For many years, Instagram has faithfully fulfilled the purpose of connecting families through heartfelt images. So it does not surprise us that it has also started accommodating businesses as well. Keeping this in mind, Instagram now hosts 25 million registered business accounts to help people further their brand message.
These whopping numbers point to the fact that Instagram is not only attracting businesses but is also providing them with a space to grow. So if millions of people are benefitting from Instagram so can you.
Since there is an Instagram audience out there waiting for you, here are 5 ways to ensure that you connect with your audience and form a tribe!
1. Hashtags That Connect
What started as a Twitter ‘thing’ has now become a full-fledged marking tool by Instagram. Apart from restricting 30 hashtags per post, Instagram has now introduced a new strategy that allows people to search and follow specific hashtag trends along with the profiles of the individuals who created the hashtag.
The use of hashtags shines a unique light on business models as they allow users to quickly connect with brands that fulfill their needs. However, general hashtags fail to fulfill customer’s needs as they lack a direction. This is where you need to breathe new life into your brand by using target hashtags!
Target hashtags are especially great for small-scale businesses as they can tap into their audience through niche-specific hashtags. For instance, hashtags like #velvetjackets or #neonpinkpants will help you connect with small communities looking for such products. Further, you can combine your targeted hashtags with popular ones to widen your reach.
2. Craft a Meaningful Narrative
Often people misunderstand Instagram and post random pictures that, although related to their brand, lack a sense of direction. This means that brands need to realize their purpose and make it the central theme of their pictures. So much so that one look at your feed proves enough for visitors to tell apart your main product/service.
Now comes the difficult part of identifying your brand’s main focus. For this purpose, go through the feed of Lush. They could have easily relied on famous faces to promote their products. Instead, they formed a brand narrative (which is bath bombs) and transformed it into the main focus of their pictures.
Having a brand narrative helps you narrow down your focus. This indirectly impacts your pictures and captions which reinforces your identity onto potential clients.
3. Instagram Stories
Generally, Instagram videos attract the attention of 250+ million users daily. Since Instagram stories are only available for a 24-hour period, it creates a sense of urgency among users. You can benefit from this consumer behavior and use it to boost your business. Here is how you can do it:
•Limited-time Offers: Everyone loves a good deal. So put this consumer behavior to good use by introducing time-sensitive offers. You can also give out promotional offers that expire with the story i.e. 24-hours. Moreover, always remember to drop limited-time offers at random times. This way your viewers will keep checking your stories in hopes of seeing a giveaway.
•Introduce the People Responsible for the Magic: Once you have attracted the right attention, you can step up your game by showing the people responsible for your success. You can do a Q and A session or you can show off a snippet of how your products are made.
•Show your Products: Have a new product/service lined up for release? You can show a sneak peek or a small preview to build up the hype.
You can also partner with local influencers and invite them to take over your Instagram story for the day. This way, you will be attracting the influencer’s fan base to your business.
4. Visual Consistency and Image Composition
Since its inception, Instagram has undergone tons of changes. However, it is still very much a visual channel that uses pictures as a tool to communicate with the masses. Keeping this in mind, you need to remember your brand’s narrative as this will help you in finding your visual consistency.
This step solely depends on your brand’s products/services. Defining your brand’s niche also helps. Additionally, if you lack the skills to capture visually pleasing pictures, then look into your competitor’s feed. See how they are sharing pictures and take notes. Upon analyzing their strategy, you can come up with a visual plan that can help you in achieving your goals.
Keep in mind that the more composed your brand’s images are, the more individuals will be compelled to share them. You can also feel inspired to visually enhance your feed by reading this article.
5. Put Instagram Ads to Good Use
Instagram has rolled out a new feature for businesses which enables brands to promote themselves on users’ feeds in exchange for a small fee. This is a great strategy that Digital Marketing UK puts to good use.
Unlike other social media sponsored content, it is much easier to get the right attention on Instagram since the ads are displayed on the users’ personal feeds and not on the explorer page. It is a sure way of getting more exposure since Instagram knows your niche and is aware of the users’ preferences (thanks to its users’ data collection policy). In this way, your business will not only generate interest, but it will do so with the right crowd.
Although it is not a must to depend on sponsored content, it is one of the effective strategies that can actually produce positive results. Also, by including ads into your brand strategy, you will most definitely be getting an edge over your competitors.
Instagram Marketing is Very Much Alive
Instagram for businesses is not extremely popular, but it is slowly picking up pace. Since the majority of Gen Y and Z hang out at Instagram, it is only sensible to include Instagram into your marketing efforts to boost your business. With that being said, nothing is permanent when it comes to Instagram. This is because the social media giant constantly updates and introduces new features to accommodate users as well as businesses.
So, while trying out the mentioned strategies, keep in mind that they may not be relevant for a long time. Stay ahead of the game by constantly apprising yourself of new Instagram policies and adjusting your marketing strategies to fit the trend.