Searching for broad-spectrum ways to integrate Instagram into your social media marketing strategy can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. Read on to discover the basics of marketing your brand on Instagram – whether that’s your personal image or the Fortune 500 company account you manage.
Maximize Engagement with Each Post
As with every social media platform, the name of the game with your business’s Instagram strategy is “engagement”. Interact with customers. Achieve this by posting a photo for your target audience to like and/or comment on.
Advanced users and brands with dedicated managers round the clock can make good use of the Instagram story feature. Much like Snapchat, you can add a photo, boomerang video, or 15-second clip to your “story”. Separate from your Instagram feed, these images and videos remain visible to your followers for 24 hours, after which they disappear. The number of ways that you can use these features to your advantage to engage with customers is endless. The key is coming up with a strategy that lets you connect with your target audience and provide value through positive interactions.
Use Instagram’s Greatest Strength to Your Advantage
Instagram’s greatest strength as a social media outlet is directing its users to focus on imagery. Pictures and video content give you the ability to show customers your products and services in a more intimate way. When customers try to choose a company to buy from, they often gravitate toward companies that were developed overseas.
Leveraging the Platform for Your Business
Instagram’s platform is designed to interject creative material into people’s lives when they are online, making it a great tool to entertain and educate users. As a company, you can effectively do both by creating content that teaches about a specific topic while making it fun and exciting. With various features for communication with users, your company can even use it as a customer service tool.
Because of its versatility and the fact that it thrives on multimedia content, Instagram is the perfect tool to increase brand awareness, increase interactions with your brand, and drive traffic to your e-commerce store. Companies around the world are taking advantage of this and making Instagram an important part of their marketing campaign strategy. Platform statistics accurately illustrate why Instagram is such a powerhouse for growing your business. Here are several Instagram platform stats that place it as one of the top social media platforms for business:
- 700+ million – unique users each month who peruse and post on Instagram
- 120+ million – number of average monthly engagements (likes, comments, clicks, website visits, directions sought, company called or emailed) with Instagram ads
- ???? – number of users following your business’s Instagram account. The more, the merrier, as this number represents the number of accounts who will see any given post from your brand in their home feed. Each person following you on Instagram should be considered a potential customer.
Conversions is the Name of The Game
Companies that take to Instagram are mainly concerned with their sales, which Instagram can help with if leveraged properly. Engaging with your audience gives you the opportunity to generate leads. Every one of your consistent viewers is a potential lead. If you want to increase your overall sales, then you’ll need to convert as many of these leads as possible.
Regardless of platform, your goal in setting up a sales path is to make the journey from discovery to checkout as quick and seamless as possible. The fewer the steps necessary to purchase your goods, the better. On Instagram, this means including the link to your e-commerce site on your business’s Instagram profile.
While it is important to try to get the conversions that you want, it is more important to give the customers the value that they need. Many businesses focus too heavily on establishing the sales funnel and drawing customers into it. It may seem counterintuitive, but your first goal should be to provide customers with value while expecting nothing in return. The more value you provide, the more likely customers are to want to follow your sales path.
Turn Your Instagram Posts into Shopping Suggestions
Every post is another chance to convert viewers into customers. This means that your posts need a way of guiding customers to the next stage of the sales funnel. Your posts need to have a CTA of some type. Instagram posts are also a great way to overcome objections. Clients want products that appeal to other people. They want products that other people have used and are happy with. You can use this to your advantage by creating posts that show people using your product. This helps customers visualize what it would be like to use your products. Since they see other people using your products, they feel more comfortable with your products and will be more likely to complete a sale.
One way to make your posts more effective at selling products is to show your customers how to use them. This can be from product demonstrations or from customers actually using the products that they share with a hashtag.
Although hyperlinks in captions under Instagram posts are not clickable, It is also worth including a link if you will be sharing your Instagram posts on other social media channels (e.g. Facebook & Tumblr). Many brands are fond of including the catchphrase “link in bio” in their Instagram post captions to remind Instagrammers who are enjoying a brand’s Instagram feed to shop their e-commerce site, directly.
Add a Convenient Call-to-Action
The next step in making your brand’s Instagram posts shoppable is incorporating a call to-action. Use powerful action verbs like “shop now”, “learn more”, and “buy this” to confidently proclaim the worth of your products to your Instagram followers/potential customers.
Providing a hyperlink and call to action in each Instagram post and caption are great starting points.
When it comes to selling, your brand’s job is to guide your target customer through the shopping and checkout process as seamlessly as possible. If you have an online storefront, it’s worth incorporating a “shop the feed” feature. This software will link your Instagram product photos to your site so customers can purchase the items pictured in your Instagram photos with the click of a button. Eliminating the need for outside links (e.g. linking to your e-commerce store on your Instagram feed) has been proven to increase sales from brands’ Instagram feeds.
Mix in Promo Codes
Discounting your products can be a tricky business. After all, you want to establish the worth of your products at full-price while offering the occasional promotion to keep customers on their toes and entice them to make an impulse purchase to capitalize on the temporary discount.
Post like Goldilocks
When posting on Instagram, channel your inner Goldilocks: not too much, not too little, but just right. Because Instagram is a visual platform, it’s important for your posts to provide substantive content, either with beautiful visuals or well thought out graphics/quotes. One quality post per day is considered the gold standard for both personal and business accounts. Don’t forget to include hashtags when relevant, as they provide a convenient organizational system for posts with similar themes. Also, keep in mind that posts with hashtags have been proven to garner more engagement than those without (by ~13%!).
Creating a social media presence for your company is difficult, but there are plenty of ways to go about it. Instagram continues to expand its features and refine its business offerings. Use these tips to set up or improve an existing Instagram business account. This article is only meant as an introductory overview of social media marketing on Instagram. Apply these basic principles to your account, but have fun doing it!
Instagram users tend to skew toward motivational and fun content. Make the most of your brand’s Instagram by showing off your lighter side. After all, no one will want to bog down a feed full of beautiful images by following a business account that takes itself too seriously.
This article is the third in our social media marketing series. Learn how to integrate Pinterest into your strategy for a brick-and-mortar business here. Then find out how to capitalize on Facebook tools to maximize sales with your e-commerce store.
Contact KitelyTech today to discuss the details of how we can add value to you and your online business. You can reach a member of our team by calling us at (312) 254-8248.