In today’s digital world, social media is critical for marketers. Among these platforms, Instagram stands out for its visual appeal and diverse features, making it perfect for businesses.

Our guide dives into Instagram as a marketing tool, covering strategies from audience demographics to crafting engaging content and using its notable features. Whether you’re new or experienced in social media marketing, this guide aims to give you the insights and tools to succeed in Instagram marketing.

A background on Instagram

Instagram is a social media platform mainly for sharing photos and videos. Initially released in 2010, Instragram has since been a part of Meta Platforms after Facebook acquired it in 2012 for about $1 billion.

Although you can use Instagram on the web to check your feed and profiles, the best experience is on the mobile app. The application has doubled its daily average usage time from 15 minutes in 2019 to about 33 minutes as of 2024.

Main features of Instagram

Instagram is all about sharing pictures and videos, but it’s grown into much more than that. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Profile: Users create profiles to post photos and videos, write captions, and interact with other users. Profiles can be public or private, allowing users to control who can view their content.
  • Feed: The feed is where users see posts from accounts they follow. It’s a continuous stream of photos and videos, often accompanied by captions and hashtags.
  • Stories: These are posts that vanish after 24 hours. You can add pictures, videos, text, polls, and questions. Stories are displayed at the top of the feed, offering a more casual and ephemeral way to share content.
  • Explore: The Explore tab provides personalized recommendations for users based on their interests, behavior, and the content they engage with. It showcases trending posts, popular accounts, and content curated to match users’ preferences.
  • Instagram Live: This feature allows users to stream live videos to followers, who can engage with comments and emojis in real-time. Unless saved, these videos vanish after the broadcast ends, fostering instant interaction, Q&A sessions, behind-the-scenes peeks, and collaborative content creation.
  • Direct Messaging: Users can send private messages, photos, and videos to individuals or groups through Instagram Direct. It offers features like disappearing messages and the ability to share posts directly from the feed.
  • Reels: Introduced in 2020, Reels allows users to create and share short, entertaining videos set to music or audio clips. You can find them in the Explore tab or on people’s profiles.
  • Shopping: Instagram provides features that allow businesses to tag products in posts and stories, enabling users to purchase items directly within the app.

Why market on Instagram?

Large user base

With over 2 billion monthly users, Instagram ranks as the third most popular social media platform globally. Whether you’re a business owner or not, chances are your current and potential customers are active users.

Instagram reports that 90% of its users follow at least one business profile. This information means that reaching a substantial audience organically through your business profile isn’t too grinding

Enhanced brand visibility and engagement

Instagram marketing is great for businesses because it’s all about sharing pictures and videos, making it perfect for showing off products attractively. Research shows that our brains focus more on what we see, with about 90% of the information we take being visual.

Moreover, compared to other social media, people on Instagram are more active, liking, commenting, and sharing content. According to Forrester, top brands get way more engagement on Instagram — 58 times more per follower than on Facebook.

Drives higher conversions

Businesses should prioritize boosting conversions since social media, like Instagram, can attract many potential customers. According to a Meta, 87% of people take action after seeing product info on Instagram, like following a brand or making a purchase.

Although an Instagram profile is limited to clickable links, such as in bios, shoppable feeds, and stories, it still delivers impressive results. This strategy keeps the user experience smooth and saves marketers from paying for unnecessary clicks.

Simplifies customer shopping experience

Instagram makes it easy for businesses to sell through the app, improving customers’ shopping experience. With features like shoppable posts and Instagram Shopping, users can buy products without leaving Instagram. 

Plus, Checkout on Instagram streamlines the purchasing process, though it’s only available for US businesses. Businesses can use promoted shopping ads and product launch announcements to reach specific groups of people and get them excited about what they’re selling.

Setting up an Instagram account for business

1. Create a business account

  1. Sign Up or Log In: Open the app, create a new account, or log in to your existing one.
  1. Switch to an Instagram Business Account: Tap the three lines, then select “Settings” > “Account” > “Switch to Professional Account.” Follow the prompts to connect to a Facebook Page (if you have one) and choose your business category.
  1. Set Up Your Profile: Fill out your profile with your business name, profile picture (usually your logo), a brief description of your business, and a link to your website (if applicable).
  1. Complete Your Profile Details: Include relevant information such as your contact information, business hours, and location (if you have a physical storefront).

2. Get your business account verified

  1. Build a Strong Presence: Make sure your Instagram business account is solid before applying for verification. That means covering all the basics: a profile picture, a bio, and some posts.
  1. Meet Eligibility Requirements: Instagram verifies accounts based on specific criteria. Although they haven’t revealed the exact requirements, typically, you must be genuine, one-of-a-kind, complete, and noteworthy.
  1. Apply for Verification: To verify your account, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria, then follow these steps: 
  • On your profile, tap the three lines in the top-right corner.
  • Tap Settings, then Account, and finally Request Verification.
  • Fill in your account name and category, and upload a photo of your government ID (for personal accounts) or business documents (for business accounts).
  1. Wait for a Response: Once you’ve sent your verification request on Instagram, they’ll check it out. It might take a while, and there’s no set time for them to say yes or no.
  1. Remain Active: Stay active on Instagram and keep posting regularly, even if you’re still waiting for your account to get verified. Consistent and engaging with your audience can increase your chances of getting verified. 

Crafting your Instagram marketing strategy

Flowchart showcasing the steps to create content for Instagram marketing.

1. Set your marketing goals

Before diving into Instagram, you and your team must ask yourself why you’re there. To thrive on this platform, you need clear goals and a purpose that aligns with your efforts and resources.

Define what you want to accomplish with your Instagram marketing. Whether getting your brand out there, bringing people to your website, finding leads, or making sales, having specific goals will shape your approach.

2. Study your targeted audience

To better connect with your audience, research who they are, what they like, and how they behave. Utilize tools like Instagram Insights and surveys to gather valuable data.

For instance, if you’re targeting Gen Z, focus on showcasing product demos, customer reviews, and exclusive launches, as they make up a significant portion of Instagram’s user base for product discovery.

3. Create compelling content

Focus on creating eye-catching content that fits your brand and appeals to your followers. While Instagram started as a photo-sharing platform, it’s evolved into much more. 

To make the most of Instagram marketing, use a variety of content types:

  • Photos: Share single images or create carousels with up to 10 pictures for engaging feed posts.
  • Videos: Upload videos directly to your feed, ranging from a few seconds to 60 minutes long.
  • Reels: Share short, authentic videos in a dedicated tab on your profile to connect with your audience.
  • Live: Interact directly with your followers by going live from the Instagram app or scheduling a live event up to 90 days beforehand.
  • Stories: Share behind-the-scenes content or reposts from followers with stories, which disappear after 24 hours.
  • Stories Highlights: Pin essential stories to your profile by creating highlight albums for permanent display at the top of your feed.

4. Engage and interact

To grow a community on Instagram, engage regularly with your followers and fellow users. Respond quickly to comments, messages, and mentions to show that your brand is attentive and caring.

Start conversations by asking questions, running polls, or hosting Q&A sessions. Also, team up with influencers, partners, and user-generated content to grow your presence and credibility.

5. Analyze your results

To boost your Instagram marketing, keep a close eye on critical metrics like engagement, follower growth, reach, and conversions. Instagram Insights offers detailed stats on post-performance, audience demographics, and activity, helping you understand what works best.

Leverage this data to tweak your strategy, spot trends, and enhance your content for optimal outcomes. Test various tactics, learn from them, and consistently adapt your approach to elevate your Instagram game.

Instagram marketing best practices

Post at the right time

Timing is crucial on Instagram. You’ll likely get more likes and comments when you post when your followers are most active.

Research from Sprout Social suggests that Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. are prime posting times. However, this can vary depending on your industry, so it’s wise to do some of your research to find the best times for your audience.

Plan your content beforehand

Creating a content calendar is essential for social media marketing — it helps you organize your time effectively to produce high-quality content. Planning also allows you to review and edit your content before publishing.

Plan for special events, holidays, or promotions ahead of time to ensure your content stays timely and relevant. Consistent planning helps maintain a strong brand image and keeps your instagram marketing on track.

Have consistency in your branding

Establish a clear brand voice and tone for all your Instagram posts. Ensure your captions, visuals, and follower interactions match your brand’s personality and values. 

Consistency is critical to building trust and recognition with your audience. Maintaining a uniform voice strengthens your brand identity and establishes a deeper connection with your followers.

Be selective on the influencers you choose

One study found that 87% of people buy products because an influencer suggested them. These endorsements on Instagram don’t just get more eyes on your brand; they also build trust with users.

However, when teaming up with influencers, pick ones whose followers match your target audience. Stick to influencers who can reach the people you’re trying to reach.

Use the right hashtags

Hashtags are powerful tools on platforms like Instagram because they make your posts visible to people who search or engage with similar content. Using hashtags strategically increases the chances of a wider audience discovering and seeing your content.

Instead of focusing solely on the most popular hashtags, prioritize those directly related to your product or service. This focused strategy improves the chances of reaching potential customers interested in your offer.

Pin your best posts

Put your best posts there to ensure more people see them and get more likes and comments. Choose posts that showcase your brand’s strengths, key messages, or important announcements to capture the attention of new visitors. 

Regularly update pinned posts to highlight fresh and relevant content, keeping your profile dynamic and engaging.


Instagram isn’t just a photo-sharing platform anymore; it’s a massive social hub with over two billion monthly active users. It might seem daunting if you want your brand to perform well on this platform, but some tools can help.

With the help of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, you can segment your Instagram followers based on various criteria, such as demographics and engagement level, to tailor your marketing to specific groups for better results. Additionally, CRM enables you to plan, execute, and analyze Instagram marketing campaigns. 


McDonald, J. (2022, July 4). Social Media Marketing Workbook: How to Use Social Media for Business.

Impact Insight Team

Impact Insights Team is a group of professionals comprising individuals with expertise and experience in various aspects of business. Together, we are committed to providing in-depth insights and valuable understanding on a variety of business-related topics & industry trends to help companies achieve their goals.

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