. Usually it looks like this: a well-known blogger launches a news about a prize drawing, which can be received by a random user who subscribes to all sponsor accounts. Usually these are 10-30 accounts. Giveaway prizes are usually more valuable than a single sponsor can afford. It can be a large sum of money, an expensive gadget or even a car.
Instagram has an official advertisement, with the help of which your posts can be broadcast to the accounts of selected target users. Targeted advertising works through Facebook and is only available for business accounts.
Targeted advertising is a paid service. Its cost depends on many factors – format, number of impressions, audience criteria. The more companies claim the attention of a specific audience, the higher the cost per impression.
Instagram offers several ad formats and extensive customization options for audience targeting. Advertising can be formatted as a video in Stories, a post in a feed or a carousel of goods. It is important not to make a mistake here, to choose the right audience segment for impressions and content that is attractive to them, otherwise the advertising budget can simply be wasted.
Advertising with influencers
There are many opinion leaders on Instagram, and users are ready to listen to their advice and recommendations. If such a blogger recommends you in his account at least once, you can get many times more subscribers than from targeted advertising.
There are different bloggers – with a multimillion audience, or niche ones with several thousand followers. There are good bloggers who have an active audience and authority among users, and there are bad bloggers with overwhelmed subscribers, a “dead” and amorphous audience.
You can search for bloggers suitable for advertising by thematic hashtags, geotags, but it is best to use the trendHERO service specially designed for these purposes, where a database of more than 16 million accounts is collected. Here you can check the blogger for cheating, determine the main core of his subscribers and the level of their involvement. These parameters directly affect the ad performance.
How to do business on Instagram
Instagram is primarily a social network. Here, head-on sales do not work well, and obsessive “vparivanie” here causes only irritation. Instagram for business works well only when the brand evokes emotions in people, knows how to beautifully convey its ideas and inspire trust.
In promoting your business on Instagram, you need to constantly experiment and look for new ways, bury old trends and invent new ones. There are, of course, the basics, without which it will be impossible to develop a successful business.
Regular posting is the key to success. You need to constantly remind users of you, and at the same time not cause rejection by persistence. For business accounts, the optimal frequency of posts is 1-2 times a day in the feed, and 1-3 Stories.
Entertainment channels and bloggers can increase the number of posts up to 4 in the feed and 10 in the Stories.
Communicate with the audience
Social networks are communication. Take an interest in the opinion of your subscribers, ask their advice and recommendations. Be sure to read comments, answer questions, deal with objections.
Brands and customers have never been as close as on Instagram. Use this opportunity to win over people.
Be always in touch with your clients, reply to their messages in Direct, connect additional communication channels. For example, various messengers, website, chats, and so on. It is important that it is convenient for customers to contact you.
Benefits of Doing Business on Instagram
Instagram for Business is an extensive lead generation and advertising channel. Surprisingly, just one social media account offers solutions for many business-critical tasks:
- attracts user traffic;
- allows for active sales;
- works effectively to increase reputation and brand awareness;
- allows you to get quick feedback from users.
An Instagram profile can be the only means of communication with customers and at the same time show good results. And what is important, you can develop your Instagram business with little or no investment.
Instagram Business Ideas
Anyone can start a business on Instagram. You only need minimal investment, a willingness to self-study, free time and a well-chosen idea.
The most popular ideas for making money through Instagram:
- selling your own goods and services;
- earnings on affiliate programs;
- photographer or designer for Instagram;
- account administrator;
- earnings from advertising;
Naturally, this is not all. Any business, hobby or knowledge can be sold through Instagram. It is only important to present it to users correctly.
Tips and tricks
In the pursuit of followers and reach, bloggers and businesses often make mistakes. Let’s take a look at the main ones to prevent them.
- Boost subscribers and activity. Avoid dubious account promotion tools. Dead souls on your account are not only useless, but can also lead to a ban, loss of reputation and drop in reach.
- Incorrect hashtags. Instagram users have the right to complain about irrelevant hashtags. Their use will not only not bring targeted subscribers, but may also cause a “shadow” ban.
- Provocative posts. It is better for commercial accounts to avoid topics of ethnicity, nationality, orientation, politics, and religious beliefs. Some users may not agree with your opinion, which will provoke unsubscriptions.
- Lack of patience. Do not naively assume that a line of clients will line up for you after 2-3 posts. Promotion of a business on Instagram takes time and patience.
Promoting a profile on Instagram is a complex process, which can be slightly simplified with the help of useful services. Most requested and popular:
- Mssg.me, Taplink or Linkin.bio services allow you to group contacts and create business cards.
- The onemorepost.ru service can automatically repost even old posts from other social networks to Instagram.
- Instaplus allows you to automate the acquisition of new users, as well as recognize bots in subscribers and remove them.
- Morecom.ru will allow you to collect user comments and not miss anything important.
- Boomerang, Flipagram, Hyperlapse are good video editing software.
- trendHERO provides more extensive profile information than standard statistics.
- Pepper.ninja or InstaParserPro allow you to parse the audience.
- YouScan and Brand Analytics will find all mentions of your profile, even if they have already been deleted.
An Instagram profile can be a powerful tool for promoting your business. But you need to understand that like any other marketing tool, it requires a thoughtful approach and an integrated system of actions. This is a huge, but at the same time very exciting work. Develop, experiment, look for new approaches and the fruits of this work will not keep you waiting long.