…But Only for Brands with a $200,000 Budget
Instagram is one of the hottest new social networks out there at the moment, and businesses have just started to grapple with how to use the platform to acquire new customers. One of the great challenges was that Instagram, unlike Pinterest, did not offer direct links back to a brand’s website.
That’s all changing now – sort of. Instagram recently introduced direct links, but only for those companies currently participating in its exclusive advertising program. The entry fee for Instagram ads is currently set at $200,000, which makes it impossible for all but the biggest brands to take advantage of these new features.
Those that do participate, however, can now link an Instagram ad to a specific product page on their website, for example. Big brands can purchase a carousel of images that includes a direct link button at the end. Banana Republic was the first to take advantage of the new features and has been followed by several other big brands.
For now, though, these features remain out of reach for most businesses. Instagram has been extremely cautious about integrating e-commerce into its platform and there’s no indication that it will become an e-commerce force in the vein of Pinterest any time soon. And there’s definitely no sign that ordinary people and bloggers will be able to incorporate links.
What You Can Do
Even if you don’t have the budget necessary to make use of Instagram ads, your business can still use Instagram to discover new customers and develop brand loyalty. Follow these tips for some ideas about how you can utilize Instagram:
- Robert Glazer offered tips recently in Entrepreneur for businesses looking to take advantage of this new social media storefront.
- Check out the Instagram for Business website for inspiration from other brands on how you might be able to use the platform organically.
- Read through their case studies to see how other businesses have found success.
- Follow the Instagram for Business blog.