Have you started implementing Instagram business marketing? If not, you are missing out on something big.
You can’t deny that Instagram is one of the most vital social channels used by businesses. It makes branding that relies on visual media, such as images and video possible.
If you look at the statistics, content with images gets 94% more views than plain texts.
And since Instagram is centred on storytelling, it can really engage the viewers, garner likes, get shares, and encourage followers to take action.
What’s more? One-third of the most-seen stories on Instagram are from businesses.
So if you are planning to build an online store or already have one, leverage on Instagram to take your business to the next level.
Here are tips for implementing effective Instagram marketing.
How to do effective marketing for your e-commerce store
1. Craft a great bio and include your store’s link in the bio
Your bio is like your business card, one of the most vital parts of your profile that will either attract new followers or make them retreat. Ensure that you make a first good impression to retain followers.
What does a good bio look like?
It has to concisely explain what your business is and what service you provide. Instagram allows only 150 characters to write your bio, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative.
Let your bio speak directly to your target audience while showing your brand’s personality and making a pitch. You can check out the Instagram bio of The Wing below to get an idea.
Also, Instagram allows users to share a clickable Instagram link in your bio. Leverage on it and share links to your website or specific website pages. You can change the link as many times as you want.
2. Write engaging captions
Instagram captions serve as a powerful tool to engage with your audience, encourage likes, comments, and even visits to your site. They can be funny, serious, or inspirational depending on your brand’s personality.
You can ask effective questions for better engagement or use emojis, call-to-action, and hashtags.
If you are using emojis, the rule is not to overdo them. While a few, carefully placed emojis can boost engagement, overdoing it will make you lose your message.
Your CTAs should be fun and easy to act upon. You can add something like “double tap if you agree” or ask a personal question to drive engagement.
Adding branded hashtags will ensure that people find your posts as they act like keywords. They can be tracked on Instagram through Instagram Analytics and other sentiment analysis tools. Hashtags can encourage interactions with your customers, as well.
To ensure that the first line of your Instagram caption is super-engaging, add the punchy, compelling element. It can be great if you can shorten the caption so that viewers can read it without having to click “more.”
However, this is not possible all the time. What you can do is load the important content or calls-to-action first. You can put the hashtags, @mentions, or other information in the end.
3. Use tools to plan and schedule content
As per studies, to get the most engagement, likes, and followers, you should publish at least one post per day on Instagram.
Though it sounds pretty easy, in the long run, this can become a taxing job. And on top of it, you have to consider the best time to post while coming up with hashtags, captions, and call-to-actions. As per a study, the best times to post are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
You can make use of Instagram scheduling tools, which can help you to directly publish to Instagram and save time. With the aid of such tools, you can plan your content ahead of time and publish it automatically.
4. Encourage user-generated content (UGC) by organizing contests and challenges
A great way to engage your followers and get user-generated content is to organize contests and challenges.
While you are at it, plan your objectives and goals ahead of the contest, decide on an entry method, use a branded hashtag, come up with a theme, decide how you will choose your winners, choose an appropriate award, create terms and conditions and promote your contest on blogs, social media, via email, and so on.
5. Post vertical video stories
Many brands are turning to video content since they are decidedly interactive and engaging.
But what kind of videos work best on Instagram?
In a study that tried to compare the effectiveness of vertical video and square video, it was found that vertical video drives more engagement.
As per Animoto reports, the use of vertical video saw 13% extra 3-second video views and 157% extra 50% total watch time views. Buffer reported 6% extra 3-second video views and 187% extra 50% total watch time views.
6. Collaborate with micro-influencers
Influencer marketing can make your brand accessible and relatable and help gain trust by showing social proof. As per a study, 70% of millennials are influenced by peer recommendations while making purchasing decisions.
You can collaborate with micro-influencers on Instagram who have 10,000 to 50,000 followers. Working with such influencers will boost engagement at a lower cost amongst niche communities.
While working with micro-influencers, you can also test a service or product, acquire valuable lessons from it, and better your content.
To build a strong micro-influencer strategy, you can take the help of tools that will allow you to find Instagram micro-influencers.
For instance, tools such as Influence.co can aid you in spotting and connecting with influencers as it can offer a vast influencer database across numerous niches. It has a filter feature to allow you to search by category, location, and follower count.
7. Get creative when highlighting products to get more engagement
You might as well just click a picture and post it, but getting creative will yield better results. Just look at how creatively TOMs highlight their product.
For best results, while taking photos, avoid the common error of taking a photo with full exposure and brightness. Also, turn off HDR and avoid using flash. Use filters sparingly as it can ruin the natural lighting. The trick is to experiment with different levels of filters to identify the ideal level.
Promote Your Singapore Brand Via Instagram Using Influencer Marketing
There are 1 billion monthly Instagram users, half of them are active on Instagram every day. Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms, making it a powerful and impactful influencer marketing channel.
Influencer marketing strategy is digital social media marketing that uses endorsements where brands and companies use influencers to mention their products or services on their social platforms. Influencers are individuals with a massive social media following, authoritative sources, and experts in their niche.
As Instagram continues to grow, many businesses and brands are taking advantage of it to boost their online presence visibility and increase their revenues by leveraging collaboration with Instagram influencers. A strategy has worked for many brands because of its high engagement rates, and the trust followers have put in the influencer’s brand.
Influencer marketing helps brands boost their authenticity, increase brand awareness and trust; for this reason, it is considered an effective marketing strategy. Forming partnerships with influencers to promote your products or services will help you boost your sales as more followers are likely to buy.
To conduct successful Instagram influencer marketing, it’s required your develop an effective marketing strategy. Here is how;
Set An Influencer Marketing Objective
Every effective marketing strategy begins with clear objectives and expectations, and Instagram influencer marketing is no exception. You have to write down your key performance indicators (KPI’s) used as determinant factors for the success of your campaign.
Your influencer campaign objectives should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Some of the brands’ influencer marketing goals may include:
- To increase brand awareness
- To increase click-through rate
- Expanding a brand reach
- Generating sales
- Boosting engagement rates and the number of followers.
Your goal is to be precise to ensure you follow through the progress of your campaign based on set targets and defined KPI’s. Remember, influencers have the ability to reach a very targeted audience; instead of relying on your followers only, make use of influencers to help you in ensuring you get a particular audience who are likely to be interested in your products and services.
Find Relevant Influencers
Once your Instagram influencer marketing goal are set, move to the next step of searching the right influencers for your campaign. It is vital to look for authentic influencers and those who have earned trust from their followers because they form a part of your brand’s image. Ideally, potential influencers should share the same values as your brand.
Find real and authentic influencers to collaborate with by conducting a complete background check for all your potential Instagram influencers.
Review your potential influencers followers to determine whether they are your perfect audience. Check out the tone of their communication with their followers and whether their values align with your brand.
Determine their engagement rates by how well they interact with their followers through their content. The ideal Instagram influencer strikes an honest conversation in their Instagram posts.
Here are a few more things to consider:
- Check their Instagram posts’ engagement. If an influencer has a higher engagement rate, their followers pay attention to their content.
- Review the quality of their followers. Determine whether their followers are your actual target audience.
- Review the type of content they share to determine whether it aligns with your brand.
- Check their reach; this is an important metric to determine an influencer’s value.
- Check their posts’ caption length. The longer the caption of their Instagram post, the higher the engagement rate on average.
- Find out what brand they have worked with before; this will help you determine whether they are an ideal fit for your upcoming campaign.
After identifying your potential influencers, the next thing is reaching out to them; if you consider micro-influencers, you can contact them directly via private Instagram messages. For the established ones, be sure to find their contact information from their Instagram bio.
Set A Budget and Marketing Strategy
Setting up an influencer marketing campaign is not a set-it-go type of strategy. It involves a lot of careful monitoring and follow-up to be successful—factor in time for planning, implementation, and reviewing your influencer program.
Running an Instagram influencer campaign goes beyond the partnerships to forming relationships with the influencers. Ensure you are more hands-on to build and maintain this relationship, refine your approach through experience on what works and what does not within your area of focus.
Send Your Pitch
Once you have shortlisted your potential influencers, make the next move of sending them your pitch for partnership and collaboration. Influencers are authentic people passionate about what they do. Make sure you build solid relationships before jumping into creating campaigns with them.
Build a rapport with them before pitching for a partnership by showing interest in the content they create and engaging them in their feeds; this is a strategic way to find out what they are looking for and better understand their brand and goals. Hence, you will be able to pitch to them for a collaboration easily.
Design Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
Following the above steps, you should now be ready to design your Instagram influencer campaign; it is vital to keep your influencer engaged throughout this process. Involving them will help you get their perspectives and ideas to incorporate since they already understand their followers better.
Write down the requirements of your campaign and allow influencers to design and create posts accordingly. Trust them with the freedom to produce and present the content in their voice and style. Thus, ensuring they maintain their authenticity and trust with their followers.
Where needed, give a few guidelines of your expectations. Also, consider the following pointers when designing your campaign.
- Have your Instagram influencer set up an Instagram storefront with its link embedded in the influencer’s bio. The storefront includes the images of the products and links to specific product pages which contain more information and details.
- Promote a giveaway or discount contest. Giveaways are an effective way to engage your target audience, boost engagements, and brand or business awareness.
- Let influencers create unique content. Trust your Instagram influencers to tell your brand’s story in their voices so that their followers will relate with them and be inspired to check out your brand.
- Ensure you participate in discussion forums. Through this engagement, you can use their words or quotes to keep the conversations going.
- Send free products for trial and influencers; this will increase the chances of mentioning it and recommending it to their followers.
Track Your Campaign and Optimize
Tracking influencer campaigns provides you with an avenue to determine what is working and what needs to be improved to reach your goals. Review and track your KPIs to assess progress. There are various influencers’ marketing tools that can help you track the progress of your campaign.
In addition, you can use A/B testing to determine what is working best for your campaign and gain insights on what to optimize for the success of your campaign.
How To Track Instagram Influencer Campaign
Tracking your Instagram influencer campaign helps to gauge its success against set metrics and campaign KPIs. While Instagram is known mainly for engagements, it is crucial to develop ways to measure performance and justify the time and resources spent on an Instagram campaign.
Here are some Instagram analytic tools that you can consider using.
Photo Credit: Social Sprout
Social sprout combines both Instagram analytics and content creation management tools. It also contains an editorial calendar for scheduling new content across multiple social media platforms.
It can also help you dig deeper into specific hashtag performance and tagged locations. In addition to this, it has a social CRM tool that funnels conversations into a central “smart” inbox, and this can help in boosting conversions over time.
Another essential feature in the social sprout tool is compiling all the insights in a presentation format for future reference and curating better campaign decisions.
Photo credit: Iconosquare
Iconosquare provides a buffer-like tool that helps you manage posts across different accounts at a go. It also assists you in understanding how posting frequently relates to gaining and losing followers daily; this tool also shows comments and interactions on each post. You can also search the media library to get high-resolution images to use.
Iconosquare features an editorial calendar view for scheduling posts in advance. The most exciting part is, you can use it to search for influencers for your campaigns, and on top of that, it will help you compare influencers based on their followers and engagement metrics.
Its analytics feature will enable you to measure hashtags, mentions and access in-depth engagement insights. With this, you can determine how particular hashtags are performing, view the best days and times to post to increase your engagement rates.
Photo Credit: Trufan
SocialRank provides detailed audience metrics. It’s mainly focused on identifying follower patterns so that you can tailor content for your target audience. It provides details on the most popular words on your followers’ bios and posts, helping you find specific categories of people like influencers or bloggers based on keywords.
Its follower filter helps you narrow down your audience into smaller categories based on your preferred criteria such as gender, number of followers and more. Once you pull up a category, you can group that audience based on their levels of engagement with your brand or their follower count.
SocialRank can also help you gather insights from individual posts performance metrics.
How To Hire the Right Influencer for Your Brand?
Influencer context: an ideal influencer for your brand should be within your context or niche. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to use an artist such as a renowned musician as an Instagram influencer to run a campaign on a launched software because of disparities in their social followers. Your influencer should be a person who is known as an expert in their area of expertise.
Instagram reach: After identifying an influencer within your niche. Ensure they have an Instagram reach. If an influencer has a higher Instagram reach, it means their followers consume their content. And so will it be their recommendation for your brand, products or services, which in return will boost not only your social following and engagements but also your business sales.
Influencer actionability: influencers do not force themselves on audiences; they naturally influence their followers or target audience that align with their brand context. They are an opt-in network in that their audiences choose to follow them because they offer content that relates to them.
Where to look for influencers
Now that we have determined the right influencer for your brand, let’s explore how we can look for them.
Social media monitoring – Look out for brand advocates. These are influencers who are passionate in the way they write, talk or engage with your brand. Turning on your social media mentions will help you spot them.
Research hashtags – Use hashtags to identify and target influencers, this way, you will find active talkers and what topics interest the audience.
Mention – Instagram allows you to discover different outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, where your brand is getting mentions.
Google alerts – Use keywords alerts related to your brand to identify actively writing on topics within your focus.
Influencer marketplaces – the influencer marketplace such as AspireIQ will connect you with influencers within your industry and help you track the ROI of campaigns, track engagement metrics and manage payments.
Influencer marketing continues to evolve as a digital marketing strategy. Instagram holds many potentials for brands and businesses to expand their reach and achieve their overall marketing objectives.
To create a successful Instagram influencer marketing strategy, you first determine your goals before looking and engaging influencers within your context.
Ensure you also set KPIs to track your Instagram campaign progress. Build relationships with influencers that you are collaborating with, and give them control to create and deliver your content for the campaign. Most importantly, track your campaign performance to optimize your campaign performance.
So, these are the 7 tried and tested tips to build your e-commerce brand on Instagram. With the number of Instagram users growing at a rapid scale, you will be missing out on a lot if you don’t implement an Instagram marketing strategy in your business.
Don’t underestimate the power of a killer bio with a link to your store. Also, hashtags are very powerful when it comes to promoting your brand or a product and engaging with customers.
Make use of the tools available to plan and schedule your content as doing all the work manually can burn you out easily. Ensure that you are hosting contests occasionally and get creative with your images.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, it is quite easy to gain followers on Instagram. Make the most out of it and move your business forward.
Lucy Manole is a creative content writer and strategist at Right Mix Marketing, an SEO-focused link building agency. She specializes in writing about digital marketing, technology, entrepreneurship and education. When she is not writing or editing, she spends time reading books, cooking and traveling. You can connect with her on Twitter and Linkedin.