Business on Instagram


Let’s face it: Instagram is everywhere. It is safe to speculate that the photo-based social media platform is used 24 hours a day, 7 days a week worldwide. But how can you use this platform to the advantage of your business? If you are an Instagram user yourself, you may notice from time to time that advertisements for new products, abridged commercials for colleges, or even shortened movie trailers appear in your news feed. Today, I’m going to walk through the basic do’s and don’t’s of Instagram marketing.

Technical Rules

Following a few technical rules is crucial to make your business marketable on Instagram. The First being aspect ratio: the largest aspect ratio you can make your Instagram video for your business is 1080px by 1080px. You can upload in any square size, but if you want a crisp and clean video or picture, use 1080px by 1080px. If your Instagram post is blurry or hard to read you’re already losing out on precious seconds spent processing and trying to understand your image instead of the consumer receiving the desired message.

Second, duration: the app allows you to upload videos up to one minute in duration. Because of this, think carefully about what you need to show in your video in order to catch a potential customer’s eye.

Third, if necessary, you should carefully create your video specifically for Instagram, which means that reusing older videos and just cropping or tweaking them sometimes works, but may not ALWAYS do the trick due to their duration, aspect ratio or other characteristics. Also, consider the sound for the video clip – if an Instagram user chooses to watch the video with sound, how will the sound catch their attention? Is it the music? Wacky sound effects? Interviews or voiceover? Etc.

How Do You Stand Out?

However, it is important to be aware of the fact that, more often than not, Instagram users tend to swipe past advertisements they find uninteresting or irrelevant to them, and they tend to forget what they saw shortly afterwards. Again, you only have one minute and a square video to make them ask themselves these questions:

  • Why should I care?
  • Why and/or HOW is this product/service/business relevant to me?
  • How could I use this product/service/business in my life?
  • What will it cost me and is that worth the cost?

So, feel free to be creative and inventive with your marketing. Assume that an Instagram user will swipe past your advertisement and the initial amount of time that they will be exposed to your video is less than one second. What can you do to make that one second count? Is there a hand-drawn animation? Colorful graphics? B-roll or interviews? Don’t be afraid to take risks, because if you do you’ll likely catch their eye.

This goes without saying, but POST FREQUENTLY. The majority of Instagram users are active on the social media platform daily. Find new and interesting ways to advertise one of your products or services, or promote your lesser known products or services. The harsh reality of social media is that people tend to shift their attention frequently to different emerging trends, so stay up to speed with those trends.