Instagram Marketing: A Complete Guide for 2024

Sprinklr Team

Nivanya M.

June 14, 202410 min read

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Instagram has transformed from a simple photo-sharing application to a go-to platform for marketers globally. In 2024, it will continue to be a social media powerhouse, offering businesses unparalleled opportunities to reach and engage with audiences worldwide. 
 
Here's why:  

  • Massive audience: As of January 2024, Instagram has over 2 billion monthly active users, surpassing many social media platforms like TikTok (1.5 billion), Twitter (330 million) and Snapchat (750 million).  

  • Highly engaged audience: In 2022, Statista reported a 7% rise in global Instagram usage, with users spending approximately 12 hours on Instagram monthly. 

  • Shoppable: Instagram for business found that 44% of the people who were surveyed use Instagram to shop weekly.  

  • Bankable demographics: Almost 61.1% of Instagram users are between 18 and 34, making it a lucrative business platform.  

In this guide, we'll be exploring the intricacies of Instagram marketing for businesses to maximize their returns from the platform.  

Table of Contents

What is Instagram marketing?

Instagram marketing refers to the use of the Instagram platform to promote or advertise products or services to a target audience. It involves creating, sharing and promoting content to engage users, enhance brand awareness, drive traffic and generate leads. 
 
Businesses can showcase their products or services through different content formats, such as videos, photos, reels, stories and live broadcasts. This makes it easy for users to understand their offerings and watch how other users experience the brand. 

There are multiple reasons why Instagram marketing is a crucial part of any business’ marketing strategy. First, because, according to Instagram, 9 out of 10 users follow at least one brand. This means that viewing brand content is an important part of an Instagram user's activity. 
 
The second is Instagram's audience. Beyond its visual appeal, Instagram's staggering engaged user base makes it a key social platform for marketing. With billions of active users, the platform offers access to a vast audience that you can target. This makes it an attractive channel for brands seeking to reach a wide range of potential customers.  

Learn More: Social Media Marketing 101: The Sprinklr Guide 

How does Instagram marketing differ for B2B vs B2C?

Both B2B and B2C businesses can benefit from leveraging Instagram for marketing. However, their approaches may differ based on their target audience and their business’ social media goals. Here's how Instagram marketing differs for each:   

 

B2B company 

B2C company  

Target audience 

A narrow audience of decision-makers, professionals and businesses. 

A broader audience of individual consumers that’s differentiated by demographics, interests and lifestyle factors. 

Primary goals 

Thought leadership, lead generation and building relationships. 

Promoting products, driving traffic and sales and building brand loyalty.  

Engagement 

Prioritizes building professional relationships and credibility by fostering discussions, networking and engaging with industry leaders and stakeholders.  

Prioritizes emotional connection and brand loyalty through storytelling, interactive content and contests.  

Content focus 

B2B companies focus on more informative, professional and industry-focused content.

Examples include:

Industry reports, infographics and fact sheets highlighting industry trends, statistics and insights.

Case studies and reports to demonstrate how their products helped other businesses.

Behind-the-scenes glimpses showcasing company culture and employee expertise to help with talent recruitment.

Thought-leadership content, such as articles, whitepapers and eBooks, that provides in-depth knowledge and valuable insights.

Webinars or podcasts with industry experts to deliver information, demonstrate expertise and engage with audiences.  

B2C content is more casual, engaging and emotionally driven, with storytelling and visually appealing elements.

Examples include:

High-quality, aesthetically pleasing images and videos showcasing features and benefits.

Tutorials and how-to guides demonstrating product usage and applications.

Behind-the-scenes photoshoots that showcase the creative process, product development, celebrities who may be brand ambassadors and the overall brand personality.

User-generated content (UGC) featuring customers using and reviewing the product.

Influencer collaborations to promote the brand and reach a wider audience.  

Conversion strategy 

Direct users to gated content, landing pages or contact forms to raise awareness, share industry insights and nurture relationships with potential customers.  

Leverage Instagram's shopping features and limited-time offers to promote products and encourage customers to purchase.  

How can businesses leverage Instagram for marketing?

Businesses can leverage Instagram marketing to unlock the following benefits: 

  • Enhance brand perception: Instagram lets businesses curate a visually appealing and cohesive brand image. Sharing high-quality content that reflects the brand's values and culture can shape how their audience perceives them. 
     

  • Build an engaged community: Showcasing user-generated content and providing personalized responses to comments helps build a positively engaged brand community. Brands can utilize features like polls, quizzes, Q&A and more to encourage meaningful interactions.  
     

  • Drive website traffic: Businesses can leverage Instagram to share engaging content related to blog posts, promotions or product-launch landing pages with clear calls to action. Using the “Swipe Up" feature in Instagram Stories or a link in the bio allows users to visit the website easily and move along the buyer journey.  
     

  • Increase sales and conversions: Instagram can be a valuable sales channel. Brands can integrate shoppable tags to enable direct purchasing and simplify the buying journey. Check out this social selling guide to learn best-selling tactics using social media platforms.  
     

  • Get customer feedback: It isn't always easy for businesses to get real-time customer feedback. With social media platforms like Instagram, businesses can communicate directly with their customers. They can actively acquire customers by keeping an eye on their DMs and comments, creating polls, asking questions and so on.  

How to set up a business account on Instagram to augment your marketing efforts?  

Here are the steps to follow if you're looking to create a business account on Instagram and kickstart your Instagram marketing efforts: 

Create an account 

  • Download the Instagram app from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android). 

  • Open the app and tap "Sign Up" to create a new account. 

  • During sign-up, select "Sign Up With Email or Phone Number." 

  • Add your profile information, including your business name and a profile picture. 

Instagram marketing account set-up

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Convert to a business account 

  • Once your account is created, go to your profile and tap the three horizontal lines in the top-right corner. 

Accessing the Settings button on the Instagram app
  • Tap "Settings" and then "Account type and tools." 

  • Scroll down and tap "Switch to professional account." 

Choosing an account type on the Instagram app
  • Choose "Business" as the account type and connect to your business’ Facebook page optionally.  

Choosing between the -Creator- and -Business- option while setting up your account type on Instagram
  • Select a business category for your business. Here, we’re picking “Health/beauty.”  

    Choosing a business category for your Instagram account

  • Review your business profile information and ensure it accurately represents your business.  

  • Save the changes. Your Instagram account is now officially a business account! 

    An Instagram confirmation pop-up enquiring if the user is confident in switching to a business account or not

10 tips to create a winning Instagram marketing strategy 

Now that your business account is set up, here are 10 ways you can create an Instagram marketing strategy that’ll help you meet your overall marketing goals.

Identify and understand your target audience

Understanding your audience is an Instagram-marketing 101 strategy because it is fundamental to building your roadmap for Instagram. Developing a deep understanding of your audience's interests and preferences allows you to tailor your content to them. 

You could have multiple target audiences, such as customers and prospects, regulatory boards and even potential hires. You can analyze your audience demographics, behaviors and engagement patterns to create targeted and relevant posts. This helps enhance user engagement and builds a loyal and active community around your brand. 

Pro tip 💡: Getting a clearer picture of your audience can seem impossible, especially when there’s a ton of social media chatter. Luckily, Sprinklr's AI-powered audience insights tool analyzes billions of real-time digital signals from consumers to help you understand your customers more deeply. You can use it to: 

  • Identify your customers’ interest and preferences based on what they read and watch and who they follow online 

  • Reduce costs through custom audience segmentation to figure out and target relevant audience groups 

  • Understand audiences that engage more with your competitors or specific content themes to inform your Instagram strategy 

Sprinklr-s audience engagement dashboard for X (formerly Twitter) displaying popular brands and a segmentation of audience interests (1)

Optimize your Instagram bio

First impressions matter, and that's your bio on Instagram. Make it count with your logo as a profile picture and a compelling description of who you are. Make sure to include relevant keywords in your bio for better discoverability and a link with a clear call to action if you need to. Also, you can now add up to 5 links to your bio. So, don’t forget to guide traffic to destinations like your online store, product pages, blogs, YouTube channel and other social profiles.

A micro influencer-s Instagram profile that has multiple links in the bio

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Create Instagram highlights

Though not technically a part of your bio, Instagram Stories and Highlights are just as important. Since highlights show up just below your bio, they are one of the first things your audience sees, so take care to curate them carefully so you attract maximum interest.

For instance, assume you're a B2B SaaS business in the crypto space. Your highlights should have cohesive covers in your brand colors and on topics such as “The State of Crypto,” “Brand Collaborations,” “Security Tips” and more. 

Here’s another example of how Perfect Keto has highlighted its healthy food:

Perfect Keto-s Instagram profile that has multiple healthy food-related highlights (1)

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Make a plan for your Instagram posts

Benjamin Franklin was correct when he said, "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail."

While sometimes a good social media strategy requires you to be spontaneous and whimsical, it's a good idea to develop an Instagram marketing strategy with a cohesive content plan. This allows you to have a steady pipeline of vetted content. You can create a plan that accommodates sudden, unplanned posts as well.  
 
In addition, ensure that your posts align with your brand’s aesthetics. Ensure you utilize high-quality visuals and have a consistent social media posting schedule. Incorporate a mix of product features, behind-the-scenes glimpses, user-generated content and engaging Instagram Stories. 

Pro tip 💡: Use a social media content calendar tool to organize, schedule and publish content for Instagram and other channels from a single place. These tools also make it easier to collaborate with teams from across the globe, uncover key insights through social listening and manage cross-channel conversations from one inbox. 

Sprinklr social media content calendar displaying a weekly view of scheduled social media posts (1)

 

Practice the art of storytelling

Engaging and entertaining narratives are powerful tools you can use to capture viewer attention. Weave storytelling into your content, whether that's through sharing customer stories, offering behind-the-scenes glimpses of your work culture or demos of your products and services.  

Etsy is a good example of a brand that leverages storytelling in its Instagram marketing strategy. At its core, Etsy is simply an e-commerce marketplace. But it calls itself "a global marketplace for creative and one-of-a-kind goods." Through the visuals and text on its Instagram posts, it weaves a story of how artists from all walks of life can create amazing art and products and find a platform to sell them through Etsy.  

Etsy providing the backstory of a coffee roastery in the description of an Instagram post

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Create an online store on Instagram

B2C brands can leverage Instagram's shopping feature to sell their products directly through an online store, benefitting from shorter sales cycles. If you’re based out of these countries, you could also consider enabling the Instagram checkout feature. 
 
When you set up a shop on Instagram, you’ll have access to seller tools like: 

  • Shops: A customizable digital storefront for businesses directly on Instagram. Potential customers can learn more about the business by tapping “View Shop" on the app.  

  • Product tags: These are tags featuring products from your catalog that can direct customers to purchase those products from your website or in the app. A tab in "Explore" also lets people browse tagged shoppable content from brands and creators. 

  • Collections: These are a set of products that you can curate for your shop to help potential customers find the products they love. 

  • Product detail page: This is a product-focused page that showcases all the relevant information about an item, such as pricing and product descriptions. It's like a product listing anywhere else on the web, except in the Instagram app.  

  • Ads with product tags: You can create new ads with product tags or boost existing shopping posts in Ads Manager and the Instagram app. This helps to increase the reach of your shoppable content.  

The Instagram purchase journey that INK MEETS PAPER has set up on its Instagram profile (1)

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Use hashtags sparingly

Determining the optimal number of hashtags for Instagram growth can be challenging. While using up to 30 hashtags per post and 10 per story is allowed, we recommend using only 3-5 highly relevant hashtags. For more information, check out popular guide on how to use hashtags
 
Contrary to popular belief, the most effective hashtags for Instagram growth are not always the largest or most popular ones. Instead, it's important for brands to make strategic choices on highly targeted and niche hashtags. This helps to clearly define the focus of your Instagram content and sends stronger signals to the algorithm. 

Additionally, these hashtags ensure that your content reaches precisely the right audience. You may not want to use generic and high-traffic but, possibly, irrelevant hashtags like #love, #photooftheday, etc., which have billions of posts each day but will likely reach casual, disinterested viewers. 

Here’s a clear example of what you should be avoiding: 

Hashtag suggestions being displayed under Instagram-s tag search space

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Pro tip 💡: Use a social listening tool to know about the performance of hashtags and curate them in a way that leads to virality. With such a tool, you can perform hashtag listening by creating queries with the relevant hashtags that your brand wants to monitor. Also, the hashtag search function that some of these tools offer lets you find public Instagram posts and reels tagged with a specific hashtag.

Utilize Instagram ads

Incorporating Instagram ads into your Instagram marketing strategy offers you a powerful tool to expand reach and engage deeply with your target audience and drive tangible business results.  
 
How can they help do that?  

  • Increased visibility: Instagram ads allow you to reach a broader audience beyond your existing followers, increasing visibility and brand awareness among potential customers. 

  • Targeted advertising: Instagram's robust targeting options enable businesses to tailor ads based on demographics, interests, behaviors and more, ensuring that your content reaches audience segments that are the most relevant to your business. 

  • Diverse ad formats: Instagram offers various ad formats, including photo ads, video ads, carousel ads and Stories ads. You can choose the format that best suits your content and marketing objectives. 

  • Enhanced engagement: With interactive features, like clickable links, call-to-action (CTA) buttons and the swipe-up functionality in Stories ads, you can drive direct engagement and traffic to your website or landing page. 

  • Measurable results: Instagram's built-in analytics provide insights into ad performance, enabling businesses to track the effectiveness of ads and optimize future campaigns accordingly.

 Pro tip 💡: It might get hard to keep track of your Instagram ads, along with the advertisements you sponsor on other social media platforms. This is where Sprinklr’s social advertising platform can make your life a lot easier. With it, you can:  

  • Streamline your advertising campaign management across 10+ social channels 

  • Gain actionable AI-powered insights for better budget allocation, boosting, bidding and ad rotation 

  • Get a deeper understanding of ad content and creative elements to test, optimize and produce ads at scale 

Ad name and details being filled out in Sprinklr-s Ads Manager dashboard

Monitor analytics and refine strategy

Regularly monitor and analyze Instagram Insights to track the performance of your content. It’s vital to know which posts gathered tons of comments from your audience, how many people liked your reels and how many views your Stories got. Use social media metrics, like engagement, reach, impressions, website clicks and follower growth, to refine your strategy constantly so you’re always one step ahead of your competition. 

Here, a third-party social media management platform with advanced analytics capabilities can be really useful in delivering meaningful insights. Such a tool can help you uncover global trends, measure your organic and paid posts’ performance and gauge the audience’s sentiment around your Insta content. 

Real-time and regional trends being displayed on a Sprinklr dashboard

Dive Deeper: Social Media Analytics Guide to Level up Your ROI

Partner with influencers

Influencer collaboration can be a powerful way to expand your Instagram audience, build customer trust and drive engagement.  
 
Beyond numbers and credibility, influencer collaborations foster a unique level of authenticity and engagement. The personal connection influencers establish with their followers translates into higher levels of engagement. Moreover, these collaborations often result in the creation of user-generated content (UGC), further enhancing the brand's authenticity. 
 
Find and partner with relevant influencers in your niche whose audience matches your target market. Whether they are micro or macro influencers, focus more on your social media engagement metrics and audience relevance than follower counts. If you're a tad confused here, check out our dedicated guide on influencer marketing.

Dr. Adeline Kikam was a great example of an influencer collaboration done right. CeraVe is a skincare brand that focuses on ceramide-based skincare. Dr. Kikam is a board-certified dermatologist with 132K Instagram followers who goes by the moniker “brownskinderm.” Her audience is mostly melanin-rich skincare enthusiasts looking to create a simple but effective skincare routine. CeraVe collaborated with her to showcase brown-skin-friendly skincare that is developed in collaboration with dermatologists.

A dermatologist promoting CeraVe-s skincare products on an Instagram post

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Pro tip 💡: Use an influencer marketing platform to find the ideal influencer for your brand, increase your reach, create more relatable and high-performing content and get more bang for your buck from your marketing campaigns.

5 Instagram marketing tools to supercharge your Instagram strategy 

While Instagram is a great platform, certain external tools can help get your Instagram content strategy to the next level. In this section, we’ll explore 5 Instagram marketing tools:

1. Sprinklr Social

Sprinklr Social offers a comprehensive toolkit for managing all aspects of social media across 30+ channels, enabling businesses to create content, engage customers, drive revenue and analyze performance — all in one place.  

Sprinklr-s Engagement Dashboard showcasing post activity and data for multiple social channels (1)

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Key features of Sprinklr: 

  • Omnichannel dashboard: Sprinklr provides a centralized hub for managing 30+ social media and messaging channels, including Instagram, offering a unified view of interactions and analytics. 

  • Social listening: Sprinklr's social listening capabilities help you monitor brand mentions, industry trends and competitor insights across all connected platforms in real time. 

  • Unify and collaborate: Brands can streamline operation and boost efficiency by unifying data under one platform. This allows smooth collaboration across sales, marketing, advertising and customer service teams.  

  • Analytics: Its robust analytics and reporting features provide detailed insights into the performance of Instagram campaigns, helping businesses refine their strategies based on data-driven decisions. 

  • Engagement dashboard: Sprinklr enables streamlined customer engagement through a centralized inbox, sentiment analysis, automated routing and responses as well as AI-powered compliance monitoring. 

  • Campaign management: Businesses can efficiently plan, execute, and analyze Instagram campaigns within Sprinklr Social. 

  • Sprinklr AI: You can automate your social media management with the industry-leading Sprinklr AI+ offering and generate content quicker with the best generative AI capabilities.  

  • Enterprise-grade governance: Maintain brand integrity through customizable approval workflows, pre-defined governance rules and streamlined moderation processes.

Customer Story: A large North American bank empowered its sales teams to use social media and achieved $69 million in revenue through social selling

2. Canva

Canva-s home page showcasing the multiple formats of content that can be designed on the platform

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With its simple content creation tools, Canva empowers users to design high-quality content for any channel. Users can design Instagram posts, Stories and highlight covers with easy-to-use templates. They can also access a vast library of free and paid photos, illustrations, videos and other design elements. 

While it offers free and paid plans, Canva's paid version unlocks additional features like transparent backgrounds and brand kits.  

Key features of Canva:  

  • User-friendly design tools: Canva offers a wide range of easy-to-use design tools that even beginners with no design background can use. It offers a simple drag-and-drop functionality, along with rich customizable templates. 

  • Template library: Canva has at least 10-12 professionally designed and (best of all) free templates for whatever you need to create graphics or videos for. This includes social media posts, Instagram Stories, posters, invitations and more.  

  • Customization options: Canva allows users to customize templates and design elements to suit their preferences. This includes adjusting colors, fonts, layouts and images to create personalized designs. 

  • Collaboration tools: Canva lets you share and edit designs with team members in real time. 

Learn More: Comprehensive Guide on Social Media Content Creation 

3. Linktree

Linktree-s -Links- tab displaying the -Add New Link- and -Explore Links- options

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Linktree simplifies the challenge of sharing multiple links in your Instagram bio by creating a single, customizable landing page. This landing page can house various links, making it easier for your audience to surf through your website, blog or specific product pages. Additionally, Linktree plans offer template customization options and access to analytics for tracking engagement and clicks.  

Key features of Linktree:  

  • Multiple link management: While Insta allows you to add up to 5 links in the bio as of now, Linktree helps you aggregate multiple links into one customizable landing page. This simplifies sharing multiple URLs on social media platforms like Instagram.  

  • Customizable landing page: You can personalize your Linktree landing page with brand colors, logos and backgrounds. This helps ensure consistency and cohesiveness with your overall branding.  

  • Analytics: You have access to analytics (though they are fairly basic) to track clicks and traffic sources.

4. Kicksta

Kicksta-s landing page showcasing a brief product value proposition and options like -Login- and -Choose A Plan-

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Kicksta helps businesses grow their Instagram following organically. Kicksta does this without automated bots or fake followers and, instead, engages with real users based on specific targeting criteria.  

Businesses define their target audience, such as users with similar interests or followers of relevant accounts. Kicksta then engages with these users on behalf of the client, aiming to attract genuine, interested followers. 

Key features of Kicksta:  

  • Smart automation: Kicksta uses smart automation techniques to like posts from potential followers, increasing visibility and encouraging them to check out your profile and follow back. 

  • Avoidance of private accounts: Kicksta typically avoids engaging with private accounts to maintain transparency and ensure the interactions are with real users. 

5. Hashtagsforlikes

HashtagsforLikes- landing page showcasing a brief product value proposition

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Hashtagsforlikes is a hashtag research tool designed to help you discover optimal hashtags for your posts. It analyzes competitors, influencers and targeted hashtags and recommends trending options for you to compile and save. 

This time-saving tool doesn't require a connection to your social media account. However, brands must remember to prioritize relevant and high-performing hashtags for your specific audience.  

Key features of Hashtagsforlikes: 

  • Analytics: Hashtagsforlikes offers built-in analytics to track hashtag performance, including reach, engagement and impressions. This helps you identify which hashtags are most effective for your content. 

  • Hashtag sets: You can curate and save sets of hashtags for different types of content or campaigns, streamlining the process of including relevant hashtags in posts. 

Simplify your Instagram marketing and advertising within 30 days 

You can turn conversations into revenue faster with Sprinklr Social by activating a 30-day free trial. Powered by AI-powered conversation suggestions, comprehensive social listening tools and seamless integration across 30+ channels, Sprinklr Social enables your social media team to work smarter, not harder.

What can Sprinklr Social do?  

  • Activate AI-powered social listening insights for your social media teams 

  • Streamline workflow with integrated AI bots on all channels, including chat and messaging 

  • Drive purchases and generate more revenue with conversational commerce  

  • Enable your distributed teams to gain quick account summaries with Sprinklr Distributed 

Social media accounts being added on Sprinklr
  • Monitor how your account and posts are performing and how your audience is engaging with them with Sprinklr's Engagement Dashboard 

A post scorecard on Sprinklr
  • Amplify your brand reach by up to 8x by turning employees into advocates 

  • Turn social into a revenue driver with a 1:1 chat-based commerce experience 

Final thoughts 

Instagram is an incredible tool for businesses of all sizes and types. Analyzing your target audience and tailoring your content and strategy accordingly can help you master Instagram marketing. However, cultivating genuine relationships and maintaining brand authenticity is crucial for fostering a loyal community around your brand on social media. In this regard, data is your friend. Leverage data analytics to refine your strategies and measure success constantly.  

While various tools can help you here, Sprinklr Social emerges as a comprehensive and trusted AI-powered suite. From social listening to automated conversations and seamless multi-channel management, Sprinklr empowers users to engage with audiences and turn those interactions into tangible results. 

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