Create An Advantage
Small businesses can always use any edge they can get, especially when it comes to marketing. It is not always easy fighting the competition, and for that reason creativity can sometimes be the best solution. If your small business has been doing well on social media up to this point, you may want to consider one of the relatively new kids on the block, Instagram.
In essence, Instagram has become a widely popular social media platform that focuses on visual content. Given the nature of this, it can be a fantastic way to spread the message about your company or brand and captivate a new audience. It is essential to make sure this platform is right for your business so you don’t end up talking to an metaphorical internet wall.
Got Something To Show?
So how do you know if it is right for you business? A good first test would be to ask yourself, do I have something that I would like to actually show my market?
This is a great way to begin since it forces you as a marketer to immediately try to come up with an idea for some content. Using a service such as Instagram will be a lot more seamless if the content or images presents itself for you and there is no need to really hunt for it.
Your audience will be much more obliged to follow your business as long as it’s not struggling to find and create content.
Simply put, if captivating images of what your brand takes part in or represents are easy to come across, then Instagram is likely for you. Because if you’re having trouble now finding the right picture, then you’ll likely still be having trouble 4 months down the road.
Have The Right Audience
Does your target market, or even broader potential markets, fall into the demographics that use Instagram? This is another one of those questions that avoids you the pain of talking to a wall online.
It is essential that your customers, past, present, and future, are people who are using the service. If they are not, you will do yourself a great favor by allocating your time and resources to where they are present elsewhere online.
Instagram’s users are all those who have been raised in the age of technology. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are already second nature to them, hence the extensive use of hashtags with this platform. Users range in ages from young teenagers all the way through adults in there 30’s and even 40’s, given that they are technologically savvy at that age.
Given these demographics, Instagram is used by a large number of individuals. Not just in the United States, but on an international scale since it has an Android app too. The total downloads is well over 40 million as of the new year.
Leverage Its Visual Nature
Businesses can leverage using Instagram in a variety of ways. Regardless of which you choose, it’s important to note that it should be a complementary extension of an established social media or digital marketing strategy as a whole.
For a company or brand with a lot of visual content to show its audience, it can be hard sometimes to other common platforms without overloading them. Use Instagram as the best source to show a constant stream of visual content and suggest your followers from other social media sites follow you here.
Provide them with exactly what the platform was made to do, showing visually interesting pictures. This direct visual marketing is direct in the sense that it is solely visual, but indirect because you do not want your Instagram to be a full on advertisement for your brand.
Make It Personal
Think beyond straight promotion and more about the experience your company’s products or services create for the user. Take pictures of things you make, places you go, people you meet, new products, happy customers, the benefits and uses of your product or service, community outreach, the list goes on.
Keep your hashtags related to your company as well as those that are popular or trending at the time for maximum exposure. If your followers enjoy seeing what you have to offer they will undoubtedly share it.
An alternative way to use Instagram is through the use of promotions. This works especially well for consumer goods brands or if you are offering a valued service to your followers. It allows for much more engagement with your audience and helps unite them as a community.
Require your followers to take pictures related to your business or promotion and use a common hashtag to be entered ingot he contest. This way they must engage in order to win and have an incentive to take a great picture emphasizing your company in it or through the hashtag. It is also a great way to build your audience on Instagram.
By promoting the contest on Facebook and Twitter as well, more people become aware that you are present in this space and will seek you out. If you also take part in more traditional forms of advertising, don’t hesitate to emphasize your presence on Instagram there as well.
See Results And Connect
Once you have things in motion, it’s important to monitor your progress. This will let you know if it’s worth your small time commitment. Likewise, if it is leading to more potential customers or followers on other social platforms, then it is having a great secondary influence. This is still a great benefit of using the service and should not be overlooked.
Continue to connect with customers on there and keep them informed of everything going on with your business down the road, they will key to your ongoing growth online.