Over the past 12 years, Instagram has evolved and become a giant in the social media industry. From basic photos to new features such as stories, Instagram never stays out of the competition for long. Seriously competing with both YouTube and TikTok, they are pushing both long form content in IG TV, as well as short form in Reels. The competition has never been tougher with Snapchat’s story system still being the king, albeit Instagram bringing the feature on as well.
What is Instagram and Why Should my Business Care?
Before Instagram, businesses traditionally used Facebook for their online presence, as well as other forms of media such as the local newspaper, radio, and television. Instagram shook up the advertising world with their innovative algorithm that targets specific users based on their interests on the platform (i.e. likes, viewed posts/stories). Not only did Instagram target specific users who are likely to be interested in your business’ products or service, they offer various methods of advertising your product or service on the platform. For instance, the carousel engages the user with brief how-to’s and step by steps to help sell them on your business. Reels reach out to your audience for even more engagement with topics such as news and trends. Reels also give your business the opportunity to repurpose previously used content into something fresh for the targeted audience in the algorithm.
The Types of Instagram Posts & How To Utilize Them
The traditional single post believe it or not is still relevant to this day on Instagram, and still impacts your business. It gives your business an opportunity to reach out and share your business’ journey through milestone posts, and relevant, yet relatable memes.
Stories & Highlights
Stories and highlights are your opportunity to share a bit about who you are as a business and funnel your audience towards the product. This can be through testimonials, relatable moments, sales, and just talking about yourself!
Carousel posts are a wonderful tool to teach educational content in the form of tutorials, infographics, and How To’s. Give value to your audience, and show them something they can start doing to improve their situation, or showcase how your product or service can help solve a problem they’re having.
Reels is a severely underrated reach tool that can immensely help your business reach more potential customers. It’s a great format to keep your audience up to date with the latest news and trends of your niche, as well as a great way to debunk myths around your topic. Keep in mind that Instagram is heavily pushing reels to compete with TikTok and YouTube Shorts at the moment. Using Reels is a great way to capitalize on what Instagram as a platform wants to achieve, so start making content and use it to propel your business.
IGTV or Instagram Television, is the long form video content medium for Instagram. This is where you can livestream to your audience, or simply post videos that are longer than a minute! Don’t worry, as these videos are not separate from your profile! IGTV just serves as a means to post and support these long term forms of content and creators. Utilizing IGTV along with Reels is the ultimate way to capitalize on Instagram as a means of marketing your business towards your audience. Consider making some long form content as well!
The Growing Instagram Userbase
Instagram has a large, growing user base that this algorithm will be used on. For example, Instagram has approximately 500 million daily active users, or DAU for short. This means your business has the potential to reach almost 1.386 billion people, making it the fourth most popular social network by number of users. On average, users spend 29 minutes on the platform, with users under 25 spending around 32 minutes, and 24 minutes for those over the age of 25. in 8 months on the platform, the stories feature surpassed Instagram rival Snapchat’s 150 million daily active users. According to statistics, reels have a 22% higher engagement rating than a standard video on Instagram. Reels can also be featured on the explore page, where 50% of Instagram’s user base goes to look for new content to consume.
Instagram reels can play a pivotal role in your business’ marketing plan. It can grow sales, as well as your audience in a fantastic fashion. The platform allows for the business to create engaging content that not only clicks with your target demographic, but sells them on what your business is offering as well. The content can be as simple as one 15 second video! Brainstorm some ideas for your business, and test out some features using existing content for your business. Stock videos also are quite useful when uploading to Instagram reels. Pick some audio, and film some new content and boom! New customers may be attracted to your business!
Not only can reels attract more customers, it can be utilized to demonstrate your product or service as well. Having a potential buyer that is on the fence about purchasing your product or service is a great way for them to understand how it works, and make an educated decision. Hopefully their decision benefits your business, and leads to a purchase of your product or service.
Lastly, reels can be uploaded to other vertical video platforms as well! Such as TikTok, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube Shorts, etc. You have already put in the time to create the content to sell your business to your audience, so why not expand that audience on other platforms? Not only is reels a great way to get more people to see what your business is offering to them, it is a great, fast, efficient, and recyclable tool that can be utilized on multiple platforms by your business.