Over 5 years since it was first developed, Instagram is still perceived by many as the place for selfies, snapshots into celebrities lives or showcasing exotic food. Yes, there is a lot of this on Instagram and it is great for this, however, the fact that it can be used by businesses as well shouldn't be ignored. I for one think that if you aren't using Instagram for your business then you could be missing out on a ton of customers!
Instagram is a hugely popular and free mobile app that allows users to take and upload photos and short videos, with descriptions and interesting filters. The app has always been popular since it was first created in 2010, but its popularity has increased significantly since Facebook purchased it in 2012 for an estimated $1 Billion. Due to the sheer amount of users Instagram has and the visual aspect of it, if you aren't utilising it as part of your marketing strategy then you could be missing out! Read on to find out why Instagram should be used in your overall marketing strategy.
Great For E-Commerce
I use Instagram on a fairly regular basis to keep up to date with latest promotions and offers from my favourite brands, as well as stay tuned with fashion and popular and successful YouTubers like Alfie Deyes. A lot of your potential customers are doing the same! If you sell a visual product then Instagram can be an amazing marketing tool for you to utilise. You can post about specific products that you want to promote, as well as different offers that you may currently have available. Some tips for using Instagram as an E-Commerce Business:
- Post images and videos on a regular basis. At least daily.
- Make sure the camera on your smartphone is good and test different filters on your images to make them stand out more.
- Look at what other brands and businesses are doing and take some ideas, but reinvent them and make yours better!
- Use #hashtags.
- Don't just post self-promotional content, mix it up!
- Be Social! After all it is a social network. By this I mean, actively follow users who may like what you have to offer, like other peoples pictures, comment on them and try and build a bit of a fan base.
If your buyer persona is of the younger generation and women in particular, Instagram can be even more effective! This is because 64% of all Instagram users are women and 73% of users are between 15 and 35. So if you are in a market like cosmetics or beauty, then Instagram can work amazingly well. After all, it is where your target market are. Just remember when you post to talk to your target market. Knowing the specific demographics of your ideal customer is key to a successful Instagram marketing strategy.
The amount of Instagramers using the app on a daily basis is a good enough reason on its own to use the platform in your marketing armoury. A total of 70% of Instagram users check the app at least once everyday. The more content you post and the more you can keep these people engaged, the better Instagram is going to work for you as you will reach a wider variety of individuals. If your potential customers are using Instagram on a daily basis, then you should be too! Be sure to post interesting and relevant current content, along with your products as this will further keep people engaged. For example, if it is a Thursday you could use the popular hashtag “#ThrowbackThursday” to get more interaction. Need more help with deciding about Instagram? Read this article - 5 Reasons To Use Instagram Social Media Marketing For Business.
Another reason why Instagram shouldn't be overlooked as part of your marketing strategy is the sheer popularity of brands. It is estimated that around 70% of Instagramers have already looked for a brand on Instagram. So, if you already have a good brand built up then it is a great place to showcase what you have to offer. However, if you don't have a popular brand identity then using Instagram regularly can help create a greater awareness of your brand. Here are some tips for increasing your brand popularity using Instagram:
- Use promoting images or videos.
- Use short videos (like a preview) and link them back to a full informative YouTube video about your business.
- Hashtag your brand/company name.
- Make sure the images you post are great quality and your target audience relate with them.
- Follow, follow, follow – Find potential customers by looking at competitors’ followers or people using hashtags that relate to what you offer and follow them! The wider your audience, the bigger your popularity and the bigger your reach. In other words – more eyes on your content.
Picture by Nick Youngson
If your business utilises special offers and competitions quite frequently then you just have to get them on Instagram! Around 41% of total Instagramers follow or would follow a brand to benefit from special offers. If you aren't posting your special offers on Instagram then you're missing out! You could potentially generate much more traffic to your website and more leads or conversions from your special offers. Some tips when promoting special offers on Instagram:
- Use Instagram ads to increase visibility and engagement.
- Test images and videos.
- Test different image filters to see what works best.
- Test different captions.
- Make sure your image or video stands out from the crowd and is eye-catching.
- Be creative! You could run a selfie competition in winter for example where you say the best selfie in the snow gets 10% off their next order, or something similar.
What Do Instagram Ads Offer?
Instagram ads and promoted posts can boost your popularity on Instagram tenfold. You can generate more clicks to your website through a photo, video or carousel and get you more conversions or purchases. You can purchase Instagram ads through Facebook's self-serve interfaces: Ads Manager (https://www.facebook.com/ads/manage) and Power Editor (https://www.facebook.com/ads/manage/powereditor). There are 3 forms of ads you can choose from; image, video or carousel. With photo ads you can showcase your product or offer through great imagery that inspires someone to take action. With video ads you can also utilise sound and motion. These would be more suitable with products that utilise sound or movement etc. Then there's carousel ads. A call to action takes interested viewers to your landing page to learn more, and the user can swipe through multiple images.
So by now you are probably at least considering using Instagram as part of your marketing strategy and if you aren't then I will say again, you are potentially missing out on new customers! Instagram is extremely popular, especially among the younger generation and its popularity is only going to increase as the smartphone era progresses. Learn more about how you can use Instagram for your business here - New Update To Instagram That Can Increase Your Business Engagement.