It might have seemed questionable and looked down upon a decade ago, but today social media is a no-brainer for marketing nowadays. Instagram, in particular, is perfect for targeting a broad range of audiences and offering a flexible visual medium to strengthen brand image. And if that’s not enough to convince you, maybe Instagram’s 1.3 billion monthly active users would. Notably, Instagram reports that out of its billions of monthly users, 90% of users follow at least one business account. Particularly for startups who are still introducing themselves to the world, Instagram could be a valuable and cost-efficient way to benefit from these advantages.
If you’re wondering why and how you could use Instagram for your startup, read on.
Why should startups use Instagram
Founding a startup and getting people to pay attention to it can feel impossible, even if you’ve got an idea and business model that’s novel and groundbreaking. Social Media Today reports that marketing challenges startups commonly encounter include limited budget, competition, and engaging with customers in a primarily digital environment. Especially when confined to a large online presence, businesses might risk becoming disconnected from their customers.
But Instagram can address many — if not all — of these marketing problems for startup companies. Forbes.com outlines the benefits of social media for startup marketing, explaining that it’s perfect for generating brand awareness, increasing site traffic, and selling products and services. Instagram checks all of these boxes, as the platform has a large user base that you can potentially reach for minimal cost.
Moreover, the platform allows you to direct traffic to your own website, eliminating the need to rely on SEO. Startups should also take advantage of being able to sell products and services directly on the platform, as users tap on shopping posts to learn more about products.
What type of businesses are best for marketing on Instagram
Startups that sell aesthetics, such as clothing, travel, design, or cafe businesses, are particularly suited for Instagram. But overall, pretty much any business that can produce visually pleasing content would fare well on the website if they amp up their creativity and share meaningful content. The key here is being able to add value to your audience’s feed.
So even if you’re a tech company or an advocacy or campaigning organization that might find it difficult to come up with visual content, you can still leverage Instagram’s visual medium to disseminate useful information in an attention-grabbing way that can hook your audience.
How to get started on Instagram for startups
- Earning customer trust by getting personal
As startups that are just starting to gain traction, it’s important to build trust among your audiences. The best way to do this is by getting personal.
Facebook’s 2019 report ‘How Instagram Boosts and Drives Sales’ found that around 75% of users associate brands they see on Instagram with popularity, relevance, and commitment to building community. You can take advantage of this by sharing casual introductions and updates from the team, advertising your personal advocacy, or sharing content that reaches the heart. To illustrate, Camp4Collective, a film and commercial startup, commonly posts grand landscapes and celebrates adventure and life while tying their posts to their advocacies.
Your startup can use a similar approach of appealing to emotions and being vocal in order to engage more intimately with your audience.
- Utilizing Instagram’s features to maximize traffic
As long as you know how to use them, Instagram’s features and mechanics can be a good resource for you to boost your traffic and engagement. AskMoney.com’s Instagram tips for small businesses highlights the importance of understanding the platform’s algorithm, which analyzes metadata, hashtags, and engagement metrics into account when distributing content.
A good example of a startup that uses an efficient hashtag strategy is Inspirato, which employs an efficient hashtag and geotagging strategy to target specific locations and interests. Your startup can employ the same methods to maximize the algorithm.
- Drawing attention to your brand by sharing meaningful content
Startups are founded on innovation and divergent approaches. This could prove intriguing for an Instagram audience who is always on the lookout for something fresh. Our article ‘How to Build a Good Content Marketing Team’ highlights the importance of having a content strategy that challenges the status quo, and fills the gap in your customers’ innovative content.
Take for instance ONE, an international advocacy and campaigning startup that consistently delivers informative content relevant to its campaign against extreme poverty and preventable disease. Likewise, your company can also provide useful content relevant to your industry to provide value to your audiences.
Marketing for startups can be difficult, but luckily you have Instagram on your side. Aside from being cost-efficient and effective for reaching large audiences, the app can also highlight the best of your startup and connect you with the right audience to bring meaning to your work.