How To Use Instagram to Improve Your Marketing

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Many people think of Instagram as a silo – its own platform, unrelated to everything else you do. But there are many Instagram features and tools that you can take advantage of to improve your whole marketing strategy. If you’re only using Instagram to share photos on Instagram, you’re missing out on many more opportunities to market your brand.

Instagram Photos

Sure, it’s easy to post a new photo to Instagram. It takes mere seconds. But have you ever taken those photos and used them anywhere else?

You spend hours on Photoshop or make big payments to graphic designers to create images for your brand when you have Instagram right at your fingertips. Now, I understand the real value of a great designer and Instagram won’t replace them. However, you can save money and time by occasionally creating your own branded content.

Instagram has a variety of filters and photo edit tools which can help you produce high quality images quickly and easily. You can add text overlays or create image collages with ease. And once these images are created, you can repurpose them to other locations.

Share your Instagram images to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest. Use your Instagram images on your website or blog to enhance the visual component of your content. Use your Instagram images in place of stock images on marketing content to really give customers a true perspective of your company.

We all love photos and Instagram allows you to easily incorporate amazing images into all of your marketing needs.

Instagram Videos

Instagram videos aren’t as common or as popular as photos but they offer so many great benefits, it’s hard to avoid capitalizing on them. Videos also offer filters and editability tools to really enhance the quality of the videos. And, much like Instagram photos, the videos can easily be repurposed to other social media sites and your website.

Some of the best ways to utilize Instagram videos include:

  • How-to videos
  • Greetings or personal messages
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Product information
  • New product announcements

Include a variety of videos on your Instagram account and use these videos to promote your brand. You can also promote your Instagram account by embedding the Instagram video onto your website and encouraging visitors to visit and follow your Instagram account for more exclusive content.

Direct Messaging

Instagram introduced direct messaging (referred to as Instagram Direct) and most people assumed its use for personal conversations with friends. But it can be used in creative ways to grow your business and market your brand.

You can send direct messages to up 15 users per message and only those included on the message will be able to view the image and the comments.

Consider offering exclusive discounts to VIP customers via a direct message. You can also take customer service issues off the public forum and resolve them privately using the direct message feature.

These are all ways you can use Instagram to improve your marketing strategy. Just because you create content or conversations on Instagram, doesn’t mean it has to stay on Instagram. Take the high quality content and relationship opportunities beyond this site to add some excitement to other areas of your marketing plan.

Jenn Herman
This monthly Instagram column is contributed by Jenn Herman. Jenn is a social media strategist and Instagram advocate who writes a blog focused on understanding trends in social media management and how to use Instagram for business. Her goal is to see you succeed with social media marketing in order to boost your business. Jenn provides consulting and training for small to medium sized businesses that need to structure their social media strategies and goals. +Jenn Herman
Jenn Herman


Social Media & Instagram consultant & trainer. #8 Social Media Blog by Social Media Examiner. The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Instagram:
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Jenn Herman


  1. says

    My only “beef” with Instagram is how hard it is to switch between accounts. I use it actively on my personal account, and would love to use it more for my brand, but the pain of having to log out and back in every time to switch makes that too much for a mobile app.

      • Isabel says

        Is there another way on Iphone? Because 99% of my activity is now throughout my amazing several in one phablet.

  2. Lorie Lewis says

    The goal of any event or trade show is to attract people to teach them about your product and service. Hopefully you will turn them into customers. Instagram can help with it and can give a visualization and location for your event. Most conferences have a hashtag that attendees can follow on Twitter and Instagram that can be used to show others everything that’s going on. Adding Instagram to your event marketing mix can help you reach more people, get more people to visit your booth and increase engagement with your audience. By following the hashtag of the conference, attendees are drawn to your Instagram shot and able to locate your booth quicker. At small or large conferences, this can come in handy to stand out from the crowd.

  3. says

    I like IG for cross promoting. I use IFTTT and whenever I post a picture to IG, it updates both my facebook fan page as well as posts the actual picture instead of a link to Twitter. What I hadn’t considered were short how to videos, I know they don’t like you to add your link to the pictures but doing a quick vid that says I’m reviewing such & such on my blog is a great idea. Thanks for sharing, I wouldn’t have thought of that for sure.

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