Instagram is the O.G. with more than 2 billion active users per month as of Q4 2021 (up 20% since 2018). Instagram is the O.G. of social media marketing and a trendsetter in this field. Instagram has shaped social commerce, the creator economy and how brands use social networks for more than a decade.

How can you use Instagram marketing for your business growth in 2022?

Are you looking for Instagram ads (or worse, dancing Reels) to be successful? How can you make the most of Instagram’s shopping tools

No matter what industry you are in, Instagram can help you grow your business online.

Bonus Get a free checklist that shows the exact steps a fitness blogger used to grow their Instagram following from 0 to 600,000.

What is Instagram marketing?

Instagram marketing is the practice and art of using Instagram to increase brand awareness, audience, leads, sales, and conversions. Instagram is the most popular social media platform among people aged 16-34. It is also a great marketing platform for entrepreneurs and creators.

These are some of the Instagram marketing strategies:

  • Organic content: Photos, videos, or carousel post, Reels and Stories
  • Paid content: Instagram ads (including Stories ads, Shopping ads and more)
  • Marketing to Influencers
  • Shopping tools: Shop tab. Product tags and catalogue, Live shopping, Instagram Checkout. Shopping ads

How to set up Instagram marketing

Here’s how to get your company’s Instagram account started.

Create an Instagram Business account

You will need an Instagram Business account to be able to use many of the marketing tips here. It’s free and you can convert an existing Personal account or create a new one.

Skip to Step 3 if you already have a Personal account.

Step 1: Download Instagram

Only a mobile device can be used to create an account.

  • Get it for iOS
  • Get it for Android

Step 2: Create a personal account

Tap To create a new account. Follow the prompts and enter your email address and phone number. Choose a username or password. You don’t have to complete the rest of your profile yet (more on how you can optimize it later).

Step 3: Change your account to a business one

Open the menu by going to your profile. Go to Settings, and select Switch to a professional account at the bottom. Follow the prompts to convert your account.

Verify your identity

Most companies are not verified. Research shows that 73.4% are verified by creators and brands with more than a million followers, while only 0.87% are verified by those with 1,000-5,000 followers.

While you don’t necessarily need the little blue checkmark to be successful with Instagram, it can help you gain trust and stand out.

Apply for Instagram verification

1. Open the menu in the app. Click Settings then Account and Request Verification.


2. Complete the form.

In about one week, you will receive your answer via notification in Instagram. Instagram will never contact you by email, request payment, or in any other way.

If your verification request fails, you can request another one within 30 days. Hooray! You’re now part of the elite Insta club,

Verification is difficult if you don’t have enough third-party content. In our complete guide to getting verified, we cover how to get that supporting content.

Try Instagram ads

Advertising can make a huge difference in your marketing strategy. Even simple ads can have a big impact, such as Country Bean’s 3-week campaign that resulted in a 16% increase in sales.

There are two ways to start Instagram ads.

The simple way: Boost a Post

Click the Boost Post button to turn any Instagram post into an advertisement. To make an ad, you must have a Creator or Business account.

This is exactly the same as Facebook’s “boost” feature. Meta now owns both companies so you will need to connect your Instagram account with Meta Business Suite.

Click Boost to create your Instagram ad. Follow the prompts to set your budget and narrow your target audience. Set a duration.

You can set Instagram to automatically target your ads or customize the targeting options. Boosted post is a great way to get your feet wet in the advertising world. If this is new to you, keep it on auto mode.

Go big: Launch an entire Instagram ad campaign

Step 1 – Log in to Meta Business Suite

Click on Ads from the left menu, then Make an ad from the top right.

Step 2 – Choose a goal

Remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books? It’s the same thing, but for marketing.

Automated Ads can be a good choice for a first campaign. Instagram will optimize your budget to get the best results. They also auto-adjust your targeting strategy and bidding strategy based on your audience’s reactions. It’s like having an assistant who works 24 hours a day.

You can also experiment with ad targeting yourself if you have a goal.

Step 3 – Create your ads

The prompts for creating your ad are different depending on the goal, but the next step is to create it. This is the next step for the goal “Build your business”.

You should have at most 2-3 ad groups with 3 or more ads each for a well-rounded campaign.

Many ad formats allow Instagram to automatically switch out your creative assets to optimize ad performance. It’s similar to having an integrated A/B testing system. To take advantage of this, you can add multiple creative assets to each ad.

If you sell products online, make sure to include a mix photo, video, Stories ads and Reels ads. You can try different ad copy and calls-to-action.

Make sure you have ads for every stage of the buyer’s journey from consideration to conversion.

Step 4: Define your audience

Every time you read “define audience” in a marketing article, take a picture.

Targeting is crucial to the success of your ad. Meta Business Suite offers five options:

You can target:

  • Advantage Audience (Recommended for beginners! ): Meta’s AI-optimized audience is based on your account audience and automatically updates itself as your audience changes. It analyzes the interests and demographics of your followers.
  • Choose the people you want: Create your own audience starting from scratch. You can include location, demographics, and interests.
  • People who have previously engaged with ads or posts: Create an ad-hoc retargeting campaign that reminds people who know you about your offer.
  • Page likes: Targets existing Facebook Pages and Instagram followers.
  • Page likes and similar: This will allow you to target people that the algorithm believes are similar to your audience to bring in new leads.

If you are new to advertising, the Advantage audience option is a good choice. Learn more about how to target your ads. Our Facebook ad targeting guide also applies to Instagram ads.

Step 5: Set your budget

You will need to decide on a budget and a duration for each targeting option. The right side will show you the expected results of your options in clicks and estimated reach.

Step 6 – Launch

Finally, you can choose whether your ad will appear only on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger or across all three platforms. We recommend that you run it on all platforms.

Click Promo Now to save your Instagram ad campaign and launch it. Woo!

It is not easy to run a successful advertising campaign. For great tips on creating amazing ads in 2022, check out our detailed Instagram ads guide.

Add an Instagram Shop to Your Account

Ecommerce businesses need to have the Instagram Shopping Tools. 44% of Instagram users shop on the platform weekly, and 1 in 2 use Instagram for finding new brands.

You will find tips on how to use Instagram Shopping in the next section. However, you must first add the Shop tab to Instagram.

This allows you to create an Instagram shoppable product catalogue, tag and link products in your Stories and posts, and much more.


Step 1: Ensure you meet Instagram Shopping requirements

Meta’s merchant policies must be adhered to by brands using Shopping features. While you may be doing everything correctly, it is a good idea that you review Meta’s commerce policies before applying.

Step 2: Register for Commerce Manager

You will need a Meta Commerce Manager account to create your Instagram Shop. First, you need to have a Meta Commerce Manager account. After that, you can sign up in one of the following ways:

Through your online ecommerce platform

You may only need to click a button to create your Instagram Shop if your website is on Shopify, Magento or WooCommerce.

Each platform is different, so make sure to check Meta’s list for instructions.

Manually through Commerce Manager

You shouldn’t use any of these? It’s easy and quick to sign up.

Log in to Meta Business Suite, and click Commerce on the left navigation.

Click Create Account. To begin the manual setup process, click Next on the next page.

First, choose a checkout option.

  1. Check out your website.
  2. You can shop directly on Facebook and/or Instagram. (Recommendation, but currently only available to U.S-based companies.
  3. You can check out via Messenger or WhatsApp.

Click Next to select the Instagram and Facebook profiles that you wish to create your Shop. Click Next to create a new product catalogue.

It will ask you to enter your website URL, as well as the countries to which you ship. The last page summarizes all your information. Make sure it is accurate and then click Finish Setup.

Step 3: Wait for approval

Instagram reviews all Commerce Manager applications manually. You should hear back within a few days.

Are you eager to learn while your waiting? Learn how to tag products in Hootsuite posts and the next steps to optimize Instagram Shop.

18 tips to make Instagram marketing a success

1. S.M.A.R.T. Social media goals

The specific, measurable and achievable goals that are relevant, relevant, and timely. What is your Instagram account supposed to do for your business?

Here are some examples:

  • Lead generation
  • Brand awareness
  • Recruitment

Your company’s goals are unique, however. The most important thing? Make sure you have some.

Learn how to create social media goals that are directly connected to your marketing strategy.

2. Optimize your profile

There is a lot to be covered here. Check out our step-by-step recommendations for optimizing your Instagram profile.

At a minimum, make sure yours has the following:

  • A captivating Instagram bio that summarizes your brand.
  • Call to action: Click your bio link to get started
  • A high-quality profile photo (a headshot, logo)
  • Stories highlights and well-designed covers.

Digital marketing isn’t set in stone. Don’t worry about creating the perfect Instagram profile. You can always make changes later.

Remember, it’s what’s in the inside that matters most. Your actual Instagram post content.

3. Graphics are more fun

Instagram is a visual platform. Although it is unrealistic to expect a small business with limited resources to be as successful as a large corporation, you must still create captivating posts that will attract your audience.

You should also consider hiring a professional photographer for product shots.

  • Source inclusive stock photography such as Vice’s Gender Spectrum Collection or others that showcase the full human experience. (Here are some more stock photo sites.
  • Popular Instagram Reels ideas. Are you unsure where to begin? Use the Reels template.
  • You can improve your style by using graphic templates. You can hire a designer to create them or use an app such as Adobe Express.

4. Encourage user-generated content

How do you increase your Instagram followers for free? User-generated content.

Encourage your followers and friends to share photos and videos of your products. While not every shot will be Ansel Adams worthy, you can’t beat authentic customer photos and stories.

This is made easy by Instagram’s Tagged tab. It shows you all the posts that have been tagged in your name by other users. There is a way to hide the crème de la creme tags. This is done by enabling manual approval for tagged photos.

Instead of creating a mess, curate user-generated content that suits your aesthetic.


5. Create a brand identity

Style is everything. Although your audience won’t give up their wallets just because you look good, it is important to have a cohesive profile.

Why? Because they will instantly recognize your posts from their Instagram feeds, even before they see the account name. They will recognize your style. This is branding at work.

6. …But don’t worry too much about aesthetics

While it is important to have a distinct look that attracts the right audience, style without substance is not a strategy. 58% of Instagram users like it when brands share raw, unpolished content.

Do not let fear of your content looking “pretty” stop you. Post it anyway.

7. Create a unique brand voice

Your brand voice is the one thing that must always be on point, no matter how raw or not.

Your voice is heard in everything you communicate.

  • Captions
  • How do you appear on video
  • Key terms that you should use
  • When representing your company, how people speak on camera
  • Your bio copy
  • Text in videos and reels

It’s not just what you say but how you say it. Are you casual and light-hearted, or serious and scientific? You can keep things lighthearted with jokes or stick to the facts. There’s no wrong way to do it, but you must be consistent.

Your social media brand guidelines should include your brand voice and tone.

8. Reels are a great option

Reels seem to be all that you see on Instagram now. This is because they get engagement. An experiment revealed a significant correlation between posting Reels and an immediate increase in overall engagement.

Some may not get many views, but that’s okay. It’s worth it.

Reels can be done by anyone, it just takes practice. We have tons of resources to make your reel reel-y (ugh!) great:

  • Instagram Reels in 2022: A Simple Guide For Businesses
  • Instagram Reels Algorithm – Everything You Need To Know
  • Instagram Reels Tutorial: 10 Editing Techniques You Need to Know
  • 15 Unique Instagram Reels Ideas for Your Business

9. Use Stories

While Reels are newer, Instagram Stories aren’t going anywhere. Stories are popular for informal content and allow you to build relationships with your audience in a unique manner.

It doesn’t take much more effort to see a significant impact. A year-long study showed that when companies shared one Story per week, it led to a 100% retention rate.

Stories are used by 500 million people every day. Although I don’t know much about math, it is important that 100% of your audience remembers your content. This could potentially reach 500 million people. This is a simple concept.

You can find tips and tricks to help you create Instagram Stories ads that are effective.

10. Highlights of useful stories

Stories last for 24 hours. However, your Stories highlights can be saved forever.

Highlights are great for quickly communicating a lot of information in a short video format. 61% of Gen Zers, Millennials prefer videos less than 1 minute.

Plus, adding Stories highlights allows you to repurpose Story content and keep it relevant.

For a new product launch, or other event, you might add a temporary highlight. You can leave the most important information, such as ordering or FAQ, up for future reference.

You will be able to create memorable Stories highlights with the following:

  • Short, clear titles
  • Cover designs that reflect your brand
  • They will only feature the best of your content


11. Use Stories tools

Instagram allows you to easily link to your products and services, regardless of whether Commerce Manager is installed. You can also engage with your followers.

Tap the smiley sticker-thing to access the ever-expanding Stories Toolbox

Try these:

  • Product tags If your Instagram Shop has a product tag, you can tag your products in Stories. Users can tap on the product name to checkout in-app.
  • Links These Links can be used to direct people to any URL. This is especially useful if you don’t have an Instagram Shop. You can still link to your products from external sites.
  • Questions: Get fast and valuable feedback.
  • Gift cards and more: Depending on the type of your account, users can order food delivery or gift cards directly from a Story.

Hootsuite makes it easy for you to schedule Instagram Stories ahead of time, with all the special tools you need.

12. Keep up-to-date with hashtags

To hashtag or not hashtag? Is it better to endure the highs and lows associated with the algorithm or to take on a sea of content?

You can add up 30 hashtags to an Instagram post. However, a 2021 experiment showed that more hashtags don’t get you more views. Instagram’s @creators account recommended that you limit your posts to 3-5 images per post last year.

What about 2022?

This week, I conducted a casual experiment on my account that showed the opposite effect. I used between 15 and 20 hashtags per post to increase my reach.

What does this all mean?

TL:DR: Science can be hard. No one knows how many hashtags on Instagram are “the perfect amount.” You should experiment with this regularly.

For tips on what’s hot right now, check out our Instagram hashtag guide.

13. Reply to comments and DMs

Engage with your audience! Respond to their messages, comments, and carrier pigeons.

You see a higher engagement rate in your analytics reports. No! Reply your followers because it is the right thing to.

It can also increase your engagement rate. It encourages potential customers to have conversations with you. These conversations will influence their purchase decisions and build their perception of your brand.

Hootsuite Inbox makes it easy to keep track of all comments and DMs across all platforms from one place. You can assign conversations to team members, track replies, and ensure that no one gets left behind. Inbox makes it easy to foster genuine engagement.

14. You can try Instagram Live video

Live video doesn’t have to be scary. It’s a powerful tool to increase your Instagram followers and deepen your relationship with them.


  • Organise a workshop or class.
  • A Q&A session.
  • Product demos.


This complete guide will show you how to go live on Instagram. It also includes some ideas that you can try right now.

15. Partner with influencers

Influencer marketing is expected to grow steadily in 2022, despite its current strength. Influencer marketing was worth $13.8 billion USD in 2021.

Your employees are your most important influencers. A program to advocate for employees can increase your profits by 23% and improve team morale. Win-win.

Get our Influencer Marketing 101 guide to maximize your ROI for businesses of any size.

16. Organise giveaways and contests

What are people most interested in? Get free stuff!

When do they want it? Every day!

Sometimes the oldest strategies for Instagram work best. Contests can increase your organic reach and provide tons of user-generated content.

This post was shared by Colorbar Cosmetics (@lovecolorbar).

Contests don’t have to be costly. You can give away products by simply asking users to like and comment on your posts, or you can partner with someone in your industry to share the cost of a larger prize package.

Get inspired by creative Instagram contest ideas and a step-by–step process for running giveaways.

17. Your ROI can be measured

You can see the positive comments customers leave and the sales coming in. Your follower count is rising. How do you quantify it? What are the real outcomes of your efforts?

It is important to measure your ROI (return on investment) for reporting to your boss. However, it can also be used to justify increasing or establishing your paid advertising budget.

It is also the only way you can determine if your marketing strategy is in need of a tweak or if you should increase your efforts.

Instead of spending hours combing through every platform’s analytics dashboard trying to figure out the whole picture, Hootsuite Impact is the right tool for you. Impact brings together all your paid and organic content across every platform into one place. This gives you powerful insights whenever you want them.

18. Experiment!

Last but not the least, don’t follow every Instagram marketing tip that you read on marketing blogs.

It is important to try new things. Every audience is unique. Perhaps your friends don’t like live video. Perhaps they are only available on Wednesdays at 3pm. Perhaps they’ll give you their first child as a gift for a sweatshirt.

You should evaluate your performance regularly and make time to test different tactics to find the best ones. We have a social media audit template that you can use for free.

Why use Instagram for marketing purposes?

Do you need more convincing? Here are some ways Instagram marketing can help your business grow.

Shop on Instagram to increase sales by up to 300%

44% of Instagrammers use the platform to shop weekly. Instagram has become a social commerce platform that offers everything you need, including basic shopping tools like Stories linking to products.

Combining Shopping tools with ads can increase sales by up to 300%.

Instagram is used by 30 minutes of people per day.

The average Instagram user spends 30 minutes per day on the app. But it’s the duration of the sessions that makes the app stand out.

Average session time is 18 minutes. This beats the average Amazon shopping trip (13 min), Twitter scroll (14 min) and YouTube session (7 min). Surprisingly, the average Pornhub session is also 14 minutes.

That’s real engagement.

Source: Hootsuite Digital Trends 2022 Report

Instagram ads reach almost 1/3 of all internet users

Instagram ads can reach as many as 1.48 billion people. This represents 29.9% worldwide internet users and 23.9% for all people over 13 years old.

Brand sentiment is also affected by Instagram ads: 50% of users say that they find businesses more appealing after seeing their ads.

Source: Hootsuite Digital Trends 2022 Report

3 Instagram marketing tools

1. Hootsuite

Although I may be biased, Hootsuite is a great tool to manage all aspects of your social media marketing. We offer all the essential tools, such as scheduling, planning, analytics, and analytics. But we also have advanced capabilities that will take you further.

Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts for Instagram (Posts Stories and Reels), Facebook TikTok and Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. All from one intuitive dashboard. Imagine how much time you will save by not switching between 7 apps that allow you to post content.

Hootsuite offers detailed analytics and comprehensive reporting. It also has a calendar view, content creation tools, and tools to create the best content.

This is not all. Hootsuite users have access to highly personalized recommendations that will help them choose the best times to post content to maximize reach, impressions, engagement, and engagement.

Hootsuite is free to try

Hootsuite has so much to offer:

2. Notion

Notion is what it would be like if a spreadsheet and a notebook had a baby. Gen Z baby, ’cause it is digital-first.

Any text, images, or other information can be added to a Notion page. Its true power lies in databases. You can filter and sort your information in multiple ways, including in tables, on a calendar, or with Kanban boards.

It’s what I use for planning my social media content before I put it in Hootsuite.

Of course

) and I love how simple it is to edit on my mobile. Plus, I could have had


A team could also collaborate in the same Notion workspace.

You can either browse Notion’s gallery of templates or create your own content board.

3. Adobe Express

Adobe Express is an online tool that allows you to create stunning social graphics. If you already have an Adobe subscription you will get additional features, such as Adobe Stock access and more.

Hootsuite’s Creative Cloud integration allows you to view all your Adobe libraries right from Hootsuite. You can also edit photos in Hootsuite Komposer. This pair is perfect, especially if you use other Adobe apps such as Illustrator or Photoshop.

Hootsuite’s time-saving tools make it easy to manage all your Instagram marketing along with other social media platforms. You can manage your Instagram marketing from one dashboard. You can schedule Stories, Reels, and posts. Engage with your audience and measure your social ROI. Get it for free today.

Get Started

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The first post 2022 Instagram Marketing: Complete Strategy + 18 Strategies appeared on Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard.