Part II - Instagram for Business: Selling Your Story

Instagram for Business provides your new and existing customers recognition of your brand, and allows an opportunity to tell your story. Start selling your story so people will notice it. These tips will help get your story out so more people can learn what your small business can do for them.

Selling Your Story with Instagram

Create an Ad

Creating an Instagram ad is similar to creating one on Facebook. In fact, you first need to establish a Facebook Business Page. In addition, you’ll want to create a Business Profile on Instagram. That profile includes your contact information so interested people can get in touch with you.

Now you’re ready to create your ad with the easy-to-use ads manager. The first step is to establish your objective. Next steps include deciding how long you want the ad to run, your budget, and what groups of people you want to target. Then you load your Instagram ad and publish. Stay on top of the analytics as your ad runs in case you need to tweak the ad.

For more help on running Instagram ads, Facebook offers this video.

Engage Your Target Audience

People tend to be more engaged when you ask them to participate. Some businesses do that by sponsoring contests. They might ask their followers to submit photos surrounding a theme, often using a specific hashtag. For example, an auto detailing business might post the question, “Which pick-ups are tougher, Ford or Chevy?” Fans share photos supporting their choice and vote on the winner.

Another idea is to give special recognition to things your followers post. For example, you can repost a memorable fan photo on your Facebook page and give them a shout-out by mentioning their name. Another idea is to just “like” or comment on their posts. Fans are likely to share the attention you’re giving them with their followers. That gets you noticed by people outside of your current list of followers.

Post a How-To Video

Instagram reports that the time people spend on watching their videos has increased by more than 40 percent. Short “how-to” videos let you demonstrate how to perform basic tasks. For example, a hardware store might post a video on how to properly clean your paintbrush after finishing the job.

To get the most from videos, Instagram recommends that you establish a connection quickly with a captivating thumbnail image. It’s also important to design for “sound off” since they auto-play without sound. Add captions and your logo to reinforce your message in this environment.

Take Advantage of Insights and Other Features

Have fun trying Instagrams’s many new features, including Stories (which disappear within 24 hours, much like Snapchat), live streaming, and now you can add multiple photos in one post to create an album. Each of these features can be engaging, and reporting will allow you to see which features your audience enjoys most.

Instagram provides reporting that give you insights into your followers’ behavior. For example, it lets you know which of your posts are more popular, when they are viewed, and how often they come to your page. That helps you zero in on the kind of content people like and when/how often you should post. You also get demographic information on who’s viewing your content. That can help you better target your promotions. Here’s a link to find this feature.

Put your Instagram storytelling style to work by promoting it. Start with these tips to sell your small business’ story to more people.

For more Instagram for Business basics, check out part one of this two-part series, Part I - Instagram for Business: Telling Your Story.

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