Initially designed to be a standalone photo-sharing app, Instagram has become one of the most important social media platforms in existence. Instagram was purchased by Facebook in 2012, Instagram has become a vital tool for marketers. Today, more than 800 million people all around the world use Instagram every month.
For many businesses, knowing where to begin in marketing on Instagram is the hardest part. However, with a bit of research and marketing know-how, any business can easily use Instagram to promote their products and services and to boost their online influence on social media.
It Starts with the Profile
The most important part of your business’s presence on Instagram is the profile. Although it may seem self-evident, it is essential that you design a complete profile, including a URL link to your company’s home page, your company logo, and a brief description of your company’s mission or value statement. Instagram now also offers business profiles that give you the opportunity to add a phone number to your business’s profile as well as more advanced analytical data.
It’s About Service, Not Products
If your company manufactures and sells shoes, you may be tempted to use your Instagram posts to primarily focus on your products. However, regardless of what type of business you’re in, the key to successful Instagram marketing is to always focus on what solutions you provide rather than your products.
Therefore, for a business that makes shoes, the solution is to focus on what solutions your shoes provide. Perhaps they allow your customers to enjoy a healthy lifestyle without pain or discomfort. The photos and videos you post on Instagram should then highlight this solution rather than just a boring stock photo of the products themselves.
The best way to build interest on Instagram is to creatively show (rather than tell) how your products or services provide a solution.
Following the success of Snapchat’s similarly named Stories, Instagram now offers Stories, a slideshow that disappears from your followers’ timelines after 24 hours (although they can be saved on your device and re-posted later).
Although Stories are more effervescent than a standard Instagram post, they have the advantage of appearing at the top of your followers’ timelines rather than in the normal chronological order. Stories are a great way to add life and creativity to your normal marketing plan as they can be integrated with stickers, filters, and texts overlaid on your images/video.
A Human Face to Your Brand
Most of the time, customers can find a sufficient amount of information about your business on your website. Instagram, therefore, can be used as a way to make your business more personal.
Great ideas include posting photos of your employees, sharing “behind the scene” photos and videos of how your products are made, and photos/videos of company activities like a brainstorming meeting or a company outing.
By sharing the human face of your company, you’ll greatly improve your brand identity and help drive interest in your company’s products/services.
These are just a few ways that Instagram can be successfully used to help drive growth and improved customer satisfaction for your business.