“Instagram is only good for the image – no more.” You often hear this phrase when it comes to companies in developing new platforms. They are right! But what is wrong with image-building? While Instagram does not (yet) generate any leads and therefore only indirectly generates revenue, social networks are all about building a community and tying potential customers to their own brand. We have put together an Instagram Marketing Guide with 10 tips for the undecided, skeptics, but also Insta fans.
1. Is your brand already on Instagram?
If you do not have your own company account yet, you should not just start without thoroughly researching. An argument to become active on Instagram with his company is if the brand is already a topic among the users. Let’s introduce ourselves; you are producing high-quality energy or sports nutrition. Most likely, among the more than 700 million Instagram users worldwide, some of your customers, who may already announce via the platform, that your protein bars are the best.
How do you find that out? Hashtag research! Yes, searching for the right hashtags is work that is essential to your marketing. If your company name or product name is not yet used as a hashtag, that does not mean that your products will not appear on Instagram. Search for related terms – in our example, you’ll find the right hashtags in sports and nutrition. If your products are already praised by different users, this is a good sign that a profile of their own could be worthwhile, because obviously there is already interest in your brand. That makes the start a lot easier.
2. The right motives
Above all, Instagram is a visual social network. That’s why you have to convince with good photos. In this case, well does not necessarily mean that you now have to hire a photographer for great product photos. Your content has to be good in the sense of being “interesting for your target group”. Sure, high-quality photos are very popular on Instagram – more than in any other social network, but there are enough companies to prove that even “bad” motives can appeal to users. Your photos should be high quality or at least authentic. In the best case, you can achieve both with your posts.
It’s important that your posts tell a story. Deuter shows how story telling can work on Instagram. The backpack manufacturer posts great shots and presents the various models as the “constant and reliable companion” and thus inspires many travel bloggers on Instagram. With the right story behind your motives, you’ll find the right audience and your own community.
3. Own and user generated content
Like Deuter, once you’ve found your community, you do not even have to worry about your content. For Instagram users, a report of the brand means something like a knighthood. Important: A reposting feature is not available on Instagram. Therefore, you should contact the users and ask if you can use a certain photo to post it on your profile.
So you kill two birds with one stone because on the one hand you do not have to worry about content yourself and on the other, you bind users and customers to your brand. In this case, of course, it makes sense to greet and mark the user from whom the image is taken directly in the post. He’s excited about the brand’s support and will tell his Instagram followers. This increases your reach and interaction with your community.
4. Like, instead of just being laughed at
Posting photos and waiting for Likes is not exactly a strategy. You should like your company profile and even posts that are provided with the brand or product hashtags like. This, too, symbolizes a form of recognition of the user by the brand itself. So you give it back with little effort and show closeness to the customer. That too is part of Instagram marketing.
5. Tell Instagram Stories
Introduced last autumn, Snapchat-adapted format already has 200 million users around the world. The short video clips or photos, which are deleted after 24 hours, are a good way to pay homage to his Instagram followers and fans – after all, you do not just want to make a user happy with a report. So that you do not have to drop off a new post every 5 minutes with the user-generated content, the Instagram stories are the perfect place to enjoy 10 user pictures with your products.
6. The right hashtags
Well, we’ve already written so much about hashtags that you may have noticed that they are hugely important. Hashtag works over the keywords with the rhombus. That’s why the search for the right hashtags for each post is a task for which you should take your time. There are particularly successful hashtags (eg #tbt, throwback Thursday, used in over 300 million posts for reminders) and less successful, locked or own hashtags.
For example, in 2015 Adidas coined the hashtag #therewillbehaters for a campaign, which is still linked to the sporting goods manufacturer’s products today. Granted, that’s a special case because normally the half-life of a successful hashtag is shorter. That’s why the hashtag analysis is important, because trends come and go, and thus the hashtags too. A healthy mix, made up of much-used hashtags that fit the topic of the post and shorter-range hashtags, is a great way, because those who only use hashtags that are used a million times, must logically compete with millions of other posts and be overlooked faster.
Important: Your hashtags should always match the post. You can certainly use some hashtags on every post. The best example of this is your brand name, which you should always use. Others should be adapted to the theme and time of the post (time of the year). Up to 30 hashtags are possible per post.
7. Own community vs. be part of an existing one
Your brand name does not appear among the hashtags? Then it could be that your products are used in conjunction with other hashtags. Again, there is a community that is not focused on your brand but on a hobby or other activity. However, in this parallel universe, your brand and products will also come forward.
That’s why you should research exactly where your place could be on Instagram and tailor your strategy accordingly.
8. Call to Actions
Ever since Instagram introduced its own algorithm, your interaction plays an important role in landing in the users’ newsfeed. So your interaction should not be limited to postings and like other posts. Ask your followers and other users to post photos with your products. There are almost no limits to creativity.
Do you sell shoes? Then let other users take pictures of a particular couple unpacking. Do you sell office supplies? Why should not your fans even post a photo from their office or desk? The users set your brand hashtag and your products and your brand will be spread.
Of course, call to actions also work on a professional basis. Anyone who has not yet or not recently been on Instagram with their brand can benefit from users with significantly more coverage. Also here is called again before: research! Many users who hang around in social networks today call themselves influencers.
You should find a real brand ambassador who knows your products and already uses them. So you can be sure that you will get away with it and that you will actually benefit from posts by the influencer. What the collaboration looks like in detail, you should clarify exactly. Does the influencer get any products from you before? Does he provide the content himself or do you provide him with motives for reposting? You should be able to answer these questions clearly.
Instagram does not just happen on the Smartphone. For some industries, events are offered to build or strengthen the community. Anyone who sells hiking boots could invite some, selected Instagrammer on a hike. Besides the hiking boots, of course: the Smartphone. Instagrammers will post some posts of the hike, inspiring other users to take similar pictures.
Before you label Instagram as a pure polish machine for your image, you should check out exactly what social networking can do for you and your brand. Here you open up new target groups, show proximity to the customer, contact him directly and increase your reach. However, professional advice cannot hurt to develop a targeted strategy.