What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Instagram?
Let me guess: selfies, teenagers and food.
That’s no wonder because that’s what Instagram has known and made big. More than 300 million users worldwide have the image network already, and it is well on the way to overtake Twitter.
Instagram is also growing rapidly. It is estimated that the platform had approximately 4.2 million active users in 2014, an increase of nearly 10 per cent compared to the previous year. The positive trend continues this year. This makes the photo platform the second most popular social network in the world.
But all these numbers will not convince you of Instagram if you think that as a sole trader or company you do not have meaningful content to build and even benefit from a successful Instagram page.
To convince you otherwise and to get you started on Instagram, here are five content strategies that will give you an overview of Instagram’s marketing potential.
But before we dive into the details of Instagram Marketing Strategies, I want to give you a very important tip …
Separate the private page from the corporate page
Unlike Facebook, Instagram currently does not differentiate between private profiles and company profiles. Each created page has the same functions, so whether you choose to use the site privately or for your business is up to you. This post is about the use of Instagram as a marketing channel.
There are basically two camps. Some see Instagram as a kind of complement to other social media channels and show their personal side here. On Facebook & Co. mercilessly advertised, on Instagram, however, you want to give the company a face. That’s fine in principle – after all, that’s exactly what social media gurus have been preaching for ages.
Instagram Content Strategies
Strategy 1: Let your products and services speak
The easiest way to build a meaningful Instagram page for your business is to focus on your products or services. Choose beautiful product photos or simply photograph them yourself.
That you do not need high-gloss photos for this strategy, shows the drugstore chain dm quite impressive. On his Instagram page, dm regularly posts new skincare products or seasonally-fitting cosmetics. And the comments below the pictures are proof enough that this strategy can increase the willingness to buy.
Even creatives, service providers or craftsmen of any kind benefit from this strategy. Tell us in pictures of how you work on a job or show the final result. Also before/after photos are always well received. The goal is to display your expertise and work to convince potential customers of your skills. This is how you build a connection with them, long before a collaboration starts.
The advantage of this strategy is a relatively simple implementation. With few exceptions, it can be used by almost any business or self-employed. However, one must make sure that the Instagram page is not too monotonous.
Strategy 2: Build a world around your topic
Similar to the first strategy, the products also play the most important role here. However, you go one step further and not only show the product alone but put it in a context. It’s not just a product advertised, but a whole lifestyle. In contrast to strategy 1, high-quality images that convey positive feelings are very important here. The idea behind it: You too can become part of this incredibly great community. The only requirement is to have our products.
This strategy is particularly well suited to fashion and lifestyle companies. Some great examples of this are the Instagram pages from Nike or Adidas.
The biggest advantage of this strategy is the community-building character and the added value for the user. However, this approach is difficult to implement without a proper content team and high-quality images.
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Strategy 3: Let the customers do the work
User-Generated Content enjoys great popularity in the social media age. Above all, the so-called Love Brands can benefit the most from these, because these companies have many passionate fans who diligently post the products of their favourite brands on the social media, even without any consideration for anything in return.
Of course, this is a hit with businesses because it’s been proven that people automatically feel attracted to a product or service when a friend already knows one of them and trusts the company. Instead of booking models for expensive campaigns, you have real testimonials – for free. Hence the hype surrounding user-generated content.
Daniel Wellington is a watch brand from England that produces elegant and minimalist – but still inexpensive – watches. It, therefore, did not take long for the style-conscious Instagram community to discover the clocks. Since then, the fans are uploading tons of pictures of the clocks on Instagram. No wonder that the site of Daniel Wellington mainly consists of so-called “Regrams”, ie images of other Instagram users.
The advantages of this strategy are the high credibility of the campaigns, the low costs and the interaction between companies and users. However, this strategy works only if you have products that the Instagram community likes to photograph.
Strategy 4: Show how satisfied your customers are
Do not tell that you can do it – show it! That’s the motto of this strategy, and Instagram is the perfect platform for that. This approach is particularly well suited to show how effective your services are. Hairdressers, fitness trainers, make-up artists and general occupations, where direct contact with customers takes place, are predestined for this strategy. The Instagram account of the Barbershop barbier.mg from Munich shows how this can look in practice. Regularly posted here are pictures of customers who have just been given a new haircut.
Similar to the User Generated Content, the great credibility of the images is the most important advantage. The drawback arises from the fact that this strategy requires direct contact with customers and that you need their consent to use the photos.
Strategy 5: Blogging on Instagram
If you remember the early days of Twitter, you know that you liked the social network as a microblogging platform. At that time you had only 140 characters available – nothing else. And it worked anyway. In contrast, you can upload a picture on Instagram and tell a story in more than 140 characters in the photo description.
This strategy is particularly well-suited for bloggers and the so-called “thought leaders” – or those who want to be that. But companies or service providers can use Instagram as a blogging platform to build a passionate community around their topic. In any case, that brings more than unspectacular photos of the “office life at the company XY”.
With the Instagram page Instamarketing.Tipps the author of this article has gained experience with this strategy. I dedicate myself to the topic “Success on Instagram” and post short tips and tricks several times a week, which every site operator can implement. The feedback is quite positive, and I can only dream of the interactions on Instagram on other social networks.
This is also the biggest advantage of this strategy: You can build a community that exchanges around a topic. It creates a real added value for the user and at the same time creates an audience that could be monetized in a further step. The disadvantage is the relatively time-consuming production of images and texts.