If you’re not on Instagram, here are five reasons from social media strategist Hootsuite that you want to rethink that:
- Instagram has staying power. It’s been around 12 years and is second-most downloaded app.
- Instagram has cross-generational appeal. Gen Z (16- to 24-year-olds) prefers it over all other platforms. Millennials (18 to 34) are its largest audience. Trailing-edge Boomers (56 to 64) are its fastest growing audience.
- Nearly 6 in 10 users log on and spend 30 minutes scrolling through it every day.
- Nearly 90% of users watch Instagram videos at least once a week.
- Nobody goes there for news.
Put all of that together, and it’s not a stretch to think Instagram is where your customers and prospects are. If that’s where they are, you should be, too.
Here’s some ideas for squeezing everything you can out of Instagram’s advertising and marketing potential.
1. Tell Them Who You Are, What You Do, and Why You’re the Hot Music Spot.
Make you profile work do the heavy lifting. It will make the all-important first impression, and that’s the key to getting followers and visitors to your website.
Writing the profile is a little tricky. You want it to be the reason why you would visit your store. It must frame those reasons from the customer and prospect perspective. You want them to get it right away. Here are some steps to help them commit to your account:
- Name: Don’t be cute. If you’re Joe and your store is Joe’s Music Store, enter it in the name field just like that. Anything else could reduce your profile in IG search results.
- Now, up your name game: OK, Joe. Is your music store uniquely good at something, such as working with children? Add it to your name! For example, Joe’s Music Store, The Child Music Experts. It will allow your name field to communicate more in Instagram.
- Bio. You get 150 characters to tell the IG-sphere who you are, what you do, and why they should do business with you. There are ways to stretch that limit. But you’re new; keep it simple for now. Brainstorm with your team—even ask your best customers for their thoughts—on how to best tell your story. Consider using emojis to convey more with fewer characters.
- Link. Include a link to your website. Keep in mind, most IG users are on mobile, so keep the experience consistent: Optimize your website for mobile users (that’s also near-mandatory for Google search.)
Don’t cut corners on the profile. It’s the foundation of IG marketing campaigns.
2. Squeeze Everything You Can out of Instagram.
Stop thinking of Instagram as just a place to post photos, videos, gifs, and memes. Take advantage of features like:
- Feed. Your page (the quilt, in IG-speak) should present a clear picture of your music store, products, and services. If it’s just a hodgepodge of photo, viewers will not get a coherent idea of your offerings. When you post to your feed, make sure everything reflects your brand and adds to the story you want to tell.
- Stories. Share timely or particularly interesting information as stories. They are temporary posts that show up in your feed. People interact with them more than typical posts because of their limited time availability and unique content. People look out for Stories, which is different from typical posts. When thinking “stories,” think cool, compelling, and timely. That’s what users are looking for in stories. So, disregard Stories rule at the peril of disappointing people, which could make their visit a one-and-done event.
- IGTV. Video takes time to do well but delivers real value. Critical: Produce video in a vertical (9:16) aspect ratio. Make the first 15 seconds the best 15 seconds of the video because that’s what will show in your feed. Also, if you’re producing with voice-overs, ensure the audio is written into the video so people can watch it with the sound off.
- Reels. Reels are 15-second video clips, a feature that Instagram has added to piggy-back on TikTok’s growing popularity. Much like TikTok, Reels are all about music and collaboration. Use it showcase your employees and customers making music. The video might come off a little rough and amateurish, but they are great for building relationships with prospects and other music establishments. An advantage Reels offers over TikTok: Instagram shares Reels with people who are not following you, and so it has the potential to bring more people into the fold and extend your reach.
- Live video. Instagram’s live video capabilities can bring more spontaneity and realness to your feed. It could be used to share everyday experiences from your music operation to bring it to life and make it seem more accessible to followers and others. It’s also great for sharing live performances.
In the end, using all the tools in the Instagram toolbox will extend your reach on the platform and allow you to tell your story in richer and deeper ways.
3. Help People Find You.
Use Instagram ads to complement your organic marketing campaign.
Advertising is pay for play, but it has the potential to increase your account’s reach and raise your brand’s profile in your target demographics. Here are our top tips for making the most of IG’s advertising capabilities.
- It’s Instagram, not an ad. Users don’t like their Instagram buzz killed by a blatant product pitch, so give your ad the look and feel of an IG post. Pro tip: Instagram charges more for ads its algorithms think its users will not like.
- Know your target. Take time to figure out your prime demo: Age, location, income, interests, and such. Of course, you want to target musicians in your area. However, if your business focuses on kids, you’ll want to find and target parents with an interest in music education. If you primarily sell band instruments, you’ll want to reach ones who care about things like marching and school bands.
- To boost or not to boost. Boosting is when you spend money to broaden the reach of one of your posts. An ad is more focused on something you want to actively promote. If you have a post that performs well in organic Instagram, it might be smart to boost it to extend its reach. It could be a smart brand play. If not, create an ad specifically designed to promote an aspect of your operation.
- Respect the format. You can run ads on the platform in the feed, through Stories as videos, and more. Make certain your creative is formatted appropriately. You can pay for added distribution in Instagram, but if the ad doesn’t look attractive and perform effectively, people won’t respond to it.
If you don’t feel 100 percent confident about Instagram advertising, contact us to find out how we could help you out.
4. Take Advantage of Facebook Business and Creator Studio.
Facebook owns Instagram. Bet you didn’t know that. Businesses that are in the know use Facebook’s Manager and its Creator Studio to run their Instagram accounts.
It’s a convenience thing. How much time do you want to spend trying to post on the IG mobile platform when you can use a laptop and the Facebook features to develop content and post it? The FB features also enable you to post. Why is that important? You should have a content schedule of what and when you’re going to post. Fresh content is huge in search engine results. The FB features let you create content days ahead and schedule when you want to post it.
You owe it to the success of your music business to use the best tools possible to optimize your Instagram marketing.
Got questions about using Instagram to promote your music store? Contact us to get the advice you need to get it right.