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If you are currently mustering up the courage to start an online business, the first and foremost thing you need to do is create a business account on Instagram. Whatever it is that you are looking to sell, a service or a product, your customers will look for an Instagram handle that they can visit to get a better idea about what you are offering them. They might stay on your account for a mere second but even a second is enough to leave a lasting impression which decides if you get a follow, like, or even a potential sale.

A few years back when Facebook and Twitter were the only two social networks of value, would you have imagined that Instagram would soon become the new face of social media? Well today, Instagram not only has around 1 billion active users worldwide but is also used as the top digital marketing tool for more than 25 million businesses. The networking website once only known to keep the world connected is now being used to market new businesses with the tap of a screen. It introduced business profiles in mid-2016 and has lately seen exponential growth in its users that increase every day.

Here is how you can use Instagram to promote your startup business and give it the recognition it deserves:

Target the Right Audience

The first step is to identify the niche your business will operate in and be as specific as possible. If your posts on Instagram are getting no kind of response, then it is obvious that you are not using the right hashtags. These hashtags categorize posts in a way that help you reach your audience and help the target audience to find you as well. This process of providing a more narrowed reach enables the right content to be delivered to the right people. For example, if you have a business for clay jewellery, using the hashtag ‘jewellery’ will single out the audience who is looking to buy jewellery, and if you hashtag the words ‘handcrafted’ or ‘clay jewellery’ it will make it even easier for your target audience to find your account.

One way to reach your audience is through Instagram ads. You can turn any post into an ad by simply promoting it after deciding the duration of promotion, the amount you want to spend, the people you want to reach, and the post you want to send them to when they click your ad. Consequently, you are in complete control of the advertisement. This is an easy and effective way to find new customers and expand your reach. Another, more subtle, way to advertise on Instagram is by utilizing the application’s ‘explore’ feature. This personalised feature helps push your content to the people who have similar interests and are most likely to make a purchase.

Create Ease in Buying

Instagram has created additional convenience by enabling in-app shopping for products that users like on these business accounts. As more businesses shift to online modes amidst the ongoing pandemic, this feature provides great ease to users by giving them an online shopping experience. People can directly visit the online shop through the businesses’ Instagram account where they can easily browse through different products, check prices, place their order, and pay as well. Hence, you don’t even need a website for your business because the Instagram shop fulfills that role for you.

Focus on Visual Appeal

Being a networking website that is based on sharing photos and videos, it is no surprise that the users are attracted to visually appealing feeds. If you want to maximise your sales, you need to make sure that you are consistent with your uploads of posts, stories, and reels because nothing loses followers quicker than an inactive account. It is also essential for all your content to be of top quality so people look forward to more of it and follow your account. The posts need to display creativity and relevance to your product. Using the various features on Instagram gives you a competitive edge. Studies have proved that fifteen-second videos called reels do exceptionally well. They are a fun and effective way to introduce new collections and display your products. As proved by the app called TikTok, video marketing is a great way to advertise your products on social media and Instagram ensures that it isn’t lacking behind in this aspect.

Therefore, Instagram proves to have the ability to promote your business in ways that are affordable as well as effective. The key is to develop a feed that is relevant to your brand profile, be smart with your choice of hashtags, and be open to any new ideas that encourage engagement with followers and potential customers.