When it comes to growing your online business, have you considered how Instagram can play a part? Boasting more than one billion monthly active users, marketers, and business owners can’t afford to ignore the benefits that Instagram has to offer.
Why Use Instagram?
Social media used to be purely for people to interact with each other and keep up on everyone’s lives. Over the last few years, especially with social advertising coming into the mix, that has changed. Marketers came to understand the significance of social selling and how to use social platforms to grow their businesses.
With so many people engaging on the app, your business can’t afford to ignore how Instagram can help it achieve its marketing goals. Like other platforms, you can use Instagram to start a conversation with your audience, learn about them, and give them content you know they’ll enjoy.
About 75 percent of Instagram users have taken action, such as visiting a website, after browsing through posts on the platform. There’s no denying that it can have an immensely positive effect on your brand as long as you use it properly. You can grow your email list, build brand awareness, and drive sales with the right strategy.
Let’s look at six ways you can use Instagram marketing to grow your business to new heights.
Apply Consistent Branding
Your branding is one of the most important elements of your business. Think about well-known brands you could recognize just from seeing its font or color scheme. McDonald’s is known for its yellow arch while consumers can easily spot Nike by its checkmark logo. Even the simplest components matter when creating your brand image, which is why it’s important to be consistent.
Just like your website and email marketing, you need to apply consistent branding to your Instagram content marketing strategy. You want users to familiarize themselves with your style so they’re able to recognize you on any platform and in any context.
Some elements that make up your brand image include:
- Color scheme
There are several benefits of applying consistent branding to your Instagram strategy. For one, it builds trust and customer loyalty. When users feel they’re enjoying a familiar, reliable experience, it convinces them to invest in your brand. It also makes your brand stand out. The more often people see your branding, the more they are able to associate it with your business.
Create Content for Your Audience
If you post content that doesn’t bring value to your audience, then your Instagram account will sit stale with no engagement or action. To ensure that you’re organically attracting visitors who can move through the sales funnel, you need to make sure you’re creating content specifically for them.
So, how do you do this? There are many ways to go about finding out what kind of content your readers want and will make them stick around.
Start out by analyzing what content performs best with your readers. What are the topics about? What pain points do they solve? Who do they serve? Buyer personas put all user information into one customer profile so it’s easy to identify and produce content for your target market. This includes age, location, demographics, income level, interests, problems, and more.
Once you’ve gotten as much information from research as you can, you can move on to speaking with your audience to get to know them better. Create a customer survey form to send to your visitors and subscribers to get direct information about them. The more you can narrow down your questions, the more detailed answers you’ll receive.
Some questions you might ask on a customer survey include:
- What are your favorite features of our product?
- How can we improve?
- Did our website cause any difficulty?
- How well did we meet your needs?
- Were you able to find what you were looking for?
- What can we do better in the future?
Use Strong CTAs
When your posts garner enough attention, you can use the curiosity and actions of your followers to lead them back to your website. If you post content without telling them what they should do next or where they should go, then you’ll miss out on conversions that can take your business to new heights.
Pay attention to where you can add calls-to-action on your Instagram so you get the best results. Your bio, captions, stories, and comments are all places you can optimize to receive increased click-throughs.
Nike linked to their website’s homepage to increase their traffic there:
Engage Your Followers
Too many brands sit on a goldmine of followers but do nothing to interact with them. Starting a conversation is the easiest, fastest way to improve engagement and build a loyal following. When people know you’re active on social media, they’re likelier to reach out to you.
Talking to your followers on Instagram does more than making them happy or intrigued. It also encourages them to reach out to you so your platform stays active and gives you more information about your audience to build your brand on social media.
Lululemon actively engages their followers by answering their questions and providing assistance:
Use your Instagram to encourage engagement from your audience that drives sales and grows your online business. Create a contest or giveaway to build brand recognition and spread the word about your company. Post unique content with a twist to intrigue consumers and keep them browsing. Ask open-ended questions to start a conversation. As long as you can get users talking, you’re already on your way to improving your overall engagement.
Ritual Vitamins uses memes to create a fun, humorous feel on their Instagram and encourage sales. They also include a clever CTA in the caption:
Learn How to Use Hashtags
Hashtags aren’t something businesses use on social media to fit in with their followers. When used correctly, hashtags can put your brand in front of new eyes and build its recognition with consumers.
If you don’t already, you need to create a hashtag strategy for your Instagram content. Understanding what hashtags people use frequently gives you further insight into who your audience is and how to cater to them. It also tells you what hashtags will put your brand in the spotlight so you can grow your business.
Make a list of hashtags you think suit your brand, its products, and its content. From there, you can narrow them down to fit your niche so it attracts the right audience. If you use hashtags that are too general, it attracts anyone and everyone, so it’s important to remain specific.
It’s also important not to stuff each post with as many hashtags as you can think of. You’ll know what the sweet number is for your brand by testing it as every business is different. Some brands, such as Apple, use as few as three hashtags while others use over 20.
Take it a step further by creating a branded hashtag used only by your business. Although it doesn’t work in every instance, when done correctly, a brand hashtag campaign can take your business to the next level. It has to be memorable and intrigue people enough to check it out further.
Many businesses create branded hashtags to support a specific campaign that drives sales and recognition. For example, Toms created the hashtag #withoutshoes to promote their campaign where every pair sold meant that another pair would go to a child in need.
How likely are you to buy something if you’ve never heard about it or don’t know what others think about it? The chances are you’ll feel hesitant to spend your hard-earned money on items that aren’t already endorsed and used by others. That’s where influencer marketing comes in.
A staggering 92 percent of global customers say they trust recommendations from friends and family over traditional advertising. If you aren’t catering to customers the way they want you to, your business will suffer the consequences.
There’s no denying that Instagram is killing it in the influencer marketing department. Influencer marketing is when brands use well-known social influencers to endorse their products and services. Their amassed followings then take interest in the endorsement and start buying from those brands because they trust what the influencer approves.
Influencer marketing is an effective sales tactic because it’s beneficial for both the influencer and the business. Brands pay influencers to post their content on social media. As a result, the influencer gets paid by the company while the company enjoys increased sales and engagement.
Similar to any campaign, you need to ensure that the influencer you choose fits your brand image and shares your target market. Creating content that doesn’t interest or pertain to the influencer’s following is a waste of time, money, and other resources. Their followers won’t care about your brand and you won’t see a huge difference in conversions.
There are so many ways brands can use Instagram to build their businesses. As long as you know how to target the right audience and give them the content they love, you’re on your way to increased sales and engagement.