Likes. Followers. Geotagging. Live sharing. Stories. If these words remind you of talking to your teenager, it’s because they’re all referring to the fastest growing social media platform in the world: Instagram.

With over 600 million monthly active users, Instagram takes up a huge percentage of users’ social media time. The social media platform is growing by 16% month over month, and 90% of all Instagram users are younger than 35. Even more, Instagram has seen a 115% increase in organic marketing since 2012, compared to Facebook’s 63% decrease in organic marketing. More and more brands are joining the trend and embracing Instagram, including storEDGE!

So what does this mean for your storage business? Instagram is where you should be spending your social media marketing dollars in 2017. Because social media marketing is a moving target, it’s important to stay on top of current user trends to get the most out of paid ads. Read on to find out why Instagram is the best social media platform for advertising your storage business, and learn how you can get started today.

An Instagram photo of a bridge in front of a real bridge.

Why Instagram?

If you’re already advertising on Facebook or Twitter, you might wonder why Instagram marketing is such a game-changer. In the past few months, there have been major improvements to the Instagram advertising platform, and recent user data shows huge benefits for advertisers.

  • Instagram users engage more with brands. A whopping 75% of Instagram users engage with brands regularly. Instagrammers are two and a half times more likely to click on ads than on other social media platforms - compared to Facebook specifically, ‘grammers are 58 times more likely to click on ads.

  • It’s less crowded than Facebook. Over 93% of marketers use Facebook, but only 36% of marketers use Instagram. Since ads on Instagram and Facebook use an auction/bid system to reach your target audience, competitor space is important. The less competition, the easier it is to reach your target market.

  • You’ll have greater reach & a larger audience. Brands on Facebook reach only 6% of their followers per post. Because of Instagram’s seamless brand integration, brands on Instagram reach 100% of their followers per post. With more people seeing your posts, you’ll be able to bring in more leads.

  • Instagram users are worth more. Studies show Instagrammers spend more money on promoted brands than the average Facebook or Twitter user. The average Facebook purchase costs $55, and the average Instagram purchase costs $65. Instagram users are spending more money online than Facebook users.

  • It’s mobile-first. Facebook marketing started off as a desktop-only advertising platform, and it still has a significant desktop component to it. Instagram was made for smartphones. With this platform, you’re always reaching mobile users who are smartphone-savvy and ready to make a purchase.

A smartphone with the Instagram app open and some blue grid paper.

Getting Started with Advertising

The process of creating an Instagram ad is easy, from posting your first photo to tracking engagement analytics over time. Because Facebook owns Instagram, all you have to do is have a Facebook page for your business to get started. You can actually run your Instagram ads and track engagement rates right from your Facebook dashboard. Here’s how the process works:

  1. Download and launch the app. Simply download the Instagram app for iPhone from the App Store or from the Google Play store for Android devices. Once the app is installed on your smartphone, tap the icon to open it.

  2. Sign up. To use Instagram, sign up for a free account by selecting Sign Up from the app home screen. Enter your business email address, or select Log in with Facebook to sign up using your Facebook account, then tap Next.

  3. Set up a free business profile. Create a business profile in the Instagram app by selecting Switch to Business Profile in Settings. From this screen, you’ll be able to connect to your business’s Facebook page and review/edit your business address, hours, phone number, and more. (Tip: You need to have a Facebook page to have an Instagram business profile, so set one up before you get on Instagram. For tips on getting started on Facebook, check out this blog post!)

  4. Follow users and post content. You’re all signed up! Now the fun begins. Follow relevant users in your community (psst: @hey.storedge) and start posting content. Not sure what to post? Check out these tips on what content to share.

  5. Start advertising. It’s simple! Using Facebook Ads Manager or Power Editor, select your campaign objective, target audience, and budget, just like you would for Facebook Ads. Then, simply follow the steps to run your Instagram photo, video, or carousel ad.

If you’re a large brand with many locations, it might be easier or more manageable to create one account for all your properties. If you go this route, it’s important to geotag your posts by sharing images from various facility locations and following relevant businesses and users in the communities your properties are in. By focusing on the local communities and maintaining a consistent image, you can build a reputation as the go-to storage brand in your region.

A smartphone starting a live video on Instagram.

Bring in More Leads

Instagram can drive real results for your storage business - whether your goal is brand awareness or conversions, posting engaging, share-worthy content is the best place to start. Stick to these expert tips to power-up your posts and drive conversions.

  • Show your brand’s personality. It’s necessary to have a little fun with your Instagram posts. In fact, I’d go so far as to say you’re required to have fun. Users get bored with basic, corporate-style content, so don’t be afraid to show your brand’s colors. You’ll drive engagement and get your name out there in the community in a positive way.

  • Blend in with organic content. When advertising, make sure your content matches the style and flow of your organic posts. You don’t want users to immediately recognize the content as advertising, you just want it to look like an exceptionally great post.

  • Link directly to what you're promoting in your profile. Don’t make users hunt for the link that matches your content. If you’re running a special, link users directly to it in your ad or include the promotion url in your user profile. Organic posts don’t let you include links, but there’s a workaround for that - if you’re promoting something with an organic post, just use the description to send users to your profile to get the link. Update your profile link to match the most recent post’s promotion, and voila! The promotion is easy to for users to find.

  • Focus on people. Posting images of your units over and over again is bound to bore users. Try focusing on them and their needs. Post conversational, fun content about how your business can help them in their daily lives. Check out other storage brands’ posts to see how they connect with users.

  • Be smart with your descriptions. Whenever you post anything, always include a short description that fits your brand’s personality and is relevant to the content. Research hashtags for your industry and target market, and include two to three relevant hashtags to bring more users to your posts. Try using a subtle call to action to drive engagement, such as:

    • "Double tap if you agree."
    • "Tag a friend who needs to see this."
    • "(Question relevant to the image and your ideal lead.)"
  • Use geotags. Not only do geotags help users locate your business, they also help establish you as a part of the community. If your facility is located close to a military base or college, this is especially important. Make it easy for local Instagrammers to stumble upon your business by mapping your posts.

Thanks for reading! If you liked this article, you may also like: How to Make a Strong Craigslist Ad,, How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck from Facebook Ads, and How to Embrace Pinterest for Your Business.