Instagram: a New Haven for Startup Growth

By Sean Brown | June 26, 2017

Startups come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, have varying amounts of starting capital, and generally set out with completely different goals. But there’s one thing all startups have in common regardless of their industry: a 24-hour time limit on each day. The fact of the matter is, if you want to achieve hyper-productivity, you need to start by learning how to properly budget your time.

In a world where the entrepreneurial “grind” is the latest flavor of the day, it’s important to keep in mind that having a razor-sharp work ethic doesn’t always mean you’re operating at full productivity. Working 16 hours a day trying to redesign the logo on your blog is a lot less productive than spending 2 hours trying to generate new leads.

Of course, it’s impossible to talk about productivity without bringing up the age-old concept of multi-tasking. While multi-tasking is a major productivity sap to the majority of people, there’s one exception everyone can take advantage of: Instagram.

Instagram Makes Multitasking Productive for Everyone

The reason Instagram works so well for early stage marketing is that it allows you to kill two birds with one stone. Without a strong brand image, you can’t expect advertising efforts to carry any weight with your targeted audience—and that’s where Instagram starts to truly shine.

Instagram helps you develop your brand’s image by connecting you directly with your audience and allowing you to create extremely targeted ads. In short, Instagram allows you to learn about your audience, cater your content to their interests, measure their response, test new content, and optimize your results.

The Inherent Disconnect Between Brand Image and Advertising

Making the most of your marketing experts starts by understanding the difference between brand image and advertising. These days, most all of the social media giants allow users to create marketing campaigns and boost their exposure through scalable, targeted advertisements. But getting your products in front of a few thousand people doesn’t mean anything unless they take action.

For established companies with large, engaged audiences, successful marketing typically boils down to the content and scope of the ads themselves. On the other hand, when you’re struggling to find your target audience and generate the right engagement, being able to interact with individuals on a user-by-user basis is paramount. Instagram fights the inherent disconnect between your brand’s image and ad content by allowing you to build engagement while simultaneously reaching new users.

Building Up Your Brand with Instagram
Instagram’s unique feature set gives businesses the ability to create natural engagement by reaching out to their audiences directly. Liking and commenting on user-posted content is a great way to increase exposure and make your brand feel significantly more personable.

If you’re struggling to attract followers, reaching out to someone from the long list of famous influencers on Instagram significantly expands your audience, helps you target your niche, and bakes trust directly into your brand. When someone hears about the benefits of your product from someone they know and trust, your product gets a huge boost in authenticity.

Why Instagram Works for Advertising

Everyone knows having an Instagram profile is good for your brand’s image, but can you really expect your ads to break through people’s feeds? The fact of the matter is, advertising on Instagram is getting pretty hard to beat.

From a sheer exposure standpoint, Instagram has a massive amount of daily users and is only continuing to grow. This results in profiles with huge follower counts and increased activity on Instagram’s Explore page. In short, more users means more followers, more followers means more post engagement, and more post engagement results in more opportunities to go viral.

Aside from trying to get your content in the right places naturally, Instagram also allows you to run paid ads and reach a massive amount of users regardless of your follower count (for a relatively affordable price).

Get the Best Metrics Early On

What’s better, advertising to 1,000,000 that don’t care about your product and won’t end up buying it, or advertising to 100 extremely interested users that are likely going to convert into paid customers? The point is, you shouldn’t be over-advertising to people that aren’t going to end up taking action. If you want to be efficient in your advertising efforts, you need to focus on getting the best metrics.

Fortunately, Instagram makes it easy to get in-depth metrics about your posts by allowing anyone to convert their normal profile into a business account—free of charge. Switching your profile over allows you to measure your posts against each other, determine the best posting times, track your calls to action, and better target your marketing efforts.

The Basics of Natural Growth

If you’re ready to start generating natural growth, try converting over to a business profile and experimenting with different posting habits. Successful advertising revolves around creating captivating content for your audience. Frequency of posting doesn’t really matter if nobody wants to engage with your content in the first place. Start by identifying your target audience, figuring out their interests, and crafting content they can identify with.

Always respond to comments on your posts, and never be afraid to reach out to other users. Interacting with other users on Instagram both directly engages potential customers and increases the visibility of your brand.

On a similar note, asking content creators to help you out in exchange for free product is a great way to start building up your brand image. Depending on who you find, there’s a high probability they’re looking to build up their portfolio and would be happy to help you build out great advertising content. Creativity is a collaborative process, and getting your product in the hands of others allows you to take a fresh, unexpected angle on some of your content. If taking photos isn’t your thing, working with creatives on Instagram can help you build an extensive library of content without needing to search for a professional photographer.

Instagram streamlines the process of developing your brand’s image and translating it into a successful marketing campaign. Creating engaging, user-specific content is your ticket to converting followers into customers.