Are you using Instagram to market your small business yet? If not, you could be missing out. According to data from eMarketer, while many social networks are stagnating in terms of growth, Instagram is on the rise—especially among business marketers. Nearly one-third (32.3 percent) of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees currently use Instagram for marketing; next year, that number is predicted to increase to 48.8 percent. What’s more, by 2017 eMarketer predicts that a whopping 70.7 percent of U.S. companies will market with Instagram.
Of course, marketers aren’t the only one taking a shine to Instagram. By 2019, more than one-third of the adult U.S. population (over 111 million people) is expected to be using Instagram. Why is Instagram growing so fast? The increasingly visual nature of social media marketing is a big factor. Instagram is easy to scroll through quickly, conveys its marketing messages at a glance, and is moving beyond the fashion and beauty brands that initially embraced it to encompass a wide range of industries.
How can you market with Instagram? Here are some ideas:
- Tell a story about your business. Use photos that evoke emotions and moods related to your brand, such as relaxation for a spa or comfort for a bakery.
- Use videos. Instagram now allows you to post short videos of up to 15 seconds, which can really help your brand stand out. For instance, a company that does bicycle tours could show video from the perspective of a tourist. If you don’t feel comfortable shooting a video, search online for apps that let you edit photos together into videos.
- Use hashtags wisely. Don’t clutter your Instagram photos with too many hashtags, but do choose a couple of hashtags to use consistently in every photo, such as your business name, tagline or other relevant phrase. Using hashtags helps categorize your posts, making them easier for people to follow.
- Participate in popular events such as Throwback Thursday. Get creative: For example, a fashion retailer could post pictures of her most embarrassing 1970s outfits, or a pet grooming business could post photos of the owner’s dog as a puppy.
While big brands are starting to flock to Instagram, there’s still time for your small business to make a mark—so don’t waste a moment getting familiar with this social marketing tool.
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