According to several studies, visual content is an extremely effective way to market your brand, and that’s why a significant percentage of marketers have turned to Instagram as a major part of their marketing strategy. But producing high caliber visual content can be an ambitious undertaking. Below we’ve provided a few skillful techniques to help marketers get a boost on Instagram.
How to Get a Boost on Instagram
One way to market your brand on Instagram is to carefully analyze your followers’ stream of content, and then include images on your own feed that characterize your brand, but yet are similar to the stream of images flowing from the feed of your followers. Then you can mix in photos of your product with the stream of images your followers are drawn to.
A great source of visual content on your Instagram feed is Pinterest, and you can use Pinterest to add to your own content with finds from Instagram.
You can also use Socialdraft to search particular terms and hashtags. Check out what the community is talking about and posting. If your community is talking about it, shouldn’t you be a part of that conversation?
Capitalize on Influencers
Another cool marketing technique is to identify and target individuals who have a major influence with the potential buyers of your product. By establishing relationships with those who are prime influencers in your designated hamlet, your brand will increase its exposure with possible buyers.
A nice way to tap into these influencers is to reach out to ask them to repost their content. This will allow you to harness their community…and saves you time in content creation. One of our clients, Cognac Maniacs, has been using this technique and has grown their account from 250 followers on July 2015 to over 2,000 targeted followers on September 2015.
Hashtags Can Promote Wider Brand Engagement
Last year, Merriam-Webster added the word “hashtag” — “a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text (such as a tweet)” — to the dictionary. The marketing hysteria over the use of hashtags has blossomed into new branding opportunities for companies to increase product awareness on social media.
A few examples:
—But instead of tagging a photo with a company hashtag, hashtags can be used to associate the entire brand. For example, Touch of Italy could suggest that users tag their food photos with #authenticitalian. With this approach, all brands within a community profit from the added exposure to new customers. Food brands can garner far more posts by recommending that followers share photos of their favorite Italian dishes using the #authenticitalian hashtag.
—Smart local brands can use hashtags to be found on Instagram. Think of this as InstaSEO. Check out the example above from Cafe Devocion, a boutique coffee shop in Brooklyn. They use geo-targeted hashtags such as #Williamsburg and #CoffeeNYC. This allows them to be found by their local audience and in turn, allows them to have a better chance of converting their Instagram audience into a sale.
—Frozen food maker Birds Eye launched a pop-up restaurant that allows customers to pay for their meals by posting photos of their meals on Instagram with the hashtag #BirdsEyeInspirations.
But just because someone uses your hashtag doesn’t mean they are engaged with your brand, and hashtags are only effective if they produce engagement. Hashtags should be used as “a call to action” that leads to greater brand engagement.
—Coke has used the engaging power of hashtags via an algorithm that Coke developed to automatically convert pictures of happy themed scenarios shared by thousands who expressed themselves and their values. As a result, Coke received more brand exposure and greater engagement.
The creative use of hashtags can generate greater brand engagement if they are well-incorporated into an ad campaign that promotes action, and the core brand message.