Secrets of Three Successful Instagram Brands
For many years Sears―the once popular retail giant a time, would mail thousands of product catalogs to potential customers. In October of 2018 Sears filed for bankruptcy. Many factors, of course, contributed to the downfall of this once mighty retailer but if your business still relies on expensive traditional marketing methods―print, radio and television then there is one question that needs to be asked. Why?
There is a digital revolution taking place and it’s called social media. However, unlike traditional media this social media is built upon an abundance of interactions with users. What makes Instagram an absolute spot-on place for a business to build its brand and grow its online community? Well, for one thing it is insanely popular; Instagram has over 300 million daily active users. That fact alone makes it any marketer’s dream.
Instagram is also a visual-centric platform. If a single picture is worth one thousand words what is a content stream with multiple formats packed with vivid imagery worth?
In the same way that Google ad words changed the playing field for online search results Instagram is proving to be a game changer as well. What’s the secret to success using Instagram for your business? Success leaves a trail to follow.
Is this Instagram-first strategy a good fit for your business? Let’s dive in. Focus on these key elements to enhance your chances of success:
Maximize Visual Presentation
No matter what your product or service is be sure to present it in way to attract attention. Instagram includes filters so it’s easy for almost anyone to make their photos worthy of sharing these days but especially so for a business to focus on visually presenting your brand in the best light.
Glossier is perhaps the crown jewel of an Instagram-first strategy success story. The insanely popular makeup and skincare line started by a beauty blogger is essentially an online experience. There is no fancy downtown main street retail store so they rely on social media. True, these products are highly photogenic but moreover Glossier has built a very stimulating visual brand. The brand’s pink-ness practically jumps off the screen. It pops. It catches your attention.
Another example, is the online publication Punch Drink. They provide cocktail recipes, and various city guides on its site and although that could be rather vanilla in terms of imagery they use creativity and high quality photos to appeal to a niche audience. A different drink appears in each image presented in a way that almost lets the viewer taste it with their eyes. The message here is to be creative with your images. It’s not just about selling a product, it’s about capturing a feeling and expressing this through visual imagery.
Keep in mind that if your business is not an actual bricks-and-mortar store, it’s even more important for your social media presence (Instagram) to set your tone for your brand. Once set, stick to it. Use the same color themes, formats and also try to maintain consistency with how often you post. In other words, you want to maintain the business cohesiveness throughout the user experience. Strive to create a visual impact and build your brand so to attract thousands of loyal followers.
Focus Attention on Your Customers
If you were to visit Glossier’s Instagram page one of the first things you might notice, besides the abundance of their favorite pink color theme, is that many posts within their feed show happy customers using their products. Selfies galore. They put the spotlight on their customers. A highly photogenic product for sure but the attention they give their customers creates an experience. Basically, that beautiful results can be achieved by anyone. They truly feel like they are part of a special tribe. The ‘IN’ crowd.
Tap into your customers’ desires and needs with your Instagram content. Consider the BarkBox brand with over 1 million followers. This company provides products that keep pooches happy. Their visual stream is full of funny dog content and they provide discounts and more to followers. We all know how much folks adore their pets. The entertaining visual content grabs your attention. The sweet deals and discounts keep you there as a loyal follower.
It’s the perfect blend of engagement. Entertain your audience, give them what they want, and they will keep coming back for more. The Instagram marketing employed by the BarkBox company proves that they understand their customer’s needs.
As yet another example of placing your customers in the spotlight look at Adobe on Instagram. Almost all of the posts you will find are user generated content. It’s the “see what I can do with these products and then share it” strategy that works for them. Their stream of content is basically a canvas for all their designer type followers to showcase their work. Over 800,000 followers and counting.
Ref: You can Target Followers using Instamigos platform
Ideally you want your audience to think of your account (i.e. your business) as one of their favorites on Instagram. So how does your business stand out in a vast digital empire of visual stimulation. Think about how your products or services can be used within Instagram content. Not everyone will have photogenic products but there are many ways to feature even the most routine products in creative ways. Sometimes you just have to think a little bigger. Ask yourself―can your customers share your product or service? What would make them want to share it on their own feeds? What creative ways can you think of to engage your followers and encourage sharing?
To put it another way, people will share what they love and feel great about doing it. That experience is the power and influence of social media.
Consider what is currently trending. What is the popular movement right now? Can your business tap into this and use it as an advantage? Perhaps.
Health, fitness and lifestyle trends are always hot topics within social media. La Croix, the flavored sparkling water company capitalized on somewhat of a social media ‘perfect storm.’ Healthier lifestyles and Instagram’s popularity are both on the rise. La Croix benefits from both of those facts. For instance, they engage with fans and encourage them to use hashtags to share La Croix experiences and photos. They also work with many ‘micro-influencers’ to help spread the word about the sweetener-free alternative beverage.
Trending now? Fitness enthusiasts and nutrition influencers are happy to share La Croix products in their Instagram posts. Though they have been around for years their resent resurgence is in large part due to their focus on digital marketing efforts rather than traditional methods.
Another example of this ‘marketing a lifestyle’ trend is Bitwell Inc., the motorcycle helmet and accessory company. Sure they sell the products but what you see on their Instagram feed is the lifestyle that comes along with it. Where can you go on your ride? Scenic landscapes. Adventure. Freedom. Powerful images all courtesy of user generated content.
Instagram makes it easy to grow your business. Find and connect with your tribe. Share your lifestyle.
Technology Compliments Your Brand
What does it take to grow a business from literally zero to 50,000 raving fans known as followers? Growing your business organically on Instagram is fine but sometimes you need a little kick―a jumpstart.
Through the use of technology your business gets immediate results. You get valuable feedback, you really get to know your customer, likes and preferences, and this information makes it easy to suggest what they might purchase in the near future. With Instagram ads you can really focus in on your target customer and make sure that you’re getting the most out of every post.
Article, a chic interior designs company, is a great example of the use of Instagram ads. In 2016, they developed an ad campaign featuring interiors styled with Article’s sleek furniture. For the audience this created a desirable experience. They see it, they want it, they buy it. Done deal. Article is also another company that is entirely online so their social media presence is crucial.
Social media is becoming more and more relevant in influencing buying decisions. As a business you need to make it easy for your customers purchase your product through Instagram. And, without an actual storefront, as is the case with Article and Glossier, your Instagram ‘store’ and content needs to be easy to navigate. Therefore, including shoppable posts to allow followers to purchase a featured product directly from the Instagram content is a great idea.
Results? Thanks to their focused ad campaign, Article saw a huge return on their marketing dollars and that over 35% percent of sales included Instagram in the customer buying process. Using technological tools available through Instagram can be a tremendous way to focus in on your target customers and pump up your sales revenue.
Throughout this article we have seen examples of successful brands that tend to use an Instagram-first marketing strategy. Blend in our four key elements and you can see that when compared to traditional marketing methods this is really a better use of your creativity and of the marketing budget. For smaller businesses that are just starting out every penny counts. If your business is not incorporating an Instagram marketing strategy you may be missing out on a ton of opportunities.
At its core, the Instagram platform is visual driven social media. Perfect for your business. Companies such as Glossier, Barkbox, and Article have impressive proven success stories. Success leaves a trail. Who will be next? Maybe your business? Hashtag #success.
Helpful resources that can be used for Instagram Branding Instamigos.net
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