Social media platforms like Instagram have a very definite lifespan. You can’t always predict when they are born exactly when they will die, but you can be sure that their time is limited and will at some point end.
For this reason, you need to pay attention to what is trending. Small businesses should always keep one eye on social media, and be ready at an opportune moment to leap onto the bandwagon. Small businesses have become very large enterprises because they leapt at just at the right time to get the most benefits of marketing through a social media platform.
But when is the right time for a small business to leap onto a social media platform?
The right time is a calculated moment somewhere between when the platform becomes wildly popular with followers, but not popular enough to be glutted by other businesses or digital marketers. Once the platform knows its own worth to business, it inevitably tweaks its own systems so that marketing through it costs more and it is much harder to reach people organically.
Now is the right time for Instagram
In terms of numbers of users, Instagram is not the largest platform, and does not compare in population to something like Facebook. But you should not interpret the numbers this simply. Through Instagram you can be seen more often and by more people. When someone likes or shares your post, it has more flow on effect than in Facebook. An Instagram post has more life.
Studies have shown that while there are more people on Facebook than Instagram, each post on Instagram has more than 50 times the engagement power of a Facebook post. And the number of users on Instagram has doubled in the last twelve months, to reach well over 700 million active users a day. You can’t really argue with this kind of engagement and this amount of growth.
For the amount of money you invest in Instagram marketing, you get the best results of any social media platform.
Instagram is faster than ever
In the times when the world moves so quickly, and news is quite literally, instant, a platform like Facebook is actually becoming too slow. People process input much faster than they used to, and they tend to favour mediums where they can be constantly stimulated and at the forefront of trends. Instagram offers this, with snapshots of your business through pictures and micro-videos that although small, have the impact of works of art.
You can create posts or pictures, short videos, carousel advertisements and Instagram Stories. This is an ever-changing landscape that is forever making available new and exciting ways to connect with your target audience. These constant updates and improvements make user experience ever better, and make advertising more efficient and effective.
It is fast-moving, yes, but it’s also a lot of fun. And precisely because it is fast, you can be more innovative than you would usually have dared. Instagram followers are forward-thinking, flexible and forgiving, so this is an awesome space to just try things out and see what works.
Using Instagram, you can play in the pool with the big kids. It levels the playing field significantly, meaning that for relatively small outlay, clever and powerful posts can reach their audience. If you have something worth sharing, people will share it, no matter how big your business is.
Creating impactful posts has never been easier
You can post quickly, easily and from your smart phone. You can use simple apps to create witty and original posts that will showcase your business and grab people’s attention. Your phone will most likely have an excellent quality camera installed, which is all you need to build a continually updated visual journey through your business.
Target your ideal customer audience
You can create target audiences by piggy-backing on the profiling capacities of Facebook, because Instagram and Facebook have the same owners, and are niftily connected. So Instagram is not starting from scratch, and you can define your ideal customer in terms of age, gender, location, stage of life, interests and spending habits, and then you can reach those potential customers instantly.
A wonderful feature you may not know about is the ability to create ‘lookalike audiences’. If you have followers who already buy from you, but you can’t quite put your finger on why this cross-section of society like you so much, now you don’t have to. Instagram can build and target lookalike audiences that resemble the characteristics of followers you already have, so without even knowing why somebody likes you, you can reach many more people who will like you too.
Create direct and effective CTA buttons
You can connect your visitors from a powerful post directly to your website or an online store. Don’t let the idea of building an online store overwhelm you; programs that can do this are less complex and more streamlined than ever before.
Instagram offers incredible analytical insight into the success of your posts and your campaigns, that older social mediums and traditional marketing forums cannot hope to match. You can interpret your campaigns in terms of awareness, engagement, reach and recall, and get real time results so you adjust your campaigns accordingly. You can assess things like the search terms potential customers will use, what time they are online, and whether they are new or returning visitors. And this is just scratching the surface.
So to summarise, advertising through Instagram is cheaper, quicker, easier, more effective and more efficient than through other traditional or current online methods. And more fun. As a small business, you can’t afford to ignore the possibilities offered by this medium. The time is now, and you’d better move fast, because if you wait another six months, who knows what could be the next big advertising space?