Instagram has quickly become one of the most used social media platforms for marketing. Companies have entire marketing teams designated to run their Instagram marketing campaigns, strategizing daily to come up with new ideas on how to promote the brand and build a relationship with the audience.
Throughout the years, Instagram has played an important role in the social media revolution, giving users a way to catch a glimpse into the privacy of their favorite celebrities, brands, and influencers. It was one element that Instagram managed to keep consistent, even after taking the world by storm – closeness. Through following their Instagram profiles, fans could get insight into the lives of the people they admire, straight from the source.
Now, Instagram has become a powerful tool for companies to not only communicate with their fans but directly influence the way the audience perceives the brand. For this to happen, businesses need to find a marketing strategy that not only shows off their brand’s most powerful assets but also speaks to their customers. But with so many ways to market your brand on Instagram, which one is the most effective strategy?
Probably one of the most used marketing strategies is partnering up with influencers to gain access to a larger audience. Influencers have managed to establish trust within their pool of audience and are viewed as a reliable source when it comes to recommendations. Think of this kind of like word-of-mouth used to work back in the day. If someone you trusted recommended a product, you would be more inclined to purchase it.
There are multiple ways to create an influencer campaign, based on the influencers’ number of followers and your targeted audience. While influencers with a large number of followers do provide access to a larger audience, in time, they have started to lose some of their credibility. Users are now turning towards micro-influencers, who have between 1000 and 10.000 followers. Due to the fact that they are part of a smaller community, their recommendations feel more like a word from a friend, rather than an ad.
“The goal of your campaign should determine the type of partnership you are looking to build with an influencer. If your goal is to raise awareness, you can start with some simple sponsored posts, or reviews on your products,” explains James Allen, a marketing strategist at Studicus.
A good way to promote a new product is to provide influencers with custom discount codes, which they can share with their followers. If you partnered up with multiple influencers, this could also be a good way to see which ones provided the best ROI.
#2 User-Generated Content
For the past two years, user-generated content has been on the rise and has become quite a successful marketing strategy. The principle it follows is similar to that of an influencer-based campaign – word-of-mouth marketing. People see their friends posting about a certain product and are intrigued to check out more. But this type of strategy also serves as a means to engage your followers and make them become part of a community.
To put it simply, you have two ways of working with user-generated content:
- Reposting: encourage users to post stories or photos related to your business, such as them trying out your product, or visiting your business if that is possible, and make a habit out of reposting their content on your profile. Make sure you credit them when reposing, either by using Instagram’s built-in features or tagging them in your posts afterward.
- Submissions: from time to time, when you are trying to draw attention towards either a new product, or an event that is strongly related to your brand, invite users to send you relevant content, or use a certain hashtag to tag their posts and share the ones you feel align with your brand’s values the most.
“Posting user-generated content will allow your followers to feel like they are an active and important part of your brand’s story and you acknowledge their contribution. After all, your brand would be worth much less without them, and that is a fact,” mentions Susan Cruz, a social media marketer at Best Essay Education.
When it comes to user engagement and establishing a connection with your audience, Instagram stories are your best friend. Businesses are using them for various purposes, depending on what outcome they are expecting from them. In the past, stories would only be available for 24 hours and then they would disappear from the face of the internet, but since 2017, you can create highlights, where you can archive stories and pin them to your account for as long as you want to. You can create as many highlights as you want and use them to categorize stories and create longer more engaging content.
There are quite a few strategies that you can use when working with Instagram stories, based on what you are trying to achieve. One way to bring the audience closer to your brand is to share stories from behind the scenes. Show your team at work, capture some moments from the professional development process of a product, or take the audience to an event you are attending.
You can also take advantage of the “swipe up” feature, to send people to your website or the product page. This way, after viewing the story, the audience can easily access the product or service that you are talking about. Make sure that the page you are featuring is relevant to your post, otherwise, the story would lose its purpose. If you want to, you can create custom-tailored landing pages that match both the aesthetic and content of the story you are sharing.
Ads are more of a mined territory when it comes to the impact they have on the audience. Users complain quite often about the fact that Instagram seems to be feeding them ads almost aggressively, but at the same time, they have proven to be extremely effective in raising brand awareness.
The key to effectively use ads is to develop them in a way that will be entertaining and engaging to users when they come across them. People usually scroll past ads quite fast, so make sure to engage them from the first seconds. If it’s a video ad, incorporate color and movement form the first seconds, to catch the audience’s attention and make them want to watch until the end.
Keep in mind that Instagram sound is, by default, muted, and some users don’t bother turning the sound on, so make sure to include text in your ads. Come up with some effective phrases that you can use throughout the video, to get your message across, even without sound. Make sure that your ads are always well written and suited for your targeted audience and the feeling you want to create. By using services such as Grammarly, Trust My Paper, Hemingway App, and Grab My Essay, you can edit and proof your text, to avoid mistakes or phrases that are too complicated and hard to read.
Instagram is amongst the most powerful marketing tools if used correctly. This is precisely why marketers are working round-the-clock to develop strategies that will help brands build a community, increase sales and send their message across the internet. There are multiple marketing strategies you can use on Instagram, from paid ads to influencer partnerships and user-generated content, each being suited to a certain outcome, so keep in mind what you are trying to achieve before picking one (or more) for your brand.