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How to use Instagram for business

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Instagram isn’t just a social media app full of Love Island influencers and hilarious memes.

It is also a vitally important tool for commerce, with 90% of its users following at least one business account and 44% of them using the platform to shop weekly, according to Instagram’s latest internal data.

It would be a missed opportunity to not use this platform to showcase your brand. But we understand that getting to grips with the business side of Instagram can be a time-consuming and complex task, particularly if you are not very social media savvy.

If you’re low on time and require a bit of support in launching a successful Instagram strategy, we’d advise reaching out to an agency for a little help to enhance your efforts. In fact, if you have two minutes spare, you can use our digital marketing cost comparison tool and see what social media support is available within your budget.

They employ seasoned Instagram pros who will help save you time and money in the long run – and these services often cost much less than you think!

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Or read to discover our easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide that will help you gain that highly sought-after verified account tick in no time.

Step 1: set up a business account

If you are one of Instagram’s two billion monthly users, there is no doubt you already know how the platform works.

But note that one of the fundamental rules of setting up your business on Instagram is to make sure it is set up as a business account.

This type of account is very different from the personal account you may already have.

We’ve listed some of its unique features below.Instagram business account features let you:

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  • Boost your posts and advertise to a target audience
  • Access Instagram insights to monitor post and ad performance
  • Add business info, including opening hours, location and contact methods
  • Add call-to-action buttons to direct Instagram users to your website
  • Sell your products in the app via the Instagram Shop functionality

Step 2: create an effective Instagram strategy

Before you run in all posts blazing, any digital marketing professional will tell you it is integral that you put together a solid Instagram strategy.

Get together with other members of your team and think carefully about:

Finding your target audience

Consider the demographic you are trying to reach. Over 60% of all Instagram users are aged between 18 and 34 years old. Think carefully about your product/brand and work out your ideal customer. What are their interests? What kind of content will most engage them? What will make them choose you over your competitors?

Tracking insights

It is important to make use of Instagram’s insight functionality. Regularly and routinely track the performance of your posts to understand what engages your followers. Analysing engagements, click-throughs, and calls to action will help you paint a picture of what content works for you and what doesn’t.

Setting objectives

Having goals to achieve will help keep you motivated and focused. When running a small business, it is often easy to lose sight of the marketing side of things. But setting targets will ensure you spend time on your Instagram strategy and post regularly.

Using a task/project management app

Scheduling Instagram posts is incredibly important to ensure you post consistently. Using task management apps like monday.com will make it easy to create a content schedule. Think about how frequently you want to post, and if there are any tentpole days you want to take advantage of such as Earth Day, International Women’s Day, etc.

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Step 3: create captivating content

Instagram is a platform to sell your brand. If you owned a jewellery store and wanted to attract customers inside, you wouldn’t put your worst, most unattractive wares in the shop window. You would showcase your most fabulous diamond-strewn designs to entice customers.

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Try to think of Instagram as the shop window for your business. You want it to look as aesthetically pleasing as possible in order to attract users. This means the content you create needs to look and feel professionally designed.

This is the most common and important method of posting content as it helps you build your brand profile aesthetic. It is important to make sure you add professional-looking photos that have been edited and sized correctly. You should post recurring themes so that your brand’s visuals are easily identifiable.

If you haven’t got the money to hire a graphic designer, Canva is an affordable, easy-to-use design tool that we would recommend you use to get started.

Instagram reels for business

Having a video marketing strategy is integral to your business’s success on Instagram. 91% of Instagram users watch videos weekly on the platform, so if you aren’t creating videos you are missing out on a great opportunity to gain new followers and turn them into paying customers.

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Creating a reel is super easy and simple, but keep in mind that the videos can only be up to 60 seconds long.

You’ll have a great set of editing tools at your disposal when using Instagram reels. Use them to make engaging, fun video footage and showcase your brand.

Over 50% of Instagrammers have visited a website to buy a product or service as a result of seeing it on an Instagram story. And with more than 500 million people watching Instagram stories every day, that percentage is huge.

So in short, make sure you are posting stories regularly – this will even help you engage existing followers through the use of polls, Q&A sessions and sliding interaction bars.

It can also encourage users to visit your website, follow a brand you are collaborating with, or share a recent post you have uploaded.

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Other ways to create content on Instagram include:

  • Live feed – Live feeds are becoming increasingly popular on Instagram and are a great way to engage your followers because they can tune into your content in real time.
  • IGTV – This is a long video format that is ideal for any recurring content series.

Step 4: optimise your profile for business

So you’ve got eye-catching content and a foolproof Instagram strategy – but is your profile ready/open for business?

Before you start growing your Instagram profile, be sure to make use of the following:

  • A strong profile pic – even if it’s expensive, get yourself a professional to design you a logo for your social media accounts. The last thing you want is for users to think your pic is tacky. Remember, we make visual judgments in the first seven seconds, and this applies to Instagram too.
  • A concise, intriguing bio – you only have 150 characters (just over two sentences) to show off your brand, so explain what you do succinctly and do it in your brand’s tone. Add a CTA if you have space.
  • A link in your bio – unlike other social platforms, you can’t attach links to your Instagram posts, so it is incredibly important to include a link in your bio instead. Be very strategic about where this link sends people – will it be directly to your website? Or will it be to a landing page such as Linktree which allows you to share links to several pages?
  • Contact information – keep email addresses and phone numbers up to date so your followers can contact you easily.
  • Story highlights – organise your stories into saved collections on your profile so users can get a taste of your brand in just a few clicks.
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Julaine Speight, director at award-winning digital marketing agency First Internet, offers us her advice:

“Ensure you have permanent stories on your profile, as they will provide clients and customers with key highlights and important business messaging that can be seen at a glance. This is a great way for you to promote different services or products.”


Step 5: grow your following

It’s all well and good having everything in place for your business on Instagram, but without an audience to engage with, it’s pointless.

You’ll find one of the hardest things to do on the platform is to get noticed and followed by users.

But don’t stress – there are lots of ways you can attract audiences and have followers jumping from the tens to the thousands in no time, including:

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Hosting a giveaway

Lots of successful brands have gained followers by organising giveaways in the form of a competition. Typically a brand will ask Instagram users to follow an account, share a post, or comment on a post by tagging a friend. In return, users have the opportunity to win free products or services from the brand – and who doesn’t like free stuff?

Giveaways are a great way to create additional post engagement and reach a wider audience, and working in collaboration with other brands to offer extra prizes will help make the competition a huge success.

Running followers-only promotions

Another way to encourage more followers and retain existing ones is to offer exclusive sales to users that follow you. Offering flash sales and promotions gives your followers a reason to stick around in the hope of future deals.

Being proactive – respond to comments and follow target audience accounts

The more you engage with users, the more likely they are to keep following you and spreading positive feedback about your brand.

Commenting on another brand’s posts is a great way to get noticed, as is following and interacting with your competitor’s audience who will likely be interested in the same products/services that you offer.

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Promoting your Instagram account on other channels

A sure-fire way to gain more followers is to let people know about your Instagram business account, particularly if you are already well established on other social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.

Also, be sure to include visible and clear links to your Instagram on your website and any marketing materials like newsletters or emails.

On the dangers of cutting corners when growing your audience, Petra Smith, founder of marketing consultancy Squirrels&Bears, stresses:

“Quick solutions don’t lead to long-term success. For brands that are keen to appear bigger than they are, without doing the legwork, buying new followers and artificial engagement is a common approach. But many brands are then surprised to see how quickly those followers start to disappear again.

“The reason is that followers purchased in bulk packages are either bots or inactive accounts, and Instagram continuously works on removing any follows, likes, or comments from third-party apps that are designed to artificially grow audiences and engagement.”

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Step 6: use hashtags

When it comes to Instagram, it doesn’t get more important than hashtags.

Because captions on Instagram are not searchable, one of the only ways non-followers will be able to see your content is if someone clicks on or searches for a hashtag used in your content.

This is why it is important to use the right hashtags.

Philip Bacon, Director of Bacon Marketing, on hashtags: 

“Like a creme egg, one hashtag is never enough. There is a fine balance on how many to add to a post. A handful of super generic ones are going to do diddly for your reach, same as maxing out at 30 on the post, not only is it crowded, it looks untidy, and it smells of desperation.

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“The magic number has a three in it. 13 – 15 hashtags, a mix of high volume and niche lower volume ones will serve you well. On top of that, make them accessible by capitalising the first character of each word.”

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Step 7: collaborate with influencers

Instagram is the preferred social media channel for brands engaging in influencer marketing, so you can feel confident that it is worth the effort and (sometimes) expense to collaborate with an influencer when 93% of marketers are using this strategy to grow Insta accounts.What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is the collaboration between an online influencer and a brand. The relationship typically involves the influencer marketing a brand’s product or service to their followers.

Try to find an influencer who fits the ethos of your brand, someone who epitomises your target audience is likely to have lots of followers with similar interests and outlooks so they will be more likely to purchase your product or service.

Smaller but still well-established influencers are your best bet when starting out, as you typically won’t have to pay them to collaborate. Instead, offering them free products or services in exchange for the promotion of your brand will be enough.

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On working with influencers, Anna Wilson, Head of Digital Development at Tangerine Communications, says:

“An influencer partnership is at its most valuable when it feels natural and is cohesive with your brand and the influencer’s feed.

“Step 1, make sure you find the right people, either search on Instagram or use an influencer profiling tool like Klear. Step 2, make sure you don’t ‘control’ the process too tightly or the content will be overlooked/ignored. Step 3, make sure you follow the ASA guidelines (it must be labelled as sponsored content). Step 4, review it to see if it did what you set out to do.”


Step 8: advertise your business on Instagram

Growing your account organically is amazing (and doesn’t cost you a dime), but sometimes it literally pays to boost your posts.

Instagram ads are a form of paid social media, which means you can pay for your content to appear in someone else’s feed who otherwise may not have seen it.

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By advertising your brand on Instagram you will be able to:

  • Reach the right audience with advanced targeting – changing options such as location, age, and even interests
  • Maintain higher engagement rates
  • Track your Instagram campaign performance

Isobel Burns, the founder of Digital Marketing Engine, offers her insight: 

“Advertising on Instagram is incredibly effective for growth and sales. The Feed tends to generate more sales, whereas Stories and Reels bring in a wider audience.

“Structure your ad campaign to be as broad at the top as possible, capturing more of the right people, and then retarget your ads in their feed with strong calls to action.”


Step 9: measure and celebrate your success

Make sure to consistently monitor Instagram’s insights to determine how well your brand is performing on the platform month on month.

Organising retro meetings to discuss what is working well and what isn’t in terms of your Instagram strategy is an efficient way to analyse important stats like engagement rates and follower growth so that you can plan for future Insta campaigns.

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Most importantly, reward all of your hard work by celebrating your successes. It isn’t easy mastering the art of Instagram for business, so when you do, be sure to shout about it!

Using Instagram analytics

In short, Instagram analytics enable you to understand the overall performance of your business account, and at a more granular level, help you determine how successful your posts are.

Also known as ‘insights’, Instagram analytics are fundamental to any successful Instagram strategy as they can help you reach new audiences, improve your content strategy and target the right people.

Insta analytics give you a more detailed breakdown of important data, including the location of accounts reached, the age ranges of your followers, and even their most active times on the app.

This helps you paint a picture of the type of users that are engaging with your account. In turn, this will make it easier to plan your content strategy based on what works currently and what doesn’t.

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Via Startups UK

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Business

The Rise of Legacy Chips in the US-China Semiconductor Battle: An Analysis

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Introduction

The US-China semiconductor battle has been ongoing for years, with both countries vying for dominance in the global technology market. However, a new front has emerged in this battle – legacy chips. While the focus has been on cutting-edge technology, the realization is dawning that older-generation chips are still vital to military use, as well as cars and consumer electronics. In this article, we will explore the significance of legacy chips in the US-China semiconductor battle and analyze the implications for both countries.

What are Legacy Chips?
Legacy chips are older-generation chips that are still in use today. These chips were developed in the 1980s and 1990s and are still used in a variety of applications, including military equipment, cars, and consumer electronics. While they may not be as powerful as the latest chips, they are still essential for many critical applications.

The Significance of Legacy Chips in the US-China Semiconductor Battle:
The US-China semiconductor battle has largely focused on cutting-edge technology, with both countries investing heavily in research and development to gain an edge in the global market. However, the importance of legacy chips cannot be overlooked. These chips are still used in many critical applications, including military equipment, where reliability and longevity are essential.

China has been investing heavily in its semiconductor industry in recent years, to become self-sufficient in chip production. However, the country still relies heavily on imports of legacy chips, which are essential for its military equipment. This reliance on imports has become a concern for the Chinese government, which sees it as a potential vulnerability in its national security.

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The US, on the other hand, has been tightening its export controls on legacy chips, citing national security concerns. The US government has been concerned about the transfer of sensitive technology to China, which could be used for military purposes. This has led to tensions between the two countries, with China accusing the US of using export controls as a way to stifle its technological development.

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Implications for Both Countries:
The rise of legacy chips in the US-China semiconductor battle has significant implications for both countries. For China, the reliance on imports for legacy chips is a potential vulnerability in its national security. The country has been investing heavily in its semiconductor industry to become self-sufficient in chip production, but it will take time to achieve this goal. In the meantime, China will need to find ways to secure its supply of legacy chips.

For the US, the tightening of export controls on legacy chips is a way to protect its national security. However, it could also have unintended consequences. China has been investing heavily in its semiconductor industry, and if it is unable to secure a reliable supply of legacy chips, it may accelerate its efforts to develop its chips. This could lead to increased competition in the global semiconductor market, which could ultimately benefit China.

Conclusion
The rise of legacy chips in the US-China semiconductor battle highlights the importance of older-generation technology in critical applications. While the focus has been on cutting-edge technology, legacy chips are still essential for many applications, including military equipment, cars, and consumer electronics. The US-China semiconductor battle has significant implications for both countries, with China seeking to secure its supply of legacy chips and the US tightening its export controls to protect its national security. As the battle continues, it will be interesting to see how both countries adapt to the changing landscape of the global semiconductor market.

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Unleashing NVIDIA’s AI Dominance: A Tale of Shares Soaring and Innovation Surges

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As the world’s premier semiconductor powerhouse, NVIDIA has once again made headlines with its meteoric stock rise—a whopping 14% increase following an impressive sales spike driven by the AI revolution. This seismic shift in technology is not only reshaping industries but also redefining the future of computing as we know it. In this comprehensive analysis, we delve into the catalyst behind these record-breaking gains and explore what lies ahead for NVIDIA in the era of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The ‘Tipping Point’: When AI Metamorphosed from Hype to Reality

The term “AI tipping point” refers to the moment when AI technologies transitioned from mere buzzwords to tangible solutions that are transforming businesses across various sectors. As companies worldwide embrace AI to enhance their operations, drive innovation, and gain competitive advantages, demand for cutting-edge hardware like NVIDIA’s GPUs has skyrocketed.

This trend was further fueled by the pandemic, which accelerated digital transformation efforts globally. With remote work becoming the norm, organizations have been forced to adapt quickly, leading them to invest heavily in cloud infrastructure and advanced data processing capabilities provided by NVIDIA’s AI chips.

NVIDIA’s Strategic Positioning: Leading the Charge in AI Computing

At the heart of NVIDIA’s success story lies its strategic positioning within the AI landscape. By focusing on developing high-performance GPU architectures tailored specifically for AI applications, NVIDIA has managed to establish itself as the go-to provider for enterprises seeking to leverage AI effectively.

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In addition to its market-leading GPUs, NVIDIA offers a robust suite of software tools designed to simplify AI development and deployment. These include CUDA, TensorRT, and NGC, all of which enable developers to build powerful AI systems more efficiently than ever before.

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Moreover, NVIDIA’s acquisition of Mellanox Technologies in 2020 strengthened its position in the data centre space, providing the company with access to state-of-the-art networking solutions that can support the growing demands of AI-driven applications.

The Future of AI Spending: An Endless Horizon for Growth

With AI set to become a $596 billion industry by 2028, there is no doubt that NVIDIA stands poised to capitalize on this unprecedented growth opportunity. According to Jensen Huang, CEO of NVIDIA, the company expects to see even stronger sales due to increased AI spending frenzies.

To ensure continued dominance in the AI sector, NVIDIA plans to expand its product portfolio beyond traditional GPUs. For instance, the company recently announced its intention to develop specialized processors called DPUs (Data Processing Units) aimed at enhancing the performance of AI-based applications running on servers.

By diversifying its offerings and staying one step ahead of emerging trends, NVIDIA aims to maintain its leadership role in the AI ecosystem while driving innovation forward.

Conclusion: Embracing the AI Revolution with Confidence

As NVIDIA continues to lead the charge in AI computing, investors and tech enthusiasts alike must remain vigilant about the potential risks and challenges associated with such rapid growth. However, given the company’s strong track record of innovation and strategic decision-making, it seems safe to say that NVIDIA will continue to thrive amidst the ongoing AI revolution.

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So, whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking to harness the power of AI or simply someone interested in keeping up with the latest developments in the tech sphere, stay tuned for exciting times ahead as NVIDIA spearheads the AI revolution!

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Rising from Adversity: Kharkiv’s Tech Start-Ups and the Art of Business Resilience in Ukraine

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two men sitting facing on flat screen monitors

In the bustling city of Kharkiv, Ukraine, a remarkable story of resilience and innovation is unfolding. Despite facing extreme disruption, the region’s tech start-ups have defied the odds, showcasing the indomitable spirit of Ukraine’s entrepreneurs and engineers. This article delves into the extraordinary journey of Kharkiv’s tech ecosystem, exploring how it has emerged as a testament to unwavering determination and adaptability in the face of adversity.

Introduction

The city of Kharkiv has long been a hub of technological advancement and entrepreneurial fervour. Home to a burgeoning community of start-ups and tech companies, it has rapidly gained recognition as a hotbed of innovation in Ukraine. However, the region’s resilience has been put to the ultimate test in recent years, as it grappled with unprecedented challenges ranging from political unrest to armed conflict. Despite these adversities, Kharkiv’s tech start-ups have not only survived but thrived, offering invaluable lessons in business resilience.

The Genesis of Kharkiv’s Tech Ecosystem

To understand the remarkable resilience of Kharkiv’s tech start-ups, it is essential to delve into the origins of the region’s burgeoning ecosystem. The city’s rich legacy of academic excellence and scientific research laid the groundwork for a vibrant culture of innovation. With a strong emphasis on STEM education and a pool of talented engineers and developers, Kharkiv became an ideal breeding ground for tech entrepreneurship.

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Navigating Adversity: The Impact of Political Unrest and Armed Conflict

The outbreak of political unrest and armed conflict in Ukraine cast a dark shadow over Kharkiv’s burgeoning tech scene. The region found itself grappling with economic instability, infrastructure disruptions, and an uncertain business environment. In the face of such formidable challenges, many would have expected Kharkiv’s tech start-ups to falter. However, what transpired was nothing short of extraordinary.

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Adaptability in Action: Pivoting Strategies and Innovation

Faced with extreme disruption, Kharkiv’s entrepreneurs and engineers demonstrated remarkable adaptability, swiftly pivoting their business strategies to navigate the tumultuous landscape. From embracing remote work models to diversifying their product offerings, these companies showcased an unparalleled ability to innovate in the face of adversity. The rapid adoption of cutting-edge technologies and agile development methodologies further underscored their commitment to staying ahead of the curve.

Forging Resilient Partnerships: Collaborative Ecosystem and Global Outreach

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Central to Kharkiv’s resilience was the spirit of collaboration that permeated its tech ecosystem. Start-ups, established companies, academic institutions, and government agencies joined forces to provide mutual support and foster innovation. Furthermore, despite the challenging geopolitical climate, Kharkiv’s tech community actively pursued global partnerships and market opportunities, showcasing an unwavering commitment to growth and expansion.

The Human Element: Nurturing Talent and Well-Being

Amidst the chaos and uncertainty, Kharkiv’s tech leaders recognized the importance of prioritizing the well-being and professional development of their teams. Initiatives focused on mental health support, skill enhancement programs, and inclusive work cultures played a pivotal role in sustaining morale and driving productivity. The emphasis on nurturing talent underscored the human-centric approach that defines Kharkiv’s tech ecosystem.

Looking Ahead: Lessons in Business Resilience for a Global Audience

As Kharkiv’s tech start-ups continue to chart an inspiring path of recovery and growth, their journey offers invaluable insights for businesses worldwide. The principles of adaptability, collaboration, innovation, and human-centric leadership that have underpinned their success serve as a compelling blueprint for building resilience in the face of extreme disruption. By studying the experiences of Kharkiv’s entrepreneurs and engineers, organizations across the globe can glean actionable strategies to fortify their business resilience.

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Conclusion

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In conclusion, Kharkiv’s tech start-ups have emerged as beacons of hope and inspiration in the face of unprecedented challenges. Their unwavering resilience, innovative spirit, and collaborative ethos have not only sustained their businesses but also propelled them towards new heights of success. As Ukraine’s entrepreneurs and engineers continue to defy adversity, their story stands as a testament to the transformative power of resilience in business. The world can undoubtedly draw profound lessons from Kharkiv’s remarkable journey—a journey that epitomizes the triumph of human ingenuity in the most trying times.

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