How to create a powerful Instagram social media marketing strategy
One of the most powerful marketing tools marketers have today is social media. From Facebook posts to tweets to Twitter, sharing your products or services on social media platforms is a great way to increase brand awareness, engagement, sales and leads.
However, many people scratch their head when it comes to marketing with Instagram.
Many of us use Instagram as a personal account to post pictures of our family, friends, holidays and meals – but how can it tie into business? And should it be?
The speed at which Instagram is growing, do not underestimate its value to promote your brand and marketing efforts.
It has evolved into an incredibly valuable marketing platform and even though the 18-29 year olds are still prevalent users, the upper age groups are catching up and catching up fast.
Here are some 2018 Instagram figures from Sprout Social:
• 7 out of 10 hashtags are branded on Instagram
• 80% of users follow a business on Instagram
• 65% of top performing Instagram posts feature products
If you feel the tug for locating Instagram as part of your social media marketing strategy, check these starting points to get started:
1. Use hashtags
You don’t have to cram every hashtag you can think of in one post, but you need at least a few.
There is a hashtag # sign followed by descriptive words about your image In this example, I used #marketing and #ctaconf, which was the conference I was attending at the time.
When a user clicks / taps on a hashtag or types a hashtag in the search box, it brings up all the images that use that hashtag. The user can also subscribe to continue following that hashtag.
Hopefully, the user will see your photo, the head of your profile and the best case, follow you and connect with more of your posts!
However, when hashtags are extremely popular, the race to show results is fierce. Similar to SEO keywords, the more popular a term is, the harder it is to stay on top of search results. Thus, my example of using #trademark was really pointless if I wanted to get any traction from that post.
You want to make your hashtags relevant to your business and location, but also attractive enough that a user will type them into Instagram’s search box.
• Say that you have a pizza joint in Vancouver. You post a picture of your pepperoni pizza with the hashtag #VancouversBestPizza #NicolosRestaurant #DeliciousDeepDish
• Or you are a Toronto wedding planner. You post a picture of the bride and groom’s first dance with the hashtag #TorontoWeddingPlanner #LoveWins #WinterWedding
Holidays and special events are an excellent time to promote your business and gain Instagram followers. Whether it is Black Friday sales, thanks-related uses for your product, or product shout-outs on National Dog Day, they are all ideal opportunities to showcase your business brand in a non-sales way.
2. Thank you for showing up
You don’t just post a bunch of photos and hashtags and wait to be liked.
To gain Instagram followers, connect with your audience and increase sales or leads, you have to devote time.
See an example here from video expert Michelle Moreno where she responds to every comment left on her video post.
So if anyone leaves a comment or question on one of your posts, take the time to reply and thank them / answer their question.
Take a look at their profile, and if you like what you see.
Businesses often follow commentators, hoping that they can return the favor.
You can also search for people who are interested in your product, comment on their photos and / or follow them, but do not spam them with asking to follow them immediately.
3. Interaction with Right Influencers
Influencers are Instagram users who can influence your target audience due to your popularity and / or social media following.
Danielle Bernstein is a good example of an influential person working with a brand. You may not recognize his name, but his Instagram account WeWoreWhat has 1.8 million followers.
Bernstein and FIJI Water worked together to create Bodywireweight, a marketing campaign featuring 8-minute workout videos with her and her younger trainer.
This can be an extreme example, and unless you have a deep pocket, you probably won’t be able to attract an influencer with around two million followers.
But don’t despair. From mummy bloggers to local food, you can always find someone your target audience likes, likes, or admires. Maybe they are ready to review your product or take a photo to use it – use your imagination!
4. Not Just Stir Your Products
Instagram is not the only place to share product shots all the time. Think about the experience of the people you are using, or the benefits they give to people.
Even better, show real-examples. Asking your audience for user-generated content is one way to do this. This means that users share their photos using the hashtag provided by you.
The online furniture store Wayfair.com handles user-generated content very well. They have a user-generated campaign that lets customers share photos of their stylish wafer-filled homes using the hashtag #WayfairAtHome.
Be sure to let people know that their images can appear on your page and that you can increase your Instagram content for a big time – for free!
No matter how you use Instagram for your business, be authentic and true to your brand. This is what the platform is all about, and it’s going to help you grow your business, gain Instagram followers, and attract sales or leads.
#BrandBuilding #Tips #Instagram #Business