Near about 5 days ago, Instagram officially announced tools for its business users. The new tools include business profiles, analytics and ability to turn Instagram posts to ads directly from the Insta app itself. The launch comes following a series of leaks that largely confirms the details that we already know.
The company engaged with numerous business using its platform before developing the tool in order to determine what needs are currently being served and the gap that exists to be fulfilled. Business owners expected something interactive from Instagram that could make their profiles and posts stand out and tools that could help them understand their prospects and current customers. The requirement led to the creation of business profiles, Insights (analytics) and new tools to promote posts.
As said by the Global Head of Business and Brand Development, James Quarles, “we have grown to 200,000 active advertisers on Instagram, and the vast majority of those are SMEs.” While explaining the need for a specialized set of tools for business owners, he added, “fifty percent of people follow a business on Instagram and sixty percent learn about basic products and services on Instagram.”
The new business profiles will allow a particular segment of Instagram users to upgrade their accounts in order to gain access and try the extended features. The extended features include the ability to customers to reach out via telephone calls, emails of text messages with a tap. All the profile with extended features will include maps and directions to the business, if and when applicable.
It is to be noted that not everyone will qualify as a business on Instagram. Only those who already have a Facebook page for their business will be able to upgrade their accounts.
“In doing that, it gives us the payment credentials, as well as if they want to prepopulate some of the information like their street address, the phone number, and the website,” says Quarles.
It also means that self-promoters who use the mobile app service to gain popularity and followers with any commercial interest will not be allowed to use Insta’s most desirable new tools, like that of the insights. However, this might change in future. Instagram plans to start testing Insights with verified accounts and accounts with the bigger following and might roll out the feature for them later on.
Businesses will now be able to track their posts and their engagement along with other details like that of audience’s demographics through Insights. Other elements that any business will analyze includes top posts, reach impressions, engagement along with follower data like gender age location etc. Bigger businesses will be able to use this feature on the go, through the mobile app whereas smaller businesses use it as their primary way of tracking their performance on Instagram.
Lastly, Instagram is now entering in the mobile ad creation league. Users will be able to promote their well-performing posts and quickly turn their posts into ads. The mobile app also offers suggestions on audiences and budget. The tool is specifically designed for business and can be used with fewer taps.
Also through the roll out of new features, business owners will now be able to use the tools and define and save custom audiences based on the date from their Facebook user data and profiles. Moreover, the company is also trying to close the loop related to ad performances.
“We would love to get to a place where we partner with [businesses] to try and track the traffic… a place in the future where we know someone has actually visited the store,” says Quarles.
Business profiles will roll out in the “coming months” in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, and will reach all regions worldwide by the end of the year.