If you’re anything like us, you probably enjoy using Instagram and playing with different filters, colour grading your grid, researching the best hashtags, etc. It’s easy to see why the platform became so popular, and why it has a huge number of users. Pretty soon, the advertisers saw what an amazing opportunity Instagram holds for them and they capitalized on it.
The uniqueness of social media is the native nature of its ads. Oftentimes, when you’re scrolling Instagram, you don’t distinguish regular content from sponsored content. That plus the big pool of people at the top of your fingertips, open up endless possibilities. In this article, we’ll show you how to maximise your Instagram presence and drive more sales.
Content is king
Yes, you’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again, quality content is the basis of every good Instagram page. Without focusing on original, fun and informative content presented through high-quality photographs and videos, all of your other efforts will be futile.
Firstly, sit down with your whole marketing team, including the designers, and agree on a theme (visual style) for your Instagram page. If you’re doing this for the first time, we would suggest sticking to brand colours in combination with a neutral one that you can easily interchange over time.
Besides colours, you should think about textures and light, being how they can instantly change the mood and tone of a photograph. If you look closely at your competition, you’ll realise that certain industries stick to the same lighting and tone. For example, kids toy manufacturers have really bright photographs, with a lot of artificial lighting, and the colour pallet they choose is mostly made up of prime colours.
On the other side of the spectrum, brands that are more oriented towards middle aged men, like whiskey, tend to go for darker images with earth tones and rougher textures like wood. If you’ve created a solid visual identity for your brand, you’ll easily determine content guidelines.
Think of your brand’s Instagram page as a brand recognition platform. Not only does every photo/video have to stick to a previously selected visual style, but there also has to be harmony between them when scrolling through the grid.
Source: @theofficialpandora on Instagram
Every piece of content has to relay a message and provide certain information. Since Instagram is a visual platform, you should create photographs and videos that relay all the relevant information your customers may be looking for, without the saturation of information. The key is in the famous mantra less is more.
For example, if you’re in charge of a nail polish brand, and you want to show off different styles of manicure, take a picture of the hand against a monochromatic background and make sure the hand isn’t covered in jewellery, otherwise you’ll spend your days answering inquires about rings instead of your product, and that’s from experience!
Our tip for anyone starting with a new Instagram theme would be to hire a professional photographer. Although you can do a lot with a smartphone nowadays, there is no substitute for professional photographs. With a photographer, you’re not only receiving raw material but processed content that follows a singular style and has the same lighting throughout.
You have to consider is that everybody has a different style of photography, and if you simply hand out iPhones to your team and have them take pictures of your product, over a period of a week you’ll have pictures that don’t necessarily work together, and it will be really obvious that they were taken without a firm plan based on the difference in lighting and styling. That way, you’ll lose the brands identity, and voice and your Instagram will turn into a poorly curated gallery.
Even though Instagram is a visual platform you shouldn’t avoid getting creative with captions. It’s shocking how many big brands avoid captions all together or resort to posting a few emojis and calling it a day. Use your captions to deliver your CTA or provide more info on your product or service.
Set up your shop
Now that you’ve created the visual style for your Instagram page and curated your content, let’s jump into your sales process. Firstly, you’re going to set up your shop! This can go two ways – with a catalogue manager or with an e-commerce platform partner.
The former is a sort of do-it-yourself method done within Facebook Business Manager, and the latter is an integration through an e-commerce platform, such as Shopify. Once you set it up, all you have to do is tag your products in your posts and stories. That way, your customers can tap on your pictures and go straight to your webshop.
Influencer marketing allows brands to reach a wider audience in a more genuine way than traditional advertising ever could. Since their content is rooted in their personality, they build strong relationships with their followers, so their recommendations come off as friendly advice.
The biggest advantage of influencer marketing is the results. TapInfluence released a case study that shows the ROI of influencer marketing to be 11 times over all other forms of digital media. With high-quality content and a higher reach and engagement than a brand would get, it’s easy to see why influencer marketing works so well for so many brands.
Source: @zoesugg on Instagram
If you’re looking to start a business relationship with an influencer, make sure to find someone that works well with your brand, and shares your values. It is also important to have a signed contract between the two of you before you send them any products or pay them. If you’re wondering how to do that since the targeted influencers may not live in your country, you’re in luck.
Better Proposals is an easy proposal software tool that helps you create and send proposals that have integrated payment and can be signed on the spot, just by typing your name. An amazing software like that helps you avoid the trouble of printing a contract, sending it out and patiently waiting for it to return signed so that you can scan it.
Grow your follower base
There are two ways to go around doing this. If you don’t have a budget, the best way for more people to organically see your posts is by using hashtags and location tagging. That way, you’re going to reach a larger number of people interested in your content.
However, if you have a budget, a lot of different opportunities open up. You can organize contests and giveaways where you award your loyal fan base with gifts. Furthermore, you can create ads that will drive people to your Instagram page, or directly to your webshop, giving you a chance to reach a wider pool of potential clients.
If you want to work systematically on growing your followers, check out Upleap, a service that pairs you with a dedicated account manager that picks up real, organic followers which leads to more online sales!
Now that you have all the information you need, start working on your Instagram sales strategy and have fun doing it!
Petra Odak is a Chief Marketing Officer at Better Proposals, simple yet incredibly powerful proposal software tool that helps you send high-converting, web-based business proposals in minutes. She’s a solution-oriented marketing enthusiast with more than 5 years of experience in various fields of marketing and project management.