HOW TO MARKET YOUR BRAND ON INSTAGRAM AND BUILD A LARGE FOLLOWER BASE?
Although Instagram is not a forerunner in the social media niche, it has emerged as a strong contender in a space previously dominated by heavyweights like Facebook and Twitter. Instagram's appeal lies in its ability to transform mobile camera pictures into professional looking share-worthy images, and it has spawned a massive social network of 300 million plus active users who generate around 70 million picture posts on a daily basis.
In terms of engagement, Instagram posts get more likes and interactions in comparison to other social media platforms. On an average, Instagram posts get 2.5 million likes each day. And, major brands that are actively promoting themselves on Instagram report a per post engagement rate of 3.31%, which is a chart buster figure as far as engagement metrics are concerned. Clearly, Instagram is a fantastic platform for brand building and businesses are bound to benefit by building an active follower-base on Instagram.
Key Facts About Instagram That Every Marketer Should Know
How Did Instagram Emerge As A Mainstream Social Network?
Instagram managed to become a popular social network, by positioning itself as a photo sharing platform. While other social media platforms also allow sharing of media files, Instagram gives its users a compelling reason for sharing their photos. The Instagram app provides a wide range of digital filters, which impart DSLR quality look and feel to pictures captured using mobile phone camera. It helps users convert their selfies/vacation pictures into stunning photographs, which creates an irresistible urge for sharing pictures.
Instagram succeeded by creating a culture of rampant photo sharing. It has also created a great deal of buzz around photos, by allowing engagement through likes, hashtags and @mentions. Such is the effect of Instagram that people are now spending significant amount of time sharing pictures and viewing pictures shared by others. Even big and small brands have started to make their presence felt on Instagram, and many businesses are taking active interest in building their follower base on this revolutionary platform.
How Are People Using Instagram?
Instagram has created an overwhelming obsession for photos, and people are using it in many different ways. There is a large segment of Instagram users who share selfies with their friends, and actively engage with people they are following. A significant number of Instagram users follow celebrities, and then there are those who only prefer to keep tabs on trending photos. There is also a growing segment of Instagram users, who've managed to build a large follower base around a subject of their passion. Since Instagram is also turning-out to be a high potential marketing platform, plenty of branded photos are being created and circulated by marketers.
Who Uses Instagram?
A major chunk of Instagram users fall in the age bracket of 18-35 years. The demographic composition of Instagram users makes it a viable platform for brand promotion, as people in the age group of 18-35 years are high spenders when compared to other age brackets. For businesses in the retail and lifestyle sector - Instagram users are ideal targets for promotional messages.
Why Is Instagram An Important Platform For Marketing?
Social media analytics reveal that Instagram is turning-out to be a more productive marketing platform than any other social network, because of its high engagement rate of up-to 25%. Instagram enables marketers to build a captive audience around a brand. It is an excellent medium for brand/product promotion, and has proved to be effective in driving conversions. Major brands have already built a captive audience on Instagram, and more brands are trying to create a follower base on this platform.
How To Promote Your Business/Brand On Instagram?
Marketers who are actively promoting their brand on Instagram are interested in creating a captive audience for their content. The objective is to post share-worthy content so that other users can make the post go viral by liking and commenting on it. This way marketers are able to achieve exponential growth in brand recognition.
Marketers are also using Instagram to promote brand loyalty and create better customer relations. Additionally, marketers have the option to implement strategies by which they can encourage existing customers to influence their followers on Instagram and get them interested in the brand's offering.
Here are some things that businesses do to market their brand on Instagram:
Post Photos That Drive Engagement
Instagram gives marketers an opportunity to engage with users by putting-out creative pictures that are informative and humorous. This helps drive engagement, because Instagram users like to share photos which they find appealing, and if the image is really catchy it ends up going viral. Marketers also keep an eye on trending hashtags, so they can create content around popular topics and ensure that their posts receive high exposure.
Connect With Prospects And Influencers
Instagram is an open network where users can express interest in a brand or communicate their dissatisfaction with a product/service. These interactions are posted using hashtags or @mentions, and it is important for marketers to keep tabs on what is being said about their brand or its products. Responding to hashtagged messages and @mentions creates a positive perception of the brand and also helps in driving conversions.
Build Credibility By Getting Support From Influencers
There are numerous Instagram users who've established themselves as an authority in certain areas like: electronics, computers, mobile apps etc. Such users have a large follower base and they are capable of influencing the purchase decision of a prospect. Marketers often connect with influencers and request them to put-out posts about their brand/product. This gives more credibility to the brand/product as it is endorsed by a third party which is not connected with the business in anyway.
Maximize Outreach By Running Contests
Contests are great for driving engagement and they also help in creating more visibility for the brand. On Instagram, marketers typically run contests of the type where participants are asked to suggest a caption for a photo. Running contests once a month or once a quarter is a good marketing practice and it is very effective in boosting sales.
Why Is It Important To Get More Followers On Instagram?
Getting followers on Instagram is the basic requirement for fulfilling all your marketing objectives, and it is something that is difficult to achieve. Instagram users prefer to follow accounts that put-out pictures that have some sort of a mass appeal. And, they are spoilt for choice as thousands of brands are vying for their attention.
Here are some reasons why marketers should acquire large number of followers on Instagram:
Users Follow Accounts Which Have Large Number Of Followers
Most people are attracted to things that are trendy and which everyone is talking about. People like to visit nightclubs which attract a large crowd. And, on ecommerce sites products that have greater number of customer reviews tend to sell more.
Following the crowd is a prevalent social practice, and it is not possible to increase your Instagram followers when you only have 10 or 20 followers on your account. A strategy aimed at attracting more Instagram followers will only work when you have at least a thousand followers.
Having Large Number Of Followers On Instagram Is A Mark Of Brand Recognition
In present times, the value of brand is determined by the strength of its follower base on social networks. Instagram is now the fastest growing social network on Internet, and acquiring a large number of followers on Instagram is the key to creating massive brand awareness.
Instagram Marketing Only Works When You Have Large Number Of Followers
Instagram marketing strategies (discussed above) are very effective in increasing sales. In order to implement these strategies to maximum effect, it is essential to have a large number of followers. For an example, running a contest is more effective when you have followers who influence other Instagram users to participate in the contest.
How To Get More Instagram Followers?
There are many different ways of boosting your follower base on Instagram, and they can be broadly classified into two categories.
Organic Method Of Acquiring Instagram Followers
There are many strategic ways by which businesses can acquire followers. Posting photos with relevant hashtags is a great way of attracting the attention of Instagram users. Another approach is to participate in discussions on hot button topic by posting really clever comments, which helps in portraying your account as an authority on the subject matter. Addressing influential Instagram users in your photos/comments through @mentions is also a proven technique for acquiring followers.
The techniques mentioned above help in attracting followers by positioning your Instagram account as a source of original and useful content. These techniques have been used with so much indiscretion by reckless marketers that they are no longer as effective as they used to be. Users have become wary of posts, comments and likes made with the malicious intent of netting followers. And, majority of Instagram users have learnt to ignore posts/comments which betray slightest hint of marketing.
Another organic strategy for acquiring followers involves promoting your Instagram account on your business website, newsletters and marketing collaterals. This approach is very helpful in getting existing customers and prospects to follow your brand on Instagram, and it can be implemented with very little effort.
Fast Forward Method Of Acquiring Instagram Followers
The organic method of acquiring followers is so slow that it takes between 2 months to a year to hit the one thousand mark. This is because users tend to follow accounts which already have several thousand followers. The fast forward method of acquiring Instagram followers allows you to get hundreds and thousands of followers in a very short time.
Instagram gives marketers the option to promote their account in a bid to acquire followers rapidly. Marketers also have the option to promote specific posts or create hashtags and get them trending for a specific duration. Paid marketing campaigns of this sort get instant results, but at a very high cost which is beyond the reach of small and mid-sized businesses.
Another technique is to buy Instagram followers. This approach is suitable for businesses which have restricted marketing budget and cannot afford pricey promotional packages offered by Instagram.
While buying followers is a convenient option for most businesses, it is also more reliable than promotional packages offered by Instagram. This is because when you buy Instagram followers you receive guaranteed number of followers, whereas in the case of promotional packages there is no such guarantee. However, it is very important that you buy Instagram followers from vendors who have a track record for quality and timely delivery.