The beginner's guide to marketing on Instagram

Increase brand awareness and grow your sales on the popular visual platform

Reading time: 6 minutes
instagram mobile

Instagram has almost two million active users in Finland. The popularity of the social media channel is growing among all age groups. Through Instagram, you can reach a wide audience of both current and potential customers cost-effectively and with measurable results.

Table of contents

Who is Instagram for?

In Finland, Instagram and Facebook are considered the primary channels when it comes to reaching end users through social media. Although Facebook still holds a dominant market position, the number of Instagram users is constantly growing. Young age groups in particular have found their way back to Instagram thanks to the platform’s Stories feature, which serves as a competing alternative to Snapchat. 80% of all Instagram user accounts follow at least one company, and the platform offers several good solutions for marketers who want to make their message visible to the right audience.

How can companies market themselves on Instagram?

Instagram is a visual marketing platform where content can be distributed to a wide audience in a variety of ways. By expressing themselves both visually and with effective messages, companies can create engagement, increase awareness, and reach potential new customers.

On Instagram, content consists of photos, videos, and text in a variety of formats:

  • Page publications: A publication in the form of one or more photos or videos (up to 60 seconds in length) that appears on your own profile page and in your followers’ news feeds
  • Stories: Images or videos (up to 15 seconds in length, but a longer video is automatically divided into several consecutive sections) that cover the entire screen and are visible for 24 hours. These can be found by tapping a user’s profile picture among the stories or on the profile page
  • Live videos: Streaming video (up to 60 minutes in length)
  • IGTV videos: Video (15 seconds to 10 minutes in length) that appears in followers’ news feeds, in the IGTV tab and as a link within a wall post
taking picture of food

Engaging conversations and interactions

Even though Instagram users are mainly inspired by visually appealing content, well-crafted and targeted text is also a key factor in effectively conveying a message. Facebook has traditionally been seen as a more practical alternative to participatory conversations, but after more text features were introduced on Instagram, the platform has become a good option. For example, users can now like and reply to individual comments.

Unlike Facebook, where the purpose of an ad may be to get page likes, you can’t get followers on Instagram with ads. So the best way to get more followers is to create interesting content, communicate actively, and use hashtags.


Hashtags are an important part of communicating on Instagram. A hashtag is a word – or even an entire sentence without spaces or special characters – preceded by the hash symbol, #, which can be used for tagging a specific topic.

Anyone can create a hashtag. An example of how big an impact a hashtag can have is #metoo, which led to a huge international movement. Users can track specific hashtags, which means they can see messages that contain a hashtag no matter who shared the message. Hashtags can also help you find messages about something special: For example, if you want to see things shared about Finland on Instagram, you can search the hashtags #finland and #suomi.

Businesses can use hashtags to refer to their brands and specific campaigns. An example of this is the campaign created by Lindebarn for Robert’s Coffee, where everyone who wanted to take part in the weekly competitions marked their post with the hashtag #slowment.

Paid advertising

Just like on Facebook, brands have to pay to reach new audiences on Instagram, too. Because Instagram is now part of Facebook, advertising on both platforms can be handled from the same place, using Facebook’s Ads Manager tool. On Instagram, ads appear in the news stream or as stories, either in the form of images or videos. Images can include links to the products displayed, making it easier for marketers to do things like directing customers straight to the right product page in the online store.

Instagram offers flexible tools to get you started with advertising, but effective targeting requires skill and planning. With the right kind of expertise, you can ensure that every euro you spend on advertising is used in the best possible way.

There are other ways to create visibility on Instagram, such as through influencers. Influencers are people with large follower networks. Their business model consists of them telling their audience about your brand.

hand and instagram on mobile

Outsourcing your Instagram management – is it worth it?

There are different ways to manage a company’s Instagram account. Many brands follow precise visual guidelines, where content is created in advance and then distributed according to a planned schedule. For others, a freer strategy may be appropriate. Such a method can work, for example, for a lunch restaurant that wants to share pictures of their daily menus.

The way that managing Instagram works best for your business depends on a number of things: your brand guidelines, your goals and what kinds of resources you have at your disposal. It is important to remember that active social media management can require a lot of time. This often leads to negligence sooner or later, especially if the person in charge of it also has other responsibilities within the company.

Lindebarn as your company’s Instagram-partner?

With our Advertiser Plus- and Marketer Pro-solutions, we offer companies of all sizes help with Instagram management. You can either take care of the wall publications yourself and just get help with the paid advertising bit, or then you can let Lindebarn manage both the wall publications and the advertisements.

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