Instagram is the latest and greatest tool for digital marketers. Not only does it have an active base of over 400 million monthly users (that’s 17% of the US adult population!) But it offers plenty of opportunities for brands to improve brand awareness and engagement. Businesses are flocking to the platform to engage more followers and to increase organic reach. In this article, we’ll let you in on the best-kept secrets for improving your Instagram marketing and standing out in a crowded newsfeed.
1. Use Pro Filter Tools
Instagram is an inherently visual platform. Simply put, great content is going to stand out. This means focusing on lighting, product placement, and of course—filters. There are several tools that professionals use to create the perfect Instagram look. We recommend Priime, which has filters designed by real photographers to give your photo that professional finish. Remember to use filters to make your photo as close to the real thing as possible, they are meant to help fix focus, saturation, exposure, contrast, and sharpness– not to change the basis of the photo itself. Instagram started around the idea of authenticity and no one likes an overly artificial photo.
2. Re-Gram your Fan Content
Social media is Generation Y’s word-of-mouth. If you have customers posting Instagram photos about your product and brand—consider these visual endorsements. Re-gram photos that your customers have tagged you in through a hashtag or @mention. It’s a great way to celebrate your most loyal customers and to show potential customers the fun ways that your products are being used post-purchase. Don’t forget to ask the user for photo permissioning rights—you can easily do this by leaving a comment on the user’s photo and asking them if you have their permission to re-post. Your customers’ photos are a limitless pool of content that resonate strongly with potential customers and keep your marketing campaigns fresh. They are a marketing asset that should not be overlooked.
3. Add a Website Link to your Bio
One of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your webpage from social is by placing a link in your Instagram bio. Take advantage of it, because your Instagram bio is the only place that you can place a clickable link. While you can insert a link into an Instagram caption on a photo or video, these will only appear as plain text. If you’re unsure to where you want to send your social traffic, consider adding your company website homepage. With time, you might want to create a shoppable gallery of your Instagram photos so that followers don’t ever have to leave the social platform to purchase. But for now, bring followers out of the social platform to your website with a bio link and turn your browsers into buyers.
4. Use your Brand Influencers
Only 4.7% of your customers generate 100% of your brand’s word of mouth. Peer recommendations are playing a much larger role in purchasing decisions and, consequently, influencer marketing is becoming a larger initiative for marketing teams. Influencers are social media users who have an established credibility and audience. They must be relevant to your target audience, appear to be authentic, and post frequently. Remember that when you find and leverage your best social influencers, you reach not only their audience, but their audience’s network as well. In order to find your brand influencers, start by making a list of customers posting about your brand and then rank them by number of followers and pertinence to your industry.
5. Stay Active on Social
This one may be obvious, but it requires the most effort: Post consistently! There is distinct correlation between how often a brand posts and the rate of return visitors. It often takes multiple returns to turn a prospective customer into a customer. Also don’t forget to allocate time to ‘Comment’ and ‘Like’ your fans’ posts and monitor the conversation around your brand. When customers see your brand engage with real people, it helps to validate your social presence and humanize your brand. Opening a two-way dialogue is a guaranteed way to build long lasting relationships with your customers.
From brand building to driving sales, Instagram has true business value if leveraged correctly. If you implement the above five tips, watch your Instagram stats skyrocket and your brand’s online community grow.