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Social media was originally created to provide a space for users to communicate, network, and make new friendships and maintain old ones. However, recently in the past few years, it has become a successful avenue for companies to advertise and grow their business as well. Facebook pioneered this frontier breaking out their advertising capabilities, but with the recent acquisition of Instagram, Instagram has become an extremely effective advertising platform for businesses of any size. Social advertising pricing makes it much more affordable for a big and small business to be successful on their platforms.

Integrating social media advertising into your business model can exponentially raise brand awareness, drive sales and traffic to your website, and help create a cohesive brand image for your company. Instagram is a great outlet for advertising , especially to younger generations. According to Pew Research Data, the majority of millennial's tune into Instagram and Snapchat and generations like Baby Boomers tap into Facebook and YouTube more. It is important when leveraging social media that you pick platforms that best serve your audience, and while younger generations make up a larger majority of Instagram’s users it is important to note it is a growing platform with older generations

Instagram is a primarily visual platform while Facebook tends to incorporate more text into their social formatting. It is important when you are advertising on all social platforms, and especially Instagram that you make creative content that will catch attention. The continuous scroll feature allows people to simply scroll by the add if it doesn’t pique their interest. Making unique content that stands out in a feed is important when advertising on any platform.

Here are some of the key benefits and features of Instagram for Business you should be using to make your business stand out in the social sphere:

Video Features

Instagram began as a photo posting platform, and over time added new features like stories, slideshows, and video content. Adding these features has made posting on Instagram more dynamic and engaging. Instagram live, another video aspect, allows users to interact with video in real-time. Viewers can comment and ask questions in the comment section as the video is running. This allows you to interact with your customers on a more personal basis to develop deeper relationships. IGTV is a recently added feature that essentially is an app that allows you to post videos up to an hour long. This is another cool way to post great video content to draw users to your business profile.

Stories

Advertising in a users feed is an effective way of driving traffic to your page and to your site. However, integrating it with utilizing stories for advertisements is a great way to diversify your marketing mix on the platform. Stories are 24-hour photo or video excerpts that are available on a user’s profile. Stories can be made fun by adding stickers, mentions, polls, drawing elements, and more.Instagram users are able to navigate stories by clicking through as many and as often as they would like for those 24 hours. Your advertisement can be either a quick video or photo that will populate between their story navigation. When mixed with regular feed advertisements will help keep your brand top of mind as they use Instagram.

Targeting

In traditional advertising and marketing, targeting your audience is crucial to making your advertisements relevant to key audiences. On Instagram, you are able to target in a variety of ways including location, demographics, and interests.

Push Notifications

Instagram users are able to pick and choose accounts that they want to follow and be notified if anything is posted. If your company can create engaging content it can help drive users to turn on their post notifications for your business profile.

Insights

Instagram allows for its uses to have a standard profile or to change their profile to have a business function. When the profile is a business Instagram it makes data and analytics available to help gauge how successful your profile is. The analytics can see the number of profile visits, if a story drives users to your profile, the best times for post engagement, and much more. The insights tool can be your guide to building a strong and successful Instagram presence.

Instagram has a unique algorithm that pushes profiles that a user interacts with to the top of their feed and then moves down to the most recent post after that. It is important to know this and use it to your advantage to keep your brand organically growing. Make sure to create exciting photo and video content through stories, advertisements, and posts.

It is important to increase the engagement you have with your consumer's posts as well because the more engagement you have together the more likely you will populate on the top of their feed.

At Inner Spark, we understand the social media marketing toolbox is constantly changing and, that it is tough to stay on top of the all the changes to ensure your business is getting the most out of these platforms. Instagram is an effective marketing platform that won’t break the bank if used properly. Contact us today to establish an organic and paid Instagram strategy that will efficiently reach your audience.

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