Instagram quickly rose to become one of the most influential marketing forces in the social spheres – next to its elder brother, Facebook. Its speedy shot through the ranks of social networks started with the integration of live video in Instagram stories and the ability to shop directly for stories using product stickers.
It all began with Facebook acquiring the platform back in 2012 for $1 billion. What would follow is rapid-fire growth – with the number of its users doubling up in 2015 and making a frog leap in 2017 to an upward of 700 million users.
This comes as good news to online marketers looking to take full advantages of the big number. You can draw thousands of purchases, likes, comments, and views to your IG posts and stories with some little bit of creativity and few tricks to set you off on the right path.
Founded in 2010, the platform came with in-built photo filters as one of its top selling features. This allowed users to take in-app photos and even edit them in-app before publishing them on the platform.
The feature no longer exists, but back then, it was all the craze. Nowadays the trend has morphed into third party apps such as VSCO and light room that Instagram users edit their photos with to the required industry standard.
The problem comes with treading on the fine line between what’s trending and what’s original. If you’re NOT careful, then there’s a huge possibility of reproducing the same content as other Instagram users, save for slapping your logo or signature on it.
This post focuses on helping you develop fresh ideas for the posts you make instead of recycling the same content hundreds of other Instagram users are posting.
Before we delve deeper into the topic at hand, it’s important to understand that marketing your business or products on Instagram has never been easy for anyone. There’s always so much to do and learn – each requiring lots of hands-on experience to truly master the craft.
Here’s a top list of all the ideas you need to start marketing your business on Instagram like a real pro:
Sound Course of Action
The plan you come up with is what determines whether your business is in for profits or just angling for likes. As a business person, your primary goal is ramp up the number of sales you’re getting through the platform, and NOT a shot of dopamine fix as with many Instagram users today
The plan you come up with should begin by defining your target audience. Get to know them on a personal level. What is it that they do for fun? What’s their shopping habits?
The content you create also has to resonate with the kind of followers you have on board. Go ahead and internalize the nature of your ideal customers. What’s their demographics, concerns, goals, and motivation; and how best can you structure your message to sink in well with them?
The point is to try and get your followers interested in checking you out. And the easiest way to achieve this feat is by appealing to their emotions. Simple — just try to make your interactions more personal as it’s humanly possible and you’ll be halfway there.
All this is done to help your customers share your content around, and in the process, help you stretch out your followers and come up with a sound marketing strategy for your business.
With this simple tactic, you can, among other things:
. – Increase your brand awareness
. – Build up Your Customers Loyalty
. – Drive even more sales compared to what you’ve been driving
. – Complement event experiences
Get yourself to define your business goals, and you’ll have an easy time figuring out the best approach forward.
Make Your Instagram Account Authentic
You want your followers to trust you, including those interacting with your business for the first time. Then find a way to make the account look authentic.
The first thing to do is to make all the necessary adjustments and tweaks to the account to keep it in sync with your brand. When somebody visits the account, they should be able to tell from a casual glance that it belongs to your business.
Another common mistake web owners do is pulling their content off other people’s accounts and slapping their own logo on it to pass it as their own. Stay off this path if you intent to make the account appear authentic and more reflective of what you do or your true potential.
Can the account win somebody’s trust just by looking at it? Does it allow them to take a more transparent look at how you operate or conduct your business?
There’s this tendency within the online community of people zoning in on the good part of their life while ignoring the not-so-good side. You don’t want to sell an illusion, but the reality aspect of your business and what it represents.
The stories you post should be realistic enough to be believed by great majority of your followers with little to no doubt on their part. You’ve probably come across the caption “Instagram vs. Reality.” By the understanding of many, Instagram is the opposite of reality. What people line up on the timelines are the ideal images and stories of themselves, and which is parsec miles away from their shitty reality.
In whatever you do, it’s important that you try to avoid hopping into this train by supplying your followers with a reality they can relate with instead of an illusion they can only dream of and quickly pass it as another Instagram ploy to amplify fleeting glorious moments.
In a world where everyone is trying to be something they’re NOT, you can easily beat the competition by being yourself and very transparent with how you conduct your business.
Another way to look at it – every time you’re cooking up a good plan and strategy to take your business to the next level, it’s important to consider your past customers in the content you create. These are the people who have already interacted with your business. They therefore know about your brand quite well and can tell when you’re blowing smoke or being realistic with what you’re posting.
In the same vein, if this group of customers can’t trust you for the word you say, then you’re bound to also have a hard time convincing the rest of your followers.
Trust is the only thing that consumers need to let go of their last minute resistance. You know, that final point when you’re about to make the final decision to buy, but you’re NOT convinced enough NOT to doubt the decision.
If the business makes the mistake of evoking the slightest doubt, then they’d have lost the customer for good. Don’t let Instagram ruin it up for you.
Transparency is all about making your followers believe they truly know your business. As a matter of fact, it’s the only thing you can do to make your online followers, particularly those you’ve never transacted with before feel like they’re part of your business.
A lot has changed in the world of digital marketing of late. Brands are beginning to take a more eco-friendly approach in almost everything they do. The f0od industry is putting a lot of emphasis on gluten-free. If your business happens to be involved in a new strategy or new mode of operation, then don’t be afraid to make it known, as is.
You can start by walking your followers through a step-by-step guide on how your products are made. Or make a stunning list of the ingredients you use. And what the followers are likely to gain should they decide to try any one of your products out.
The point is to try and make your online interaction with every single one of your followers as honest as it’s humanly possible.
Think of your Instagram account as a direct channel of communication. You can use the platform to address your followers on a personal level, or to interact with some of them on a one-by-one basis.
Photo Ideas for Your Instagram Business Account
i. Your Business Story
Begin by giving a detailed narration of how your business came into being. What was motivation behind the idea? And what actually pushed you to get started? Not to forget, if you encountered any hurdle or hardship along the way?
Even the smallest of the businesses you know have an interesting story to tell. Don’t be too mean to your ardent followers when it comes to giving out a juicy narration of your journey as a business person.
Whether it’s a rag-to-riches story or a simple story of a person with a relentless drive to revolutionize the industry and how things are done.
Use #smallbusiness hashtag to dig out for real-time examples of business stories and the motivation behind it.
Learn to celebrate your business and the little achievements you’ve made this far. You also stand a chance of creating a trending topic with the story you create if done right. Just find a way to apply a special spin to the narration you give and you’d have succeeded in creating an interesting piece to drive an insane amount of traffic to the posts you have.
ii. Behind the Scenes
Behind the scenes images of your business operations are good for transparency. What happens is that you’re simply shedding some light on what’s involved in the production process of your products and services.
Your followers are used to seeing edited photos of the products you’re selling, perfectly shot and edited to the required standards. So why NOT serve them with something entirely different?
Create a visual representation of how you manufacture your products. It can be a clear step-by-step guide in picture form, showing every detail of the manufacturing process your products go through.
Often times, people use the term behind the scenes to refer to the captured scenes of videos sessions, more so in the production of movies and music videos. But it can be used in pretty much everything to showcase the process involved in producing something or getting something done.
For a restaurant, you can take detailed photos or videos of the process involved in preparing the food you serve. It can be a simple recipe of your signature menu item or a sweeping shot of your chefs doing their thing in the kitchen. For an office setting, you can create a short video of your staff at work or an office party or event that you organized in the recent past.
In short, be prepared to walk your followers through the details of what your business is involved with.
iii. Product Operation
Make a video of your products while in use. If it’s a back pack, let someone wear it and capture them in the midst of wearing it in the streets.
One way to do this is to make a simple how-to video. Find a product you’re certain there will be a few followers who won’t understand how to use it or get a footage of someone using it.
You can take photos of some of the creative signs at your work place and post them on your business IG account. Works even better with a brick and motor business. As boring as the tactic sounds, a long host of well established companies have been using it, and can actually attest to its effectiveness.
You’re simply reeling back your memories and capturing all the possible triggers in your surroundings.
All you have to do is make the images quality enough and professionally shot to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your account.
Another trick would be to come up with a perfect spot that entices your customers to take shots for Instagram. You can then encourage them to also consider tagging your business in the photos should they decide to post them on Instagram.
It’s a Wrap
Marketing your business on Instagram can be pretty tough for someone who’s never done it before. This guide strives to make it all easy for you, besides taking a simpler approach to walk you through the insider tricks professional marketers use to drive colossal amounts of traffic to their websites using the platform.
For those who lack the time and technical expertise to handle all this, you can contact MediaOne today for help in managing your Instagram account or free social media consultation.