There is more to Instagram than visually appealing photos and videos. When the app first came out in 2010, we couldn’t stop sharing photos of our lunch and dinner with the ‘retro’ filter. And it has advanced at a much faster pace. Do not get deceived by the simplicity of this app, it is the perfect tool marketers need to turn their brand into a roaring success. In fact, it can be a goldmine for businesses that use it the right way.
Read on to find out how to find the right strategy to make the Instagram account of your business click with the relevant audience. It does not matter whether you work in an NGO, a retail store, or trucking business, the right Instagram will pay off for everyone. To get ahead, you really need to know the platform inside out and keep a tab on new updates.
Optimize your Business Profile
Just like a brick and mortar store, your Instagram profile is a reflection of your business. Today’s user has a very short attention span, in which they decide whether your account is impressive or not. By completing the following checklist, you can optimize your Instagram profile so that it is ready to welcome people:
- Profile name, photo and links of your brand as shown on other social media websites
- A bio that explains your business in the best way
- A brand hashtag that you use in other social media websites as well
- The color palette of your account should be followed when creating posts
No one optimizes like good old McDonalds on the internet. One look at their Instagram account and you feel like you walked into your neighborhood McDonalds store:
Define your target audience
Before you create content, you need to define the target audience who should see your content. In order to start with a target buyer, here are some places that can help you gather information:
- Analytics on other social media platforms
- Competitor research, especially on Instagram
- Value statement for your brand (some brands define a different strategy for each social media account)
- Your existing buyers
- Create a Lead Quiz
Once you have one or two buyer personas, you can start thinking of content. If most of your buyers have been college students residing in Chicago, you can make content about Chicago college life and then plug your product or service smartly in the content.
Evernote is a popular note-taking application that can now record voice notes and secure your media into a post as well. However, their key message is to ‘develop products and services that help you remember things’.
Evernote’s Instagram is all about productivity tips, making travel plans, and lots of lists. None of these posts blatantly force the target audience to download the app. Instagram helps Evernote reinforce their marketing messages while providing gorgeous photos that people love to engage with.
Appeal to Instagram Shoppers
Before getting amazed by the daily users of Instagram (about 2 billion!), you should know about the kind of people who join Instagram. People on Instagram are shoppers who soak up your marketing messages and act upon your advice. Your magic trick to sell to these shoppers without writing ‘BUY FROM US’ in every post is by becoming one of them. Let us explain through an example:
Aaptiv is a workout application that helps people achieve their fitness goals. Some people love to run, but not everyone feels motivated to wear their running shoes and trot out on the street. Aaptiv cracked the code to make their content look natural, yet appealing to the target audience. Here is the mini video they created for the target audience:
The ad shows a fit girl running on a treadmill and looking in perfect shape. The ad makes you wish you become a version of her with the dream of that perfect body. Using Instagram’s short video limit as a challenge, Aaptiv succeeds to impress viewers with an equally interesting ad copy and caption. Once you show people who they want to be and then associate your product along, you do not have to pitch the product in any other way.
Leverage Story Posts as often as you can
Instagram stories are just as influential as the grid posts. Almost 1.7 billion people use Instagram stories every day, and get valuable information from the accounts they follow, including brands. Most of this follower base is Millenials or Gen-Z, who look towards online entities for decision-making during shopping. Your product or service will be in the limelight as long as it goes up on insta stories.
Bn3th is an underwear brand with a dedicated online strategy, including affiliate programs, referrals, and flash sales. They not only use Instagram stories but also implement simple features like geo-tagging and hashtags to increase the effectiveness of story content. Here they are informing users about all the locations where their stock is available to shop:
Stories are also important for rainy days when you are running out of new content. In such situations, you turn towards story posts to remain active on your followers’ timelines and show them that you are alive and thriving.
The popular app of 2010 is now a marketer’s weapon of choice while launching powerful social media campaigns. Instagram continues to rule the social media world, and you should remain prepared for its next turn. Be ready to scoop up billions of likes that are spread on the app every day. The key to marketing on Instagram is to be friends with your audience.
Lastly, never cease to improve with the help of analytics. Instagram shows a limited 15-day activity, but it is still a treasure trove of information about your followers’ demographics and peak usage times. Use this data to tweak your content, and soon you will start curating the feed with a data-driven strategy.