Social media has done wonders for marketing and one platform that’s living up to that statement is Instagram. Instagram is home to millions of users and a large number of them follow their favorite brands on it.
Instagram is a great platform where you can market your products effectively using tools such as sponsored posts. In fact, you can even test out your campaigns with an audience using the shopping platform.
Statistics tell us that around 80% of Instagram’s users follow a business profile. So, the point being made here is that Instagram is a tried and tested platform that offers plenty of potential in terms of capturing an audience’s attention and boosting the bottom line.
However, there are challenges. The way we market a product or a service today has changed a lot, especially with the advent of social media. There’s a lot more you need in your arsenal now to bring in sales, and Instagram marketing is a worthy addition.
Now, technology evolves and that applies to social media as much as it does to pretty much everything else. So, it’s better to be a few steps ahead when you can. So, let’s look at how you can leverage Instagram to the maximum.
What’s so “Hot” about Instagram Marketing?
Instagram’s strongest characteristic is that it allows the brand and the customer to engage almost naturally. When a business sets up an Instagram profile, it manages to create awareness about the brand. But, that’s not all. The business also gets to share its story. So, the business is basically engaging with its customer base on a much deeper level.
Instagram has over 500 million active users
According to a study done by Statista, the social media platform has over 500 million active users, which indicates the kind of marketing potential it possesses. Interestingly enough, ever since Instagram came into existence, the number of advertisers on it has doubled in the last 6 months alone.
In another study conducted by Bloglovin’ in 2016, it was found that Instagram was a favorite among influencers. They described it as the number one platform for increased customer engagement. In fact, only 18% of the respondents said the same about Facebook.
Case in point
As stated earlier, customer-business relations are optimized by Instagram. One e-Marketer study found that over 84% of Americans using mobile devices used them to shop online via apps like Instagram. These apps are known to simplify the shopping experience and boost the general level of convenience.
Madewell and Bandier are two brands that are using this photography-oriented social media platform effectively. The former is a large, well-known retailer, while the latter is a much smaller name in the business landscape. However, they both prove that there is a lot to benefit from Instagram.
Something as simple as posting images of people using their products has been known to have a tremendous effect. By displaying the product in use, these brands are able to show customers what they’re exactly getting and how it’s likely to benefit them.
The fact that two businesses, on the opposite ends of the size spectrum, are able to do this is an indication of how universal Instagram is in its appeal.
Now, there are two primary ways in which you can market on Instagram. You have Sponsored Posts and the Shoppable Platform.
Sponsored posts basically allow brands to post images of their products. Interested customers can tap on the image to activate a tag, which then provides more information about the product. You even have a “Buy Now” link that takes the user directly to the brand’s web page.
The shoppable platform is similar. However, the key difference is that the image contains multiple links to products, which are hosted on an e-commerce site.
Getting started with Instagram Marketing
The first step is to actually create an account, which is easy and self-explanatory. Just follow the instructions once you open the application or site. Once you’re in, make sure your profile is set up to function as a business profile.
Now, connect your Instagram profile with your Facebook profile and whichever e-commerce platform you’re using. After this, all you have to do is make sure your product catalog is integrated into the profile. You need to do this if you want to tag your products.
Now, for the actual marketing part, here are a few tips.
- Set up a content calendar to help your marketing team schedule and organize content.
- Download or design templates for your stories and posts. It’s fairly easy to do this and the task can be delegated to your creative team. If you don’t have one, outsource the task. Make sure the templates are consistent with your brand image.
- Create a mood board that’s consistent with your brand as well.
- Initially, post as often as possible and measure the response. This is to know when your audience is most active on the platform.
- Make use of Instagram’s own analytics feature. Get a clear picture of your demographic. This will help you develop targeted marketing messages in the future.
- Hire the skills of a digital agency for a better perspective on things, especially if you are a non-tech brand. Your digital agency will take care of your Instagram marketing for you.
- Identify influencers in your industry and engage with them. Develop a relationship and leverage it in your favor. Make sure the influencer gets something in return too. This could either be a straightforward payment or the free use of your products. However, if you can’t afford the most influential ones, settle for the ones lower on the list.
- Test new markets. Look at what your competitors are doing and get an idea of the kind of demographic they’re catering to. Check your follower’s demographics as well. Break down the market according to age, gender, and location. You can use Instagram’s own analytics do this or use an external application.
- Carry out a keyword analysis. Find out what keywords your target audience is likely to use and incorporate them into your Instagram posts.
The primary point is that social media marketing is here to stay and Instagram is definitely one of the top platforms. So, do explore it. What we’ve offered is just a basic guideline. There is so much more you can learn and use once you actually start experimenting with Instagram Marketing.