Business Owners, READ THIS, Before You Post Another Thing On Your Business Instagram Account.
Instagram is one of the most relevant and important social media platforms out there. And if you have a business and you are not posting on Instagram, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity to market and sell your products and services online.
I know already that I don’t have to tell you this. By now MOST business owners have already created Instagram business accounts and are in the routine of posting on their Instagram profiles.
Watch this video to learn how to market your business on Instagram!
After all, Instagram is not a new social media – it has been in existence for nearly a decade
In fact, you may have had an Instagram business account for years – and have posted on it on a regular basis, almost to a point where you feel exhausted by the lack of results that you have actually garnered.
This is the most common complaint that business owners who post on Instagram have; that they post – but that their posts do not get any reach or engagement. They are frustrated because they have been trying to get traction on Instagram for a while and they have never really seen any returns from the time that they are investing. Also, along with this frustration is an adamant loss of faith that Instagram is going to be anything but a drain on their precious time resources. Yet, they feel obligated to at least have some presence on the platform because of it’s “assumed” importance to our current media culture.
If you are relating to what I am saying here; then first feel comforted that you aren’t alone and that you aren’t incorrect in your feeling that Instagram is a difficult platform to get traction with. [ Take my 5-day Instagram Marketing challenge, improve your Marketing on Instagram in 5 days! ]
However, it is also important to talk about why so many businesses are not getting anywhere with Instagram, and why the return of investment from “just posting” is so low.
The 3 common mistakes that business owners make with Instagram and what to do instead
In my experience, there are 3 common mistakes that business owners make when it comes to Instagram that prevent them from successfully utilizing it for marketing.
The first is a behavior that can be described as “content dumping” – the process of dropping a post on your Instagram business profile once in a while and then not doing anything else on Instagram. Basically, “you dump” and then “you run,” only to return when you have something else promotional to post, or on a whim when you suddenly remember that “Instagram” is a thing.
From a technical standpoint, the reason why content dumping is so hazardous is that of the algorithm. The first thing the algorithm is designed to do is stomp out any account behavior that they would deem as spam. And, unfortunately, no matter how much effort ( or non-effort) you put into what you post, if you just log in, dump and run – you are participating on Instagram in a spammer-like manner. Therefore, your content is going to be treated as such and receive very little ( possibly no ) organic reach.
In addition to this if you have converted your Instagram profile over to an Instagram business profile then you also under the very tight “if it is an ad, make it an ad” rule, that Instagram has dragged over from Facebook. Basically, what this means is if it is something that Instagram ( / Facebook ) would deem as “full-blown advertising” they are going to limit your reach on that posted content in order to encourage you as a business to actually pay to promote that post. AND YOU SHOULD if what you have posted is of vital importance to your businesses audience and something you are eager to convert on!
There is also an emotional reason why business owners on Instagram should avoid content dumping at all costs. This is the fact that if you do have any type of audience on Instagram and they do happen to see you dumping, ads on your feed – or if a potential new follower comes across your profile and sees this, they likely are not going to want to follow your account. Why this is, is because when someone follows a profile it is a way of “subscribing” to see more of what that account is going to post. If they feel like all you are going to posting, is going to be self-promotional advertising “ads” they aren’t going to volunteer to see more of that. Instagram users are especially wary about what they follow because a lot of people scroll Instagram when they are looking to be entertained, and as we all know, there is nothing the modern media consumer hates more than to have their entertainment bingeing interrupted by commercials.
NOT GETTING ENGAGEMENT ON YOUR POSTS ON INSTAGRAM, What do you do Instead?
Well, the proper way for a business to use Instagram is to post content on it that is entertaining, engaging, and informative – and that offers value to their followers whether they are customers or not. Essentially, you want to treat your Instagram business profile as your businesses social media, where you share updates about what is going on, and content that is going to be “of interest” to your audience. Since you are a business on Instagram, you don’t need to be overly promotional or sales focused when you are interacting on the platform. Instead, use Instagram to introduce yourself to new people as well as to participate in the social aspect of Instagram by “being more social”.
The benefit to this, a more social approach to Instagram; your profile likes, comments and engages, in a similar way as a regular user does, is also that the algorithm will in return favor you, and reward you with an increase in the organic reach that your posts get, in the long-term saving you money on promotions.
Now, if you are guilty of content dumping ( hands up ) you don’t really need to feel embarrassed or guilty about this. It turns out that a lot of businesses on Instagram are doing this, and it isn’t because they don’t have respect for “their audience” or the potential users, who might also be potential customers, who spend their time on Instagram. The reality and reason why content dumping is so common are that so few business owners actually know what to post to engage with their audience in any sort of meaningful way. “I don’t know what to post” and therefore lack a content posting strategy is the second most common struggle that business owners have, preventing them from having success on Instagram.
As for the more technical questions about content that people have about Instagram, like when they should they post? How should they post? How do you use hashtags? How many hashtags are too many hashtags? What are stories and how the heck do I use them? Should I make videos and go live? How the hell am I suppose to use some of these functions like IGTV? The answer is really quite simple: Go nuts with it!
There aren’t right or wrong answers when it comes to content production on Instagram, it is really the wild west a modern multi-media free for all. You can create a wide variety of content with Instagram because the tools are all right there. However, what you SHOULD be creating is going to be dependent on factors like;
what is most appropriate for your brand?
what is most realistic with your current time allotment to dedicate to the platform?
what your audience responds the best to?
and what your personal preference is?
Content, with Instagram, is more often than not – NOT the real problem or the reason why you aren’t capturing leads or getting customers from it. Content is really more of just the clincher that gets people to pay attention. The main reason ( and the final most common mistake ) why business owners do not have success marketing on the platform is simply, neglecting to build in any sorta functional lead capture or “next step” for potential customers.
How do you get customers for your business from Instagram?
Even if you are not guilty of content dumping and feel confident that your content is properly matched to your audience, there is a third thing that inhibits businesses from having measurable success on Instagram. This is the often missed step of installing any sort of lead capture into their Instagram profile, so it isn’t even possible for a conversion to occur.
What you get with Instagram is often a lot of “drive-by traffic” with people scrolling past a post or visiting your profile one time – never to return again.
Your audience in that scenario might be engaged, they may even be curious, but if the content is presented to them without any way for them to interact with it, you’ll likely lose their attention very quickly with the next piece of “interesting” content just a downward scroll away. And if you aren’t offering anything up such as “ see profile for more…” then you aren’t doing anything to prevent this.
Alternatively what you want to do is use the one place on Instagram where you can take people off-site very strategically. Your link in profile ( aka “bio link” ) is a landing point where you can take someone from simply being momentarily engaged by a random post, into an intentionally designed marketing funnel.
When you starting thinking about Instagram as the entry point into a greater marketing funnel, not “THE MARKETING” you’ll begin to understand how this platform can potentially be a huge source of lead generation for your business.
And of course, there are always more layers to this. Instagram business profiles are designed to be part of your Facebook Marketing as weird as that may sound. In the front end ( within the Instagram App ) you will see all sorts of “pay to play” promotional tools for Instagram, the simplified training wheels of Instagram paid to advertise. However, visit your Facebook Ads manager and you will also find more advanced advertising options, including the incredibly valuable custom audiences, the feature that allows you to target your most engaged Instagram followers and the people who have recently hit your main Instagram profile view.
Are YOU Ready for “This Level” of SERIOUS Instagram Marketing?
Now, this may be a bit ahead of where you are currently at, but it is important to know that Instagram isn’t just a simple photo-sharing, drop and go social media plaything. Serious businesses take Instagram marketing very seriously and therefore get serious results because they are seeing it in the light that it deserves to be seen. Instagram, is a web-based social app, but it is also experienced within itself. With each user providing extremely valuable data about themselves, their interests and their buying behaviors that marketers can snatch up and utilized with extremely targeted marketing. There is insane potential in Instagram for most types of businesses, however – despite being over a decade on our radars, it seems very few have properly mastered this beast.
Obviously, you aren’t going to transform into an Instagram marketing maverick overnight. However, my intention here is to prod your brain a bit about what might be going wrong with your current approach to Instagram marketing that may, indeed be the root cause of your failures and turn you towards the light.
Like all internet marketing platforms, Instagram is all about building a successful connection between a user with an interest ( and a need ) and a service or product provider who can offer a solution. The connection is typically made on a surface level first; hey, you understand me, and then delves deeper into a curiosity about an offering; now, what can you do to help me? Once you’ve mastered this understand ( that people don’t just flock about the internet looking for random things to spend their money on ) and start curating content with a deeper intent, the results you receive will, I guarantee it, multiple. Introduce the appropriate strategic tools and automation and you’ll be #nailingit on Instagram.
Are You Ready to Get Serious About Instagram Marketing?
If you are tired of dabbling on Instagram and are ready to start strategizing then NOW IS THE TIME! I am currently taking applications for Instagram Marketing Services. Click apply now to apply for a free demonstration. Let me show you what is possible with Instagram.
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