‘When you photograph people in color,you photograph their clothes; but when you photograph people in Black & White, you photograph their souls.’ Ted Grant
I’m sure that most of you do not need an introduction to Instagram or the way it’s used. While some of you may not consider it to be a stronghold in social media marketing, think again.
Instagram boasts of over 800 million users with over 30% of USA adults use it and over 75% live outside the States. More than 52% visit the site daily and 35% check their Instagram several times. Posting on Instagram is a fun way of reaching a new audience while creating brand loyalty among your followers.
Some of the goals that you include in your Instagram marketing include:
1. Showcase products and services
2. Build a community
3. Advertise to potential customers
4. Brand awareness
5. Showcase company value and culture
Each social media platform has its own audience and thus content needs to be tailored to that audience. When it comes to Instagram, the same rule applies. At the end of the day, you want to post images and videos that generate engagement. Here is a list of content that you can use:
Behind the scenes content- Long gone are the days when companies were operated behind closed doors. Consumers want a feel of what is going on in their favorite companies. This also helps in establishing a rapport with your consumers.
Consumer stories– Post images and videos of your consumers using your product. Ask them to submit images that you can use in your feeds. This makes them feel valued and appreciated.
Product demos- Show creative ways of using your product. Make it easier for the consumer to understand how your product is making their lives better. For example, if you are selling a blender be sure to show how it’s used, how you can clean it afterwards and what not to do to ensure effectiveness of the product.
Educational– This mostly consists of tips and tricks, ‘how to’. The main purpose of this is to show that you are the experts of that particular subject while still trying to solve particular pain points for your costomers. And the beauty of this is when a prospective client tries the above tip and it works, chances are very high that he/she will keep you in mind. Consider this a win-win situation for the two of you.
Culture focused content- This is about showing the human side of your company( before robots and AI completely take over). Be sure not to make it look staged. Let it look natural as this will create a more authentic feeling towards your consumers. Show team building events, fun events, training events.
Get to know– People generally want to know the face behind the screen. They want to know who is serving and helping them. This is another win-win situation whereby the employees feel valued by the organization and the clients get to know the team running your company.
Motivational content– Life can be challenging at times and in such moments we just want an inspiring and motivating quote that will keep you moving. Research shows that motivational content received a lot of engagement as compared to other types of content.
Instagram marketing strategy
After knowing what kind of content you can post, the next step would be to come up with a marketing strategy that suits your objectives.
Determine your audience
As usual this is always the first step. Without knowing your audience, your marketing efforts will bear no fruits. Build a buyer persona and from there you can be able to identify: Age, gender, location, motivation,pain points.
Alternatively, you can look at your competitor’s followers and determine the audience you want to target. Monitor popular events and hashtags related to your industry.
Do a competitive analysis
Conduct a quick audit of related accounts to see what type of posts are getting the highest amount of engagement. Find out how often they are posting and the captions used.
Set up an editorial calendar
‘Failing to plan is planning to fail.’
Plan out your hashtags, captions, key events you want to highlight, new products that you want to showcase. Plan out your posting times and the frequency as well(posting 6 times weekly is the recommended number).
Have a content plan
This is everything from design-layout-hashtags used.
When an Instagram user lands on your page, they should notice consistency in your composition. This is the placement of visual arrangement. Your page should tell a story and draw in a user.
Use a consistent background color so that the picture can be the main area of focus.
Color palette- By using consistent colors on your page, it creates a feeling of familiarity.
Fonts– Use consistent fonts in your brand across all your marketing platforms.
Caption– On Instagram, the caption is limited to 2200 characters and after three line, they become truncated and thus it is important to write information that will draw in your audience that will make them want to read more.
Filters– The quality of images and videos matter greatly on Instagram. Instagram users demand high quality photos and images and this is where the filters come in. With the use of filters, you can make an okay-looking image to looking great. While using filters, be sure to stick to the few that you have chosen for brand consistency.
Hashtags– Now that Instagram has made it possible for its users to follow hashtags; use consistent hashtags. Use hashtags relevant to your business and industry. Take advantage of trending hashtags.
Promote your best content- Repurpose posts as ads. When promoting content on Instagram,improve your targeting by using custom and lookalike audience. This will help you reach your desired audience.
Measuring your results on Instagram
Instagram has its own Instagram analytics but for you to access it, you first have to convert your profile to a business profile. This you can doin settings. Click on the gear icon-switch to business profile.
Here are some of the metrics used:
Follower count– The number of people following you.
Impression– Total number of times your posts have been seen.
Reach– Number of unique accounts that saw any of your posts.
Profile views– Number of times your profile was viewed.
Website clicks– The number of clicks on your profile bio.
Call/email click- Number of people who called or emailed you.
Post– Number of posts you have published.
Mentions– Number of Instagram posts mentioning your Instagram handle.
Branded hashtags- Number of Instagram posts with your branded hashtags.
Once you have fully understood the above metrics, you can now fully interpret the informaction on your page.
Audience insights- gender,age, top locations, followers when they are most active on the platform in terms of hours and days.
Posts(Images and videos)– Impressions, reach, likes, comments,saved links and the engagement.
Instagram stories- Impressions, exits, views, replies and people insight.
Live stories– Number of live viewers.
How to convert Instagram followers to customers.
A strategy is only as good as the results it yields. At the end of the day we want more customers and not just ghost followers.
Some of the things that you can do include:
Use of teasers– Glimpse of new products. This creates excitement and creates a vibe in your followers. Do not spam your followers though and use only a few posts.
Launch a product live– If you think that the best way to get that prospective client,is by doing a live launch; then by all means go ahead. While doing this, include a purchase link in your bio.
Charity and CSR- 80% of millennials expect this from companies. Giving back to the community is a large part of their value system.
Promotions– Use of deals and discounts. Mention the exact offer and for how long the promotion will run. This creates a sense of urgency.
Drive Instagram users into your marketing funnel- Capture their emails and make your Call-To-Action clear. Tell your followers what you want.
Instagram is a platform that caters to a wide reach of audience and its growth has been exponential and is not about to reach its peak.
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