8 Instagram Features That Help Businesses Grow Online

8 Instagram Features That Help Businesses Grow Online

Do you know that your favorite photo and video sharing app has become the fanciest online shopping hub?

Do you know that your favorite photo and video sharing app has become the fanciest online shopping hub? Guess it’s no secret anymore!

Instagram is the 4th most used application by mobile users. The reason being, its revolutionary new features. 

Surprisingly, 1 billion+ people visit this application monthly because of the never-ending lust for exploring new content, tools, and insightful features.  

Luckily some people have leveraged this platform into a marketing opportunity to draw sales, and no kidding, Instagram is encouraging it. 

In this article, you will learn how to use the new Instagram features to grow your business. 

So, let’s get started!

Best Instagram Features To Grow Your Business Crazy

Currently, more than 200 million active business accounts are leveraging Instagram features.

Therefore, I have put together a list of the top 8 Instagram features that can help you generate sales and conversions.

To get started, you need to have a business account. 

#1 Business Profile 

It all started in 2016 when Instagram decided to make the business owners’ lives easier by introducing the “Instagram business account feature”. 

By switching your public profile to a business handle, you get access to:

  • Instagram insights: how your posts are performing 
  • Contact details: add your email address and contact number
  • Instagram advertisement: boost posts & stories from your account
  • Swipe-up links to Instagram stories: divert traffic to your site

If you don’t have a business profile on Instagram, you might be missing out on a huge opportunity. 

There-there settle in. I will be telling you about the new Instagram features but first, let’s set up your business profile. 

Step 1: Go to the IG app, switch your account to public. Open the settings option, tap on the account section. 

settings-insta-account 

Step 2: Scroll to the bottom. You will find a blue call-to-action button switch account type. 

switch-insta-account-step 

Step 3: Tap on switch account type, select the business account option. 

switch-insta-account-business-step

Step 4: Fill in the contact info (email & contact no), add your website URL; finally, mention something quirky in bio, and you are set. 

Pro Tip: Before adding the site’s URL, run it through Rankwatch’s free Website Analyzer tool and check its SEO performance. Make sure everything is on-point for the best results.

The moment you set up a business profile and start using its tools, the audience will come running to your handle like a moth to flame. 

But there’s more to what you should know about linking URLs in your Instagram profile. 

#2 Link In Bio URLs

The name “link in bio” points to the clickable URL that you can include in your profile section. 

This Instagram feature presents you with an opportunity to add a link to your website, product page, content, etc. 

When users click on it, they get directed to your linked URL. It gives you more engagement, traffic, and conversions.

dws-global-link-in-bio

Source: DWS Global

Adding the link in your bio is easy. You need to follow these small steps: 

Step 1: Tap on edit profile. 

Step 2: Mention the URL in the website field.

Step 3: Click on save to secure the changes.

edit-profile-instagram

Source: Limewire

And we are done here!

Now, even though you can gain immense traffic for your website, the biggest drawback to your link in bios feature is that you cannot include more than one link. 

That’s a bummer! 

Although you can save the day using tools, I have mentioned the top 3 tools that can put together all the essential links from different landing pages and share them via a single URL.

Names of the tools are:

These are beneficial tools to direct your target audience to desired URLs and help your business grow. 

bigcatcreative-account

Source: Squarespace

Example: This writer, @bigcatcreative, has made it very easy for her users to find what’s new and helpful on her website for the target audience. 

Therefore she added her blog listing, website link, Facebook, contact information, etc., and has saved all of them on Linktree as a single link. 

You can do that too!

After setting up your profile and adding links to your bio, you should start using Instagram’s Stories feature. 

#3 Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is a slideshow of photos and videos on your Instagram account that will vanish after 24 hours.

It consists of various features like stickers, music, doodles, countdown, swipe-ups, and many more that can help you educate and entertain your audience. 

The benefits of using the Instagram story feature include: 

  • Generating leads for your services 
  • Improving brand visibility and credibility
  • Interacting with the followers
  • Reaching the non-followers 
  • Increasing your account’s engagement 

500 million people, 70% of Instagram active users, watch stories daily. And you are missing out on this vast audience. 

You can easily draw people to your profile by regularly posting a few stories. 

So, here are a few tips to use the Instagram stories feature to interact with the audience:

  1. Use relevant hashtags 
  2. Add polling and question stickers 
  3. Place swipe up for your new product or blog post 
  4. Play latest music tracks 
  5. Reshare user-generated content 
  6. Share behind the scene and mention the location/ time
  7. Apply doodles and funny stickers
  8. Employ AR effects (filters) while creating a video

Here are samples of Instagram stories to give you some ideas: 

keyhole-insta-stories-posts

Source: Keyhole

Hope that’s easy. To make even more out of your stories, Instagram provides you with the highlights feature.

#4 Highlights

The highlights feature on Instagram enables you to extend the life of stories and retain them on your profile for more than 24 hours. 

All you need to do is pull up archived stories, arrange them as highlights on your profile, and name them.

dws-instagram-account

Source: DWS Global

Here’s how you can create some flashy highlights:

Step 1: Open your Instagram app

Step 2: Tap on the thumbnail of your profile picture in the bottom right corner

Step 3: Click the plus sign above “New” 

Step 4: Choose the best stories from the archived section. 

Step 5: Click “Next” after selecting stories to be used as highlights

Step 5: Place a cover photo and name the highlight and click on “Add”

Voila, and that’s how you do it

One last thing, Instagram highlights will benefit you in the longer run by helping you to: 

  • Build your brand
  • Give insight into who you are as a business

Provide a better connection with your target audience. Although, there are various other ways to use the highlight feature.

I have given you the direction. You can optimize your account as per your requirement and be as creative as possible. 

You made it halfway; let’s see what’s next!

#5 Live Rooms

Live rooms were the most requested feature introduced by Instagram in March 2021. 

It is the new way of going live on Instagram with 2-3 guests, and it also allows brands to reach their new audience, draw massive sales, and catch up with their community. 

Quite interesting, right! If you want to try this Instagram new feature for your business, here are the steps: 

Step 1: Open the “Live” mode icon in the Instagram stories camera. 

video-option-instagram-marketing-strategy-tools

Source: Ctfassets

 
Step 2: Name your live room by clicking on the “Left Aligned” icon on the left-hand side of the screen.

instagram-video-options

Source: Ctfassets

Step 3: Tap the live icon to start the streaming. 

Step 4: Select the “Video” icon to add all of your guests simultaneously.

creating-video-in-instagram.ong

Source: Ctfassets

 

With that, you can easily go live and use it for your benefit. 

But way before you invite your guest, set the agenda for your live streaming. Give a brief introduction about your live session to make the audience well-aware of the topic. 

For example: 

  1. It can be a session of promoting and selling your products.

  2. It can be an educational webinar or question & answer session with an expert.

    ask-me-anything-instagram

    Source: Yimg

  3. It can be an individual’s live performance to entertain your audience.

    instagram-live-jessie-j

    Source: Dailymail

You can have millions of sessions, but it should be about your niche. Always be clear on what you want to convey to your audience.

After you’ve mastered using the live rooms, try out Instagram’s map search feature. 

#6 Map Search

Map Search is a new Instagram business account feature launched in September 2021 to help businesses increase their discoverability.

Instagram map search enables online users to discover businesses and locations of interest on the in-app map.

It allows you to access the pictures that other people have uploaded in nearby places of their interest, enabling them to find new places.

So, it builds a more direct link between Instagram and businesses.

discover-places-instagram-feature

Source: Wordsteam

The two ways to use the map search feature are:

1. Searching for hashtags

2.  Browsing via the Instagram explore tab

And when users do so, they explore your profile and might even become your customer.

If a follower chooses to buy from you, you have another Instagram feature to your rescue: Instagram Shopping.

#7 Instagram Shopping 

It’s no surprise that 130 million people tap on an Instagram shopping post every month, and the hunger for social shopping is simply increasing day by day.

Instagram shopping is the foremost beneficial and profitable feature for businesses because it is an excellent way to showcase your product catalog and drive sales.

byhumankind-instagram-account

Source: Ctfassets

By tagging goods in your posts to create an Instagram Shop, you will encourage followers to convert into customers in no time. 

And the best part is that the Instagram shopping feature streamlines the long process of purchasing products from a shop, and you can do it without leaving your favorite app.

This feature can revolutionize the approach towards advertising and drawing sales via it. 

Lastly, you need to keep track of the progress rate of your Instagram small business. Therefore, you will need data and insights for help. 

#8 Professional Dashboard

Instagram provides an all-new professional dashboard to help you track your profile’s performance. It also brings you new tools and resources to measure your efforts and grow your brand. 

instagram-marketing-strategy-dashboard

Source: Wordstream

P.S: You can follow the Instagram for Business handle for the latest trends and updates. 

The perks of using the professional dashboard are:

  • Access to free tools to manage your handle
  • Learn about Instagram’s latest tips and tricks through curated educational resources
  • Discover the wide variety of Instagram analytics: insights

If you use all the Instagram features in the right way, you are sure to gain a lot of traction and growth for your business.

Conclusion

Instagram is no different from Google; both companies compete against their updates to better their user experience. 

So, you might get to see many old features disappearing and a lot of new features joining the Instagram app.

But for every case, you must lay out an Instagram marketing strategy. 

With an efficient and effective strategy, you are sure to grow your business crazy!

Also, do let me know about your favorite part of the article in the comments. Don’t forget to mention the most helpful Instagram features you have come across. 

About Sahil Kakkar

Sahil is the CEO and Founder of Rankwatch - a platform, which helps companies and brands stay ahead with their SEO efforts in the ever growing internet landscape. He keeps sharing his knowledge and experiences on the RankWatch blog, and likes making creative products that can help in automation of mundane tasks. You can connect with him and the Rankwatch team on Facebook or Twitter.