According to research, there are over 500 million daily Instagram users. Anyone that owns a business, should understand the importance of using Instagram social media marketing. Instagram started out as a social app where you can share your photos with your friends and family, to a serious networking app where you can connect to your customers and skyrocket your business. With over 25 million businesses on Instagram, it can be hard to stand out from your competition, especially if you are in a popular niche such as health and fitness, travel, beauty, and business. So the problem is if Instagram marketing is so competitive, why is it so important to stick to Instagram and not just use another social media platform? Thankfully, we did that research for you. Keep on reading to learn why Instagram social media marketing is good for your business, and some tips for how to boost your business's profile today! 1. You Can Engage with Customers It is a basic human necessity to be seen or heard, so anytime someone has a chance to connect with the essence of a brand, they become loyal to that brand. Instagram gives you the opportunity to connect with people on a daily basis, which provides an opportunity to understand what your audience likes, wants, needs, and opinions are. When your audience feels seen or heard by your business, this will establish relationships and a sense of loyalty that your competition cannot break. 2. Mobility Did you know that 90% of the time spend on mobile devices is on mobile applications? Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which were originally developed for a browser, Instagram is app only, which means you are targeting more people, more often. This makes Instagram have more engagement than Facebook, which is an obvious reason why you should jump on the Instagram social media marketing train. 3. Follow Your Competitors Instagram is a perfect platform to follow your competitors, as you can learn from both their mistakes and their strengths. Pay attention to things like: > How many times per day they post> What their stories are like> How they engage with their audience> What time of day do they post that receives the most engagement> What their calls to action are> Do they have any contests or free giveaways?> What questions do they receive from their audience?> What type of content do they post> Do they stick to their niche, or do they use a sub-niche?> What hashtags do they use? All of these are important factors in establishing a successful Instagram business account. To do this, you can either follow their account directly, or you can follow their common hashtags so that you see their content show up in your newsfeed regularly. 4. You Have Freedom to Get Creative Instagram allows so much room for creativity and playtime within your account. You can test out strategies without costing yourself a lot of money, this includes running contests, testing engagement, different calls to action, shares, likes, follows, polls, questions, and so much more. 5. You Can Mix Up Videos and Photos Social videos account for 1200% more shares than plain text or photos, if you are not creating videos for your Instagram account, you need to get started. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so imagine the impact that your videos will make on your audience! You can switch up the average photo for a creative video, which will show your audience the true essence of your brand, your character and help them to resonate more with your business. 6. The Use of Stories Instagram stories offer a "behind the scenes" kind of look into your brand, as your audience gets to see the raw and uncut versions of you without just seeing your edited and curated feed. With stories, you can ask questions, answer questions, create polls, go live (even rawer and uncut!), tag locations, tag other accounts, create hashtags, and so much more. 7. The Ability to Reach Millions Instagram has over 1 billion users, which provides an incredible opportunity to reach out to millions of followers who would love to support your brand. In order to reach out to these people, Instagram has really narrowed in on the use of hashtags. Hashtags are the bread and butter of finding your audience, and showing them that your brand has the answers to all their questions and problems. There are millions of hashtags out there, so make sure you narrow in on a few key hashtags that are popular, easy to rank for and enable people to find and follow you. Another easy way to take advantage of Instagram's benefits for business is to use digital signage with your Instagram feed on it, this enables you to display your latest posts, show which hashtags to follow, and even live stream your account. Check out this article to read more. 8. You Can Partner with Influencers Influencer marketing has really taken off, and for a good reason, it works! Let's say you are in the skin care niche, and you are looking into finding more customers for your new sunscreen product. By teaming up with an influencer in the skin care niche, you are now able to reach their tens of thousands of followers who would use exactly what that influencer uses as well. In just a few curated posts from that influencer, you are well on your way to accessing many new customers who you would have never found otherwise. The secret is to find an influencer that has integrity behind their posts and only works with businesses within a specific niche. 9. Instagram Shares Directly to Facebook A majority of Instagram video shares go directly to Facebook news feeds, which now opens up an entirely new platform for you to market to. The best part about this is it is using social proof. People are more likely to purchase from a brand that their friend likes or uses, so when they share your posts, other people are more likely to purchase your product as well. Start Your Instagram Social Media Marketing Today Now that you understand the importance of using Instagram social media marketing, you need to start as soon as possible! It can take a little while to get into your niche, find out what works best for your brand, and start gaining some followers. If you would like to learn more online marketing tips, check out more articles on how it can grow your business.