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So, you want to start an Instagram account for your business.  You are probably eager to get started after hearing about how it is one of the best social media channels on which to market brands.  But hold up just a minute — before you log into that Instagram app and start snapping away, do some research!

Just as with buying a new car or investing in a new product, you want to do your research to know if this is the right avenue for your company. Before you get started, ask yourself these questions:

1. Is the market right for my company?

2. How will I incorporate Instagram into my overall digital marketing strategy?

3. Who will run the account and what does their experience look like?  

4. What am I hoping to achieve

With these four questions in mind, you will be able to know if the market is right for your company and how you can best use Instagram to help grow your brand.

Is the market right for my company?

The first thing that needs to be considered when deciding if an Instagram account would benefit your company, is determining if it is a platform on which your target audience is spending their time. According to DMR, Instagram had more than 400 million monthly active users in the second quarter of 2015.  This is a large market on which to build your brand’s reputation. Of this number, the largest amount of users is between 18-29 years old!  Surprisingly enough, however, males aged 30-49 use it as well!

For some companies, your target market might be spending their time on Pinterest, TikTok, or LinkedIn. Your job is to know where your audience is spending their time online and be ready to reach them there.

How will I incorporate Instagram into my overall digital marketing strategy?

After you have determined the market in which you would like to grow your company’s reputation, it is important to brainstorm how to best incorporate them into your current digital marketing strategy or create a new strategy.

For example, if you are a blog reader, your blog is likely hosted on the blogging platform of WordPress. Now, let’s say you decide to open up an Instagram account for your business and start posting photos related to your industry – wouldn’t it be smart to have the option of automatically posting these photos directly onto your website? Or even utilizing those blog post images to create feed posts on Instagram?

The more internal linking, the better! Think of all the different ways you can incorporate Instagram into your company’s digital marketing efforts.

Who will run the account and what does their experience look like?

Now that you have started to brainstorm ideas on how you will use Instagram in conjunction with your current strategy, it is important to consider who will be running these accounts.  Do they have experience?  What is their knowledge of social media marketing?

If you decide that Instagram is right for your company’s digital marketing efforts, it is time to find (or train) someone with the perfect skill set for this job! You want to make sure that whoever you choose knows how to engage in an effective way to achieve whichever goal that is, whether it be to gain followers, sell products, or earn clients.

Ideally, Instagram accounts should be run by someone with a solid background in marketing who has both social networks and photography/videography skills. Instagram is also another great platform for companies to hire freelancers or interns! When picking somebody to be the voice of your company, it is vital to choose somebody who has the companies mission in mind to help it grow and prosper.

Having a solid background in marketing is essential because, to use Instagram for businesses, there has to be a strategy in place. Certain things must be done when using any social media platform, but the type of content that needs to be published (and scheduled) will vary depending on your company, industry, and your call to action.

What am I hoping to achieve?

Before you jump right into it, it is important to have a clear picture in your mind of what you anticipate Instagram will do for your company. The most popular use of Instagram is to gain followers, but this is just the beginning.  Having defined goals helps keep marketing efforts concise and productive! Think about what you want to get out of the time and effort required to put a focus on social media. Some goals for your social media can include:

  • brand awareness
  • boost sales
  • add value to brand
  • promote content
  • engage with customers and fans
  • build a community of loyal advocates

Once you have a clearly defined goal, it is time to put a plan into action.  Whether this means hiring an army of interns or investing more of your budget into advertising costs, the first step is always the hardest but will be worth it!

Is Instagram right for my company?

It can be!  If your target market is spending their time on Instagram, you are ahead of the game! By weighing all of the options and keeping in mind who will run your account, what they will accomplish, and defining what your business goals are — Instagram could be a beneficial asset to your company!