Every single day, 500 million+ users scroll through Instagram. 90% of these accounts follow at least 1 business page on Instagram[1]. About 200 million users on the photo-sharing platform visit at least 1 business profile on a daily basis. 60% of these IG users say they have discovered new products through Instagram [2]. Additionally, 89% of the users said they’ve taken action at the moment they saw an appealing product or service on Instagram. The actions vary from following the brand’s IG page to visiting their website to making a purchase online [3].

When Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were compared in terms of engagement, Instagram led the pack with 2-7% percent of users interacting with each post. Twitter is the least engaged platform with less than 2 out of 1000 followers engaging with each post whereas Facebook falls somewhere between the two social media platforms [4]. The potential for reaching a large audience and the opportunity to connect with a highly engaged audience has motivated businesses, big and small, to create a presence on Instagram. Instagram gives you the opportunity to establish your brand’s social presence, find your target audience, connect with them, showcase your products to this audience and gather insights.

Big brands and small business around the world have recognized the power of Instagram and created a presence on this platform. Letterfolk is one such brand. It is a husband-and-wife run small business that creates and sells handcrafted letter boards. Through an Instagram Business account, the couple shares funny, relatable and inspirational content using their own letter boards. Instead of obsessing over perfection, this team of 2 tries to portray real-life through their page ‘Letterfolk’. The interactive posts they share on their account invites people to like it, share it with their friends on Instagram and other platforms and tag others in it. With their unique and creative approach, this team of two has managed to gain 324K followers as of July 2020.

Bien Cuit Bakery is another small business based in New York City that offers the darkest and crunchiest loaves. Being in the food industry, they knew one thing – people love food and looking at drool-worthy photos of tempting food. So, they post high-quality images of the food they offer on their Business page. They use no filters and no gimmicks, only pictures of real food and now they have earned a following of 22.1K.

There are various other small businesses across the globe have created IG Business accounts, gained a massive following and generated revenue by selling their unique products through the platform. So, if you haven’t created an Instagram account for your business yet and don’t know where to begin, we’ve have got your back.

After reading this blog, you’ll:

  1. Be able to create an exceptional Instagram profile
  2. Be able to constantly come up with unique and appealing content
  3. Be able to leverage IG Stories
  4. Know how to align your brand with the content you post on Instagram
  5. Know how to properly engage with your followers and target audience
  6. Understand the basics of Instagram Analytics 
  7. Understand the basics of Instagram Ads
  8. Know how brands use IGTV to promote their services on the platform
  9. Know how brands conduct contests and giveaways to increase awareness and buzz around their brand
  10. Be able to create a strong presence on Instagram

You are just one step away from mastering Instagram for the growth of your business. Kindly provide us with your email address below and we will help you out.

[stu alias=”gated_content_itmunch”]

How to create a business Instagram account

First things first, you need to create a Business Instagram account. Your account on Instagram for business will give you access to features such as Instagram Analytics and Ads. The tools will help you understand your target audience better and what type of content works for you. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a business Instagram account.

Step-by-step guide for creating a Business Instagram account from scratch

  1. Download the app for Instagram on your device
  2. Once downloaded, open the app and tap ‘Sign Up’
  3. Now, enter your business email address and tap ‘Next’. If you wish to connect your Facebook Business Page with your Instagram business account, make sure you add an email address with admin rights to your Facebook page for the sign-up process. You can also tap on ‘Login with Facebook’
  4. Next, enter your name and password (as you are creating an account for your company or business, enter the name of your business)
  5. Once you tap on Next, Instagram will automatically generate a username for you based on the name you entered. It can be easily changed by tapping on Change Username and following the prompts. You can also choose to do it later
  6. Tap ‘Next’
  7. Next, you will be asked if you want to connect with your contacts and Facebook friends. If you wish to do so, follow the prompts. If now, tap on ‘Skip’’
  8. Now Instagram will ask you to Add a Profile Photo. Ideally, the profile picture in a business account should be your brand’s logo. Tap on ‘Add a Photo’. You can import a photo from Facebook or Twitter, pick one from your library or take a new photo. 
  9. Once uploaded, you’ll be asked if you wish to save the info so you can log into your account in the future quickly. If you don’t wish to do so, hit ‘Skip’
  10. Next, Instagram will show you a list of suggested accounts to follow. You can follow some, all or none. Once you are satisfied, tap ‘Done’
  11. Now, hit the profile button available at the bottom right to see your Instagram account. Tap on ‘Edit Your Profile’
  12. Fill in the necessary details you wish to your audience to know (we have got this covered in the later sections of this blog)
  13. Now, finally, tap on ‘Switch to Professional Account’
  14. Tap ‘Business’
  15. Follow the prompts if you wish to connect your Instagram Business account to your Facebook business page. If not, tap ‘Continue’. 
  16. Add your business contact information such as an email address, physical address or phone number
  17. Tap ‘Done’

Congratulations, you now have an account on Instagram for Business. Now, to convert a personal account into a Business account on Instagram, continue reading.

Step-by-step guide to convert a personal account to Instagram for Business

  1. Log into your personal account on the Instagram app
  2. Go to your profile by tapping the profile icon
  3. Next, you need to tap the three lines icon available at the top right corner 
  4. Go to ‘Settings’ 
  5. Now, tap on ‘Switch to Professional Account’
  6. Tap ‘Business’
  7. Follow the prompts if you wish to connect your Instagram Business account to your Facebook business page. If not, tap ‘Continue’. 
  8. Add your business contact information such as an email address, physical address or phone number 
  9. Tap ‘Done’

Your Business account on Instagram is now ready to be used. Now that you have your account, let’s get into creating an impressive profile. 

Create an eye-catching profile

Your Instagram Business profile would act as a window through which your audience will get an idea about your company’s values, mission, vision and the services you offer. To get your target audience to notice you and tell them what your business is about, you need to create an impression with your profile. Here’s how you can do so:

1. Set a recognizable profile picture

As you are creating an account on Instagram for business, it is recommended to upload a version of your brand’s logo. There is no compulsion but it is the norm to use the company logo, logomark or mascot in the display image. However, if you have a better and more creative way to represent your brand, go ahead. It is also recommended to keep your profile image consistent with all social media profiles you use to promote your brand to ensure instant identification.

Instagram for Business allows you to set a profile picture of size 110*110 pixels. However, the image is stored at 320*320 pixels, so it would be better if you use an image of the latter dimension.

Here are a few examples of brands using their logo as their Profile Picture:


Cluse IG Account | iTMunch


Digital Marketing NYC

Digital Marketing NYC IG Account | iTMunch

2. Focus on your bio

Your bio on Instagram is one of the first things a user sees when they land on your profile. The bio will ‘communicate’ with the user visiting your profile and play a key role in the actions they decide to take. It could convince them to scroll through your feed, follow your page or even tap on your website link. 

Before writing a bio, remember that Instagram bio character limit is 150. A good bio should:

  1. Clearly explain what your brand does and be appealing to your target audience
  2. Mention your brand’s unique selling point (USP)
  3. Use the same brand tone and language that you use in other modes of brand communication
  4. Mention the opening and closing hours of your office (if you have a physical office where customers can visit)
  5. Location of your office
  6. A link to your website, if you have one (more on it in the following section)
  7. Business contact details (more on it in the following section)
  8. (Optional) mention @ (Instagram handle) of the owner of the business or other brands you own in the bio

Online shopping brand Bewakoof does a good job of crafting a good Instagram profile.  They mention the names of other brands they own, written a crisp description, make the most of their highlights and keep updating their links to drive traffic to different landing pages on their website. They also modified their logo by adding a face mask to their original logo on their IG profile photo with regards to the COVID-19 crisis.

Bewakoof IG profile | iTMunch

3. Add a link in your bio

Instagram does not allow you to add any clickable links to the content posted, captions or photo comments. However, the platform allows you to add just one link in your profile. Businesses on Instagram usually add their website links to drive organic traffic to their websites. So, whenever creating a profile, consider adding your brand’s website link, if you have one. It is not compulsory to add the link to your website homepage. You can also add links to your product catalogue pages, campaign-specific landing pages or latest content pieces you’ve posted on your website.

4. Mention your business contact details

To help businesses connect with their users better, Instagram announced certain business features through which you can add contact details such as email address, phone number, directions and physical address of your business to your profile. It acts as a ‘Call-to-action’ or CTA for your audience and encourages them to get in touch with you in case they want to make an inquiry. Always add one or two contact details, if not all.

Coffee supply store in Australia Five Senses Coffee uses the contact details functionality in Instagram wisely. They mention their contact number, email address, physical address along with a link in their bio.

5 Senses Coffee Instagram for business | iTMunch

Here’s another example of Blue Star Donuts in Portland.

Blue Start Donut IG | iTMunch

5. Maintain a theme

Instagram, essentially being a photo-sharing platform, is all about aesthetic and visually appealing content. Creating and maintaining a recognizable visual identity on Instagram helps your business in the long run. Firstly, you need to decide what type of content you would be posting on this account. In some cases, the content will mostly be the product. 

For example, if you have a restaurant, you will post pictures of the food you offer and the restaurant ambience. If you have a clothing line, you might showcase your apparel products. Posting about client success stories, employee stories and your office culture is also a good idea no matter what type of business you own.

Once the content is finalised, pick a colour palette, font and filter that is in alignment with your brand. By doing so, your audience will be easily able to spot your brand’s post whenever they are scrolling through their feed.

Go to has skincare products and its brand colour is Peach. So, to stay in tune with the brand Go to uses the colour Peach in its profile picture and highlight. Even in their posts, they use Peach as the background for their products and to post image quotes.

GO TO Skin care instagram account for business | iTMunch

Go to G Account | iTMunch

Here are a few types of themes you can use for your feed:

  1. Alternate between a quote and a photo, like The Shop Files

The Shop Files | iTMunch


2. Use black borders in the posts, just like Beautiful and yummy  does


Beautiful and yummy IG Account | iTMunch

3. Post alternate photos of a person and a product like The Juniper Market

The Juniper Market's Instagram Account for business | iTMunch

4. Use the same background with different products like She Is Gold Jewelry does

She is gold Instagram for business account | iTMunch

6. Use the ‘Highlights’ feature of Instagram

The ‘Highlights’ feature of Instagram allows you to add reels from your Instagram stories to your profile. It appears just below your bio and above your photo gallery. Unlike Instagram Stories, Highlights stay on your profile for more than 24 hours, until you remove them. Use it to make a lasting first impression and give your profile a professional and polished look. Consider showcasing:

  1. Client testimonials
  2. Bestseller products 
  3. Your entire product range 
  4. The ambience of your cafe
  5. Food and alcohol menu of your restaurant
  6. Partnerships & collabs 
  7. Your important campaigns as a brand 
  8. Events 
  9. News related to your brand

To give it a more professional look, create matching highlight covers for each type of Highlight. Check out the following accounts as examples:

Pura Vida Bracelets

Pura Vida Bracelets IG Account | iTMunch


Myntra IG Account | iTMunch

BFM Agency

BFM Agency Instagram Account| iTMunch

SEE ALSO: Instagram Reels expands to India while rival TikTok gets banned

Content is always the king

You might have heard the phrase “Content is King” probably hundreds, if not thousands, of times. It is so only because it is true. It all comes down to unique and quality content. Sure, conduct a competitor analysis to understand where to begin but in the long run, stay true to your brand and voice. Here’s what you should keep in mind when creating and posting Instagram content:

1. Post valuable content

Apart from their friends and family, Instagrammers mostly follow pages to either get informed or entertained. On average, IG users around the world spent 27 minutes per day on Instagram in 2019. eMarketer predicts the average to go up to 28 minutes daily in 2020 [5]. Post valuable content that is worth their time. 

To provide value to your followers:

  1. Try focusing on the solution you provide to your customer’s problems instead of direct product plugs 
  2. Create a calendar in advance to plan, create and schedule your Instagram content Search for specific holidays or days related to your brand. For example, if you own a cafe, create content for International Coffee Day which is celebrated on 1st October. You can also consider offering special offers and run related campaigns
  3. Post with relation to current affairs. Use your creativity to connect your brand with what’s going on in the world

2. Use high-quality images and videos

Pay extra attention to the pictures you post on Instagram. Click high-quality, high-resolution and visually pleasing pictures and edit them before posting. Use a consistent editing theme to maintain your brand aesthetic. Use mobile photo editing apps such as Snapseed, Enhance or VSCOcam to give your content a professional touch.

If you don’t have much experience with graphic designing and don’t have the time to learn complex tools like Adobe Photoshop, use Canva. It is a tool specially created for non-designers using which you can make stunning graphics like Instagram posts, Stories and other visual content.

3. Pick a font and stick to it

Use the same fonts as text overlays on all your Instagram pictures and videos. Whether you are sharing a quote relating to the service you offer or the values your brand follows, communicating a milestone your company achieved or adding subtitles to your videos, stay consistent with your font.

4. Consistency is key

Establishing recognition and loyalty towards your brand takes time. It is important to stay consistent with efforts by posting content regularly and learning from what works and what does not. The question that arises here is how often should you post? A Union Metrics study found that most brands globally post on Instagram on a daily basis. On average, brands post 1.5 posts per day. Interestingly, the study found that there was no correlation between posting more than twice per day and lower engagement [6]. 

However, we suggest you aim for the bliss point. Post frequently so your audience is reminded about your existence and isn’t bombarded with too much content from your end that might make them take a negative action, like unfollowing you.

5. Leverage IG Stories

Instagram Story is a feature by Instagram that lets you upload pictures or videos on its platform that disappear after 24 hours. 1 out of 3 of the most-viewed Stories on Instagram is from a business [7] whereas 1 in 5 Instagram Stories results in a DM (Direct Message) [8]. 62% of Instagrammers around the world said they became more interested in a product or a brand after they saw it in Stories. Additionally, 69% of IG consider Stories to be a great way for people to get to know new products or services. [9] Stories give marketers the power to tell stories in a more interesting and creative manner. Unlike the feed where you should post only once or twice per day, IG Stories, if leveraged properly, let you tell longer tales in real-time.

60% of businesses on Instagram Stories use an interactive element every month to directly engage and connect with their followers [10]. Here are some creative ways brands use Instagram stickers in: 

  1. Polls: The elements or stickers, such as polls encourage them to stay on your stories a little longer. The polling sticker has increased views on a 3-second video in 9 of 10 beta campaigns. 
  2. Countdown: Create a buzz around a specific product, event or offer using the countdown sticker. 
  3. Questions: In order to answer a few queries of your followers, conduct a Q&A session and share your responses in stories for the rest of your followers to read.

Airbnb is a vacation rental online marketplace company that makes the most of this feature on Instagram. It creates numerous high-quality video documentaries of outstanding vacations across the globe. It also shares the experiences of customers that regularly choose Airbnb for their holiday accommodation needs. Additionally, the vacation rental company also uses quizzes and polls to engage its audience.

Coffeehouse chain Starbucks uses Instagram Stories to share product launches, customer reviews of their drinks and some other interactive content. Though they mostly share content revolving around their products, their IG Stories don’t feel like ads because they try to add fun elements like polls, open-ended questions or fun facts to it.

6. Build Anticipation

Ultimately, you have created a Business account on Instagram to boost your sales. Apart from imparting content that adds value to your potential customer’s life, don’t shy away from posting about exclusive offers for your followers. Design a marketing campaign that rewards your followers with exclusive content. You can also build excitement, curiosity and anticipation around new arrivals, office openings and events. It will make your followers feel included in the celebration and make them coming back for more.

7. Pay attention to your captions

Yes, the pictures are your top-most priority on Instagram but the captions still can still make or break your post. Instagram captions are topped at 2,200 characters. When your post goes live, after 3 lines of text, the captions are truncated with an ellipsis. Some accounts use Instagram as a micro-blogging platform to tell a story, some choose to add short and quirky headlines while some like to ask questions that encourage user engagement via replies in the comments. You can choose to do any of these but make sure your copy is in alignment with your brand and the post itself. 

Would you use emoji in your captions or there any grammatical guidelines your brand likes to follow? Will your tone be funny, sarcastic, easy-going or professional? Once you decide on these things, stick to them.

8. Use hashtags relevant to your topic

Hashtags (#) on Instagram is a way to categorize content that helps Instagrammers discover accounts and content to follow. According to Sprout Social, IG posts with at least one hashtag capture 12.6% more engagement than posts without hashtags [11].They ultimately help you gain followers, improve engagement rates on your posts and build a community around your brand. 

Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags with your posts. It is not compulsory to add hashtags, you can choose to add 1, 10, 30 or none to your posts. However, 11 is the optimal number of hashtags to go with your IG posts recommended by Trackmaven [12].

When choosing hashtags for your IG posts, keep a mix of hashtags that have a high number of posts (500k or more) and lesser number of posts (50k or less). These will help you increase your reach and increase the chances of being viewed respectively. There is a high chance that your post will get lost in the hashtag with more posts in it but might give you exposure, therefore a mix is necessary.

You also want to consider creating your own branded hashtag that you can add on every (or some) post. These are helpful in tracking entries when you are conducting giveaways and contests.

Beware of spammy hashtags. Instagram has a list of 60,000 (probably more) hashtags that it finds to be against its guidelines. A few of which are as follows:

#direct #directmessage #dm #IG #incest #ilovemyinstagram #like #killyourself #killmenow #love4love #lean #loseweight #whitepower #whitegirls #whatsappme #thininspiration #thinspo #tag4like #tag4likes #tagforlikes #tagforlike #selfharm

9. Collaborate with influencers

Instagram is a platform that promotes and supports brand collaboration. Running an influencer campaign is one way to increase brand awareness around your company. 67% of marketers globally plan on increasing their marketing budgets in the next 12 months, particularly on Instagram and especially on influencer marketing [13]. Find people on the photo-sharing platform who work around your industry with a huge following and generate related content with them. You don’t have to reach out to influencers with a massive following of 2 million that charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for 1 IG post.

Start by reaching out to people that work around your niche and have 5k-10k followers (Micro Influencers) on their Instagram accounts. Micro Influencers charge a reasonable amount for 1 post with IG stories. Instagram accounts that have a following of less than 5K might even post for free if you offer them free food or goodies.

For example, if your business offers T-shirts for women with witty quotes and pop-culture references, reach out to a teen fashion blogger with a following of 10-15K and send them your best products. Ask them to post unboxing videos and styling videos with your products.

If you own a cafe, invite Micro Influencers in your city, offer them free food and ask them to post the pictures on their IG accounts. Post the same pictures on your Instagram for Business page as well.

SEE ALSO: Influencer Marketing: What is it and Why Instagram is the Top Influencer Program

Engage with your audience

Gone are the days when advertising was about announcements. Since the advent of social media, everything is about communication, rather two-way communication. One important thing to remember while using Instagram for Business is that you can harness its power to really connect with your target audience. Here are some tips to engage naturally with your Instagram audience. 

1. Go live on Instagram

‘Going live’ using Instagram Stories is a great opportunity to interact with your followers in real-time. Through Instagram Live, you can give a glimpse of what goes on behind-the-scenes at your workplace. You can share a live video with your followers in real-time for up to 1 hour. Once your live video ends, it would no longer be visible on the app, unless a replay is shared to IGTV. Here are some ideas around which you can use Instagram Live:

  1. The pandemic has made sanitization one of the top priorities of people when ordering food. Use the Live feature to show them the sanitization steps you employ while cleaning your restaurant kitchen, cooking the food and delivering it to the customer’s doorstep
  2. Show your audience how you customize a product for a client
  3. Give your audience a sneak-peek into an exclusive event you hosted
  4. You can also conduct a live Q&A session by picking up questions users ask during the live session and answering them. 

To start a live video in the Instagram app, swipe right from anywhere in your feed. At the bottom of the screen, scroll to Live and tap on it to go start the live session. When you are done live streaming, tao End on the top right corner and tap on Confirm. To save your video, tap on Save button on the top left and the video will be saved to your camera roll. Once your live-video comes to an end, it will be available on your story for 24-hours

2. Respond to comments

Replying to your followers is a healthy way to build a community on Instagram and understanding how your content is resonating with them. Simply listening and responding to the comments of your audience takes you a long way and is a good way to encourage positive word of mouth. If a consumer takes out the time to share what they think about your brand or your post, respond to them and ensure them that you’re listening.

3. Conduct giveaways

Conducting contests and giveaways on your Instagram Business page is a great way to build excitement around your brand. When executed effectively, giveaways and contests can help leave your brand with increased engagement and awareness and a more loyal community. As the prize, you can offer free goodies, samples of your products or special discount vouchers. There are different ways of conducting giveaways, however, it is not limited to these.

  1. Photo-sharing contest:

Ask your followers to share a picture with your guidelines and a selected hashtag (to help you easily discover the entries).

  1. Comment contest:

Ask your followers to simply comment on your IG post to enter the contest. To increase the virality of the post, encourage users to tag a couple of friends in the comments to enter the contest.

  1. Likes content:

This type of contest only requires the followers to like a certain brand post to enter the contest. 

4. Quick response time to DMs

Using Instagram for business also gives your audience the luxury of getting in touch with you for queries at any given point of the day. Through Instagram’s direct messaging (DMs) feature, users can communicate with you to get answers quickly and privately. If any customer or follower has a complaint or inquiry, it’s good practice to talk to them via DMs to keep the conversation private. To check your DMs, swipe left anywhere on your feed or tap the paper plane icon at the top right corner.

When answering queries or complaints in your DMs:

  1. Respond as quickly as possible to show that you’re always available
  2. Answer in a non-scripted, non-robotic and human tone so the users know you are genuinely listening
  3. Be compassionate and answer in a professional manner
  4. Focus on solving their issues instead of trying to prove your point

SEE ALSO: Adapt to COVID-19 Crisis and Generate Demand

Make the most of Instagram Analytics

From time to time, it is important to take a step back and see what strategy and pieces of content worked for you and what didn’t. Truth being told, you can read all about the best time to publish and conduct competitor analysis, but you will only find what’s best for your audience by testing different content strategies and measuring how they performed.

Utilize Instagram Analytics to:

1. Know your audience

To view Instagram Insights, go to your profile and tap on the icon of 3 horizontal lines at the top right corner. Now, tap on Insights. Under the ‘Audience’, Instagram Analytics gives you the demographics of your followers such gender ratio and age group.

IG Analytics | iTMunch

It shows you the regions from where most of your followers are. It also shows you the number of people who followed and unfollowed your page in the past 7 days.

Instagram analytics | iTMunch

See if the content you’ve posted is hitting the right notes, meaning if the posts are reaching to your desired audience. If they aren’t, you want to consider making alterations to your strategy.

2. Analyse the type of content that works

In the beginning, it is okay to have a ‘trial and error’ strategy for your IG posts. However, you need to keep an eye on how much engagement your posts are getting. Through analytics, you will get answers to questions like how many likes does your posts receive, how many people are commenting and if your content is being shared. Under the ‘Activity’ tab, Instagram Insights will tell you how much Reach and Impressions your posts have gathered in the past week.

Reach: The total number of people who saw your content

Impressions: The number of times your content was displayed, no matter if it was interacted with or not

IG Analytics | iTMunch

Under the ‘Content’ tab, take a deep dive into your analytics to know which of your posts is most interacted with and which posts have raised conversation around your brand. Learn from these insights and try to create content that resonates with your audience and brings spotlight on your brand.

Now that you have an idea of what type of content to create, let’s dive into how to use Instagram for business (paid) promotions, commonly known as Instagram Ads.

Run Instagram ads

The drawback with traditional methods of marketing, such as TV, billboards and newspapers, is that they are expensive and there is no way of knowing how many eyeballs your marketing campaign gets. Of course, social media advertising is way cheaper than the traditional marketing strategies but it is trusted more by marketers for its accountability. The potential advertising reach of Instagram advertising is 849.3 million users [14]. The youth audience reach of Instagram is 52.9 million. Instagram Ads can also help you get more clicks for your websites and views on your videos. Ads help you in increasing your page’s reach, brand awareness, website conversions and mobile app installs.

The platform allows advertisers to add a link with their ad for Instagrammers to learn more about their brand, product or event. On Instagram, you can experiment with several ad formats available. The photo-sharing platform allows you to run photo ads, video ads and carousel ads through which you can choose to tell a deeper story. Instagram also allows users to advertise using Stories.

In 2018, Swiggy, a food delivery app, advertised on Instagram using Stories to scale up its business. They put together a Story ad with mouth-watering images of food, provided a 33% discount on orders and added “Install Now” as their Call-To-Action (CTA). The ad ran in 15 cities over 3 months. The campaign increased Swiggy’s app installs by 17% which lowered its cost per install by a whopping 30% as compared to their other online ad campaigns. It additionally also increased their website traffic by 30% in 3 months.

In Italy, fast-food chain KFC wanted to expand awareness of its bucket menu item with delicious dipping sauces beyond millennials and teens. KFC decided to create a video ad with a 360-degree interactive view that showed friends and couples from various age brackets grooving on upbeat music while indulging in their new product. They also included a brand generated hashtag – #DipLoveChallenge – to encourage sharing. Just within 10 days, the video was viewed for more than 4 million times. This resulted in a 29-point increase in brand awareness, 31-point lift in ad recall and a 9-point rise in favourability amongst Italian women in the age group 25-34.

When learning how to promote your business on Instagram, it is important to know about IG policies. To improve user experience with ads, Instagram requires businesses to comply with their policies. Keep the following in your mind:

  1. The ads must not promote illegal products or services 
  2. Adverts directed at minors shouldn’t be inappropriate, unsafe, illegal or misleading 
  3. The advertisements cannot discriminate between people on any attributes such as colour, ethnicity, gender, country, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, other medical conditions or family status
  4. Promotion of tobacco and related products, such as cigarettes, electronic cigarettes or vaporizer is prohibited
  5. Sale on drugs, illegal, prescribed or recreational, is prohibited on Instagram
  6. You cannot use Instagram to promote the sale or use of weapons, explosives or ammunition

You can read about Instagram’s ad policy in detail here.

Bonus Tips

1. Use IGTV

When learning about How to use Instagram for business, it is important to learn how to use the power of IGTV. Instagram TV (IGTV) is a feature that allows users and businesses to post long-form videos on its platform. The best part is that you can upload videos of up to 60 minutes through this feature, so you can get all creative with it to tell your story. The video needs to be at least 1 minute long. If you are uploading the video using mobile, the maximum length of the video can be 15 minutes. Whereas the maximum duration can be 60 minutes when uploading from the web. 

Brands on Instagram took their own time to accommodate IGTV to their marketing mix. Surprisingly, according to a G2 study, just 16% of marketers and Instagram Business accounts have reported the use of IGTV for their brand in 2019 [15]. You can create and upload how-to videos and detailed product descriptions using IGTV. This format is perfect for makeup tutorials, fitness-related videos and cooking instructions.

You can also conduct Q&A sessions to engage with your audience. Host a Q&A session using Questions sticker in IG Stories. Pick the most asked and important questions related to your business, make a video answering the questions and post them using IGTV.

Tarte Cosmetics is a leading cosmetics brand that uses its IGTV channel to collaborate with influencers. The brand approaches make-up tutorials with influencers and posts on its Instagram page.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tarte Cosmetics (@tartecosmetics) on

2. Face vs No Face posts

Georgia Tech studied about 1.1 million random Instagram posts and found 2 really interesting pieces of information. Photos that had faces got 38% more likes and 32% more comments as compared to photos with no faces [16]. It might be possible with every photo you want to post. Still, try accommodating faces to add that ‘human’ element to your content. Adding a face to your Instagram posts and videos helps in establishing a personal connection with your audience. 

3. Story takeovers as collabs

In addition to showcasing your products in IG Stories, you can also consider trying story takeover collaborations. Through these collabs, you and another brand or influencer on Instagram appear on each other’s stories to share content. These collaborations will give your brand exposure beyond your followers. Takeovers essentially work like a special guest joining a podcast or a guest post on a blog.

4. Boost old content

There might be days when you aren’t able to come up with amazing posts or what you’re posting isn’t delivering what you expect. On such days, you can use analytics to know which of your posts have performed the best and repost them using the hashtag #throwback. You can post it as a story or as a post as well.

These are just a few of the many Instagram Business tools and tricks you can use to establish your brand on the platform. There is so much more you can experiment and achieve through the platform for your business. Whatever you do, always remember to step back from your Instagram efforts to look back and reflect. Brainstorm with your marketing team to analyze your efforts and how you can make it better. The only way to grow on Instagram, or any other platform for that matter, is learning from your mistakes.


[1] Facebook (2020) “Insights to Go” [Online] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/iq/insights-to-go/tags/instagram?ref=fbb_igb [Accessed July 2020]

[2] Instagram (2020) “Stand out with Instagram” [Online] Available from: https://business.instagram.com/getting-started?ref=igb_carousel [Accessed July 2020]

[3] Facebook (2020) “Instagram for Business Brand Building Playbook” [Online] Available from: https://scontent-syd2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t39.2365-6/96261817_545053263104226_1662093678593703936_n.pdf?_nc_cat=108&_nc_sid=ad8a9d&_nc_ohc=stTJXnQJs1cAX9EE_Tl&_nc_ht=scontent-syd2-1.xx&oh=ee1521cd9b2fed7840b242ba0e0af383&oe=5F205859 [Accessed July 2020]

[4] Webstrategies (2018) “Which Social Media Sites Get The Most Engagement?” [Online] Available from: https://www.webstrategiesinc.com/blog/which-social-media-sites-get-the-most-engagement [Accessed July 2020]

[5] eMarketer (2019) “Instagram’s New Explore Ads Signal Potential Changes to Organic Reach” [Online] Available from: https://www.emarketer.com/content/instagrams-new-explore-ads-signal-potential-changes-to-organic-reach [Accessed July 2020]

[6] Union Metrics (2014) “Instagram Brands – Success on Instagram” [Online] Available from: https://unionmetrics.s3.amazonaws.com/wp/2014/09/Brands-on-Instagram-Whitepaper-Sept14.pdf [Accessed July 2020]

[7] Instagram (2020) “Stand out with Instagram” [Online] Available from: https://business.instagram.com/getting-started?ref=igb_carousel [Accessed July 2020]

[8] Likeable (2018) “10 Things Marketers Need to Know About Instagram Stories” [Online] Available from: https://www.likeable.com/blog/2018/10-things-marketers-need-to-know-about-instagram-stories/ [Accessed July 2020]

[9] Facebook (2018) “Why stories is a format that can help marketers promote brands” [Online] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/business/news/insights/why-stories-is-a-format-that-can-help-marketers-promote-brands [Accessed July 2020]

[10] Facebook (2020) “Strengthen your stories ads strategy” [Online] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/business/m/stories-guide/creative?ref=stories_guide [Accessed July 2020]

[11] Sprout Social (2020) “How Hashtags on Facebook Still Work for Businesses” [Online] Available from: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/hashtags-on-facebook/ [Accessed July 2020]

[12] Trackmaven (2016) “The Best Hashtag Strategies for Social Media” [Online] Available from: https://trackmaven.com/blog/how-to-use-hashtags/ [Accessed July 2020]

[13] Influencer Marketing Hub (2017) “Influencer Marketing Hub 2017 Study” [Online] Available from: https://influencermarketinghub.com/the-rise-of-influencer-marketing/ [Accessed July 2020]

[14] Hootsuite (2019) “The state of digital in Q3 2019” [Online] Available from: https://hootsuite.com/resources/the-state-of-digital-in-q3-2019 [Accessed July 2020]

[15] Learning Hub (2019) “State of Social Media Marketing Report 2019” [Online] Available from: https://learn.g2.com/state-of-social-media-marketing-2019 [Accessed July 2020]

[16] Georgia Tech (2014) “Face It: Instagram Pictures With Faces are More Popular” [Online] Available from: http://www.news.gatech.edu/2014/03/20/face-it-instagram-pictures-faces-are-more-popular   [Accessed July 2020]


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