Instagram is a mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking channel with over 300 million active users worldwide.
For years, brands have taken advantage of this social marketplace, using unique and attention-grabbing images to direct traffic to their site.
For the B2C market, Instagram is an excellent way of engaging with your customers and driving traffic to your site.
It’s been long understood that a picture is worth a thousand words – so don’t miss out on the opportunity to leverage its potential for your business. Follow these tips to maximise your chances of success with Instagram.
1. Define your objectives
Work out what your objective is for using Instagram and how it fits in to your overall online marketing strategy. Are you hoping to raise brand awareness or to reach a new audience? Work out the objective and the strategy to achieve this before you start posting anything online.
2. Be consistent
As with everything online, having a consistent and recognisable presence is crucial on Instagram. Choose an account name and profile picture/bio that is consistent with your other online channels so that your customers will recognise your brand easily.
3. Create high quality content
Create quality content to share. As the medium of Instagram is visual, it is crucial that everything you post is beautiful and unique in order to engage your customers. In order to promote these images make use of current trends and hashtags to widen the reach of your posts to relevant target audiences.
4. Use hashtags
Utilising Instagram trends and hashtags is a great way to engage with your customers. Hashtags such as #throwbackthursday allow you to post images of stock that can be viewed by millions of users following that hashtag. It is also a great idea to create your own hashtag for your brand that customers can use when posting images that are related to your brand.
5. Leverage trends such as ‘selfies’
5. Trends such as ‘selfies’ are a great way to get users to create content for your brand. Asking customers to post ‘selfies’ featuring your product is a great way to generate free endorsements for your brand. Remember, the number one influencer online is a friend’s social media shares.
6. Use offers and promotions
Coupling requests to hashtag your brand with a competition or promotion is a great way of incentivising your customers to promote your brand. For example, “Post a selfie of yourself wearing our new limited-edition trainers to be in with a chance of winning £50 to spend in our online store!” 41% of Instagrammers said that they follow, or would follow, a brand to take advantage of offers and promotions.
7. Use apps
There are lots of great apps to help you to make the most of Instagram for business. Check out Iconosquare for insights, Over for adding text and VSCO Cam for giving your mobile photos a professional feel.
8. Pay for ads
Paid Instagram advertising is not yet widely available but is coming soon so watch this space!
Instagram provides you with a potentially valuable marketing opportunity for your online business.
Instagram is a great way to promote your brand’s story in a visual and inspiring environment that is connected to your customers and your target audience. Success stories include Ben & Jerrys, who raised awareness of their brand activity by 17% through Instagram alone. Also Levis, who had a 24-point lift in ad recall when they used Instagram as a marketing tool.
Follow the tips described above and you may well reap the benefits in terms of increased traffic – and hopefully increase sales.