A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
You can hire the most talented copywriter available, but a photo will attract more attention to your business than even the most cleverly crafted words. Pinterest and Facebook often come to mind when businesses consider visual marketing, but with almost 100,000 photos being uploaded every hour, Instagram is an application that shouldn’t be neglected. With a bit of creativity, you’ll find that Instagram can become a tool to spread awareness of your business. The best part? It’s free.
Create Striking Content
In the realm of visual media, as with the written word, content is king. Take care to share only your best photos, and people will be more likely to watch and interact with your photo stream.
Take pictures that demonstrate different ways your product can be used. For example, if you sell cakes, upload photos to your Instagram account that show your cakes in a variety of settings – weddings, birthday parties and grand openings. Show a photo of a cake gracing an elegant table along with images that show people eating your creations.
Use your Instagram account to demonstrate how your product is created. For a furniture business, photos might show a craftsman carefully sanding a chair or applying the tenth coat of varnish to a coffee table. Such photos help customers to appreciate the work that goes into the product you’re selling.
Sometimes a product doesn’t lend itself to multiple photos. After all, there are only so many ways that one can photograph a fairly unglamorous product such as a water filter. In this case, you could upload images of waterfalls, lush trees and other images that convey the idea of health and purity.
Increase Customer Engagement
One way to increase potential customer’s engagement with your account on Instagram is to ask customers to upload their own photos to your account. Customer-created content not only increases engagement, but lessens the amount of work you will need to do to promote your brand. For example, you can ask people to submit photos of themselves wearing, eating or otherwise using your product. You may wish to offer an incentive to these individuals, such as a coupon or public recognition of the best photos.
Hold a photo contest to appeal to your customers’ competitive instincts. For example, if your business sells western wear, ask other Instagram users to submit photos that represent the freedom of the Wild West. Contestants can use hashtags such as #wildwestcontest to identify each entry. The winner can be determined by how many likes the photos each get, or by other criteria you set.
Leave comments whenever someone uploads a photo to your business’s account. This has the effect of creating a sense of community, rather than anonymity, whenever someone interacts with your Instagram account.
Gain Visibility on Instagram
By making a habit of using Instagram on a daily basis, you not only increase the number of photos relating to your business that other users are exposed to, but you increase your chances of becoming one of Instagram’s “suggested users.” According to the Instagram website, “the list is designed to surface accounts that are highly active on Instagram.” Being a highly active user doesn’t necessarily mean that you should try to get your photos liked the most times or strive to obtain thousands of followers, however. Engaging with your followers will give your business the highest visibility.
Overall, Instagram offers one of the most entertaining and inexpensive ways to market your business. Join the fun to reach a wide variety of customers who will engage with this unobtrusive, organic form of marketing, and your business is certain to benefit.