Instagram: how to use it to promote your online course
In November 2019, Instagram revealed to have reached 1 billion users, of which more than 500 million access the platform daily.
Thanks to this impressive figure, most companies today adopt Instagram as one of their main lead generation tools.
Why and how to advertise on Instagram
Despite the impressive number of users, Instagram has less competition and a more engaged audience than other social networks, such as Facebook and YouTube.
The highest percentage of users are between 18 and 29 years old (55%). The other portion of its audience is between 30 and 49 years old (28%), 50 and 64 (11%), and only 4% of adults are over 65.
Owned by Facebook, which has an audience of more than 2 billion monthly active users, the prediction is that the audience of Instagram continue to multiply.
In January 2018, the Instagram API was changed to allow users to post photos on a Business Profile using a third-party platform (such as Hootsuite).
Other than that, nowadays there are Instagram growth services that use AI to help companies grow their follower base organically.
In addition to scheduling posts, this offers companies an opportunity to market their products to a more targeted and interested audience without spending a huge amount of money on paid advertising.
Advertisers now have 4 ad options:
- Image – Instagram default- post with photo;
- Video – standard post, but with a video in place of a photo;
- Carousel – type of slide show, which allows the use of multiple images;
- Stories – the Instagram version of the Snapchat ads seen at the top of the feed. May have photo or video.
Instagram ads, on average, get a lot more engagement than Facebook ads, but that comes at a price.
According to Keith Baumwald, founder of Leverag Consulting, as the ads on Instagram are highly targeted, you could end up paying up to $ 5 per CPM.
The upside is that advertisers have control over how their investment is used.
For example, you can choose from a daily budget to limit the amount spent per day or a lifetime budget, in which you set up your ads to run for a period of time until that budget is depleted.
And believe me, this brings results. According to the social network, 60% of people say they discover new products on the platform and 75% of users act after being inspired by a post.
One big advantage is that Instagram uses Facebook’s demographic data to serve up ads to the appropriate parties.
This makes the tool valuable to advertisers seeking to reach a niche audience, considering that Facebook already has a decent track record and full demographic targeting options.
8 tips to use Instagram to promote your business
Whether you are starting your business, or want to broaden your customer base, Instagram may be just what you need.
Check out 8 tips to promote your online courses on the platform easily and effectively.
1. Talk about your product in a creative way
Focus on the solution you provide, not the products you sell.
At Instagram, it is essential to “look good”. The most important feature on this network is visual content.
If your company is service oriented, as in the case of online courses, focus on showing the process behind the provision of the service.
Show, for example, how you create a lesson, what you are studying yourself, or simply share some tips and instructions.
Remember that there is plenty of resources to present your reality in a different and fun way.
You can upload photos, short videos and videos up to a minute in length.
2. Try Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories shows photos or videos that are only available for 24 hours.
This feature is a direct competitor of Snapchat’s stories and is being heavily developed by the platform.
Here are some of the advantages of using this option:
- Stories are prominently displayed at the top of a user’s timeline;
- They are a good choice for displaying “behind-the-scenes content” more informally and without the quality requirement of a standard post;
- Allows experience different content formats: photo, short video, boomerang (GIF-like image), live video, etc;
- It has fun tools like filters, text and gifs that help you edit images quickly.
All published photos and videos are played back in the sequence they were added and you can post as many as you want.
3. Create a distinctive profile
As a company, you probably do a lot of things and offer various solutions.
The hard thing is to describe all this in 150 characters. So, focus on creating a creative description, which does not necessarily strive to speak everything your business does.
This can generate a much more attractive and impressive result, attracting attention and gaining the user’s sympathy.
Since the only clickable link that Instagram allows is in the Bio section (just below your name), make it a habit to update it frequently.
In addition to your site, you can take advantage of linking to a page of event registrations, app downloads or even purchases.
The cool thing is to vary according to your marketing strategy, bringing news to users focused on results.
4. Interact with other brands and users
Another important strategy is to interact with your followers and the people you want to be followed.
If you’re posting content worthy of follow-up and want to draw attention to it, start liking, commenting, and following other people.
“If you expect people to get involved with your posts, they expect the same,” says TINT CEO Tim Sae Koo.
“The more active you are, the more exposed your username/account is to the owner and owner’s followers.”
So search for popular hashtags and go for it! Write complacent comments on people’s posts and make #regram of their images, giving credit to the original.
Tip: Choose to receive notifications when the most important accounts you’re targeting share a new post. This will make it easier to interact.
5. Expand your reach with #hashtags
The function of a hashtag (#), is labeling, ie separate categories for the contents created.
The hashtag is always accompanied by a term (#onlinecourses), which creates a category and a kind of link to it.
Whether on Instagram or other networks, whenever you click on a hashtag, you will have access to other content that has received the same tag.
The hashtags you create may be campaign-specific or general, all that matter is that they’re relevant.
Be sure to also set up your business hashtag (#companyname). This makes it easy to find content related to your business and your primary account.
It’s a good practice to use between three and five hashtags, despite the fact that you can add up to 30 per post in Instagram.
Use your own hashtags (related to your business) as well as the most popular hashtags (#instagood, #TBT, etc.) to increase the discoverability of your content.
6. Make live streams
Live streaming from Instagram is a great way to connect with your audience.
This feature is super effective because it gives viewers an unprecedented, real-time view of who is behind the account.
Since the tool was launched in late 2016, it has been proven that users really enjoy watching video publications in real time.
In fact, according to livestream.com, 82% of users prefer to see live videos than social media posts.
Instagram also helps to promote this type of content, notifying followers when a live broadcast begins.
If an account is currently streaming, there will be an “active” logo on its behalf. It will appear as a story, but if you touch it, you will be inserted into the live stream.
That done, you can sit back and simply watch, or you can comment and even ask to participate live with whoever is doing the broadcast.
This is an excellent way to interact and receive feedback and opinions from your audience.
It is true that there are many sites that offer this feature, however, Instagram is one of the best platforms to use live streaming, because a notification is sent to all your followers as soon as you go live.
7. Offer exclusivity
Keeping your customers interested is an essential part of any effective marketing campaign.
Reward your loyal followers with unique content. Let them be the first to know about new products, services or events.
Create promotional photos that create anticipation about your future releases.
This type of action makes your Instagram followers feel special and visit your profile more to find out what’s new.
You can also create exclusive promotions for those who follow you on Instagram, such as a free course draw, for example.
There are several tools that allow you to perform this type of action on the social network, simply and effectively.
8. Monitor your results
Without stopping to analyze what worked and what did not, marketing becomes a guessing game.
The truth is that you can read all the articles in the world on how to use Instagram, but you will only find out what works for your customers through testing and measuring the results.
Be sure to regularly check your number of followers, engagement and clicks, for example.
See which posts have had better feedback from the audience to understand what your customer likes best.
Instagram provides a suite of business tools (Instagram Insight) to help companies better understand the performance of their accounts.
Tools pass information like impressions, reach, profile views, website clicks, clicks on calls, and clicks via email.
This feature is available for all business profiles, regardless of whether or not they are advertising.
Having this information helps refine and improve your strategy.
Promote online courses with Instagram
As you can see, Instagram has more potential for engagement and conversion than Facebook.
Who sells online courses usually focuses on a specific audience, and channels that allow the segmentation of their disclosure actions are more interesting.
Creating a business account in Instagram is quite simple, and you can link it to your personal account, changing from one to another quickly.
Since we’re always with the smartphone at your fingertips, this allows you to make posts whenever something interesting happens, or even just want to share a moment in your work routine.
The public appreciates and relates to more personal publications, and soon you will be creating a customer base, lightly and without much effort.
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