How To Promote Your Business On Instagram: The Complete Guide

How To Promote Your Business On Instagram

Every business needs to be on social media these days. Not only to find its audience but to build a lasting relationship with its followers. 

And of all the social media platforms out there, Instagram remains one of the best for promoting businesses.

In this post, you’ll learn how to promote businesses on Instagram. We’ll walk you through how to set up a business account and create posts that’ll stand out on the platform.

Set up an Instagram Business account

To get the most out of Instagram, you’ll need an Instagram Business account. Here’s everything you’ll need to know to get started.

The benefits of using a business account

There are several reasons why a social media marketer would want to have a business account instead of a personal one.

For starters, a business account will give you access to this social media platform’s business features. This includes sponsored posts and ads. Not only is this good for brand building but also for reaching new audiences.

Those with a business account are also able to see their Insights data. That’s where all the analytics data is stored. This will help you determine which of your Instagram posts are resonating with your target audience. You might even figure out the best time to post on Instagram. Use the information you gather to update your Instagram strategy. 

Having a business account will also let you add a contact button. This gives your followers a way to get in touch with your business directly. Clicking the button would let your followers call or email you depending on which of the two contact options you enable.

Instagram also has a handy feature where Instagram users can swipe up a post to get redirected to a specific website or landing page. This might come in handy for businesses that like posting content featuring their product lineup. 

And if nothing else, having an Instagram Business account makes your business look professional.

How to create a business account

Turning a personal Instagram account into a business account isn’t as hard as it sounds. Honestly, it only takes a couple of seconds if you already have a personal account. 

Here’s how you do it.

First, you’ll need to access your Profile page. Desktop users can get to the Profile page by clicking Profile in the sidebar menu. 

Profile page in sidebar menu

Mobile app users will find a similar button along the bottom row of the interface. It’s the button with your profile picture.

Once you’re on your profile page, find and click the Settings button. Desktop users will find it just beside the Edit Profile button. Those using the app will have to click the hamburger menu icon (the three horizontal lines at the upper-right side of the interface. It should be right beside the Create button (the button with the plus sign).

Clicking the Settings button will prompt several options to appear. Click Professional Account.

Click Professional account

A new window will appear where you can set your Category and enter your business email as well as your phone number. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see an option to switch to a business account. Go ahead and click it.

Switch to business account

You’ll receive a confirmation message along with an explanation of who is supposed to use a business account. Click Switch to confirm your selection.

It should be noted that users can switch back to a personal account at any point if they want to.

Build a strong profile

If you want to give a good first impression, you’ll have to build a strong Instagram profile. Here are some tips on how you can come up with a profile that’ll help you rise above competing businesses on the social media platform.

Pick a good profile photo

Your profile photo is going to be the first thing that your Instagram followers are going to notice. So you have to put an effort into your profile picture. And since it’s going to represent your company, you’ll have to make sure that it’s visually appealing and relevant to your brand.

If possible, you want to use the same image across all your social media channels. Having that consistency will make it easier for people to confirm that you are who you say you are. Staying consistent will also make you look even more professional.

Businesses that already have an established logo should consider using that as their profile photo.

Write a good Instagram bio

Instagram bios are best kept short. You want to be direct to the point. Just introduce your business and briefly describe what it’s all about. Use this opportunity to insert relevant keywords. This might make it easier for people to find you.

Be sure to sprinkle in some personality when you write your bio. More importantly, you’ll want to include a call to action. Tell people what you want them to do after reading your bio. Add hashtags if possible.

Link to your website

Instagram doesn’t allow its users to add more than one link in the bio section. There is a workaround though. You can link to a landing page that includes all your other links. You can have a landing page with links to your website, product pages, social media channels, and more.

There are freemium & paid services that allow you to do this. However, you can do it yourself if you already have a website. You just have to create a landing page specifically for Instagram.

Alternatively, check out these Instagram link in bio tools for a tailor-made solution. Also, there are some social media management tools that include this feature. Pallyy is a good example worth checking out.

Add your contact information

Businesses should not forget to include their contact information. This is especially true for those that have retail locations. And if you’re running a local business, make sure you make that known in the bio section. 

You should include your business address, phone number, and email. And while you’re at it, you can insert your business hours if you still have some space left.

Create Instagram Story Highlights

Highlights are basically Instagram Stories that you save on your profile as part of a collection. Not only do these provide your followers with additional content, but you can also use them to introduce new followers to your brand.

You can arrange highlights to promote different products and services. Some even use them to promote their advocacies. How you use them is really up to you. Just remember to use visually appealing images and videos. Make sure that your highlights are easy to understand. 

Having the right captions and hashtags will help improve your chances of finding your target audience.

Create engaging Instagram content

After you’ve created your Instagram Business profile, you can start creating Instagram posts. But what should your Instagram post be like? What kind of content should you be uploading?

Here are a few ideas on how you can create engaging content for your target audience.

Use high-quality images

It should go without saying that your Instagram posts—whether they’re photos or videos—should be high-quality. You should be aware that Instagram compresses photos and videos to save on storage space. That means even if you upload images in the recommended resolution, they might not be as sharp once they’re live.

There are ways around it though. Some swear by doubling the resolution so that the images remain sharp after compression.

But none of this would matter if your images aren’t well-composed to begin with. Use a decent camera. Make sure the lighting is good. Frame your photos well. These tips should make it so that your images and videos come out IG-ready. Working with someone who knows how to edit content for social media would be a plus.

Start experimenting

Gone are the days when Instagram was all about square pictures. An Instagram page can offer so many content types these days. You have Instagram Stories, Reels, and photos. You can use Instagram posts to launch contests, do announcements, and promote sales events. There are even businesses that use their Instagram account to share user-generated content.

Any business that’s on Instagram will have to experiment with different content types. See what works for your audience. People use their Instagram app in different ways. Some use it strictly for entertainment while others see it as a source of information. Learn what your audience is like and adjust your digital marketing strategy as needed.

Make your captions count

Take your time when creating captions for your posts. When users scroll through their Instagram feed, they won’t see your captions. But as soon as they click on a photo or video, that’s when your captions shine. 

Captions can help with retention. For example, let’s say you uploaded a 10-second video. A user might watch the first second or two and leave if they don’t find it entertaining enough. But if you have an interesting caption, they might read it long enough for the whole video to play all the way to the end. 

Instagram likes it when videos get played down to the last second. As a result, they could recommend it to more people which means more views for you.

The captions section is also where you should place your hashtags. Inserting the right hashtags will help you get discovered by more people. 

Use a consistent tone

You should use a consistent tone throughout all your social media profiles. And it’s even more important to use the same tone on your Instagram profile.

This might not be a problem if only one person is managing the account. But if multiple people are working on your company’s social media marketing, then your brand’s tone will suffer. It’ll become more and more obvious that multiple people are managing the account.

While that may not seem like such a big deal, most people find a sudden shift in tone to be jarring. You want to stay consistent so you don’t lose followers.

Interact with your followers

You can’t just post content and call it a day. Businesses need to interact with their followers too. Here’s what you need to know about engaging with your Instagram community.

Respond to comments

Most interactions come in the form of comments. If you want to make your followers feel valuable, then you’ll want to respond to comments that they leave on your posts. 

You don’t have to reply to each one. But you do want to take some time to reply to the ones that stand out. Avoid copy-pasting replies as that would make you sound insincere. Try to be relatable in your responses. Nobody wants to read replies from someone who talks like a robot.

Tag other users

While this isn’t something you should do all the time, you can tag other Instagram users when you publish content that concerns them or their audience. You can even tag other brands that you might be collaborating with.

Not only will this help other people discover your business but also get them to engage with your brand.

Collaborate with brands and other IG users

Instagram now allows you to publish co-branded content. This is a great opportunity to partner with another brand or Instagram user and amplify your reach in the process.

Share behind-the-scenes footage

Users like getting a sneak peek of what’s to come. So posting teasers or behind-the-scenes footage or images might lead to fun interaction with your fans. It also gives people a chance to see the people working behind the scenes. And best of all, these posts humanize your brand.

Ask questions

You can publish Instagram posts for the sole purpose of asking questions. You can ask for feedback. You can do polls and surveys. For example, you can ask your followers which product features they want to be included in the next version.

These sorts of posts get people talking. They won’t even hesitate to reply if they care enough about your brand.

Post user-generated content

You don’t have to create content all the time. You can post content from your Instagram followers. If you can’t find any, you can incentivize your followers to create posts featuring your products. You can then use those to promote your Instagram account. 

Remember to include relevant hashtags so that each post would reach your target market.

Use paid ads

If you have the budget for it, Instagram ads can be a good way to get exposure on the platform. Here are some of the things you’d have to remember if you’re going this route.

Instagram offers plenty of ad formats for businesses that want to reach a wider audience. You can do photo and video ads. You have Carousel ads. And some do Instagram Stories

There is no right or wrong answer. What works for some won’t work for others. You’ll just have to try it out for yourself to see what would resonate with your audience the best. That’s just part of creating a solid Instagram marketing strategy.

Be sure to include a clear call to action when you run ads. The most common ones invite users to visit a website or make a purchase. 

Don’t forget to cater your ads to your target audience. You can target users based on demographics and interests among other factors. Monitor your ad campaign’s success regularly. You’ll have to make adjustments if the ads aren’t effective. 

Work with influencers

Influencer marketing stats highlight the importance of working with influencers. For example, 80% of businesses find it to be an effective marketing channel.

You can use influencer marketing to get more eyeballs on your products.

You should be working with Instagram users that have a lot of followers and credibility in their space. If you have a similar audience, it only makes sense to work together.

However, you’d have to give influencers a reason to work with you. Most businesses will incentivize influencers to collaborate with them. Some influencers will work for free if they so happen to be fans of the product.

In most cases, you’ll need to provide payment or free product(s).

One incentive you could try is providing product samples that the influencers can give away to their followers. 

Marketers with great negotiating skills can walk away with a ton of partnerships. 

You’d have to be clear in explaining the details of the collaboration. It’s up to you to point out details like how long the campaign will last, what the influencer is allowed (and not allowed) to do, and what the expectations are. You can even let influencers know which hashtags to use to promote your business.

But you’d have to give these influencers a say. They might have conditions that would be in conflict with yours. Find a way to please these influencers if their requests are within reason.

You’d have to be mindful of some downsides to influencer marketing though.

The cost might be an issue for small- to medium-sized businesses. It can get a bit expensive especially if you decide to work with high-profile influencers.

If cost is an issue, you’ll need to work with influencers that have smaller followings. Generally, cost is determined by the size of the influencers following/reach.

Finding the right influencer can be a problem as well, especially if you’re in a niche industry. 

Some marketers find it hard to track the return on investment. For example, it’s not that easy to tell whether the sudden increase in sales you’re getting is all thanks to the influencers you’re working with or if it’s a result of all the other digital marketing campaigns that you’re running.

And some influencers have fake followers. You have to be careful when you’re doing your research. Make sure that the followers that each influencer has are legitimate.

Run contests and promotions

Yes, running contests and promotions are still a thing on Instagram. Instagram users like joining contests in hopes of winning prizes. And who doesn’t like getting discounts on products and services?

With promotions, you can post content to hype up a sale that you’ve got planned. You can do the same for discounts and other incentives to get people to buy.

And running a contest is easy with the help of third-party services like SweepWidget. These services can run and monitor contests. All you have to do is set it up and let them do all the work for you. 

When you launch a contest, you’ll want to find the right prize. You want something that your core audience would want. You’ll also want to promote the contest not just on your site but across all your social media platforms. Use hashtags to get the word out. Post Instagram Stories and Instagram Reels to let people know what you’ve got planned.

As always, you’ll want to monitor the progress of your campaign. Make sure that there are enough people joining. The most important thing is that you’re able to deliver the prize. You might get into trouble if you’re not able to send the prize to the winner for one reason or another.

You’ll want to keep your eyes on a few disadvantages though.

Running an Instagram contest can get expensive. But as long as you keep your prizes realistic, then you shouldn’t encounter big issues. Contests take time and effort. Not everyone got the resources to pull one off. Not only do you have to spend time promoting the contest, but you’ll also have to communicate with the winners. That’s not as easy as it sounds.

If you don’t have a ton of followers, it’s hard to get your contest off the ground. If your followers are barely participating, then what’s the point? That’s the reason why it’s so important to promote the contest to as many people as possible. The prize has to be significant enough for it to create the type of buzz that your business needs.

There’s also concern over fake contestants. Some users would try to increase their chances of winning by submitting multiple entries through dummy accounts. That’s one more thing you’d have to keep an eye out for. 

But those that manage to pull it off see better engagement metrics. They also benefit from increased exposure. Marketers see improved brand awareness. And people start giving the brand some credibility. 

In addition, contests are a great way of generating leads. You can get email addresses by running contests. And once you have these email addresses, you can start sending promotional materials via email. 

You can drive traffic to specific landing pages too when you launch a contest or promotion. This will improve your site traffic and possibly lead to better sales.

Final thoughts

Instagram is one of the best social media platforms to promote a business.

According to these statistics, it’s one of the most popular social media platforms around. And the platform is incorporating more business-centric functionality such as ecommerce integration.

And there are plenty of tactics you can use to promote your business on the platform.

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