According to a social media marketing report, as many as 37% of marketers ranked visual content as their No. 1 content format for their business. The massive popularity of visual platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and others attests to the importance of visual content formats in the overall marketing strategy.
Instagram prides itself in being a platform where users can “turn their passions into livelihoods.” It is no longer an exclusive space for creatives and retailers; with a continued consideration for enterprise, businesses of any kind can leverage the immense promotional and customer engagement opportunities offered on Instagram.
The new business tools that instagram officially unveiled open up additional opportunities for businesses to leverage the potential power of visual content marketing and therefore attain specific and measurable business goals.
One of the new tools for businesses on instagram are Business Profiles. This free feature allows marketers to create business accounts as opposed to an individual profile. This way, businesses have several options with which their customers can get in touch with them by way of texting, calling or email.
Providing customers an easy and quick way to reach your business is an excellent way to bring prospects into the sales funnel and engage them toward a specific point of conversion.
Being able to create a business profile allows marketers to access vital insights right from the Instagram app. Prior to this feature, marketers had to use a paid third party tool to monitor the performance of their account.
Now, the Insights feature allows marketers to view each post’s metrics and the total metrics of specific campaigns. These metrics include:
It is also possible to view the total impressions and reach of your business profile. Other important insights include:
Website clicks: The number of unique users who have clicked on the web link on your profile in the last week or month.
Followers: Insights into your followers’ characteristics including age, location, gender and the number of times they are on instagram in a day.
These insights are crucial in aiding you to understand the characteristics and behaviour of your audience, allowing you to create content that resonates with this audience and distributed at the optimal time that will deliver the greatest engagement and reach. More importantly, these insights enable you to measure and track the performance of posts for continuous improvement.
Paid promotion is increasingly becoming the only way marketers can get their content in front of their target customers. Instagram’s promote feature lets you choose your best performing posts and to transform them into ads without leaving the app.
By adding a call to action to your most popular posts, you can boost engagement and conversions. Instagram allows you to segment your target audience based on your campaign goals and to choose the duration of time you would like the ad to be promoted.
To set up a paid promotion campaign on instagram:
Although the targeting functionality offered by Instagram is not as advanced as say the Facebook Ads Manager, it still allows marketers to define custom audiences off Facebook users’ demographics including interests, age, location and gender.
Branded stories will continue to be a major trend in 2017 and brands need to move away from thinking about branded content and embrace storytelling.
Instagram Stories lets you go beyond merely distributing content to creating and delivering a coherent story that creates more meaning for your target audience. With this new feature, brands can share multiple visual content including images and videos, which appear in the form of a slideshow.
With tools such as text and drawing tools, Stories on Instagram enable brands to bring their story to life with as much creativity as possible throughout the day. To boost engagement, users are empowered to choose which stories to view at their own pace. It is also possible to comment on a story or for users to a send you a private message.
Instagram reports that one in five stories receive direct messages from followers and more interesting, one third of the most viewed Stories are those created and displayed on business accounts.
If you are not thinking visual yet, you are very likely leaving money on the table but it is not too late to jump on the bandwagon. Instagram for Business Tools is a relatively inexpensive place to start with your visual content marketing efforts; the opportunities to be leveraged are numerous for smart marketers.
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