Instagram is a social media platform that needs very little introduction, and with usage projected to rise to 1.2 billion users worldwide by 2023, it is bound to get bigger and even more relevant in this decade. As much as it functions as a source of entertainment, the commercial appeal of Instagram is too massive to be ignored. 80% of accounts follow at least one business or brand account and 60% of its users are exposed to new products through the application. As such, it would be near suicidal for any business or brand not to tap into a huge customer base waiting to be won over on the application. There are quite a few ways to do this, the most promising of which is arguably the Instagram Live feature.
Introduced in November 2016, the live video streaming feature has proven to be incredibly popular amongst users with millions using it on a daily basis. It is incredibly flexible, offering many intuitive ways for businesses and brands to grow awareness, recognition, and followership. The benefits are considerable, to say the least, and SocialBoss specialists point out that the more views on your live stream, the more advantages you derive from this feature. If you own a business or brand account on Instagram, here are some great reasons why you should incorporate Instagram Live into your digital marketing strategy today:
- Better engagement with customers:
One of the keys to continued patronage is creating a bond with existing customers. If you make them feel valued, make them feel like they are a big part of your success then they are more likely to stick around. And what better way to make people identify with your brand than face-to-face interactions? Instagram Live offers this - at least virtually - and in real time, making it a great way to connect with the people purchasing your products and get them to continue doing so.
- Increases visibility:
Every brand and business needs to be seen by many to survive and IG Live helps achieve that with minimal fuss. Firstly, the user interface is designed to place live broadcasts at the top of the screen so that it is the first thing your followers see, even before stories and regular posts. This means a live stream is near impossible to miss, as opposed to posts that can be crowded out in the feed. Secondly, the algorithm is structured to send notifications informing all your followers that you have gone live, thus increasing their curiosity and grasping their attention.
- Creates a sense of authenticity:
With countless accounts advertising one product or the other, many of which are included in offers that seem too good to be true, people will always be wary of getting scammed by fraudsters. This might make potentially new customers unwilling to try out your business and it is up to you to establish the authenticity needed to convince them. By going live on IG to engage directly with people, you are putting a face to the brand and creating the feeling of trustworthiness in the process.
- Identifies users to target for focused marketing:
Regardless of how entertaining or informative your live video is, not everyone will stay to the end. However, you can be sure that those that do watch to conclusion are truly interested in what you have to offer and those are the people you need to focus us on. That way you increase the chances of converting those viewers into new and/or loyal customers.
- It is cost-effective:
Digital marketing can be expensive to execute so if you are in search of a strategy that can cut back on estimated cost, look no further than Instagram Live. A standard live session costs very little to set up. Of course, you can spend on equipment for better quality but the absence of that does not stop the show from going on; with a decent smartphone, you are good to go!
Now that you are aware of the world of good live-streaming on IG can do your business or brand, let us briefly look at some of the ways you can utilize this feature to your advantage:
- Live Q&A sessions to address inquiries, issues, and concerns your audience might have
- Interviews with experts that can provide valuable information to your customers while also increasing the appeal of your brand or business
- Announcement of new products or updates
- Live tutorials and demos to show customers the full range of capability your products promise and how they can get the best out of them
- Behind-the-scenes exposure of your workspace, production process or staff members to connect better with customers and increase brand loyalty
Go Live if you want to get the success
Going live is one of the best ways to connect with your followers and potential customers. It allows you to answer their questions directly and hear their views and recommendations. Although you can publish photos as well to promote your small business, videos often perform well than static photos; therefore, it is a better option.
A highly effective way to get a significant number of views when you go live is to collaborate with an influencer or industry expert. You don’t necessarily have to be at the same location with the guest; you can use the “Add a Guest” feature on Instagram and go live at the same time.
If people are not yet attracted to your brand, they’ll be attracted to the industry expert or influencer. The presence of the expert or influencer will make people want to check and participate in your live video. You don’t necessarily have to talk about your brand throughout the live video; instead, you can host a workshop in the middle of which you talk about your brand. You should also host a question and answer session to allow maximum participation.
If you can effectively follow these hidden Instagram features and hacks, you will excellently increase the brand's popularity on social media.
How to Create a Business Profile on Instagram
One significant mistake most do is the usage of their personal accounts to promote their brand. The Instagram business account comes with a lot of features missing in personal accounts. It allows you to track your marketing progress and also reach a larger audience.
If you want to set up an Instagram business account or switch to a business account from a personal or creator account on Instagram, follow these simple steps:
- Open up your Instagram app and log in
- Click on setting in the Main Menu at the top right corner of your profile
- Select Account
- Tap "Switch to Professional Account"
- Fill in the contact information for your business
- Tap Done
You can always switch back your account to a personal profile. To switch back, follow the same steps but you select a personal account instead of a business account. There is also an option to temporarily deactivate or delete your account permanently if you prefer to.
How to Grow your Business with Instagram Business
Instagram for business was first launched in about 30 countries around 30th September 2015 with the aim to help small, medium and large scale businesses grow. With 25+ million business profiles on Instagram and over 200 million users visiting at least one business profile every day, we can say without a doubt that Instagram is becoming a must-have tool for business growth. This fact is buttressed by the fact that 60% of people in a survey say they discover new products on Instagram.
These awesome statistics begs the question, ' how can you grow your business with Instagram?' Here are a few tips:
- Use a compelling Bio: Your Instagram bio should skillfully describe what your business is about and your key value proposition. Remember to add your website and other relevant links. Always direct your audience to your bio for more information. Fill out other important business profile information like working hours and location.
- Post quality content consistently: Create content that educates, entertains and engages with your audience. Make sure your content is relevant to your audience and addresses their pain point. Pay attention to the quality, quantity and frequency of your posts.
- Make use of the latest features and CTAs: the Instagram algorithm is known to reward users with new features. It helps you to stay on top of trends and on top of audience feeds. Make use of hashtags, stories, reels and other features to boost your business and visibility.
- Make use of Analytics: Insights on your audience is one of the key advantages of the Instagram business account. Data from your insights can help you know what kind of posts your audience really engage with, the impressions of your post and the preferable time to post for maximum engagements. These insights can help you grow your following and achieve your business goals.
- Run Instagram Ads: Asides from organic growth, ads are a great way to generate paid traffic, leads, increase brand awareness and reach a wider audience for greater conversion. Set up campaigns for specific goals and run ads occasionally for your business based on your budget.
Create good Instagram ads
Instagram ads allow you to reach a new audience who might end up following your page. Thus, if you upload valuable content that gets so much organic engagement, you could do more by advertising the content. That way, Instagram will push the content to a targeted audience and it’ll get more engagement.
Instagram ads don’t cost much. You can run an ad for as little as $1 and as much as you desire, depending on your budget and how many people you want the content to reach. You don’t need a professional to run ads for you; you can do it yourself. All you need is to follow the steps below:
- Open your ads manager
- Click create
- Select an objective that allows you to run ads placement
- Click continue
- You’ll be provided with an interface to fill in the details of your ad set. Fill in the required details
- Click manual placements and click Instagram. That way, your ads will only run on Instagram
- Click on continue
Engagement on Instagram
You can’t make a name for yourself on IG by adopting the “posting and forgetting” approach. Instead, you must redefine your strategy. When you post content on your page, you should stay online for the next 30 min to one hour to reply to one or two comments. When people see you respond to a person’s comment, they automatically want to air their views, perhaps to get your attention. The more people interact with your content, the better its organic reach. This can go a long way to get you more IG followers.
Besides replying to comments under your post, you should also expand your coast and comment on relevant content posted by other pages. Endeavour to engage with companies or people you like and would love to work with.
On the other hand, you should avoid the “always want to say something syndrome.” When you say too much, you might say irrelevant things, thus, ridiculing your brand.
To get an excellent result interacting with pages, you should follow the tips below:
- Be among the first people to comment on VIP posts. This includes posts by your dream companies or your favourite influencer. This will make your comment stay at the top, thus, gaining more views and interaction from other commenters
- Write a meaningful and insightful comment
- Add suitable emoji to your comment
- Reply to popular comments
- Be positive
In conclusion, there is a great and urgent need to get creative in the bid to move ahead of competitors in your field, and live-streaming represents a very creative solution towards that end. With detailed planning and careful execution, Instagram Live can lead to a very significant upturn in fortunes for your business or brand. If you haven’t already, the time to add it to your short and long term marketing strategy is now!