|By Richard Hale||
|November 4, 2016 03:49 AM EDT|
Ecommerce stores need to do anything they can to get ahead and Instagram for many may be the best possible way. So, how do you utilize it for your business.
Look To Users for Your Content
The youngest generation of consumers has grown up expecting a fundamentally different relationship with brands than the one their parents had. They look for back-and-forth communication with brands on their social networks. You should strongly consider giving your customers a way to add to their pictures to your page. Buyers who appreciate your brand can post pictures of themselves using or wearing your products. Besides fostering engagement with your customers, this will also serve as a free source of promotion for your brand. You have a range of different third-party software tools that will make this possible and help you manage user-generated content. Start with a Google search for “embed an Instagram feed” to see your options.
Instagram is a terrific platform for showing off the way your product fits into real-life settings. This makes it easier for your users to understand how your product is meant to be used. Authenticity is important when you pursue this strategy. Even though you’re likely to carefully coordinate every aspect of the images you create for this kind of promotion, they should appear as natural as possible to your audience.
You don’t necessarily need a huge marketing budget to get started with this technique. See if there are any employees in your company who would like a chance to model your products. They may even have Instagram accounts of their own that they can use to spread your images further.
With a little more investment (in terms of both time and money), you can track down key influencers who are well-known in your target demographic and get them to post pictures that include your products. These kinds of deals are often very complex, but the rewards can be tremendous. You’ll get plenty of exposure for your brand and reach a much wider audience this way.
Contests are an evergreen marketing strategy on most platforms, and Instagram is no exception. Just bear in mind that you need to develop your following to a certain size in order to ensure that your contest gets sufficient exposure. You’ll also want to offer a prize that gets people legitimately excited about participating – discount coupons aren’t going to get the job done.
One good way to benefit from this is to add some Instagram likes initially as this will give the contest some traction and make it seem popular. People like to do what seems to be popular and adding followers or likes can provide a psychological edge.
Don’t spend too much time wincing about the cost of the prizes you need to run an effective contest. A well-run contest can generate huge amounts of exposure at a fraction of the cost of a traditional marketing campaign, even when you factor in the expense involved in the prizes. Structure your contests in multiple rounds to hold people’s attention for longer stretches of time. Don’t just run a “best submission” contest; build a bracket that puts contenders through multiple head-to-head rounds before you pick an overall winner.
Don’t Force It
Remember that an Instagram account costs you nothing, and neither do individual posts. Not every picture you upload needs to be a hard sales tool. Establishing your brand’s mood and character is also important. It’s an excellent idea to work with a professional photographer and familiarize him or her with your brand. A good photo shoot will give you lots of great options to choose from and provide you with a stream of Instagram content that will keep your account busy for a long time. The professional quality of the images will also serve to impress both current and future customers.
Tying Customers Into Your Brand
Never lose sight of the “social” part of social media. Interactions between your brand and your customers are supposed to go both ways. A well-run Instagram campaign can turn hordes of customers into ambassadors for your brand, expanding your reach dramatically. Operating an unengaged Instagram account will be a waste of your time or even have a negative effect. If you’re going to make the effort, make it count by reaching out to your customers.
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