Instagram is one platform that brands are excited about and know they want to take advantage of, but often find themselves struggling to maximize and achieve results. There are companies who are nailing it with their Instagram business accounts, and those who could use a few fresh ideas and new strategies.
Consumers are definitely using Instagram to admire gorgeous pictures, but they’re also starting to use the platform as a medium for purchasing products and clicking to company websites for more information. See five creative and inspiring ways companies can better engage with their target audience, gain more recognition and maximize ROI.
1. Shoppable Instagram
Instagram allows users to put only 1 website link in their bio. This may have seemed like a bit of challenge in the past, but now you can maximize this link to the fullest. Brands can create a shoppable Instagram feed that allows them to drive interested users from their social photos to the products featured in the content. This Instagram marketing strategy is an engaging and easy way for consumers to get inspiration to buy. Making your Instagram shoppable is also effectively increase website traffic and sales.
2. Sponsored Posts & Product Reviews
Advertising on Instagram is not only a smart way brands can get in front of a larger audience, but it also gives them the chance to highlight specific products, events or giveaways, and sets themselves apart from the competition. There are tons of tools out there to help companies optimize who sees their posts and when they see it. Monetizing Instagram posts is very possible given the opportunity to advertise on the platform. Many companies have proven Instagram ads drive revenue and are taking the next step by focusing on structuring strategies to influence more revenue with each campaign.
Companies need to always be thinking about how they can reach new and larger audiences. One way of doing this is to put the products and reviews in the hands of the consumer. Find social influencers and send them your product so they can try it out and share their experience with their following. For example, if you sell athletic shoes, you’ll want to find influencers that are passionate about fitness, regularly post about the topic and have a large engaged audience.
3. Seek Out Earned Media & Publish User-Generated-Content (UGC)
Publishing authentic UGC that is earned is a marketing tactic that’s appreciated by consumers and delivers results for brands. The benefits of using earned UGC in Instagram ads far out weighs using traditional marketing imagery. Consumers want to see authentic content on Instagram, not numerous staged brand images. UGC influences consumers to buy because they receive validation from other customers that the product provides value. UGC also gets more engagement than brand content alone. Curating UGC and earning permission to use it from the owner is a quick easy process with the right influencer marketing software.
Brands should focus on finding influencers who fit their brand identity but are able to express their identity in a unique way. A lot of Instagram users are amateur or talented photographers who produce and share stunning images as it is, so brands should take advantage of this. When obtaining permission from influencers, offer to feature their content with attribution on your website. That way they can get exposure for their creativity. You can guarantee the source of the post will be so flattered and excited that they were featured on a business page that they’ll let it be known on social media.
4. Give Back
Your fans follow you for a reason and nine times out of ten it’s because they love you. Don’t take your biggest fans and supporters for granted. Give followers sneak peeks, advanced product knowledge, behind-the-scenes photos and special offers.
Marketaire reports, that 70 percent of people follow Facebook brand pages for special offers. This stat ought to make it loud and clear that fans want to be wined and dined. Companies need to start focusing more on what speaks to their customers, followers and fans. The more you give back and show your fans how much they mean to you, the more you’ll get back in return. It’s a win-win strategy. Instagram-exclusive offers, or contests are excellent ways to drive traffic from other sources and get non-fans involved.
5. Give Instagram a Look Behind the Scenes
Companies shouldn’t be afraid to show who they are and what they represent on Instagram. Sometimes companies are so focused on results and strategy that they forget to be human and have fun! One company who does this very well is theSkimm. They’re loud and proud of who they are, what their brand stands for and clearly communicate that they’re a fun and energetic group of people who love their fans. When marketers reveal the authentic side of their brand it builds brand trust and loyalty with consumers.
Fans want to see the real deal, not the perfected and modified version of a brand. Companies should think about posting employee outings, volunteering projects and images of staff genuinely enjoying the work they’re doing. Authentic marketing is highly sought after by Millennials and has proven to get more attention, engagement and positive feedback from users.
If you want to run not only a must-follow Instagram business account, but a valuable resource to consumers and your brand, then it’s smart for you to try new strategies. The more people you are able to reach and resonate with the more your brand will grow. The only way brands will win with Instagram is by taking risks, creating engagement and showing their fans lots of love and appreciation. The ideas in this blog post will help you do just that, and maybe even more.