7 Ways to Use Instagram to Market Your Products
In case you were otherwise unaware, Instagram has become a huge marketing giant. So much of a giant, in fact, that its marketing has increased to the tune of 2 million advertisers. While that can seem superfluous and oversaturated, rest assured it's actually pretty good. In fact, Instagram can boast that 75% of all users take action after viewing the post of a business. Coupled with the fact that 50% of all users follow at least one business on Instagram, I'd say it's a pretty decent model. There are several ways to use this marketing beast to your advantage. Success may not come easy. There will be a lot of time to give in order to obatin it, but it will be worth your efforts. How could you not want to try your luck marketing on this site?
Establish a Large Community Base Using Hashtags
For those who may not know, hashtags are an effective way to group a topic. Posts using the right hashtag will increase your visibilty among users and make your posts easy to find by linking them to one another via the use of keywords. By using the right hashtag, you may possibly start a following. The thing about hashtags, though, is that you can't just use any old hashtag. You also can't use too many in a single post. You're going to need to find the right keywords relevant to your niche and find just the right amount of hashtags for a given post. One is often enough so long as people are actively searching for it, but having additional hashtags will widen your range.
There are a few ways to find a keyword that is searchable and will increase visibilty for your brand. You can either conceive the best keywords for your niche and use them, use a free keyword tool that will develop them for you, determine the hashtags your competitors are using, or do all of these things. It's a good idea to get a good understanding to see what works for you and your brand.
A free tool like Iconosquare will help you find relevant keywords by analyzing what keywords are currently in use and relevant to you. You will also be able to analyze if a given crowd utilizing existing keywords is the right crowd for you. If you choose to brainstorm keywords on your own, be sure not to pick a keyword that is already oversaturized. For example, using "love" as a hashtag will likely get buried as many, many people utilize that. If you were to use a similar topic, perhaps "passion" or "zeal," you might be able to keep your head above water. Don't forget to take cues from your competitors as well. See what they're using and use it to your advantage.
Highlight New Products
For obvious reasons, Instagram is the perfect place to market ads because of the visual effects available to you. Instagram allows you to have the means to make an average post look like a glamorous magazine ad at your disposal. Take advantage of that. Showcasing new products is a multi-faceted benefit. To potential customers, you appear to be new and fresh. To existing customers, they are ahead of the wave. For you, you're driving sales and, more than likely, increasing followers. Instagram loves anything "new" and I cannot count how many times my friends have told me they heard about a new product on Instagram and decided to follow the account for more products. It is a win-win for everyone.
Let's harken back to the days when I first told you about influencers and why they could be helpful to you. If you have been using influencers all this time, then you're already a step ahead of the game. Influencers are basically real-life advertisers who will put your brand out there with honest opinions. Influencers already have a large following and, many times, they do this for a living. You can even get them to utilize your hashtags when they post about your products.
Just like hashtags, you don't want to use just any influencer for this task. You'll want to analyze their following and ensure that it's your target audience. If it's not, you'll want to search for the right influencer. It's pointless to have an influencer market your product to the wrong audeince. Imagine an influencer who markets stilettos who ends up trying to market hiking boots. It could work, but chances are it'll be a flash in the pan. You don't want your marketing campaign to be a flash in the pan.
To determine the right influencer, you'll have to do research. Find out who your followers, your target audience, are already following. Look in on your competitors. Search those hashtags. All of this will help you determine the right influencer for you.
Engage with Competitors' Followers
This may seem a bit sneaky to some, but it's a dog eat dog world out there. You have to do what is necessary in order to get your brand out there. Poaching your competition's followers is almost vital. It is also easy and will almost assuredly work to your favor. Engaging with users is bound to get them to notice your brand. Engagement with the consumers doesn't have to be extensive either. Liking or commenting on posts works. Sometimes just following a given user will work as well. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that this tactic should be reserved for your everyday user and not an influencer whose attention you're trying to grab. You're going to have to speak with influencers directly. If you engage with the followers of your competition, it's very likely that they will become your follower too. After all, your site is better, right?
Post at Peak Times
I know you've heard the phrase "the early bird gets the worm." We all have, but that isn't the case in Instagram world. "The early bird will be waiting around for the worm to show up and then he will get bored and fly off" is more accurate when it comes to Instagram. If you post too early or too late, your posts will go unseen and unanswered for the most part. There will be a few engagements, but nothing like what you are looking for, nothing compared what it would be at peak times. Think about one of your favorite restaruants, for example. Lunch is probably one of the busiest times of the day for them. During the lunch rush is when they advertise all of their specials and boast on different things to try. Sure, they do it at dinner too, but not as vehemently as they do at lunch time.
Different analytical tools will allow you to determine the best times to post on Instagram. Using just about any tool, Instagram even has business tools you can use for this, you'll be able to see when your current followers are actually using and engaging on Instagram. There are general times that users engage with posts, such as weekday mornings and evenings, but your followers may be a little different. You never know. They might be weekend people or midday people. Or perhaps they fall into the general populace. Either way, you'll have to glean the best time to post in order to accurately market and increase visibilty for your products.
Spotlight Social Proof
One of my favorite things to see when I'm shopping for an item is when the company has pictures of real-life people using the product. Having your general populace showcase products is a good way to increase sales and, potentially, followers. It's purely psychological. When potential followers see that your products are so popular, they may want to jump on the wave. Someone looking for a new skincare routine is more likely to seek the products that are recommended by others, and by recommend I mean that various users demonstrated their use of products from a given company. Or maybe the customer doesn't want to jump on the wave. If they're someone like me, they just want to see how that bathing suit fits on a normal being and not a model.
Consumers are partial to the word of people like them. While product descriptions from the company can work in their favor, consumers are more likely to purchase a product whose praises were sung by someone the consumers know or relate to. This is why the premise of influencers works so well. I know that a candle company is going to say that their candles are the best, so I take that claim with a grain of salt. I won't dismiss it, but I may not give in to it either. But if I see posts on Instagram from my respective users, I might be more inclined to listen.
As I mentioned before, 2 million advertisers utilize Instagram. What does that tell you? Instagram users are shoppers at their core, that's what. Instead of linking to your page, why not just cut out the middle man and make it easy for them to purchase your products right then and there? It's doable. You just need to create a shoppable post and, believe me, it's really quite simple to create one. I mentioned that 75% of users engage in a post. That number will likely increase your chances of a product being purchased via these shoppable posts. It also eliminates the possibility that the user will forget to go to your link seprately from Instagram.
If you use a shoppable post for new products and couple that with an Instagram-only promotion, you're sure to have a decent marketing campaign on your hands. Shoppable posts are great for your potential consumer base as well. If they were on the fence before, the post might sway them in your favor. Generally, people have a fear of missing out. You can use that fear to your advantage, as terrible as that sounds.
There is no shortage of ways to market your products on Instagram. The list is virtually endless, so there are multiple options for trying to see what works for you. The key is to make your brand memorable. Employing any one of these tactics will help, but the more the merrier. Make no mistake. It may take some time, but once you get used to it, it'll be as easy as shopping.