You’re fully aware of all the hype surrounding Instagram (or “Insta” if you’re cool, or “the Gram” if you’re even cooler) but aren’t sure if it’s worth the time and energy to invest in it. Well, you’re in good company. Whilst it’s one of the most simple social networks to familiarise yourself with, Instagram is an intimidating place for the would-be digital marketer. This post is designed to help you decide whether it’s worth taking the plunge and getting intimate with Instagram.
Some background. Instagram has become one of the most powerful social media networks. It has eclipsed every social platform except Facebook by way of usage and even outperforms it in terms of engagement rates. If you didn’t already know, Facebook owns Instagram. This is your first major win, since setting up an account is easy and Facebook’s paid advertising platform manages Instagram too.
We’ve popped together the five questions you need to ask yourself when deciding if Instagram is worth investing in for your business. All you need to do is work out which of the answers a-d best describes your situation and keep a tally. So…
Is it worth being on Instagram for my business?
1. What is your target demographic?
a) Teens or young adults
b) Millennials (25-35)
c) Children and parents of children
d) Generally, older people, typically aged over 40
2. Are you a B2C business that sells products (rather than a service)?
a) Yes, we sell products to consumers
b) No, we sell services to consumers
c) No, we sell products to businesses
d) No, we sell services to businesses
3. How well can you visually portray your business?
a) Extremely well – we have perfect products for Instagram and our marketing revolves around great visuals
b) Pretty well – visuals play a big role in what we do – there is a design element to our business or we can share very relevant imagery such as travel and lifestyle shots
c) Okay – our products are not really what people take photos of and share, but we could portray what we sell/do
d) Not very well – we’d have to build a presence around images of other things only vaguely related to what we do
4. How well does other social media, including Facebook advertising, work for your business?
a) Very well, especially Facebook and Facebook advertising
b) Pretty well, we have a strong presence and can track some sales or leads from social channels
c) We have a basic presence with some traction amongst our audience
d) We’ve never tried social media for our business before
5. How easy is it/what is your capacity to manage your Instagram account?
a) Very easy – we have an in-house team that can create great imagery and has time to become Insta experts
b) Easy – we can squeeze it in ourselves or our agency will be able to add it on as a service
c) Okay – We’ll probably need to shift resources to accommodate it
d) Tough – we don’t really know what we’re doing so would have to learn about Instagram marketing and it will be additional workload and expense.
Is Instagram for you?
If you’ve tended to answer mostly As and Bs from the above questions, Instagram is worth setting up and giving a go. The odd C or D doesn’t rule it out. However, if the majority of your answers are Cs and, especially, Ds, maybe pass on it for now.
If you’re still not completely sure, check out what your competitors or similar brands to yours are doing on Instagram. Are they flourishing or struggling to gain traction? Do they even have an account? How does their budget compare to yours, both in terms of their ability to create high-quality visual content and the ability to manage the platform day-to-day?
Like all social networks, Instagram can become a distraction from other marketing activities that really work towards your goals. Being thinly spread across multiple social media or other channels doesn’t tend to work as well as focusing on the two or three that work really well. If you’re confident Instagram could work for your brand but don’t have the skills, consider some Instagram training. Otherwise, get cracking and see what you can achieve!