We all know the growing power of Instagram. So how can the app’s features help you to grow your small business?
From Pinned Comments to Instagram Shops, the app is constantly introducing new features to enhance user experience. And whether you’re selling a product or service, now is the time to take advantage of them – and help grow your small business.
#1: Instagram Shops
As a brand, you can tag shoppable products in posts, Stories and have an ‘Instagram Shop’ discovery tab on your profile. With the help of Instagram Checkout, these features allow customers to click on a product they’re interested in and continue through to the payment process, without ever leaving the app.
Streamlining the online shopping experience makes Instagram an easy and practical way for consumers to make on-the-spot purchases, and is a great way for your business to increase revenue.
# 2: Instagram Live
Instagram Lives can help form stronger customer relationships and are super versatile. Use them to market product launches, host Q&A sessions, or cover brand events.
Live videos offer unique value as you have the ability to interact with followers in real-time. You can answer on-the-spot questions and show a more authentic and organic side to your business since there’s no time for re-shoots or edits!
Instagram Live Shopping
Now is a great time to get comfortable with Instagram Lives, because soon, businesses will be able to share direct links to shoppable products there. Product links will be shown at the bottom of the video stream, so viewers can easily tap to learn more or ‘Add to Bag’ and make a purchase within the app.
With Instagram seeing a 70% increase in Live views from February to March this year, and the new feature giving customers the opportunity to make easy in app-purchases, this is a feature could really help small businesses, once it’s rolled out internationally.
#3: Gift Cards and Food Orders
This year, Instagram released ‘Gift Card’ and ‘Food Order’ Story stickers to help support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. When used in a Story, these stickers allow viewers to tap and complete an order. Users can either order a gift card, food or add the sticker to their own Story, helping to spread awareness.
Brands have been using gift cards to sell redeemable vouchers through the app and food orders to help drive awareness around food delivery services.
IGTV is the place to showcase polished long-form video content. Unlike regular Instagram videos, IGTV’s can be a minute to an hour long, allowing you more time to share how-tos and behind the scenes with your audience.
You can also use IGTV to share high-quality videos promoting new products, share interviews, news stories and tutorials to help boost your engagement and build loyal customer relationships.
#5: Story Stickers
What feature allows you to increase engagement, interact with your audience and encourage customer feedback, all in the one spot? Story stickers of course! Here are the top three Stickers your business should be using.
Poll Stickers are a quick and easy engagement boost for your brand. This sticker can also encourage customer feedback. For example, “Who read and enjoyed our new monthly newsletter?” Valuing your customers thoughts and opinions will help grow personal and loyal connections with them.
Quiz Stickers are a fun way to encourage follower interactions and to share important information about your business. This feature can be used to communicate your company story, brand values or details about an upcoming product or service launch.
The Countdown Sticker makes an exciting tool for building hype around a new product, service, event or general announcement from your business. Your followers can tap and set a reminder for when the countdown ends, and the announcement or event is live.
#6: Pinned Comments
This new feature allows you to pin up to three comments that sit above the rest of your comments section, similar to YouTube. Pinning comments is a great way to set the tone for your community and highlight positive sentiments that endorse your products, or brand values.
This is also the perfect tool to pin FAQ’s, making them more visible to your entire community. Doing this will keep your followers entirely informed and provide a more personal insight into the answers your community regularly seeks.
#7: Instagram Story Highlights
Before the introduction of Highlights, Instagram Stories only had a 24-hour lifespan. Now, businesses can share Story content that lives on forever. Story Highlights allow you to easily showcase content, customer reviews or information you want customers to see up front, after arriving on your page.
Organising them into categories and adding on-brand icons will help your business page look professional and make it easy for your followers to access information.
#8: Branded Content Ads
This ad format is an extension of a Paid Partnership post. You can easily amplify branded content beyond a creator’s organic following, straight from the creators who posted it. It combines the beauty and authenticity of creator content, with the targeting and insights of an ad. In other words, it’s the best of both worlds.
Using this tool will help your small business reach your wider audience, target your exact customer from their age, gender, and geography and creates a frictionless shopping experience.