Did you know that 80% of people on Instagram follow one or the other business? Think about what that could do to your marketing stats! Haven’t started yet? Well, what are you waiting for? Here’s all you need to know.
WHY IS INSTAGRAM SO POPULAR?
Well, the first and the most obvious reason is its ease of use. It’s just over 10 years old and has overtaken some of the oldest social media platforms mainly because it’s so simple to operate – just click and add an image. But this is also what deters many from using it – after all, there’s only so much you can do with an image right? Wrong. We’ll tell you why in a bit – but before that, there are a few other reasons why Instagram has taken the world by the storm.
WHY IS INSTAGRAM GOOD FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Fair enough. What do you look for on social media platforms? Followers, who share your content right? At least that’s mainly what helps your business and brand grow. Your followers on Instagram can give you great insights about your audience – their age, preferences, likes, and dislikes, and so on. This data can help you narrow down your target audience and create your campaign and strategy around them. Besides, don’t forget Instagram is the easiest to use on phones which means you can click and share your experience on the go – literally – unlike say Facebook where you might want to add text to your post which can be harder on phones. Using the Instagram app you can easily share your own photos and those of people you follow on other platforms like Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, and Tumblr – straight from your phone. Voila! You are on at least 5 platforms with just a few clicks! Granted that you can only use photos but Instagram still lets you follow and be followed – which means you can take your followers to other platforms and attract followers from other platforms to Instagram – and that my friend is your cue to use it to expand your customer base.
HOW DOES INSTAGRAM MARKETING WORK?
Many businesses are already leveraging this great platform for business but if you’re wondering how a few photos can enhance your bottom line here goes:
Your content will only be shared if your followers truly love it and it generates a strong desire to share with friends. Remember there are millions of people on the platform and everyone’s posting almost every day. So if you want to get any kind of traction make sure your content is beyond awesome. You could – if you haven’t already – set up a regular Instagram account and give it a shot before you go pro. Follow a bunch of people and share their content. You’ll get a sense of what works and what doesn’t. Then you’ll know what you should or should not do.
Users are no longer happy with a great front. They want to peek behind the curtain to see what you are all about. Posting content in this vein – telling consumers how you care about them and the value you bring to them will make your content attractive and sharable. Why? Well, because those who view it will relate to it. When your content resonates with consumer pain points and brings a solution, that solution has far more value than content that tries to sell.
Instagram is an image platform. Quick shots taken from mobile devices may not do the trick. The point we’re trying to drive home is, your images should be of the highest quality that highlights the special characteristics of your product and convey your brand message and USP. Of course, the latest smartphones have great cameras and you can do a good job using those – but you need to make sure you get every element of photography – such as lighting, positioning, focus, and so on – right.
Using images already on Instagram you can create a sequence – a story – that conveys a message to your users. Instagram stories are essentially 30-second long slide shows that remain live for 24 hours. While you don’t need to spend a whole lot of time polishing your content for this, you should ensure that your message comes across. It’s a way to casually share something with your followers – and show that you are human. Your followers feel that they are experiencing the “real” thing and hence it generates great engagement.
Posting high-quality human content is not enough. That will attract true followers. But it will not necessarily turn them into loyal consumers – or even one-off consumers. If your followers get answers to questions that arise from the content you shared, they can relate to your business and brand. They’ll feel valued and cared for and they’ll come back for more.
Actionable posts tell users to do something. This helps generate comments and brings people tagged in these comments to view your content – and hopefully follow you. Of course, this opens the door for negative comments too – but look at the bright side – if you respond in a positive way it triggers a discussion about your business. If things begin to slide, you can stop responding and request everyone to use messenger for their complaints/feedback.
You don’t have to post every day. But whatever frequency you use – stick to it. Be consistent also with your colour theme, style, and other aspects – oops elements – of branding. Remember that people are viewing your brand across cyberspace and not just on Instagram. Consistency – not just on Instagram but elsewhere too – will help people recognize you so you’ll attract the right audience and do away with the rest.
Another great way to generate talk about your content is to run a contest. The icing is that rewarding your most adherent followers – who win the competition of course – will encourage others to talk about it and participate next time. The contest could be anything from captioning one of your posts to creating a new one for you. Executing contests might require some dexterity but if done right they’re a great way to expand your reach..