4 Ways You Can Use Instagram Broadcast Channels for Your Small Business

Lauren Melnick
7 minutes read

“@username invites you to join their Broadcast Channel on Instagram.”

It’s one of the app’s newest features, giving small business owners another way to build a community of super fans and drive more sales through one-to-many DMs.

While some creators are using Instagram broadcast channels to re-share their feed posts, that’s not using broadcast channels to the best of their ability.

With the right strategy, you can create a broadcast channel on Instagram, monetize it, and tap into a lucrative audience research tool.

So what is this feature? And how can you use it to grow your small business?

Keep reading to find out the best broadcast channel strategies for small businesses.

What Are Instagram Broadcast Channels?

Instagram Broadcast ChannelsAccording to Instagram‘s February 2023 announcement, “Instagram Broadcast Channels are a public, one-to-many messaging tool in the direct messages tab for creators to directly engage with their followers at scale.”

Creators can send text messages, share photos, record videos, or send voice messages to share quick and casual updates.

Think of it like a giant group chat, except you’re the only one that can send messages. Your followers, on the other hand, can only read and respond with emojis or vote in polls.

In June 2023, Instagram announced new features like:

  • The ability to invite another creator to a channel for a collab.
  • Collect questions for an Ask Me Anything.
  • A dedicated Channels tab in the inbox.
  • Setting an expiration date and time on their channel.
  • Adding moderators to help manage channel members, messages, and content.
  • Sharing a channel link or a preview to Stories.

Don’t have all of these features?

You’re not alone.

Some of these are still being tested and are slowly rolling out to the global Instagram community.

RELATED NEWS: Instagram Launches Broadcast Channels

The Benefits of Creating an Instagram Broadcast Channel

The Benefits of Creating an Instagram Broadcast Channel

Instagram Broadcast Channels represent a valuable tool for business owners – if you use it effectively.

Here are some of the benefits of adding this additional channel to your social media marketing strategy.

It Automatically Notifies Your Audience

As soon as you create a broadcast channel, Instagram automatically notifies your followers.

Yup. You don’t need to promote it, and I hope people will eventually see it and join.

The app sends out an invitation notification to everyone, helping with the promotional admin and ensuring that most of your Instagram audience receives and sees the invite.

It Increases Audience Engagement

One of the biggest benefits of starting a broadcast channel on Instagram is the engagement potential.

1. You can create polls to crowdsource product ideas or use them as a way to build a stronger sense of community.

2. You can promote your Instagram feed posts or tease upcoming content.

Both work together to increase audience engagement and keep people invested in your brand.

It Creates a Feeling of Exclusivity

Creating a feeling of exclusivity is a powerful psychological sales hack. It revolves around offering limited access or a unique experience to only a select group of people.

That’s exactly what you’re doing with broadcast channels on Instagram.

It’s An Exclusive Club for Your Biggest Fans

By tapping into this feeling further by offering exclusive content (more on this below), you can build loyalty, increase desirability, and make members feel privileged to be part of your select community.

RELATED: How to Build a Community with Instagram Broadcast Channels

4 Ways to Use Instagram Broadcast Channels for Your Small Business

Ready to create an Instagram broadcast channel? Here are four strategies to help your business get the most out of the feature and turn your broadcast messages into a marketing and sales funnel.

1. Create and Monetize Exclusive Content

Did you know you can make money from your broadcast channel?

Thanks to Instagram’s Subscriptions feature, you can turn your Instagram inbox into a paid subscription. Followers will need to pay a monthly fee to access it (hello, recurring income!), and you can use it as another way to leverage your knowledge and position yourself as an industry expert.

Here are some examples:

  • Tease your upcoming content before it’s released anywhere else.
  • Drop a private link to your upcoming YouTube video.
  • Share your insider insights on what’s working well in your industry.

The key is to make sure it offers enough value to your audience that joining your broadcast channel (and paying for it) is a no-brainer.

A small business owner using this strategy effectively is Andrea Jones. While she hasn’t put a paywall on her channel (yet), she only shares exclusive content on her channel.

The result? She’s seen people leave emojis on her posts and then book discovery calls with her business.

2. Early Access Product Drops, Launches and Restocks

Tala, a sustainable activewear brand from the UK, is a master at using broadcast channels to build hype and drive sales.

It’s secret?

Create multiple channels.

Tala has one for early access and a second for restocks.

When a new collection is about to drop, the brand drops an early access link and discount code into the chat. It increases the likelihood that followers will join the broad channel, and it has a direct effect on sales.

The same happens with the restock channel.

As a sustainable brand, Tala doesn’t hold the same amount of stock as fast fashion companies. When something does sell out, it takes a while for production to create the next order.

This does two things:

1. It increases FOMO for product launches. Followers don’t want to wait months for the item to restock.

2. It increases FOMO for restocks.

By creating an exclusive broadcast channel, members can have early access links, helping them get their hands on items before everyone else.

Early Access Product Drops, Launches and Restocks.png Up Pinterest Ads and Campaigns

3. Tap into Audience Research

As a business owner, market research is crucial.

You need to understand your customer’s pain points to create an irresistible product or service.

That’s what your broadcast channel on Instagram can do and more.

Using the polls feature, you can get direct feedback from your brand’s biggest supporters. By learning these valuable insights, you can ensure your free content and paid products address their concerns, helping you better serve them.

Chloe from Deeper Than Money is a great example of this strategy in action. Inside her broadcast channel, she asked her members, “Do you have a high-yield savings account?

It’s a simple question but a lucrative one. You see, Chloe has free training on high-yield savings accounts, and it’s the first step in her strategy for helping women eliminate debt and build wealth.

By asking her members this, she can see she has a decent amount of people she can promote her training to and potentially convert into her paid course, the Wealth Accelerator.

It also indicates that she should create more feed content promoting the free training and the benefits of opening a high-yield savings account. Or it’s possibly an indication her current content is not addressing the right pain points to convince people to sign up.

Using her broadcast messages, she can post more polls to validate her content strategy further and drop links to her free training.

Tap into Audience Research.png

Another feature you can use is the question sticker, like Dani The Explorer, to crowdsource what your audience wants to know from you.

How it works:

1. Create a question sticker

2. Users can add their related questions

Members can react to each question, giving you an idea of how many people have the same pain point. It helps you curate a content calendar addressing these concerns and can give you a starting point for what kind of exclusive content will resonate with your community.

resonate with your community

4. Company Updates

Company updates as a strategy for broadcast channels won’t work for everyone.

It all depends on whether your audience will find these updates exciting or boring.

One brand it works for is the Instagram Creators account.

Inside the broadcast channel, you’ll find broadcast messages on feature updates, algorithm tips from Adam Mosseri, and what’s trending on Instagram Reels.

For social media managers and influencers, these product updates are valuable. They are delivered straight to your Instagram inbox, ensuring you will see them compared to feed posts (unless you have post notifications turned on).

Whereas company updates from McDonald’s might not be received as well compared to being able to vote on whether to bring back discontinued menu items like the Eggs Benedict McMuffin.

Company Updates

Maximizing Your Reach with Instagram Broadcast Channels

Broadcast channels are a fantastic tool for small business owners looking to deepen their connection with their audience and monetise their attention.

By posting exclusive content straight to users’ inboxes, you can tap into psychological sales techniques, gain invaluable market research, build an army of super fans, and cut through the noise of social media feeds.

As Instagram continues to roll out new features, the possibilities for businesses to capitalise on these channels grow exponentially.

The trick is to start now when the chatter is minimal. The more accounts using channels, the more cluttered inboxes might become, and it might reduce your ROI unless you’ve already established your broadcast channel as a firm favorite.

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