Instagram as a Marketing Tool
September 29, 2021

Instagram is a great place to market your business. It’s also an incredibly challenging one.


Small, bite-sized pieces of art and content in the shape of photos and short videos means it’s easy for people to engage with many different accounts in a short amount of time.


On one hand, this is great for increasing your chances that you'll be seen and interacted with. No one account consumes too much of a person’s time.


On the other hand, people can get through so much content so quickly that they don’t necessarily pay attention to a lot of it. Even if they do, they might not act.


Fortunately, a lot of time and effort has been put in by Instagram and others to make businesses consider Instagram as a marketing tool. With the tips below, you can start converting passing scrolling into sales in no time.


1. Use a Business Account


Being prepared is half the battle. If you want people to reach out and buy from your Instagram account, then you need to make that as easy for them as possible.


The first step of your IG marketing plan should be to switch to a business account. This allows followers to contact you directly from Instagram without needing to visit a third-party site first.


Switching to a business account also unlocks invaluable analytics tools that you will need in order to properly market on the platform.


Instagram Insights is free, however, and basically provides all of the information you need to run a marketing campaign on Instagram. You can see how your account is functioning at a broad level or focus in to see the effectiveness of a single post.


2. Tease, Don’t Sell


People do not like being sold to. Think of the greasy car salesman. Ick!


Or, more accurately, they don’t like knowing they’re being sold to.


Instagram is a great way to tease a product or service instead of directly selling it. When people see enough photos and videos of a product or brand that presents a lifestyle they’re attracted to, they will naturally feel an urge to engage.


A popular method is to encourage people to go to your site or download your app to see more. Rather than targeting them to buy one specific product, directing them to your site will allow them to see everything you have to offer.


For example, a clothing company might do a glamorous photo shoot with a new line of dresses, but the call-to-action to the audience would be to sign up for a newsletter to receive discounts on a purchase. The company now has the viewers contact info and can market to them in other ways. Just asking them to buy as dress is a one-and-done deal…there’s little chance they’ll become a continuing buyer.


The glamorous imagery attracts the viewer and encourages them to sign up, without the commitment of buying there and then.


Playing to the aspirational nature of Instagram and people’s choices of who goes on their feeds will have much better long-term results than trying to shove a sale down someone’s throat.


3. Don’t Be Afraid of Sponsored Posts


The dreaded paid advertising. Nobody actually clicks on those, do they ?

Of course, they do!


If it’s something somebody wants, and it looks legit.


The real benefit of sponsored posts, however, is to get your advertisement in front of people. Whether it’s an in-feed post or a Story, sponsored content is a way to fast-track getting discovered by exactly the people you want to find you.


Like Facebook, Instagram lets you get pretty granular with your ad targeting. Interests, age, gender — you can put your post in front of the exact customer avatar your marketing team has created.


If you aren’t flush with cash just yet, don’t worry — you can also set exactly how much you want to spend on a post so you never break your bank.


4. Reach Out to Influencers


Despite the derision the term “influencer” might receive from some circles, the simple fact of the matter is social media is social. It’s a place for people to look into the lives of other people, to interact with friends, families, and strangers.


And when we find a person who inspires us, consciously or not, their choices and recommendations influence us.


Influencer marketing, as it’s known, is pretty straightforward. You find a popular figure who speaks to your niche. If you sell activewear, for example, you want to look for people who are heavily into fitness and healthy living. You reach out and offer to pay them to make one or more posts featuring

As we said in point 2, they don’t necessarily need to urge people to buy — they can just talk favorably about it. Simply seeing an influencers peak highly of your product will motivate people to follow up and learn more from you directly.


5. Branded Hashtags


Instagram is for sharing, and one of the ways people share and discover posts is through hashtags.


Brands coming up with their own unique hashtags is a clever way to get followers to passively promote your business. One popular method is to run a giveaway; people enter by posting an image or story with your hashtag on it.


This not only gets existing followers to talk about you but also encourages people who may have never heard of you to start interacting with your brand.

Use IG to Market


Spending the time and energy to utilizing Instagram as a marketing tool can be well worth it. Using these tips, you can start converting passing scrolling into sales in no time!


Still have questions? Are a little confused? Instagram growth agencies may be able to help you. Use well-respected ones with good reviews, like FollowFox, to set you off in the right direction.