Instagram is one of the world’s most popular social media platforms. Not only is it used by millions of individual users every single day, but it has also become an essential part of the digital marketing strategies of businesses large and small throughout the world.

The latest data from Datareportal suggests that there are 1.44 billion active users on Instagram in 2022 – 23.1% of the total population aged 13 and above.

According to Hootsuite, this places Instagram as the fourth most popular social media platform behind Facebook YouTube and WhatsApp in terms of daily global active users. Instagram also claims its spot in the top ten most visited websites in the world, clocking in at number nine on that prestigious list.

This all supports the reason why many businesses are turning to Instagram as part of their digital marketing strategy.

Despite its obvious popularity, however, that doesn’t mean that Instagram is right for every business. Like any marketing channel, social media platforms need to be assessed on their merits.

The key factors in determining whether Instagram is the best platform for your business include:

  • Target audience – who are you targeting with your content? 18-24-year-olds make up the biggest share of Instagram’s audience (60%) so it’s important to consider whether your target audience is using Instagram.
  • Visual content – do you have visual content that is suitable for Instagram? News content, for example, is not very popular on Instagram with one one-in-ten US adults saying that they seek out news on Instagram.
  • Video content – video content is becoming hugely popular on Instagram with 9 out of 10 users watching Instagram videos weekly.
  • Frequency of posting – on average, business accounts post 1.6 times a day on Instagram – do you have the time to create that amount of content?

If you don’t tick the boxes above, there is a good chance that Instagram might not be the best platform for your business.

Know your audience

When you are evaluating whether Instagram is the best platform for your business, it’s important to know who you are trying to target. Whilst the majority of people using Instagram are aged 18-24, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use the platform if this isn’t your main target audience. It just means that you have to understand that your reach might not be as high as other brands and you need to set your expectations accordingly.

Whilst TikTok is a booming social media platform for the younger generation, data suggests that Instagram is still the most popular social platform for Gen Z’ers. If they form part of your target audience, then Instagram might be the best place to reach them.

Visual Content

If you’re a business that doesn’t have a lot of visual content, then Instagram might not be for you. If you have a website that is full of stock imagery, then it is likely that you don’t have enough unique visual content to share with your audience.

Of course, there are exceptions to this. Many brands make their own visual content, even if what they sell isn’t necessarily that visual. Betway Casino and Sports Betting have curated a fantastic Instagram profile that consistently displays content about the brand in a highly visual way that is completely different from their website experience. With many of their target audience sitting in the 18-24-year-old range, Instagram is the perfect platform to attract new people to their website and by providing visual content in the form of tips and sports guides, they are able to reach customers in a different way.

Video Content

Video content is becoming an increasingly important part of your digital marketing mix with 9 out of 10 Instagram users watching video content every week. Whilst video content is not a make-or-break factor when deciding whether Instagram is the right platform for your business, it definitely helps to increase your reach and engagement if you can publish video content to your channel.

Stories are another key element of Instagram with over 500 million accounts using Instagram Stories every day. According to Instagram data, 58% of users say they are more interested in a brand after seeing it in a Story. Stories are also super engaging with stats showing an 86% completion rate for brand stories.

Frequency of posting

One of the things that holds businesses back when it comes to success on Instagram is their lack of consistency when it comes to posting. Any business looking to take the plunge with Instagram needs to have a comprehensive content plan and look to post something new at least once a day. This is what users have come to expect and it is an important part of keeping your brand fresh.

Follower growth is an important part of growing your brand on the platform and the frequency with which you post will help to build that audience. The average Instagram business account grows its followers by 1.69% every month and this can only be achieved by posting on a regular basis.

Summary

When businesses get it right on Instagram, the results can be huge. 1 in 2 people has used Instagram to discover new brands and 44% of people use Instagram to shop weekly now – a figure that continues to grow.

Instagram is not for every business, but when done well, it can become one of your most valuable digital platforms.