Where do you post those badass pictures you take occasionally?
When you think of promoting your business, what comes to mind?
I am very sure you must be thinking of Facebook promotions because that is basically what everyone uses. I used to also focus on Facebook marketing as I was most active on the platform, not until an acquaintance briefed me on how she was making massive sales from Instagram. You can imagine my surprise; I mean I was also on the platform but had never given advertising my products and services on Instagram much thought. I leveraged on that information and it has been a jolly ride for me since then.
I am sure you can relate to my story. A lot of people tend to neglect Instagram when looking at promoting and advertising their businesses, probably because it is mostly used to upload pictures and events. One thing you need to note is that Instagram is currently one of the fastest-growing social media platforms as businesses, brands and solopreneurs are using the platform to reach their potential target audience.
So, are you ready to learn how to grow your business using Instagram? If yes, let’s dive right in!
What is Instagram?
You already know that Instagram started out as an application for sharing photos and video events. As a normal user, it offers a series of features like profiles, comments, and followers.
What you may likely not know is that it was launched on Android phones in 2012 and bought by Facebook for one billion dollars. Work aside, I totally love how Instagram lets me connect with people outside my niche, as well as share videos and pictures of my life adventures.
Using Instagram in Business
Now, to the business of the day, Instagram due to its ever-growing reach is one of the best platforms for promoting your business and garnering more customers. The fact that it accommodates any line of business on its platform is simply amazing.
Unlike Twitter and other social media platforms that do not seem to be increasing in number of users, Instagram boasts of about 500 million daily active users, if not more. As an entrepreneur looking to make sales, especially on feminine and children products, you should leverage this platform and aggressively promote your business there. This is because I have noticed that Instagram has more female active users than their male counterparts.
Instagram relies on visual marketing strategies and is ideal for entrepreneurs dealing with any kind of product. It particularly favors users in the food, travel, or fashion niches, so if you belong to any of these and you aren’t already on Instagram, quickly download the application and register to enjoy the many benefits that come with it. With just the right amount of solid strategy, you can give your business a boost and generate revenue when you spend some time using the platform.
There are a lot of handles I follow on Instagram, some of which I have patronized. For example, there are some food bloggers I follow on Instagram and have come to appreciate the effort they put into promoting their business. Just by the way they share their recipes and present their meals on the platform; a blogger was able to gather about 30,000 active followers. To date, I never miss her paid online trainings, and she has always been my go-to for unique and mouthwatering recipes. This is what strategic planning of content can harness.
How to develop your Instagram strategy
I don’t think I intend to stop capitalizing on the need to have a content strategy for your blog, as well as having a strong visual presence and social strategy on your Instagram account. The truth is that if you do not promote your product via the platform, the possibility of ever making reasonable sales from it will be almost equal to zero.
I suggest you create an account and start familiarizing yourself with Instagram if you aren’t already using the platform. You also need to monitor other entrepreneurs promoting similar products to understand the strategy they use as well as the kind of images they post to back up their content. You will also need a username, and this is where I advise you to use the same as that used on your other social media platforms. You don’t want to be referred to as fake, do you?
Immediately after creating your account and filling in the necessary details, try to look out for popular influencers who promote your kind of product and closely monitor their format and approach. Comment on their posts, if there is anything I first learned when I joined Instagram, it was to always comment on people’s post. It always has returns and will definitely earn you some followers. Do this regularly and watch your Instagram followers increase by the day.
The good thing about promoting your content via social media is the fact that you don’t necessarily need to always be online. You may decide to outsource and use an application like Hootsuite to schedule your posts. It will send a notification whenever it is time for you to come online and share your post. Isn’t that fantastic? You have time to indulge in other activities and even go on other social media platforms to promote your content.
By now, you must be impatiently waiting to learn how to strategically build your presence on Instagram, while growing your business at the same time. There are basically three ways I have discovered you can go about it and I will be giving you a detailed analysis of how to achieve this feat;
1. You need to optimize your Instagram bio
The first thing I did to attract more followers and build my brand was to optimize my bio. I tried putting my copywriting skills to work, using a call to action and giving a brief but detailed description of what my followers could expect from my brand. I recently discovered you are only allowed one bio link, and can also include a clickable URL link to direct people to your homepage. I also recommend including a branded hashtag to your Instagram bio.
If you are confident that your images are explicit enough to garner new followers, I suggest you use them instead.
2. Increase your community
A method that has helped me over the years and has helped grow my community is being attentive and genuine. I suggest you use a real profile photo on your profile, be sincere in your comments on people’s pictures, and ensure you are prompt in responding to your followers.
You can also include images of what happens behind the scene on your page, to give your followers a sense of belonging and also promote your business. You can also try creating branded quotes that are visually appealing, as well as branded hashtags. Doing this helps you increase your brand’s visibility and sales.
I suggest you try being creative and creating a hashtag outside of your company’s name. You can choose one that will encourage your followers to participate actively and also share your content.
3. Build your brand name
I’m quite sure you are already tired of having me reiterate the need to build your brand, but then this goes to show just how important building your brand is. You need to understand that Instagram is a visual medium, and needs to be incorporated with strong photos that relate to your brand and audience.
Stick to one Instagram filter, preferably the Normal filter to build your brand consistency. But you also need to understand that whatever filter you opt for has to benefit your style of photos. You have to ensure your posts are solid enough to stand alone and not be mistaken for another’s.
Wrapping it up
Instagram is a rapidly growing social platform and the life of online marketing at the moment. If you used to be fixated on just posting images of yourself and event videos, now is a good time to streamline your activities for enhanced sales and followers.
I strongly suggest you optimize your bio with a strong call-to-action, build your visual brand, and map out your Instagram marketing strategy to help harness your Instagram community growth. Like I earlier said, stick to a certain style of image and posting schedule, and always ensure you genuinely engage and interact with your followers.
In conclusion, you may not see Instagram as the ideal platform for your industry growth, but there is really no harm in trying it out. You never can tell what pleasant surprises await you.