Whether you use it or not, there’s no denying that Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. There are currently nearly 2.5 billion monthly active Instagram users, so it can be a powerful way to reach people. And, as a highly visual platform, it’s also an excellent way to showcase unique, innovative, and beautiful photos, products, and services.

But there are many other benefits to using Instagram, particularly for businesses. While most social media platforms can be used professionally, none can offer the potential returns that Instagram can.

Whether a company is small or large, Instagram offers unrivalled opportunities in digital marketing, brand-building, and reaching a wider audience. 

With that said, here are five impressive benefits of using Instagram for business.

1. It helps you reach your target audience

It helps you reach your target audience

It doesn’t matter how good your content or marketing is if it’s not reaching the right audience. One of the most beneficial things a business can do is to thoroughly research and consider who their target audience is, and then use Instagram to reach them.

You might already have a stable audience who follow your business and consume your social media content – ideally liking, sharing, and commenting on your posts, whether on Facebook or LinkedIn. But if you want to connect with more people – particularly the younger generation – Instagram is a really effective way to do so.

There are many ways you can expand your reach on Instagram. The first is to use hashtags to target the right audience – which is why knowing who they are, and what they’re searching for, is so important. For example, if you have a business as a florist, you’ll want to use popular hashtags like #florist #flowers #flower #bouquet #wedding #flowershop #flowersofinstagram and #floral.

But Instagram offers more advanced targeting options too. While Facebook was always thought of as the most advanced social media advertising platform, after Instagram was bought out by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, it began adopting Facebook’s targeting capabilities. Today, Instagram allows you to target people based on age, interests, behaviour, and location.

You can ‘cold target’, which means using ads to target people who are totally unaware of your business. Or you can ‘retarget’, which means targeting people who have already seen or heard of your business but for whatever reason haven’t yet used your services or products. One of the most popular forms of retargeting is reaching people who visited your website, but didn’t make a purchase.

Instagram’s targeting capabilities allow you to create custom ads based on your post engagement, video views, customer email lists, and many more factors. Having such specific targeting features allows you to take your marketing strategy to the next level by reaching brand new audiences and reconnecting with current ones.

2. It boosts your purchasing power

It boosts your purchasing power

Research shows that 83% of Instagram users use the platform to find new products or services, 80% use it to finalise their decision before they buy, and over a third have directly used the app to purchase a product. So, it can be a powerful way to boost sales.

Regardless of your other goals, sales are ultimately what most businesses are looking for. And the reason Instagram is such an effective marketing strategy is because it allows you to visually showcase your products and services.

Plus, most of your Instagram followers will be pre-existing customers, or at the least, interested in your brand, so the chances of them making a purchase are high.

Using Instagram Stories is one quick and easy way to boost sales. Half of users say they’ve visited a website to buy a product or service after seeing it on an Instagram story, so using your stories to show off your brand is a free yet very effective mode of advertising.

Instagram also has e-commerce features, like the ‘Shop’ tab on the home page, which lets users buy from brands through their Instagram profiles, posts, or stories.

You can also use shoppable posts, which allow you to tag products in your photos with descriptions and prices. Clicking the ‘shop now’ button takes users straight to your online shop.

Plus, if you’re happy to fork out a bit of money, you can pay for Instagram ads. These posts are sponsored and reach far more people than an organic post you’d publish on your own account. According to statistics, 75% of Instagram users take some sort of action on these ads, whether it’s clicking the ‘Shop Now’ or ‘Contact Us’ button.

More good news is that even if these people don’t end up making a purchase, their actions still have value…as you can retarget them with more ads until they do make a purchase!

3. It helps you build your brand

It helps you build your brand

No matter the type of business, building a brand is essential if you want to enjoy a good relationship with your audience and stand out from the crowd. Instagram can be an excellent way to do this because it not only helps to build trust and character, but allows you to connect with consumers on a deeper level.

While Facebook is used by many businesses to build their brand, it requires payment to use its extensive advertising capabilities. Instagram offers all the same features, but also provides something Facebook can’t. Rather than paying for followers, users can find your content naturally through Instagram’s ‘Explore’ function if your posts align with their interests . This is known as organic functionality and can go a long way in making your business seem more trustworthy.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, it’s important not to come across as another faceless corporation. Consumers want brands that have character and personality, and Instagram is an easy way of showing you have this.

Instagram Stories and Live Events can be especially effective ways of connecting with your audience. For example, showing a glimpse of what goes on behind-the-scenes can make your business more relatable and build trust, rapport, and credibility with your followers.

Because Instagram is a social platform, it makes sense to use it to share your story, shine a light on your employees, and provide an inside look at your business. Humanising your company in this way helps people feel a deeper, more emotional connection with your brand – and consumers who have an emotional connection with you are far more likely to recommend you to others too.

4. It helps you engage with your audience

It helps you engage with your audience

While the ultimate aim of using social media for business might be to boost sales, the main social media marketing goal is to engage with your audience. And when it comes to engagement, Instagram is unrivalled; brand engagement is 10 times higher than Facebook, over 50 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter.

Instagram users hit the ‘Like’ button 3.5 billion times per day, so if you’re producing quality content, you can expect your followers to begin ‘liking’ and engaging with your posts more and more. This is important because, the more engagement your posts get, the more visible your business becomes.

Plus, these days people expect brands and businesses to give them their attention. So, acknowledging your audience – and showing that you value them – is another way to build long-term relationships with them, and in turn, drive sales.

There are so many ways you can engage your Instagram audience aside from posting quality content. This includes asking your audience questions, replying to their comments, and inviting them to share their own feedback and opinions.

You can also use the ‘@’ sign to tag users and reply directly back to people, which can help to stimulate conversation and show consumers that you see, hear, and value them.

Making the most of user-generated content always works well too. Sharing posts that customers make about you shows your appreciation and helps build personal relationships. But it also means that you don’t have to spend time constantly coming up with your own ideas for interesting content. You’re effectively letting your followers do the hard work for you while reaping the benefits!

5. It’s an excellent form of visual marketing

It’s an excellent form of visual marketing

Humans are visual creatures, and in an era of ever-decreasing attention spans, as a business, it’s important to be able to capture people’s attention as quickly as possible.

Visual media is one of the best marketing tools around, and because Instagram is such a photo-centric site, it has an edge over other social media sites when it comes to drawing people in.

Marketing or advertising that’s text-heavy can be off-putting to some consumers – and even if they do read, there’s a high risk that they’ll get distracted and not finish. Instagram, on the other hand, is composed solely of photos and videos that don’t require any accompanying text. Because people remember more of what they see than they read, this is really beneficial for marketing purposes!

Plus, sharing videos and images with your audience allows people to get to know your brand better and understand what you’re about – which means they’re also more likely to remember you.

And, posting videos and photos increases the chance that consumers will engage with your content to – all of which, as we’ve seen, are big marketing bonuses for any business.

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Final thoughts…

While building your business Instagram can take a while, it’s undeniably a worthy investment. Social media is here to stay, and while other platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter also have value, when it comes to engagement and visual appeal, Instagram is unmatched.

Plus, while you can spend money on advertisements and sponsorship opportunities, creating a business account on Instagram is free. And, if you’re posting consistent, quality content and engaging your audience, you can soon establish a significant following without spending a penny.

Instagram is also an effective way to build a brand, showcase your personality, and forge deeper, more meaningful relationships with your followers. And because it can help you find your target audience and widen your reach, Instagram can go a long way in boosting purchasing power too.

So, whether you’re launching a new business or are ready to grow your existing one, using Instagram can return significant rewards.

To find out more about the benefits of using social media for business, you might like to have a read of our article; 10 reasons to take your business online. And for more inspiration and ideas, our article, 12 influencers over 50 who are breaking barriers on social media, is worth a read.