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Instagram for your business: a guide to getting started

Last month, Instagram celebrated its 10th birthday. During this decade, it has grown from a ‘Facebook for teenagers’ to an established social media platform used all over the world. And no, these users are not just teenagers anymore. Instagram is a great platform to come into contact and strengthen your relationship with your audience. In this post, we’ll explain how you can use Instagram for your business and help you set up your account!

User stats October 2020

  • 7% of 13-17 yo people use Instagram
  • 29% of 18-24 yo people use Instagram
  • 33% of 25-34 yo people use Instagram
  • 16% of 35-44 yo people use Instagram
  • 8% of 45-54 yo people use Instagram
  • 4% of 55-64 yo people use Instagram
  • 2% of 65+ yo people use Instagram

Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide. Source: Statista.com

A short introduction to Instagram

“A simple, fun & creative way to capture, edit & share photos, videos & messages with friends & family.” This is a short description by Instagram itself. In other words, Instagram is a social media platform with a strong focus on sharing visual content, used by over a billion users worldwide.

Instagram allows you to post and interact with your audience in different ways. By posting a photo/video/message to the feed, but also with other formats such as Stories, IGTV and Shopping. Which features you use, is up to you and allows you to manage how much time Instagram will cost you or your team.

Is Instagram the platform for you?

There are a lot of social media platforms out there. That’s why it’s important to think about which ones are the best fit for your business. You might not have the time and resources to focus on all of them, so start by setting up a well-thought-out social media strategy. Instagram is a great platform for businesses (among others) that sell physical products, that have great photography as part of their core business, that are community-oriented or that have an informal approach to their audience.

Consider your audience: does a fair amount of them use Instagram? If the answer is yes, think about your business and content. Instagram is quite an informal platform with a strong focus on visual content. Does this match the way you communicate with your audience? Do you have enough visual content (or the possibility to create it)? This will be easy when you’re a professional photographer or when you have products that photograph well, but it’s easy to underestimate how much time goes into creating fun and visual content when this is not already a part of your business processes. Try to use genuine images where you can and limit your use of stock photos.

Examples of businesses using Instagram

To get an idea of whether Instagram is the platform for you, we’ll look at a few businesses that use it:

instagram for business example Nike

Nike

As you can see in the screenshot, Nike has about 122 million followers on Instagram right now. Which isn’t unexpected, because Nike is a world-renowned brand that you can find in shops all over the planet. Because of their reputation, most people will know what Nike sells. That’s why they don’t just post content focused on showing their products. Instead, they post photos and videos of people exercising and athletes (wearing Nike products) strengthening their image as a brand focused on sports and being active.

But that’s not all, as you can see on their account. Nike has also created a community around its brand and chooses to make its political stands known on social media to further strengthen this community. This means that the main goal of Instagram is probably not to sell products but to reinforce the bond they have with their fans. Which will eventually lead to more sales in the long run.

instagram account ben & jerry's

Ben & Jerry’s

Another example of a business that uses Instagram is Ben & Jerry’s, a manufacturer of ice cream. From their latest posts, you can see that Ben & Jerry’s sometimes focuses on their products but also posts other content. With the presidential elections in the U.S., they encourage people to vote and even find a fun way to link election day to their ice cream with ‘Keep calm and spoon on’.

This shows us that this brand also focuses on current topics and a feeling of community, as Ben & Jerry’s asks their followers to vote. In addition, Ben & Jerry’s also uses Instagram Stories, Highlights and a button that takes you to their online shop. So although their Instagram account has some similarities with the way Nike approaches its followers, Ben & Jerry’s profile is a bit more product and buy-orientated.

instagram account habbekrats

Habbekrats store

Let’s take a look at a local business using Instagram. Habbekrats (fun fact: this word means a small amount of money in Dutch) is a second-hand store in the Dutch city Nijmegen. You might notice that the number of followers is a lot lower than the other accounts we discussed. This can be explained by the fact that this is a local store with a smaller reach than the other businesses. But it doesn’t mean that this Instagram account is not a success. These 1370 followers might be a very loyal fan base that lives near to the store and comes there often.

As you can see from their latest posts, the people working at Habbekrats post different kinds of content. New finds you can buy, fun quotes and even a post showing one of their colleagues printing new tote bags. It gives their Instagram account a personal vibe and that suits their local business quite well. They also have a Contact button that allows you to call or email them.

Setting up Instagram for your business

Instagram has long outgrown its reputation of being a social media platform for teenagers. And if you feel that Instagram is a great addition to your social media presence, then it’s time to set up your business account! Luckily, this can be done in a few minutes:

  1. To set up your account you need to download the app from the App Store or Google Play.
  2. Open the app and click on ‘Sign up’ to enter your information. The app also gives you the option to log in with your Facebook account (as Instagram is part of Facebook).
  3. To let Instagram know that this account is for your business, go to Settings in the app. You can find Settings under the icon shaped like a person in the bottom right corner of your screen and then clicking on the hamburger menu in the top right corner. In Settings go to Account and click the ‘Switch to Professional account’ text.
  4. When you’ve switched to a business account, make sure to add information about your business to your account. Such as your telephone number, email address, physical address and your opening hours.

That’s it! You’ve now created your free business account on Instagram, so it’s time to get posting and gather some followers. If you’re not sure where to start, have a look at the feed of similar businesses to get an idea of what they’re posting! Instagram also offers you other ways to get your content noticed by your audience, such Instagram Shopping or advertising on Instagram. Or check out Instagram’s success stories for some more inspiration for your own account.

Be creative

Having a look at similar accounts may give you some ideas for your own Instagram posts, but it can take a while to get your number of followers up. That’s why you have to let people know that you have a new account on Instagram, for example by telling them when they’re in your store or with a post on your Facebook page. Before you do, try to have a couple of posts on your Instagram (or an Instagram Story) to make sure people don’t land on an empty Instagram account.

So, what should you post? This highly depends on your business, your way of communicating with your audience and the amount of time you want to spend on Instagram. Just remember to be creative and not just post a quick picture of your product. Take some time to think about the story you want to tell. Can you photograph people using or wearing your product? Can you use your posts to introduce the people working at your business? Do you go to events that are fun to post about? Make your content unique and personal where you can, allowing them to get to know you and your mission better.

Be consistent

Be consistent in how much you post to your Instagram account. It’s no problem if you want to post about a current topic that wasn’t part of the initial planning, but just make sure to be wary of posting too much and coming across as annoying. On the other hand, make sure to post on a regular basis to let people know what you’re up to and help them not forget you. Our article on content planning can help you with that, as these tips translate to social media as well. To save time, you can choose to post your Instagram content to Facebook as well, but be mindful of this. Something you post on Instagram might not always be the right fit for your Facebook account or the other way around.

Use #Hashtags

Hashtags are very valuable. The more you use, the bigger reach you will have with your post. Now we don’t want to encourage you to add 30 hashtags to every image but adding the right ones can help you a lot. So think about which hashtags you can use to reach the right people, or have a look at the hashtags similar businesses are using. Also, if your communication style allows it, use emoticons in your captions as they give a fun and informal element to your post.

See you there!

To conclude, Instagram is a great way to share visual content with your audience. But take the time to decide whether it’s a good fit for your business. It’s a great platform when your products photograph well, when you have photography as an integral part of your business, when you’re part of a community or when you have an informal way of communicating. When you decide to set up an account for your Instagram, don’t expect wonders in one day. Slowly build your follower base by posting consistently and being creative in what you post.

Good luck and if you’re already well on your way with your business account, we would love to hear how you are using Instagram and what you think about its potential. Let us know in the comments! And if you’re wondering what kind of content we at Yoast post, have a look at our Instagram account.

Read on: Social media for small businesses: 12 tips to boost your marketing »

The post Instagram for your business: a guide to getting started appeared first on Yoast.

Last month, Instagram celebrated its 10th birthday. During this decade, it has grown from a ‘Facebook for teenagers’ to an established social media platform used all over the world. And no, these users are not just teenagers anymore. Instagram is a great platform to come into contact and strengthen your relationship with your audience. In
The post Instagram for your business: a guide to getting started appeared first on Yoast.Read MoreBranding, Instagram

Categories
Uncategorized

Instagram for your business: a guide to getting started

Last month, Instagram celebrated its 10th birthday. During this decade, it has grown from a ‘Facebook for teenagers’ to an established social media platform used all over the world. And no, these users are not just teenagers anymore. Instagram is a great platform to come into contact and strengthen your relationship with your audience. In this post, we’ll explain how you can use Instagram for your business and help you set up your account!

User stats October 2020

  • 7% of 13-17 yo people use Instagram
  • 29% of 18-24 yo people use Instagram
  • 33% of 25-34 yo people use Instagram
  • 16% of 35-44 yo people use Instagram
  • 8% of 45-54 yo people use Instagram
  • 4% of 55-64 yo people use Instagram
  • 2% of 65+ yo people use Instagram

Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide. Source: Statista.com

A short introduction to Instagram

“A simple, fun & creative way to capture, edit & share photos, videos & messages with friends & family.” This is a short description by Instagram itself. In other words, Instagram is a social media platform with a strong focus on sharing visual content, used by over a billion users worldwide.

Instagram allows you to post and interact with your audience in different ways. By posting a photo/video/message to the feed, but also with other formats such as Stories, IGTV and Shopping. Which features you use, is up to you and allows you to manage how much time Instagram will cost you or your team.

Is Instagram the platform for you?

There are a lot of social media platforms out there. That’s why it’s important to think about which ones are the best fit for your business. You might not have the time and resources to focus on all of them, so start by setting up a well-thought-out social media strategy. Instagram is a great platform for businesses (among others) that sell physical products, that have great photography as part of their core business, that are community-oriented or that have an informal approach to their audience.

Consider your audience: does a fair amount of them use Instagram? If the answer is yes, think about your business and content. Instagram is quite an informal platform with a strong focus on visual content. Does this match the way you communicate with your audience? Do you have enough visual content (or the possibility to create it)? This will be easy when you’re a professional photographer or when you have products that photograph well, but it’s easy to underestimate how much time goes into creating fun and visual content when this is not already a part of your business processes. Try to use genuine images where you can and limit your use of stock photos.

Examples of businesses using Instagram

To get an idea of whether Instagram is the platform for you, we’ll look at a few businesses that use it:

instagram for business example Nike

Nike

As you can see in the screenshot, Nike has about 122 million followers on Instagram right now. Which isn’t unexpected, because Nike is a world-renowned brand that you can find in shops all over the planet. Because of their reputation, most people will know what Nike sells. That’s why they don’t just post content focused on showing their products. Instead, they post photos and videos of people exercising and athletes (wearing Nike products) strengthening their image as a brand focused on sports and being active.

But that’s not all, as you can see on their account. Nike has also created a community around its brand and chooses to make its political stands known on social media to further strengthen this community. This means that the main goal of Instagram is probably not to sell products but to reinforce the bond they have with their fans. Which will eventually lead to more sales in the long run.

instagram account ben & jerry's

Ben & Jerry’s

Another example of a business that uses Instagram is Ben & Jerry’s, a manufacturer of ice cream. From their latest posts, you can see that Ben & Jerry’s sometimes focuses on their products but also posts other content. With the presidential elections in the U.S., they encourage people to vote and even find a fun way to link election day to their ice cream with ‘Keep calm and spoon on’.

This shows us that this brand also focuses on current topics and a feeling of community, as Ben & Jerry’s asks their followers to vote. In addition, Ben & Jerry’s also uses Instagram Stories, Highlights and a button that takes you to their online shop. So although their Instagram account has some similarities with the way Nike approaches its followers, Ben & Jerry’s profile is a bit more product and buy-orientated.

instagram account habbekrats

Habbekrats store

Let’s take a look at a local business using Instagram. Habbekrats (fun fact: this word means a small amount of money in Dutch) is a second-hand store in the Dutch city Nijmegen. You might notice that the number of followers is a lot lower than the other accounts we discussed. This can be explained by the fact that this is a local store with a smaller reach than the other businesses. But it doesn’t mean that this Instagram account is not a success. These 1370 followers might be a very loyal fan base that lives near to the store and comes there often.

As you can see from their latest posts, the people working at Habbekrats post different kinds of content. New finds you can buy, fun quotes and even a post showing one of their colleagues printing new tote bags. It gives their Instagram account a personal vibe and that suits their local business quite well. They also have a Contact button that allows you to call or email them.

Setting up Instagram for your business

Instagram has long outgrown its reputation of being a social media platform for teenagers. And if you feel that Instagram is a great addition to your social media presence, then it’s time to set up your business account! Luckily, this can be done in a few minutes:

  1. To set up your account you need to download the app from the App Store or Google Play.
  2. Open the app and click on ‘Sign up’ to enter your information. The app also gives you the option to log in with your Facebook account (as Instagram is part of Facebook).
  3. To let Instagram know that this account is for your business, go to Settings in the app. You can find Settings under the icon shaped like a person in the bottom right corner of your screen and then clicking on the hamburger menu in the top right corner. In Settings go to Account and click the ‘Switch to Professional account’ text.
  4. When you’ve switched to a business account, make sure to add information about your business to your account. Such as your telephone number, email address, physical address and your opening hours.

That’s it! You’ve now created your free business account on Instagram, so it’s time to get posting and gather some followers. If you’re not sure where to start, have a look at the feed of similar businesses to get an idea of what they’re posting! Instagram also offers you other ways to get your content noticed by your audience, such Instagram Shopping or advertising on Instagram. Or check out Instagram’s success stories for some more inspiration for your own account.

Be creative

Having a look at similar accounts may give you some ideas for your own Instagram posts, but it can take a while to get your number of followers up. That’s why you have to let people know that you have a new account on Instagram, for example by telling them when they’re in your store or with a post on your Facebook page. Before you do, try to have a couple of posts on your Instagram (or an Instagram Story) to make sure people don’t land on an empty Instagram account.

So, what should you post? This highly depends on your business, your way of communicating with your audience and the amount of time you want to spend on Instagram. Just remember to be creative and not just post a quick picture of your product. Take some time to think about the story you want to tell. Can you photograph people using or wearing your product? Can you use your posts to introduce the people working at your business? Do you go to events that are fun to post about? Make your content unique and personal where you can, allowing them to get to know you and your mission better.

Be consistent

Be consistent in how much you post to your Instagram account. It’s no problem if you want to post about a current topic that wasn’t part of the initial planning, but just make sure to be wary of posting too much and coming across as annoying. On the other hand, make sure to post on a regular basis to let people know what you’re up to and help them not forget you. Our article on content planning can help you with that, as these tips translate to social media as well. To save time, you can choose to post your Instagram content to Facebook as well, but be mindful of this. Something you post on Instagram might not always be the right fit for your Facebook account or the other way around.

Use #Hashtags

Hashtags are very valuable. The more you use, the bigger reach you will have with your post. Now we don’t want to encourage you to add 30 hashtags to every image but adding the right ones can help you a lot. So think about which hashtags you can use to reach the right people, or have a look at the hashtags similar businesses are using. Also, if your communication style allows it, use emoticons in your captions as they give a fun and informal element to your post.

See you there!

To conclude, Instagram is a great way to share visual content with your audience. But take the time to decide whether it’s a good fit for your business. It’s a great platform when your products photograph well, when you have photography as an integral part of your business, when you’re part of a community or when you have an informal way of communicating. When you decide to set up an account for your Instagram, don’t expect wonders in one day. Slowly build your follower base by posting consistently and being creative in what you post.

Good luck and if you’re already well on your way with your business account, we would love to hear how you are using Instagram and what you think about its potential. Let us know in the comments! And if you’re wondering what kind of content we at Yoast post, have a look at our Instagram account.

Read on: Social media for small businesses: 12 tips to boost your marketing »

The post Instagram for your business: a guide to getting started appeared first on Yoast.

Last month, Instagram celebrated its 10th birthday. During this decade, it has grown from a ‘Facebook for teenagers’ to an established social media platform used all over the world. And no, these users are not just teenagers anymore. Instagram is a great platform to come into contact and strengthen your relationship with your audience. In
The post Instagram for your business: a guide to getting started appeared first on Yoast.Read MoreBranding, Instagram

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How to Create Remarkable Welcome Emails (+3 Real Examples)

You only get one chance to make a first impression.

In email marketing, that notion is even more pressing. Nearly 60% of respondents in a SaleCycle survey said marketing emails influence their purchase decisions. It’s clear that email can be a valuable conversion tool if used correctly.

Welcome emails are an opportunity to introduce new subscribers to your brand with email content they want to consume. If your aim is to increase your conversion or engagement rate through an email campaign, welcome emails are a great way to connect with subscribers and build trust.

Why Are Welcome Emails Important?

Welcome emails set the tone for your relationship with new subscribers. It’s the very first email they receive after joining your list.

What you include dictates how new users will look at future emails, so it’s critical to set positive expectations right out of the gate.

Welcome emails aren’t just a nifty idea; they’re something subscribers expect — fast. In fact, 74% of people expect to receive one immediately after subscribing to your email list.

They can also spark a person’s interest more than other emails. Welcome emails have a 50% open rate, which is 86% more than other standard subscriber emails. This high average open rate gives you more opportunity to leverage them as a lead magnet that can help boost your overall conversion rate.


Welcome emails have a 50% open rate, which is 86% more than other standard subscriber emails
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Welcome emails are also a chance to introduce your brand without public filters like social media. It’s just you and your subscriber. Because of that, the message you send in that first email needs to connect with them immediately. If you get it right, there’s a good chance you could land your first purchase off the strength of that email.

3 Types of Welcome Emails (+ Examples)

Stats and data are nice to see, but what does an effective welcome email actually look like? What kind of design do they have? What subject lines should they include?

To be honest, there’s no one surefire answer to any of these questions. Great welcome emails come in different flavors.

The “Immediate Gratitude” Welcome Email

Best for: Newsletter subscribers, blog subscribers

Appreciation. Kudos. Praise. People love acknowledgment for something they’ve done. In email marketing, that something is often a subscriber filling out a signup form to join your email list.

The “immediate gratitude” welcome email focuses on thanking your subscriber for their email signup. That’s why the words “thank you” should be clearly and prominently displayed for your subscriber to see.

You should also keep the email message short and sweet. If you’re thanking your subscriber but also sending them to a product landing page, it sort of defeats the purpose of the thank you message. It becomes a blatant sales pitch.

Check out the example below to see how Kate Spade nailed their immediate gratitude welcome email.

welcome emails kate spade example

Source: HubSpot

Notice how well they’ve put together their design. The vibrant orange envelope background pops while the easy-to-read words “thank you” are front and center. Instead of simply advertising a new collection, they’re incentivizing new customers with a 15% off discount code.

The “Product First” Welcome Email

Best for: Subscribers on a free trial, returning customers

Sometimes, your email subscribers want to skip all the niceties and get straight to business. You should still be kind, but ditch the small talk and get right into your value proposition to the subscriber.

The “product first” welcome email follows this style. It’s designed to add a sense of urgency for your subscriber to use your product or service. The goal of this type of welcome email is to get your new customer started right away.

You can start by highlighting one or more unique features of your product or service. This is your opportunity to show off a little. If you have a great content marketing software, for example, you might point out backlink or content gap analysis features subscribers should be excited to start using.

Include a clear call-to-action (CTA) with easy directions and next steps for your subscriber to take. Company culture platform Disco has made their CTAs simple and clear.

welcome emails disco example

Disco’s welcome email immediately shows what they do and offers clear steps for what to do next. The CTA button is easy to spot, and the copy builds excitement around what Disco has to offer.

The “Visually Compelling” Welcome Email

Best for: Newsletter subscribers, blog subscribers, subscribers on a free trial, returning customers

Writing out a welcome message is great, but sometimes you need an extra visual element to hold a subscriber’s attention.

The “visually compelling” welcome email adds a multimedia component to keep subscribers engaged. The entire user experience of this email type is all about leveraging a multimedia component to keep subscribers on the email longer.

While videos are great at capturing audience attention, they’re not the only multimedia option. You can use photos, infographics, and even GIFs to break up text. The integration of interactive content like a poll or quiz can also be effective.

The multimedia element you’re integrating should also be accessible in the email itself. Users shouldn’t have to click on a landing page link to play a video or do a survey.

One company that has done a fantastic job of crafting a visually compelling email is the non-profit organization charity: water.

welcome emails charity water example

Source: Stripo

As you can see, charity: water has kept things beautifully simple. At the top, they feature a video of their founder introducing himself, which can be played right in the email. While there’s still some text, the email is very clearly centered around the video and draws the user’s eye to it straight away.

5 Tips for Creating a Memorable Welcome Email

Now that you know what a great welcome email looks like, it’s time to build one.

1. Personalize it

It doesn’t matter if you’re Google or a small business just getting started — you need to personalize your welcome email. An email with a personalized subject line, for example, is 26% more likely to be opened by a subscriber.

Chances are, you already are collecting things like name and email on signup forms. Once you have that opt-in information, you can use it in your welcome email. Craft an email subject line that uses a subscriber’s first name to make it more personable. Use it in the greeting of the welcome message as well. You can also customize the email by adding additional product or service information they may be interested in based on their survey responses.

2. Offer Something of Value

Think of your welcome email as a new houseguest and your subscriber as the host. You need to bring them some nice flowers or a bottle of wine for the occasion.

Include some type of special offer or discount — your subscribers will be looking for it. In fact, 32% expect a personalized discount a mere hour after they sign up for your email list or start an account. Another 54% expect it within the first 24 hours.

If you can’t give out a discount, consider adding a free downloadable resource or even links to compelling data or blog posts. This is especially useful for B2B subscribers looking for helpful resources they can integrate into their own business.

3. Send it in a Timely Manner

Time is of the essence when it comes to welcome emails. A whopping 75% of marketers send one the same day a person subscribes to an email list.

In fact, the best practice is to send the welcome email as soon as possible after a new signup while your brand is still fresh in your subscriber’s mind. You should aim to have it on its way 1–2 hours after they sign up.

4. A/B Test It

Monitoring the performance of your welcome email is critical to its success. You need a way of knowing if it’s actually successful and something people are engaging with.

One of the best ways to gauge your email’s performance is A/B testing. Simply create two distinct versions of your welcome email to see which one performs better. Keep in mind that an A/B test is only useful if at least one visible factor is changed — otherwise, you won’t be able to identify the cause of the performance difference.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a full-on rewrite; you can use a similar welcome email template for both, as in the example below from Intercom.

welcome emails ab test

Source: Intercom

As you can see, Version A proved to be more successful than Version B. Instead of going with visuals and a number of CTAs, Version A kept things simple with one CTA and simple text. These style choices caused the email click-through rate to double.

Use a tool like Campaign Monitor to easily A/B test your welcome emails. The software will automatically send your welcome emails out to your two test subscriber lists. From there, you can see results in their dashboard. This will help you determine which email you should commit to sending subscribers.

5. Don’t Jam Everything into a Single Email

Here’s our final pro tip: A welcome email doesn’t always have to be an isolated affair.

Depending on your audience, consider crafting a welcome series for your subscribers. This series of onboarding emails can provide value to your users at regular intervals. You can decide whether to send them daily, weekly, bi-weekly, etc.

You can also line your series up with different funnel content. One email may be tied to the awareness and discovery stage while another might focus on content to get a conversion or purchase.

Not only are you giving your subscriber recurring value by sending them content, but you’re also staying on their mind. The goal is to get users to look forward to your emails and maintain high engagement throughout the duration of the email series.

Use Welcome Emails to Boost Customer Engagement

Welcome emails are more than a standard greeting — they’re a strong engagement tool. A great one can be the difference between winning a subscriber over early and having them unsubscribe in a hurry.

Want to learn more about your target audience’s online habits to craft better welcome emails for them? We can help with that. Try our free 14-day trial today and get access to our target audience analysis features that can tell you what content your customers are consuming online.

The post How to Create Remarkable Welcome Emails (+3 Real Examples) appeared first on Alexa Blog.

You only get one chance to make a first impression. In email marketing, that notion is even more pressing. Nearly 60% of respondents in a SaleCycle survey said marketing emails influence their purchase decisions. It’s clear that email can be a valuable conversion tool if used correctly. Welcome emails are an opportunity to introduce new […]
The post How to Create Remarkable Welcome Emails (+3 Real Examples) appeared first on Alexa Blog.Read MoreContent MarketingAlexa Blog