Climbing its way to the world’s second-favourite social media platform for 16–64-year-olds, Instagram has become one of the most powerful marketing tools for businesses looking to build their online presence and brand visibility.

Tapping into both new and old features, the platform takes a visual-centric approach to product and service offerings, from standalone posts to intricate ‘Day in the life’ reels. The app regularly undergoes software and feature updates to ensure it moves with the times and continues to offer the most cutting-edge properties that enhance PR and marketing strategies worldwide.

The old cliché ‘it’s what you make of it’ checks out in this case, with ample opportunities to expand reach depending on what you throw at it. No matter your industry or marketing goals, adding Instagram engagement to your strategy is a step no business should skip. So how exactly do you go about using Instagram for PR and marketing?

Why is Instagram good for marketing?

It comes as no surprise that more illustrative platforms are performing better for businesses having seen the development of marketing methods in the last few decades. Instagram Business Suite is accommodating of these changes, providing a host of innovative tools for new entrepreneurs and well-seasoned professionals to help boost engagement, generate leads, drive people to their website, and grow in brand awareness.

Instagram constitutes as the full package for content sharing, offering businesses all shapes, sizes and complexities the chance to grow when following and sticking to a comprehensive plan. But success doesn’t happen overnight and it’s something that needs to be made routine before you can expect to see any real, sizeable results.

Ultimately, your marketing goals will decide the best fit for your business page. Some services may find their audience prefers to see reels of their service in action or have the option to make purchases through shoppable links attached to stories or bios. This tactic has become increasingly popular, with 44% of Instagram users using the app to shop on a weekly basis. Other brands may only use Instagram for something as simple as linking it to their website.

Considerate of those on a budget, Instagram marketing is completely free of charge – though the choice is there to spend money if you want to. Investing time and pay will increase business productivity and boost engagement to levels that organic marketing has trouble reaching.

How do businesses use Instagram for marketing.

Instagram for Business has a portfolio of dedicated solutions and goals for all types of creators, capable of achieving results that matter throughout the customer journey. As it stands, internet users are not short of online guides and resources strategising Instagram marketing, and whilst the information may be useful, it’s also longwinded. For that reason, we have simplified the process into five points to help you get the ball rolling.

Define your goals

Goals and objectives are the groundwork for any strategy, and Instagram is no exception. Without setting goals, your plan will lack direction and can be left in a state of ambiguity. The process need not be difficult if you take inspiration your wider business goals, like the key performance indicators (KPIs) which make up the bigger picture. Aligning your KPISs with your Instagram strategy will ensure your feed is in tune with the rest of your business operations.

Set up your profile

Although it may seem obvious, creating a Business or Creator account is different to a Personal one. Whichever you select needs be set up correctly, otherwise you risk missing the specific benefits attached to each account setting. Instagram’s help centre is equipped to guide users through the methodology, but there are some parts you as the account holder will have to decide for yourself.

Users must be able to recognise your brand by your username and profile picture, improving your discoverability in turn. In support of this, your Instagram bio should be used as a snippet to add context about what it is you do or offer. Links can be inserted at this stage to encourage page landers to find out more about your business. It’s important you don’t fall into the trap of cramming this section with URLs, as too many could look disingenuous and spammy.

Refine your target audience

Every post, every link, every follow should be plotted with your target audience in mind and overlap with existing buyers. Providing your account has been active for a while, Instagram will automatically create a detailed breakdown of the demographics engaging with your content in Account Insights.

With Analytics, you can access meaningful insights about who is interacting with your page and how they compare to your ideal customer. More often than not, this is the re-direction businesses need to get their strategy back on track and reach real prospects. It might mean losing a few followers, but it will filter out the profiles that weren’t bringing any value to your page.

Devise a social strategy

Like most algorithms, Instagram thrives off consistency. Drafting a social schedule in advance will alleviate any last-minute stresses, ensuring you are not left scratching around for ideas and the right content is uploaded at the right time.

How often you post and the type of content should be established early on in your strategy, though frequency has no rulebook and is something that changes from business to business. It is safer to deliver fewer, more valuable posts, consistently, than to bombard your followers with futile content for the sake of an ‘active’ feed.

Edit your strategy accordingly

Trial and error is the only way of finding out what performs best for your page. Carousels, slideshows and single posts are just a few examples of what you may want to share. A common mistake made by users is posting and assuming their job is done. But work is far from over, as failure to monitor post performance will only delay you from reaching your goals.

Analytics and social media metrics will draw out the top performing posts in your content stack and how they compare to the posts that lack engagement. User feedback and hard statistics point out the areas that need tweaking and helps rehabilitate content so it delivers results. In this case, change is good and shows an ability to adapt to new trends, audiences and algorithms.

Why you should use Instagram in your PR strategy.

Nowadays, it’s getting even harder to make an impact online, applying pressure to new channels and technology to help businesses connect with customers. Equally, you have to make it your aim to be in the same place as them.

Instagram can be integrated into, and work alongside, existing social content without causing disruptions or requiring transformation. Businesses can quite easily take advantage of their pre-made content calendars and edit it to play into Instagram’s strengths.

It should not be forgotten that media professionals use social channels like Instagram and X to find their latest stories. For PR agency’s especially, it’s a means of access to connect with journalists and build credibility by sharing, tagging and supporting their work on your feed. Engaging with more established accounts suggests you appreciate their work and are looking to build relationships.

In other news, Facebook recently bought out Instagram, allowing users of both apps to merge accounts. Whatever you post on Instagram can also feature on your company’s Facebook page, placing your content in the hands of potential customers. The traditional tools that Facebook provides can be used in conjunction with newer platforms, creating a well-rounded social media construct that covers all bases.

If your business is looking to introduce Instagram or other social media into their PR and marketing strategy, then contact our in-house team and book a free consultation today.