Instagram is taking the internet world by a storm! This photo sharing social network has over 1 Billion Active Accounts every Month. This means that there are about over 500 Million Active Accounts every Day! If you are selling anything online, you cannot ignore such a huge number. Therefore, it becomes important to pay the utmost attention to Instagram marketing. There are many ecommerce businesses which are using Instagram strategically to build their brand awareness, bring traffic to their main website and get more leads converting into customers. This not as difficult as it seems. Read further and you can do it too!
Since Instagram is a ‘photo sharing’ platform, it is all about beautiful and attractive visuals. This does not necessarily require complicated software. A simple smartphone camera and some natural lighting will do the trick!
Using storytelling and Lifestyle photos instead of your product’s photo on a plain white background is more attractive and compelling. Lifestyle pictures generally capture real-life events, situations, everyday life in an artistic style. Using lifestyle photos will show your product being used in everyday life.
It is also beneficial if your photos have a theme. A theme can be based on anything from a mood your products are trying to convey, a colour palette or even storyboarding.
As everyone say, consistency is the key. Same is applied to promoting your products online. In contrast to Twitter where you need to make many posts in a day, it is suggested to post at least once a day on Instagram. This makes marketing on Instagram a little easier in comparison to other social media platforms where you are required to make multiple posts in a day. Even though you can make multiple posts on Instagram as well, but at the end of the day, it is all about quality over quality. Remaining consistent this way will help you increase your followers more quickly.
Giveaways is the new marketing strategy which is here to stay in the market for a long time! Especially on Instagram, if you do a giveaway of your product/service, it will increase your followers’ manifold and help in building brand awareness. There are many ways in which you can do a giveaway. There is the most basic, simple, yet effective “like this post” giveaway, in which you can ask your followers to like the post and/or follow the page. Another type is the “hashtag” giveaway where you can ask the followers to post a photo/video, usually of themselves with the product or doing some type of activity relevant to the content, using the hashtag in the caption.
Be it Instagram, Twitter or any other social media platform, hashtags contribute a lot in driving traffic. This the best way for people to find you and further engage with your posts. On Instagram, you can use up to 30 hashtags. It is suggested to have a minimum of 11 hashtags to have the most engagement. So, try to add the hashtags which are most relevant to your niche. Just like keyword research, you can find relevant hashtags as well. You can also find hashtags by using the search bar on Instagram.com. This will also tell you about the number of posts which are already using these hashtags. This can give you an idea about the reach you can get from using those hashtags.
Using those hashtags which has low competition can give you a better chance of turning at the top of the search feed for that hashtag. Though, it is suggested to have a combination of high, medium and low competition hashtags.
Just like the number of posts that you make in a day, for a better engagement, it is also important for you to make posts at the right time of the day! There are many social media scheduling apps like Buffer which will tell you the best times to post and will also schedule your posts to go out at those times of the day where the engagement rate is the highest. The suggested times for making a post are 11am-1pm (during lunch time) and 7pm-9pm (after work). This is because most Instagrammers tend to login via mobile, so they try to avoid browsing during work hours.
If you want to search for your prospective customers on Instagram, the best place to start is by visiting the followers of your competitor’s Instagram profile. See who likes their posts, comment on their posts, and follow them. Leave those followers messages and comments. However, don’t be a spam, instead, be genuine.
Scheduling your Instagram posts can be time saving. Start by creating a content calendar for your Instagram. List the type of content, its time of posting, its reach target. This way you can organise your Instagram marketing effectively. Accordingly, you can further create the content and schedule it out for a week, two weeks, or even months in advance.
Having an attractive and a brilliant Instagram is important. There are many businesses who just have their name, their contact information written in a blunt and boring manner. Ensure you are not one of them! Have a thought-provoking bio with the following Must Haves in it-
Your Brand Name
What your brand is all about/what it stands for
Link of your website
Having a call-to-action option on your Instagram profile helps you link your profile to your main website. It works like a lead-magnet! Give your followers a coupon code, an email course or some other free resource. This way they will land on to your main website where you can get them to sign up to your email list in exchange of that coupon code. Further, use a Goal Conversion Funnel, for e.g. via Google Analytics to track how many signups came from Instagram.
This is one of the easiest ways in which you can convey the authenticity of your product. When your customer purchase from you, ask them to take a photo of it and post in on their Instagram handles using your hashtag. Then you can use these photos as reviews or as additional product photographs on your profile.
Influencer marketing is the new age type of marketing which is a great way of getting the word out about your products. You can find many influencers who are relevant to your niche who will post about you on their Instagram profiles, if you are willing to give them your products for free or pay a small fee. Just like user-generated content, you can reuse this content for your marketing.
You sure will need to promote yourself on Instagram, but make sure it does not always appear to “all about sales”. You can achieve this by emphasizing more on the benefits than the feature, taking up a friendly tone while writing the content – like you are recommending the product to your close friend. People always want to know how a product will help them and make them feel! Make sure you consider it while making your posts.
This is a great way of showing the people your human side. Today, the brand must be more than just about sales and numbers. The brands should be such that they convey that they are human and not just some robotic brand. By sharing a behind-the-scenes photo or video of your workplace, your employees, how your products are made, a video of your packaging, you can build trust with the prospects. However, make sure you don’t give out too much information! Maintain a thin line between a BTS and Confidentiality.
The businesses who take a step beyond just selling the product tend to survive the longest in the market. Make sure you educate your customers on the know-how of the product, this way you can give more value to them.
If used right, humorous posts are yet another way to show the customers the human-side of the brand. Posts like relevant meme or animated gif are sure to bring a lot of engagement from the followers. Just be careful with the humour – remember that not everyone has the same sense of humour. If you end up posting something too crass, it may not resonate.
Anything ranging from an inspirational quote, to an advancement in your niche can be used to make posts. For example, if you sell beauty products, you can google “beauty quotes” and lot of ideas will pop up.
You must keep on checking the top posts for your hashtags. This is way you can see what these posts are doing and where you are lacking. What makes it a top post? The engagement rates. This is the amount of likes and comments compared to the number of followers.
This means that even if you have a small number of followers, but you can get more likes, you will have a higher engagement rate than someone with many followers but lesser likes. This will go on to give your account even more exposure.
These are the few simple steps you can follow to ensure higher engagement, more leads and loyal customers for your eCommerce store using Instagram. It is a millennial’s world; most brands are targeting these millennials. This makes it of utmost importance for the businesses to be on such platforms like Instagram, adapt ways which are familiar with the millennials. Instagram is their way of life. Therefore, if you go for Instagram, make sure you portray yourself as a brand who belongs to their community. This way you are sure to get the attention of your desired targeted audience.
Happy marketing! Go get ‘em, Tiger!