Instagram can be a great content marketing platform, and for this reason, its popularity amongst businesses has sky-rocketed in recent years. And when it comes to social media, most companies already have their foot in the door with a Facebook page, LinkedIn or Twitter, so Instagram is just another string to add to their bow.
Plus, with 81% of people saying they use Instagram to help research products and services, as well as 58% saying they have become more interested in a brand after seeing it in someone’s Instagram stories, you’d think it would be a no brainer, right?
But here’s the thing, Instagram can be a great tool that can really boost your sales – but only if it’s the right platform for your business. Otherwise, it can be a costly waste of time.
So how can you tell? Well, that’s exactly what this guide has been created for. Below, we’re going to take a look at five ways you can determine if Instagram is going to be right for your business.
1. Think carefully about what it is you’re selling
First and foremost, you need to stop and think about what you’re selling. This is going to be one of the easiest ways to decide if Instagram is right for your business. After all, if you don’t sell very visual products or you don’t think you’ll be able to create captivating, visual content about your services – it could just be a waste of your time. However, if you offer very attractive and visual products or services, this could be the ideal way to generate more sales and grow your audience.
As such, you need to think this through carefully and perhaps even brainstorm a few ideas of the types of content you might share. Hint: if you can’t think of any appealing content for your profile, this is a huge sign that Instagram might not be right for you.
After all, Instagram users crave creative, unique and quality pictures and videos. This is what it takes to grab their attention and certainly what you need to get them engaging with your brand. Without this, it’s likely that your profile will just get lost and forgotten in cyberspace.
2. Determine if you can produce great content
Following on from our first point, you also need to determine whether you actually have the skills and know-how to make good content. If not, you might find you’re dedicating hours to generating images, videos, stories and posts that are barely visible and aren’t receiving any engagement.
So, before you jump on the Instagram bandwagon, do you have the skills to generate regular, creative and original content? If not, do you have the budget behind you to hire someone who can do this for you or to work with influencers? If so, that’s great news!
However, if the answer is no, you might be better off dedicating your time and resources to other platforms that will generate real results. You can always revisit the Instagram idea at a later date when you have a larger budget or stronger skillset.
3. Find out whether your competitors are on Instagram or not
One of the biggest questions you need to ask yourself is whether your competitors have Instagram and if so, do they have a strong presence on the platform? If you’re unsure about this, you should spend some time running searches, looking for dedicated profiles and relevant hashtags to see what is currently being shared by them or about them.
If you notice that a lot of your competitors are getting good traction through Instagram, it might be time to set up your own profile and start generating a presence on the platform. This way, the competition is not grabbing the entire market share. If this is not the case, you might not need to set up an Instagram account if you don’t want to.
But just remember that if you’re hoping to stay ahead of the competition and you do set up an account, your Instagram efforts require a strong strategy, frequent posting and unique, engaging images and videos so you can cut through the clutter.
4. Determine whether your target audience is on Instagram
Instagram can be a great tool for reaching new audiences, but it can also be a huge waste of time if your target audience isn’t there.
So, just like your competitors, you also need to determine whether your target audience is very active on Instagram or not. Because if your target demographic doesn’t spend much time on the platform, it doesn’t make much sense to waste time and resources trying to make sales and regenerate interest this way.
However, if your target audience and existing customers are very active on Instagram, it could be the next important marketing decision for your brand.
For example, research shows that 25 to 34-year-olds represent the biggest audience on Instagram, followed closely by the 18 to 24-year olds, whereas only 31% of those above the age of 55 use Instagram. What’s more, male users slightly outnumber female users when it comes to those aged 18 to 34.
So, as you can see, whether Instagram is right for you will largely depend on who your target audience is and whether they spend much time engaging with content on Instagram.
But if you’re feeling really stuck, you can always ask your customers via your existing channels whether a company Instagram account is something that they would like and engage with or not. This can give you some real insights from your target audience.
5. Revisit your overall business goals
Last but certainly not least, a great way to determine whether Instagram is right for your business is to revisit your larger business goals and see where this fits in. Ask yourself:
- Did you intend to grow your social media following – is this one of your longer-term goals?
- Are you doing just fine on other platforms and already meeting your social media goals that way?
- Do you want to use social media to boost sales or just increase awareness of your brand?
- Do you have the budget, time and resources to invest in platforms like Instagram at this point in your business?
By asking yourself these important questions and working out how Instagram could contribute (or not as the case may be) towards your overall business goals, you can determine whether this is going to be a good marketing strategy for your business or not.