To gram or not to gram – The Instagram guide for new brands
Instagram marketing seems to work miracles for some brands – while generating 0% profits for others – what is a new brand to do in 2018?
Instagram is a highly visual social media platform used to share images and videos with anyone who chooses to follow the user’s account. Since its launch in 2010, the popular platform now has over 1 billion monthly users – many of which are brands. The presence of commercial brands on Instagram has grown rapidly due to a rising number of Instagram Influencers and advertising opportunities.
This opportunity was recently amplified as Instagram introduced one of its latest updates: a “shoppable feed” that allows brands to tag and sell its products – directly through the app. The question that many new brands are now asking is whether they too should jump on the Instagram train?
The answer to that question is, of course, it depends.
Frist of all, one has to look at the desired target audience – who are you trying to sell your prouct or service to? If you have a look at the infographic below (retrieved from Sprout Social) you can easily determine whether Instagram is the right choice for your business. Brands can not and do not need to be everywhere. There’s no point using social media accounts just for the sake of it being popular – if your content is irrelevant to the audience, it won’t have a positive impact.
Based on what we now know about the demograpics using Instagram – you should well know whether it is the right choice for your own business or brand.
For example: Should you wish to sell your product to women in their early twenties who live in urban areas – you’ve come to the right place.
How to use Instagram as a business tool
As mentioned at the start of this article – Instagram is highly visual. These days users are reluctant to using posting imagery that does not fit the aesthetic of their overall feed. In the same fashion, they are also reluctant to follow accounts that do not have a visually appealing feed. It’s all about posting the right images for your audience, and let them soak up your brand’s visual aesthetic without using a traditional sales pitch.
Many shoppers turn to social media to investigate a brand or its reputation before purchasing a product. If your target audience is using Instagram and you don’t – you are missing out on a great opportunity to connect with them and allow them to find you.
Where do I start?
If you’re going to use Instagram for your business, your account must be separate from your personal one. In order to use the Instagram business tool, you need to have a Facebook Page and connect the two via your Instagram account settings.
Keep in mind that the audience is likely following the account for the brand or product, and not to learn about you. Make sure you keep your personal life and business life separate on screen (unless what you’re up to is relevant to your audience). There’s nothing worse than watching your favourite brand deteriorate in front of your eyes as they start incorporating personal images from their nieces birthday.
Include a Link to Boost Traffic to Your Site
On Instagram, you have only one opportunity to directly hyperlink to your website.
Your bio is the one place where your link is clickable. Photo captions can’t embed hyperlinks, but you can use a phrase like “link in bio” to direct viewers to your profile link.
Stay Consistent with a Name and Photo
Social media is almost like one big puzzle, profiles need to match up and fit side by side. The key is to stay consistent with keywords and images. Always choose an Instagram name that is the same as, or related to, your business’s name across all social media platforms.
Keep your profile image consistent as well. All your interactions and posts on Instagram will be accompanied by the little thumbnail of your profile pic. Make sure it’s something that can be noticed in such a small size and still look professional.
Posts for Your Users
Your followers are following you for the product or service that you offer. It’s important to pick your theme and stick with it. It’s also just as important to keep these images relating to the same design or filter. Most successful pages usually have a colour theme or feel that appears consistent throughout their whole feed.
Another important note is to always post high-quality images. Nobody likes a blurry or poorly cropped photo; it looks unprofessional and messy.
The Use of Influencers
The most meaningful product recommendations usually come from people you know; friends, family, social media personality you follow, or someone you trust – we call these people influencers. In order to get your brand in front of the desired audiences, you can partner with these influencers in what is commonly referred to as Instagram collaborations.
Influencers have shaped and sharpened their content to gain a following that relates to them and look to them for inspiration. A typical influencer can reach up to 300,000 people with a single post, driving not only massive referral traffic to branded pages but creating real-time sales. Keep in mind, some influencers charge big bucks and are very specific. Hiring an influencer to post and tag one image might start at AU$300 and can go up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per post.
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