The Complete Guide to Leveraging Instagram‘s Business Categories

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With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram offers immense opportunities for businesses to connect with prospective customers. However, standing out amid the platform‘s saturated landscape proves challenging.

That‘s where Instagram‘s customizable "business categories" come in—an underutilized feature that all brands should take advantage of.

A Quick Primer: What are Instagram Business Categories?

In late 2021, Instagram rolled out the ability for business and creator accounts to select a specific category that displays right underneath their username in bios. For example:

John Smith 👤 
Business Consultant

These categories serve as high-level descriptors that signal to users the type of content you offer. Instagram leverages the tags behind-the-scenes to recommend relevant profiles to prospects.

For instance, if a user regularly engages with fitness content, Instagram can infer that other accounts categorized as "Gym" or "Health Coach" may interest that person.

Why Do Categories Matter?

Beyond clarifying your niche for users, categories provide Instagram improved context around your brand. This allows their algorithms to better optimize which viewers to expose your content to.

In 2022, over 50% of brands that added a category saw increased profile visits compared to non-categorized businesses. The more precisely you help Instagram understand your audience, the more effectively it can match prospective followers.

Choosing the Right Category for Your Brand: 3 Key Tips

With over 1,000 category options spanning every industry, landing on the best fit can prove difficult.

Here are three recommendations to identify the optimal tag:

1. Map Categories to Your Target Audience

What specific subgroup is your ideal audience member part of? Architect your content strategy around their distinct interests and needs.

Then review Instagram‘s categories list for the tags that most explicitly describe that niche.

For a yoga studio, "Health/Wellness" or "Fitness Professional" clearly signals the audience focus. An electronics retailer would select something like "Shopping & Retail" instead.

2. Prioritize Specificity

Generic tags like "Business & Utility Services" or "Organization" don‘t provide enough context around your brand.

Opt for descriptive keywords over broad ones whenever possible. "Beauty Salon" conveys far more than just "Salon", for example. The more details you can give Instagram, the better.

3. Frequently Re-Evaluate as Your Business Evolves

As your products or services change over time, ensure your category continues reflecting your core content.

While consistency matters, don‘t hesitate to update it if your offerings shift. Just like you‘d monitor other branding elements, add your category to the list for regular audits every 6-12 months.

Walkthrough: How to Add or Update Your Category

Adjusting your Instagram business category only takes a few seconds:

  1. Tap "Edit Profile"
  2. Under "Profile Display", tap "Add Category" or "Change Category" if already set
  3. Search for and select one of Instagram‘s pre-defined options

And that‘s it! The tag will now appear in your bio.

Note: You must switch to a Business or Creator account first to access categories, as they remain unavailable for personal profiles.

To spark ideas for your own business, here are 20 of the most commonly adopted categories on the platform currently:

  • Fashion Model
  • Makeup Artist
  • Interior Designer
  • Architect
  • Florist
  • Musician
  • Actor
  • Athlete
  • Photographer
  • Video Creator
  • Shoppping & Retail
  • Food & Beverage
  • Marketing Agency
  • Business Consultant
  • Web Designer
  • Craft Supplies Store
  • Jewelry Boutique
  • Clothing Store
  • Shoe Store
  • Beauty, Cosmetics & Personal Care

Key Takeaways: Should You Add an Instagram Business Category?

In closing, here‘s a quick high-level recap on the benefits that categorizing your profile offers:

Clarifies Your Niche: Signals to prospects the specific vertical and content type you focus on

Improves Your Visibility: Helps Instagram recommend your content to more targeted users

Drives More Engagement: Enables algorithms to match prospective new followers, leading to more likes and comments

I strongly recommend every business account select a representative category. Doing so only takes minutes but can have an outsized impact on ultimately growing your audience within the platform.

What questions do you still have around Instagram business categories? Let‘s keep the conversation going in the comments below!

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