Why Instagram Should Be Part of Your Marketing Plan
It probably comes with no surprise that I believe in Instagram as an incredibly powerful, and not to mention free, marketing tool. Whether you already have a business profile or you only use the app to post every month or so and interact with friends I’m here to tell you why your business or brand needs to be on Instagram.
First let me hit you with some facts. There’s a company called HubSpot and they do tons of research on the patterns and behaviours of Instagram and it’s users. Each year they roll out an annual report and this is what I learned this year.
Instagram Users - Facts and Behaviours
Instagram has over 1 Billion Users. That’s a lot, like a lot a lot.
71% of people in the US between the ages of 18-24 use Instagram but 88% of Instagram users are outside the US. Which means most 18-24 year olds in the US are using Instagram, arguably those same statistics could be applied to Canada but the global market is totally reachable!
Plus, 80% of these users follow a business. As a user following a business helps them get to know your brand, and keep an eye out for new offerings and sales.
And lastly, 71% of businesses already use Instagram. Which means your competitors are probably there! So if you aren’t it’s time to get your booty in gear.
So what can we takeaway from these facts and the power of Instagram itself?
1. Any size of business can succeed on Instagram.
Most accounts on Instagram have less than 1000 followers. So if 71% of businesses use Instagram but most accounts have less than 1000 followers it means you absolutely don’t need a high follower number to succeed. Think of Instagram as a landing page. If your target market is between 18-24 they will most likely be searching for you here, and even if they are between the ages of 24-35 there is still a good chance they might come to Instagram looking for your business as well. If you don’t have a profile that they can find easily you are leaving money on the table! Sure, they might take to google but your google Map Phone and Website are not going to be able to tell your brand story in a split second like a well curated Instagram profile can.
2. You can engage with potential clients on Instagram (for free!)
Instagram is a FREE platform where ALL of your clients hang out. Could you image if someone told you that in that coffee shop across the street are 1000 of your target audience just hanging out enjoying themselves? Even if it was 100 I bet you would be running over there and shaking as many hands as you could with a smile on your face. It’s not very often that we are put in a networking situation with our potential clients instead of a group of peers which is what makes Instagram so powerful.
You can use Instagram to find and market to your target audience in really simple and effective ways like with a direct messaging strategy which I teach in my signature Instagram marketing course, Girl Meets Gram, which you can get your hands on now until September 18th at girlmeetsgram.com or you can market to your ideal target audience with Facebook ads (I have a guy for that too, he is really good, message me if you want his contact info).
3. Instagram gives you an opportunity to flex your creative side
Instagram isn’t boring 101 marketing with business plans and handing out flyers. It’s a platform that you can be super creative and innovative on. Sure that doesn’t fire everyone up, maybe it makes you nervous but for those small business owners or service providers that don’t have a creative outlet let Instagram be your platform to get creative while sharing your passion that is your work!
So we know that a lot of people hang out on Instagram, we know your ideal customer hangs out on Instagram. We know that it’s super powerful for any size of business and we know it’s free. This is all sounding really good right? But I want to apply this platform to a few different kinds of businesses - Personal Brands, Service Providers, Product Based Business, and the Not-So-Instagrammable Business.
Instagram for Personal Brands
Okay let’s talk about Instagram for personal brands, bloggers and Influencers. This is the obvious one. If you have a blog or a youtube channel and you’re trying to grow it then Instagram is a no brainer. If Instagram is your platform of choice and your goal is to work with brands as an Influencer I’d encourage you to check out these two blogs I wrote The First Steps to Building a Personal Brand and Growing Your Influence & So You Want to Work With Brands?
Instagram for Service Providers
But what about service providers? I LOVE my service providers. Virtual assistants, social media account managers to hair stylists and lash techs to tattoo artists to life coaches and nutritionists the list goes on! Instagram is a MUST for you guys because if you are responsible for landing your own clients how else are you going to get your name out there? Word of mouth is awesome don’t get me wrong but even after you are referred that new potential client is going to want to do a little background check. Where are they going to look? Probably Instagram. So if you’re showing up there with a beautiful page and value giving content then you are already prepared to convert that curious person into a paying customer!
As service providers, since you don’t have a physical product to sell, it can be very very powerful to be a personal brand on Instagram. Share your journey, and your stories and most definitely your pretty face! People NEED to see you because people buy from people. They are more likely to fall in love with you and then support your brand than be won over by a bunch of graphics and quick facts in your posts and captions.
Instagram for Products
Instagram for products is a slightly different ball game but can be played two ways. You have a physical product which means it can be photographed 100,000 times! But your brand also needs a face to it. Your stunning cookies will sell themselves but if you take it to the next level by coming out from behind the apron people will feel much more trust towards the brand. It doesn’t matter what you look like, all people want is a smiling face.
Now Instagram has been developing something new this year, the Checkout feature which makes it easier than ever to sell your product through the app. Later.com has a super detailed article which explains exactly how to get your shoppable posts feature set up, I’m not sure every account has access to this feature just yet but it’s 100% worth looking into because it makes the buying process seamless.
Instagram for the Not-So-Instagrammable Business
Instagram is a visual platform and some businesses just aren’t as photogenic, think construction or lawn care company. However, the audience can totally be won over with a strong personality behind Instagram stories. Or some well thought out humorous photos. Sure, your dirty lawnmower isn’t that glamorous but what if you were dressed up in a suit to take your marketing photos and show off your professionalism, or dress up like a cowboy to advertise your easy going side? It’s these creative ideas that can totally set you apart from the competition. All you need are a few strategic posts, a well crafted bio and a direct link. Sure your account won’t grow very big but at least Instagram is your landing page to direct traffic where you can best serve them. Sure, Instagram isn’t the obviously platform for some business but it means there is so much more room to show up there a kill the game!
Haaave I convinced you yet? There is room for almost every business on Instagram! If you’ve been hesitant to show up there and take advantage of the platform I know this blog has now steered you in the right direction. If you’re ready to really level up and want my personal guidance you’ll love Girl Meets Gram my Instagram Marketing course which will allow you to drop the overwhelm, stop worrying about saturation or the algorithm and land more clients!
If you could Pin this for me that would be aweeeesome.