Once hailed as a simple application for posting and sharing photos and not much more, Instagram has evolved into an effective avenue to reach millions of potential clients with visual content. No longer constrained to photos, videos can also be posted to appeal to audiences. Here are eight ways you can apply marketing through Instagram to increase your online reach and engage your community in a visually appealing way.
1. Combine the Instagram app with Instagram Profiles: Use the web-based Instagram Profiles to broaden your reach. This online venue for Instagram images gives you the opportunity to create collages, visual essays, and other image content that can give your audiences a clear picture of what your company does and how it does it.
2. Engage clients with contests: Get clients involved by running photo-based contests on Instagram. For example, ask them to post images that support a particular theme you've chosen to highlight. Users can tag their photos with a hashtag that reflects the theme or intent of the contest. Choose a winner among the posted pictures and provide a prize, such as a gift card, discount, sample of your product, or service consultation.
3. Include promotional codes: Give clients a reason to look at your photos and read their descriptions by including promo codes within the images or text. These codes can then be redeemed for a substantial discount, a free sample or other attractive offer. Limited time offers can make sure that clients are always looking forward to the next discount which will allow for below the line marketing methods to take place, such as word-of-mouth.
4. Spot Trends on Instagram: Certain hashtags and trends come and go quickly; utilize them to your advantage. Such components can attract a large group of potential clients within a short timeframe, thus helping to establish your company. Conversely, being late to certain trends can work against a company’s best interest, demonstrating sluggishness in adaptation. Such an issue is more pertinent to clients and followers, rather than leads. A small item to keep in mind, yet important.
5. Create a Brand-Specific Strategy: Establish a running visual theme to ensure the unique aspect of your business. The design components or method with which pictures are framed, exhibit a certain mood or perception of one’s methods. For example: if promoting a new product, use visuals that will showcase it in a relevant manner. The old adage by which one “should not judge a book by its cover” is hard to follow, especially in dynamic environments such as social media. Therefore, captivating and visually stimulating images and videos are essential.
6. Highlight your clients: Include photographs of your clients on your Instagram site. You could try a "client of the week" feature, or post photographs of clients using your products or services. When prospects see actual clients engaged with your company, they’d be more likely to want what you have to offer. Furthermore, this allows clients to get into the spotlight.
Example of how Starbucks showcases one of their clients’ works of art, quite literally painting the company and its clients in a positive light.
7. Showcase events: Instagram can be used to spark interest in your upcoming events. At trade shows, post images of your booth or display and make it easy for Instagram users to find you in person. If you're sponsoring a charitable event, include pictures of the lead-up to generate interest, then post several images from the event itself. Lastly, don't forget to use the events' hashtags for even more reach.
8. Marketing is a Two Way Street: Like photos or videos that clients post, especially if they include a product or service that you create, help them feel appreciated for their efforts. Mention your clients with an “@” to engage with them and add a personal touch. These efforts should garner continued support from your clients, and establish a positive impression.
Contact Colosi Marketing today for more information on marketing through Instagram and how to make Instagram a valuable component of your online marketing program.
Instagram Image via Facebook.com