America is currently in the midst of a recession since the coronavirus outbreak in early February. With extended quarantine forcing consumers to stay home, small business owners are seeking solutions to help them thrive during this period of great economic distress. But savvy business owners are using this time to grow their business and many are turning to Instagram as their primary growth channel.
Instagram is no longer an ordinary photo-sharing platform. In fact, Instagram marketing has become one of the primary lead sources for many businesses because:
• There are over 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram.
• Users view over 500 million Instagram Stories daily.
• Over 13 percent of Instagram users are from the United States.
• Users spend an average of 53 minutes on the platform every day.
• Instagram is second only to Facebook in terms of usage.
• Sixty percent of active users visit the app daily.
• Eighty percent of Instagram users have made a purchasing decision based on discoveries.
In an economic recession, it’s tempting to cut down your digital marketing and sales budget – but, though counterintuitive, this might not be the best course of action.
During an economic downturn, you always find less competition,” says Thrive’s Demand Generation Content Manager Brandon George. “This is [an opportunity] for any business to gain ground in marketing because many companies have [reduced] their spend or [are] not spending at all.”
That means it’s usually easier and faster to get marketing results for your business,” George adds.
As your competitors are limiting their marketing and sales activities, your best course of action is to take advantage of the slowdown and explore growth channels like Instagram for business to grow your online presence.
In this blog, we talk about:
• The Great Recession from 2007 to 2009 and how social media played a crucial role in helping businesses recover.
• What Instagram marketing is and how using Instagram for business can help you during a recession.
• How to use Instagram for your business.
• How influencers can make an impact as an Instagram marketing service.
We’ll also show you how an Instagram marketing service can help you generate revenue during an economic recession.
The Transformative Power of Social Media: A Look Back at the Great Recession
From 2007 to 2009, the U.S. was experiencing one of its most significant economic recessions since the Great Depression. It was dubbed “the Great Recession” and was caused by the subprime mortgage crisis, which led to the collapse of the U.S. housing market.
The Great Recession brought about less economic activity, less discretionary spending and a greater distrust in big businesses. People grew more fastidious about how they spent their money. So, many companies turned to social media to bridge the gap between brand and consumer.
In a period where broadcast advertising was king, the rise of social media as a marketing channel was unprecedented. It became a channel where brands could engage with consumers and where consumers could hold businesses accountable. Businesses that failed to transition to social media fell even harder – but those that did benefited greatly.
A 2011 study found social media marketing to be the most effective form of marketing after a recession. This came from the fact that 70 percent of consumers relied on social media for brand or product information. About half of those consumers made a purchase in 2008.
Although the exact causes of both recessions are different, it’s still hard not to draw parallels between the situation today and the economic crisis just over a decade ago. At the time, the financial crisis hit businesses hard. Fewer enterprises were started, thousands of smaller businesses were forced to lay off employees and some were even foreclosed – and these are the same dire circumstances business owners are faced with today.
Why Use Instagram for Business?
Since taking the world by storm in 2010, Instagram remains one of the most popular social media platforms today. With visual posts producing 650 percent higher engagements than text-only posts, it’s easy to see why using Instagram for businesses should be a priority during the recession.
Instagram continues to grow and dominate the social zeitgeist, even with the emergence of rival visual platforms TikTok and Snapchat. With its introduction of Instagram Stories for business in 2016, Instagram widened its gap with Snapchat. The visual giant is planning to do the same with its introduction of Instagram Reels, a video-sharing feature that is expected to overtake TikTok’s similar feature. And with TikTok’s imminent departure from the U.S., it’s evident Instagram is more than happy to step in and serve the video app’s disappointed users.
So, why use Instagram for business? Because it continues to be one of the most popular social media platforms and has the potential to transform your business, even during an economic recession. Read on to find out how to make an Instagram for business account and how to use Instagram for business.
Instagram Marketing Basics: How to Use Instagram for Business
Before you dive into using Instagram for business, it’s crucial that you first understand how to properly set up an Instagram account for business. The following sections will talk about how to set up Instagram for business, how to get Instagram followers for business and a few Instagram for business tips.
Here’s how to use Instagram for your business:
How to Set Up Instagram for Business
Follow these simple steps to learn how to set up Instagram for business:
1. Go to the Instagram home page or use the Instagram app and select “Sign Up” if you don’t already have an account. Alternatively, choose “Log in with Facebook” to quickly set it up.
2. Next, go to your account settings and select “Switch to Business Profile” or “Select Professional Account.” Follow the prompts to complete the setup of your Instagram account for business.
3. Once you’re done setting up your Instagram for business account, you can begin optimizing your profile to maximize engagements.
And that’s it! You’re good to go.
Instagram Marketing Best Practices
Here are some more Instagram for business tips to help you use Instagram for your business efficiently.
• Ninety-three percent of buyers cite visuals as their primary reason for a purchasing decision. Always use high-quality visuals in your brand’s colors to make it more recognizable to your audience.
• Leverage audience engagement to understand what your audience wants. Post content that encourages audience participation, such as posting user-generated content (UGC), polls or holding frequent contests.
• Videos generate tons of engagement for your brand. When running Instagram stories for business, make sure you keep videos to 15 seconds max. Instagram feed videos can go up to 60 seconds long.
• If you’d like to know how to get Instagram followers for business, make sure you always include hashtags in every post. Adding hashtags helps you get discovered as a topic channel on the Explore, which attracts more followers for your brand.
• When promoting a product, be sure to make it as organic to the platform as possible and focus on authenticity. Remove all “sales speak” from your content and focus on telling a story that resonates with your audience.
• Use Instagram ads to reach users that don’t follow you to boost your presence on the platform. There are three ways to use ads: the Instagram feed, the Instagram Explore tab and Instagram Stories for business. Keep the following best practices in mind: (1) square images work better across multiple channels, (2) make sure ad copy matches the image and (3) have a dedicated CTA page at the end for carousel ads.
How to Measure Campaign ROI
Now that you know how to use Instagram for business, it’s time to learn about how to track campaign progress and measure its performance and return on investment (ROI). Here’s how:
1. Before setting up your campaign, make sure to choose campaign goals that align with your business objectives to give you a foundation by which to measure success.
2. Identify key metrics that allow you to measure campaign success, such as growth, reach, engagements, leads generated, revenue, etc.
3. Track how much you spent on each campaign. Did you use any external tools to measure campaign performance? How much time and money did it cost to produce content? How much did you allocate for ad spend? Did you use the services of an Instagram marketing agency?
4. To calculate campaign ROI, use the following equation: ValueInvestment 100 % = ROIwhere Value is used instead of revenue because it depends on campaign objectives and Investment represents the total amount invested.
5. Report ROI as a percentage.
If you need help setting up a business account for Instagram, running an Instagram marketing campaign and managing your activities across this platform, let our Instagram marketing agency help. Work with a reputable Instagram marketing company to optimize your campaigns for massive growth.
Should You Work With Influencers on Your Instagram Marketing Strategy?
According to pre-pandemic numbers, investments in the influencer industry were expected to grow to $15 billion by 2022. As the global pandemic hit, analysts started adjusting their forecasts as they braced for impact, which painted a gloomy picture of what was to come.
But things took an unexpected turn as social media usage increased by 32 percent, just as the world was about to enter a recession – and brands have capitalized on this growing trend. Take a page from Dollar Shave Club and Swiffer Pets to learn how to incorporate influencer marketing into your Instagram marketing strategy.
Dollar Shave Club doubled down on its marketing efforts to stand out from the quieter competitors and leveraged influencers and their families to gain massive engagements from followers. Swiffer Pets amplified their brand voice by partnering with pet influencers whose videos have garnered over 1.5 million views, 1 million likes and 3.4 percent engagement.
Working with influencers, just like working with an Instagram marketing company, can do wonders for your business. As an Instagram marketing service, influencers leverage their massive followings and high engagement numbers to boost brand awareness. Their word acts as social proof, which influences followers to make a purchasing decision.
In this blog, we answered the question “Why use Instagram for business?” and shared information about how to set up a business account on Instagram and some best practices to optimize your Instagram campaigns.
During an economic downturn, it becomes more important than ever to increase your marketing budget to stay ahead of the competition. As your competitors limit economic activity, they also decrease their social media efforts and, thereby, their brand’s presence. Take advantage of their limited activity to carve a good share of the market by creating an Instagram account for business.
Thrive is an Instagram marketing agency that helps businesses grow by optimizing your Instagram for business account. As an Instagram marketing service we help you expand your social presence by showing you how to use Instagram for your business, how to get Instagram followers for business as well as share Instagram for business tips that put you ahead of the competition.
Need the help of an Instagram marketing company? Give us a call at 866-434-4748 for a free consultation today.