How Local Businesses Can Take Advantage of Instagrams New Updates
Instagram just announced three new tools to its advertising lineup.
Business Profiles, Insights, and Promote are aimed at helping local businesses get more out of Instagram through enhancing their capabilities to find, connect with, and understand new customers.
Instagram’s own blog says 60% of its users learn about new products and services on the platform, and 75% of them actually take some type of action after being inspired by a post,
presenting some new and enormous opportunities for local businesses.
Here’s a breakdown of Instagram’s cool new tools.
Until recently there has been no difference between user accounts and business accounts on Instagram, making it difficult for local businesses to distinguish themselves and connect with their customers.
With Instagram’s new Business Profiles, businesses can clearly identify themselves. They can even add a contact button to their page allowing users (or potential new customers) to call, text, email, and request gps directions.
Now users can search and discover new businesses in their area and easily have the ability to locate or contact them. This feature feels similar to Facebook’s Pages.
It’s also important to note the profile category located underneath the Instagram user name. Here users can choose an account category that identifies what a business does at a blink of an eye, allowing them to easily search for grocery stores, or restaurants, etc. in their area.
As mobile search becomes increasingly important (surpassing desktop searching last year), small businesses should always be considering new tactics to increase their local visibility on mobile platforms.
With more than a third of small businesses being discovered and researched online, prior to customers visiting them, Instagram Business Profiles gives users the ability to get directions to specific physical locations and has huge implications for driving foot traffic into local businesses.
For local businesses, understanding who their customers are and applying that information into its content and marketing mix is key for connecting with their online users. Being able to target a specific mobile audience will save time and money over traditional high priced marketing campaigns.
With Instagram’s new Insights feature for Business Pages, companies can now understand the types of people following their account (gender & age), where these people are located, and measure how their audience reacts to their pages over time.
Here are a few key points to note about Instagram’s new audience insights:
- Businesses will now be able to view their followers’ locations and measure their targeted efforts at reaching a more local audience.
- Instagram Insights will show the time of day your followers use the social network on any typical day, giving businesses the ability to see exactly when their followers are on the platform.
- Measure how your profile is performing over time and better understand what type of content is resonating with your audience by tracking how many new followers your profile gained throughout the week.
- Business can verify the exact number of people that saw their posts over a 7 day and 30 day time period. This will allow local business to refine their Instagram tactics, by better understanding what’s driving the most awareness for them.
New insights on who follows an account at what time, and how they respond to posts will empower businesses to create more relevant content that speaks directly to their audience.
Currently, if you want to set up an Instagram ad, you have three options:
- In-feed photo ads
- videos ads
- carousel ads
These ads, and you can check them out here, are purchased through Facebook’s self-serve interfaces and can take a while set up. Now, businesses can put post activity insights to work for them by selecting well-performing posts to promote alongside a call to action button.
Businesses will be able to turn well-performing posts into ads right within the app streamlining the ad buying process on Instagram and allowing effective posts to reach new, targeted local audiences.
If we look to Facebook boosted posts as a precedence (Instagram’s Parent Company), businesses will have the ability to target audiences for promoted posts by city, set a specific budget, and ad campaign duration. All businesses need to do to create an ad is select a previous Instagram post they have have shared, add a call to action button (to visit your website for example), and select a target audience.
Combining Instagram’s new business tools
By combining Instagram’s new Insights, Promote, and Business Profile features, local businesses will be able to better understand the people that want to connect with them on Instagram, accurately locate them, and then direct paid advertising budgets to reach local audiences that really matter.
Instagram’s highly engaged audience, representing 53% of young adults ages 18 to 29, coupled with newly announced business focused features, make it a great marketing platform.
If your company hasn’t considering advertising on Instagram yet, now may be a good time to look into how this social network fits into your company’s overall marketing strategy.