Simply put: Instagram is where it’s at right now. It’s simplicity and user-friendly feel has made it a massive hit with users, which has, as a result, made it a great resource for companies small and large to promote their brands.
You’d be hard pressed to find a successful brand today that doesn’t have a strong Instagram presence. This can mean two things for your brand—first, that Instagram has the potential to make your brand explode, but second, that if you don’t know how to market your brand on Instagram, you’ll be at a severe disadvantage to the competition.
Here are a few Instagram marketing tips for e-commerce that should help you on your way to becoming an Instagram sensation:
1) Don’t Overdo It
Think about your favorite Instagram accounts—how often do they post ? Odds are, you don’t hear from them every day. On the other hand, though, they leave too long of a gap between posts.
You need to find the perfect balance in how often you post. Post too much and you’ll overwhelm your followers and turn them off to your brand. Post too little and people will forget you even exist.
Luckily, Instagram has made balancing the timing of your posts much easier. By introducing Instagram Stories and allowing you the option to post more than one picture per post, you now have ways to keep in constant contact with your audience without bombarding them with too many posts.
There’s no hard and fast rule when deciding how often to post—it requires some experimentation on your part to see what your audience is responding best to. A good starting point should be around three or four times a week, and after you’ve built up more followers, you can up that number to once a day.
2) Get Followers Involved With a Hashtag
Finding a way to get followers to post along with you will help you spread your image without having to over-post. It’s also an organic way to promote growth. For every follower that posts using your hashtag, each of their followers will learn about your company. It’s free advertising, essentially.
Creating an interactive hashtag is also an effective way of associating yourself with a certain type of lifestyle. Let’s say you make climbing gear—a post from you might look nice and well-edited, but a post from someone within the rock climbing community will give validity to your product and build up your reputation.
3) Partner With a Cause
Most Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 29, or, as your favorite newsman would call them—Millennials.
One thing many Millennials are big on is something called cause capitalism—or the idea that companies should be finding ways to give back.
Keep in mind as you market to Millennials on Instagram that they’ll be expecting you to have an authentic cause. They’ll look to see what’s important to you, and a big part of what’s important to you should be giving back. You can do this through an initiative of your own or through a partnership with a charity you care about.
Anybody can do this, too. Recently, online survey software company Qualtrics began an initiative called “5 for the Fight,” in which people are encouraged to donate $5 for cancer research. They’re so committed to this initiative that they’ll be advertising their charity on an NBA team’s jerseys next year, rather than their own company name.
As you work on your e-commerce marketing for Instagram, keep in mind that the networks main demographic will be expecting you to give back.
4) Be Creative
Think this is a given? You’d be surprised.
Finding a creative way to reach an audience on Instagram is what takes your posts from straight advertisements to engaging content that will make followers feel like they’re part of a community you’re building.
This is easier for some companies than it is for others. For outdoors company Cotopaxi, it’s not hard to make their posts interesting—just having their products in action is inherently exciting.
Look at a company like Microsoft, though. They can’t just post pictures of computers all day! They have to figure out how to show their product at work in a way that will pique the interest of the average person, not just techies.
Check out this video they posted to their Instagram with Real Madrid:
Whatever it is you do at your company, you can find a way to apply your brand and products in an interesting and engaging way.
Think about why you got involved in your business. Nobody runs a business they’re not passionate about! If you can find a way to communicate that passion with your followers, you can use Instagram to truly make your brand flourish.