In today’s scenario, marketing implies sharing the latest trends that enable you to develop sound and effective strategies for your customer base. You can see more visuals used to capture and document activities than written accounts in your daily lives.
What is Instagram marketing?
Instagram is a visual application that was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and was initially released on 6 October 2010. Now that Instagram has more than 200 million monthly active users, it is impossible for businesses to ignore them.
Instagram is a photo and video based social media platform that allows you to share your brand with the audience through a series of images and videos. Instagram is a completely free application that runs on android and iOS and is easily available in the Google play store, Apple App Store, and Windows Phone Store.
You can also share these images via email and other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flicker, etc. to grow your following on Instagram. Facebook business page connectivity with Instagram makes it easier to post Instagram images on Facebook and connect with Facebook audience as well.
It becomes easy to create incredibly stunning pictures that give a professional look to your business with Instagram. You can capture images with your mobile, then select filters to edit the images, and post these images on your Instagram account.
With Instagram, you can visualize a world that is more connected through images and videos. You can find your audience to create a following that likes and puts interesting comments on your posted images to increase brand awareness.
Audiences look for exclusive and interesting images and expect more personal experience with brands they follow. You can share genuine visual content and showcase behind the scenes to create brand awareness.
Instagram gives you the ideal chance to show the personal side of your business and tell a story about your brand to your customers.
Instagram is not all about how to sell your product, it is about how to connect more audience with your brand. This enables you to establish a direct connection with your customers, give them a personal touch to humanize your business and ensure their loyalty in the long run.
Along with this, by making an effective use of Instagram, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are guided in a proper direction. You will be able to find more customers, focus on their tastes and preferences and ultimately contribute to overall success of your business.
Importance of hashtags for branding
Hashtags- one of the best ways to get your product introduced in the vast plethora of already existing products, and it does not need an introduction.
Hashtags are a vital part of any conversation in social media. Although they may not make much difference in the eyes of people, they are the best when it comes to distinguishing your product from those of your competitors. By using a relevant hashtag (#coolice), you have the power to get noticed at the right time by the right people.
In this age of rapid globalization, thousands of messages are getting delivered across various social platforms. Hashtags enable you to find specific products or pieces of information that you are seeking.
They offer the ability to follow conversations about the different brands or products and help you to keep updated on what happens in your sector. They provide you with up-to-date information about the latest happenings in your industry so that you do not become the odd-one-out.
To get the greatest reach on Instagram, your profile should be public (so hashtag searchers can see your pics) and every image should include at least few relevant hashtags. Instagram users suggests that your user name should be preceded with a hashtag on every image that you upload. It ensures that your brand gets recognized in the vast pool and does not get diluted.
Hashtags are widely used to search relevant content within social networks and search engines, which means they give you a vast opportunity to get your information in front of potential customers without emptying out your pocket. They also ensure that your products reach out to the people who need them the most.
Keywords with the right tags built upon them will ensure the long-term drive of relevant traffic to your website. Hashtags will keep your content appearing in relevant popular streams.
Well-researched tags will increase the quantity and quality of visitors to your website, thus giving you more return on your content marketing efforts. By adding hashtags, a business also keeps track of the new product offerings that the competitors might be going in for. This makes them prepared and they do not have to take pains with any last minute hassles.
The greatest benefit of hashtags has to be searchability. You can tap into popular conversations simply by inserting your brand into the mix. The hashtags you use should be relevant to your company and the content you are sharing. A lot of companies use hashtags as a sort of punchline.
For e.g., DiGiorno Pizza recently launched a humorous marketing campaign with their clever #DiGiorNOYOUDIDNT. People loved the hashtag, and DiGiorno was able to reach new audiences. So, let us understand the growing importance of hashtags in the business world, and continue to march on the path of prosperity.
Lead Generation assisted through Instagram
Instagram is a visual advertising channel that promotes your brands. A recent survey shows that Instagram is 25% more engaging than any other social media platform. Instagram is definitely the channel that you should use to build your business.
You can take visuals from your mobile device and post them on Instagram for your followers. You can also synchronize your Instagram account with other social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
Businesses advertisement with visuals become more personal, increase understanding of your products and services, and enhance human values for your brand. When your audience connects with visual advertisement, they are more likely to buy from you.
To generate leads, you can target your interested audience with your photos and videos. You can also motivate audiences to talk about your brand. Here you will find some tactics that will help you to boost your lead generation campaign with Instagram.
Humanize your brand:
You can take advantage of your staff, group activities and event images to give personal touches about your company. You can show your audience behind the scenes visuals to enhance the value of your Instagram marketing strategy. Team work and product demonstration images can be a powerful selling point for your brand. This will give a human face to your business and make your brand more relatable to the followers.
Showcase your products:
If you want to drive more traffic towards your business, you should show images and videos of the product creation and packaging process. It enables you to convert your potential customers into your buyers.
Create a personal hashtag:
The hashtag is one of the best Instagram marketing strategies to advertise your brand. You can use targeted keywords and your business name as hashtags to connect and monitor your audience who interacts with your brand. If you use hashtags in the right way, they can work as a great Page ranking tool for your business website that will simulate your audience to buy from you.
Engage with Other Brands:
With Instagram alone, you cannot get the desired traffic. So you can increase your leads and traffic by liking, commenting and sharing on other brand’s visuals. It is a great way to generate valuable leads and boost company’s interaction with other brands.
Track your Campaign:
In today’s world, businesses have a keen interest to find out whether their Instagram marketing efforts are giving adequate ROI. For getting maximum results, you should use Instagram analytical tools which enables you to perform a SWOT analysis for your business. Tracking enables you to increase in traffic and generate more leads.
Can you really make money using Instagram?
“An image is worth a thousand words”- This line highlights the use of Instagram as a profitable business generation tool. Be it a small business with a handful of employees, or an established business that has proved itself over and over again, the relevance of having a powerful and potent tool like Instagram cannot be taken for granted.
Yes, money making can definitely be accelerated with a proper and analytic use of Instagram. It provides you with multiple options to showcase the USP of your product.
It enables people to see the benefits they can gain by using your product over a considerable span of time. Let’s read about how Instagram contributes to your business becoming a profit machine.
One of the most important tools for any business for highlighting the product is marketing. Gone are the days when people used to focus on print media for advertising. With the advent of the 21st century and the growing use of internet, digital marketing is gaining grounds by leaps and bounds.
Through Instagram, your marketing efforts get a proper direction and become customer-centric. Visual Marketing holds the key for success. People want to have a look at images; no one is interested in reading your long and boring text files.
Upload the image of your product at the right time, make your people aware about its features, and let them figure out the benefits they can derive from your product. This facilitates time- reduction and saves the most important asset of your business - Money.
In addition to this, Instagram also allows you to have a connection developed with your target audience.
The most important thing about this tool that assists your businesses is that Instagram has a huge customer base of 200 million people, of whom 65% are located outside the United States.
By clicking a single picture and using the filter assistance by Instagram, you are able to cater to your audience regardless of their geographical location. Also, Instagram ensures that you get connected to the complete customer bank with the click of a mouse.
Along with this, you can also take advantage of suitable Hashtags for increasing the viewership of your uploads. By creating a simple Hashtag that is primarily focused on your product, you have a chance to increase the conversion rate, and consequently, earn huge profits that you always desired.
Therefore, it can safely be stated that Instagram is a proven and tested method for enhancing the growth prospect of your business.
All the strategies and techniques that you thought were beneficial should be adequately aligned with Instagram so as to ensure your business becomes a money-generator, and this ensures growth and success in the long run.
Highly effective Instagram techniques
With the advent of Instagram, businesses have had the opportunity to cater to a vast number of audiences scattered around the globe. You can be located in New York, and still you can make strategies for your customers that are sitting miles away from you.
In the last few years Instagram has proven to be an effective platform for marketers to reach a new audience in a way they want to be reached - with visuals and short messages.
Instagram usability depends on various factors. For example, the number of images you post, the viewership of your images, the frequency of your posting etc.
You always should keep in mind that your images have to be relevant and product oriented, otherwise you will not be able to generate authentic leads. The following techniques will enable you to make the best use of Instagram for the success of your business:
Narrate your story
Instagram is a great platform for making people aware of your product and the efforts you put behind its creation. Upload the images of the shop floor, highlight your employees who put in their heart and soul, show the product creation process etc. for getting their requisite attention.
Give due value to your buyers
“Customer is the King”, and you always have to make your best efforts to please the King. Giving them due value implies that you have to reward them suitably. Virgin America and its CEO Richard Branson utilize this technique to achieve excellent Instagram results.
Run result-oriented contests
Instagram has become a popular platform to use for photo contests. Contests are easy to do on Instagram. Companies can easily ask users to use a particular hashtag for the contest by tagging their pictures. It’s easy to search through pictures, ask other people to vote for their favorite pictures and pick a winner.
Sony is a great example of a company that has used photo contests in a few of their campaigns. After the success of their #SonyX picture contest, they decided to try it again with #Sonylove. Sony’s contest is a great example of how to get more Instagram followers and increase your current Instagram followers’ engagement with your brand.
Ensure correct time for posting
The success or failure of any business depends on the effective and efficient time management skills. Be it online or offline marketing, you have to always ensure they take place at the correct and designated time. Moderate the number of posts you make per day to ensure a consistent but non-intrusive presence.
Make your content discoverable
Always keep in mind your content will not reach the desired set of audience by itself. Make sure you tag photos with topics (hashtag), accounts (Add People), and locations (Name This Location). This will simplify the search for your product, and it will help your business achieve its goals and objectives.
The power of Instagram for small business
Instagram is a mobile application that allows its user to edit pictures by using filters and then share them on Instagram and other social networks.
Instagram has generated several new mediums that enable businesses to find their prospective clients and devise strategies that are aimed at satisfying their requirements. Many big brands are using Instagram to advertise their brands.
Small businesses are also taking notice that Instagram is a perfect opportunity to generate brand awareness and promote products and services among your audience.
If you are running small businesses, Instagram is a great place to start for better results. Instagram gives you some powerful forces to improve your brand engagement, such as photo sharing, photo manipulation and sharing on other social networks.
You can use specific hashtags to engage those customers who already have interest in your products. You can also share your visuals on other social media networks to reach more and more audiences related to your niche. It adds a unique value and exposure to your brand.
Instagram provides you the facility to display your images on web via a sharable link so you can stream your desktop users along with tagging, liking and commenting options. Here are some tactics to help your small business with Instagram.
Brand Your Account:
The most important thing that you should do to mark your success is personalizing and branding your profile. You need to add a logo or a human image as a profile picture, link your profile with your business website or Facebook business page, and include a general overview to your account.
Grow Your Following:
You should connect your Instagram account with your Facebook account. It allows you to post your Instagram images across Facebook to drive more traffic on both platforms. You can also create Facebook Instagram applications via Woobox. It will give more exposure on your business page.
You are not required to respond to all followers. You should follow only those people whose ideas and interests align with your business to increase your branding. Using this way you can stay connected with your audience.
Balance Your Image:
As you know, Instagram is great way to tell a visual story about your business. But you should remember that you are on Instagram to engage your customers. You need to be sure that you have a balance between your fun photos and products photos. Striking a balance will ensure success in the long run.
Instagram marketing dos and don’ts
Instagram is a proven and time-tested tool that helps you to move in the right direction for achieving your organizational goals and objectives. If carefully implemented, it can prove to be a boon for your business. But there are certain important factors that need to be looked upon with serious concern. Here are a few amongst them listed below:
Have a common name for Twitter and Instagram
It enables your followers to identify you without being forced to search over and over again. This enhances your brand loyalty, and people can remain with you over a considerable span of time.
Generate curiosity for the upcoming launches
By giving them exclusive sneak peek into the products to be launched, you have a chance to get their interest even before the launching stage. This enhances your brand recognition and gives fruitful results for the business.
Follow your industry Pioneers
“Leaders always guide you in the right direction”. This enables you to keep a track with the latest offerings and advices given by the leaders. By following their directions, you open yourself to the vast pool of knowledge that proves to be of vital importance for you.
High levels of loyalty
Various researches have shown that there is a high level of loyalty among the Instagram users. Use this feature to engage your customers and let them always be in your closed loop of contacts.
After gaining knowledge of what you should always do, let’s get an idea of certain things that you should always abstain from doing:
Don’t have long time gaps in your posts
If you have a long time gaps, people often lose interest and do not track your posts regularly. This leads to brand dilution, which proves disastrous for your product.
Don’t make excessive use of hashtags
“Overuse of everything is bad”, this gives a clear cut idea that you need to make effective use of hashtags. If you overuse, your customers will stop giving importance to your posts, which gradually damages and impedes the goals of your business.
Don’t invade the privacy of others
Instagram was invented to allow social access to your friends and colleagues. It gives you the opportunity to share your personal images with your group. Never make obscene comments or rude remarks on the images of others. Remember, you will always be treated the way you treat others.
So, let’s make the use of Instagram in an analytical manner, so that you can reap benefits out of it the way you always wanted to.
Instagram Marketing with other social media platforms
Instagram offers a visual storytelling platform. Visuals give you an opportunity to tell your business story and connect your audience with your brand. More than just images, Instagram is a social media sharing platform where you can share images and videos.
You can also connect your Instagram account with other social media platforms and share images and videos over there which will increase your brand awareness.
If you share any visuals of your business and share them on other social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr etc.) using Instagram, visuals will be displayed on that network and permalink will be active with that link. Other network audiences can also access those visuals via a direct link if your account is not private.
Here you will see how you can use other social media with Instagram:
Instagram with Facebook:
You can share your images and videos on facebook by linking your Instagram account with Facebook. You can do it through your application settings. You need to be sure that you allowed Facebook to access your Instagram activities on your mobile.
Instagram with Twitter:
You can allow Instagram to post on twitter but only for iOS not for android. You also have an option to show and hide your visual in newsfeed of twitter. Your Instagram images will be shown in the media gallery so that you can go through images easily.
Instagram with Foursquare:
It is super easy to link your Instagram account with your Foursquare account. After linking, you will be able to share your Instagram visuals on Foursquare. When you share you visuals, you should choose to add your Photo Map and Name the location before uploading.
Businesses can communicate with different social media channels in a few clicks using Instagram. You do not need to go into each account to post a really nice image or a 15-second video, you can do so using Instagram; that is what we mean. You can capture the moment in a few seconds. Time is money, and the internet is fastest way to share your visuals. So you get the advantage of this feature to save time and maintain all your audiences up to date with just one post. The awesome benefits of posting the same thing on all social media are:
You can save your time by sharing your posts on other social media instead of creating posts separately on every social media platform. Sharing content on social media is easier and faster than other mediums.
Want to share information for all audiences about a new product, update, event, etc? This is extremely important: you don't want to get people confused if you made the post correctly on Instagram but wrong on Facebook or Twitter.
Your audiences use different social media platforms; you can reach them all at the same time.
You can contact the same people several times if they have you in all their social accounts which will increase awareness, and you will do it without annoying them.
Visual sharing on other social media helps you to find new customers and with that expand your audience and customer base.
Social media sharing helps to improve your brand awareness, increase website traffic and search ranking.
How to use Instagram video to get success?
Images are an excellent way to share your brand’s visual story. A picture is better than plain words to explain about your product. And a short video clip is the best to tell your business story.
Here is the solution: Instagram provides both image and video advertising features. Instagram has its own video format, and you can share video clips as well as share photos on other social media platforms.
When you want to take a photo on Instagram, you will see a movie camera icon. After tapping that icon you can record a 15 seconds clip with your mobile camera.
Instagram also provides 13 filters that are specially built for videos, so you will be able to share creative and beautiful visuals on Instagram. You can select the best scene of the video to create a cover page of that clip to make that more attractive.
There are so many reasons to capture a video via Instagram:
- Give a message to your fans and followers.
- Capture behind the scenes.
- Create a help videos.
- Share your milestone.
- You can announce a new product arrival.
- What your customers are saying about you.
- You are running a contest, offer and event.
- You can provide a product demonstration to your audiences.
- Visual portfolio of your account.
- Give virtual tour of your business.
- It can be anything that you want to promote your business.
So many brands such as Lululemon, Ben & Jerry’s, Intel, Burberry, General Electric, Nike, Puma, and many more other brands have used Instagram videos to achieve their success.
You can include sound, filters, transitions, sequencing and much more with Instagram videos in order to make them better than before. Here are some tips that will turn your 15 second Instagram video into cinematic artwork.
Fast & Slow Motion:
You can include motion speeds in your Instagram video. You can use speed up and slow down tools and applications to change the speed of videos. You can use apps such as Slo-Gram, SloPro, Vintagio and others.
Chopping & Sequencing Clips:
You are planning to shoot a video. First, you have to plan what you are going to shoot. When you complete the recording of video, you may find that the beginning and ending are not what you want. You can crop your video according to time limit of Instagram and as you apply effects on video. If video become too long you can make a series of video by sequencing them. You can create 4 Instagram video in 1 minute recorded video.
Add Sound Effects or Mute:
Another highlighting feature that Instagram provides is enabling you to re-modify the sounds that you wish to add on your video as per your choice. You can mute the sound of your Instagram video. You can import music from your mobile and include special sound effects to lay over on your Instagram video.
Be sure that you are using hashtags in your videos to promote your business. Hashtags will increase your brand’s visibility, search-ability and Cross-channel Conversation.
By using these tips you can create awesome videos that will engage more audiences for your brand.
Instagram marketing power tools
Instagram has proved itself to be one of the best platforms for launching your new products since its inception in the year 2010. With a customer base of more than 200 million users, it gives you a unique opportunity to connect with your client base with the help of a photo, and gauge their reactions and feedback, which proves vital for your product.
Developing a large, engaged Instagram community is becoming more and more important for brands because more consumers are using the photo-sharing app. These tools mentioned below ensue your usage of Instagram becomes a cake-walk:
Instagrille is an interesting linkup between a desktop app and a Web app and runs in its own window, using a free platform called Pokki. In layman terms, it is a desktop application for your Instagram account. The basic concept of Instagrille is to enable users to view the images that were uploaded by their contacts and also to check out the comments that were made. It enables you to avail the benefits by accessing it with your computer or laptop.
This Android and iOS app lets you re-post pictures that your followings (users you follow) or followers have published.
To use the app, download and access it on your mobile and sync your Instagram account with Repost. Once you get done with synchronization, you can begin republishing photos your followings or followers have posted.
Repost yields following two benefits:
- Curate content easily - You are not required to screenshot Instagram pictures, upload them onto Instagram, and attribute the source in the caption section. You can now repost pictures and attribute the sources by sharing images easily with Repost since it automatically mentions the source whenever you repost a photo.
- Improve community engagement - It enables you to increase the social contacts with your community and take greater interest in their societal life.
As the name suggests, this tool enables you to remove the people who are not following you back. It is very important for each and every business to promote their brand and increase the number of its followers. At the same instance, it’s equally important to remove the people who are just increasing your contact list without any gains. A healthy following to follower ratio (1:3) describes your brand as a trustworthy and long- lasting brand, and the people will get a feel that your business is a boon to invest in.
It is a very simple way to manage your Instagram marketing efforts. It’s completely web based and it gives you the power of effectively and efficiently scheduling to your Instagram accounts.
ScheduGram works by allowing marketing managers and small business owners to control their Instagram account through an online interface. Its unique advantage is that it enables the marketers to publish the photos at the best times when they have the chance of being liked the most.