Instagram can be an impressive platform for directly marketing to a target audience – especially if you offer a visual product.
Like most social media platforms, Instagram’s system encourages users to pre-select themselves for marketing. For example, an Instagram user who is pounding out hashtags for all the albums they listen to is flagging himself as a viable target for a company that markets merchandise within that musical niche. Hashtags are becoming more popular than ever, and they are the best way to find the most targeted – and apparently wealthiest – customers.
My personal experience with this technique came from a niche in the hip-hop community. I noticed the following initially on YouTube and then began targeting users that associated themselves with that niche on Instagram. After a few months of taking daily action, I had built a few thousand cult followers. And then, with an occasional Instagram post with a limited-time coupon discount code, I could create a buying frenzy within minutes to my eCommerce site.
Sounds interesting, right?
Five minutes a day is all you’ll need. Keep reading.
First, snag a username that best represents your product or service. Make the picture attractive, funny, controversial or amusing, etc.
The core notion is to spend five minutes – and only five minutes – each day building your Instagram followers or marketing to your Instagram followers. That’s it. Otherwise, it will not be an income-producing activity. You really shouldn’t be posting more than once a day and following new users takes less than a few minutes.
You can divide your daily Instagram marketing in two steps:
1. Build your Instagram following (3 minutes a day)
Do a hashtag search (found in the ‘Explore’ section of the app) and follow 30-50 users who are in your niche, every day. Or, find some niche users in your industry and start following the users that liked their pictures.
The key here is to find active users who are in your target audience or one very closely related. They will most likely be the ones that follow back and later like or comment on your photos. DO NOT follow spammy accounts, even if they do follow you back, it won’t help you actually acheive your goals.
But, remember, do not follow more than 50 users per day. You are looking to build engagement, not look like a spammer.
Over time, with more people following back, your profile will become authoritative and folks won’t be apprehensive to follow.
2. Post 1 picture per day to your Instagram following (2 minutes a day)
Post a picture every day to your account. The picture doesn’t have to be of your produce, but of the lifestyle you are selling. People buy things because of the feelings they want to have, so hypnotically evoke those feelings on your followers.
For example, if you were selling dog collars, a cute puppy meme would do the trick. For a paddleboard company, a mysterious picture of an obscure beach would be brilliant. You get the point. Don’t just post pictures of your product.
Note: Only put a CTA to buy once a month – maximum.
This creates urgency, and your followers will like you more. For increased effectiveness, create a time-sensitive ‘exclusive to Instagram’ coupon code. Directly link to the product page in your Instagram post, and make sure your site is optimized to take different payment methods to increase your conversion rates: credit card payments (here is a good resource for that), Google Checkout and Paypal.
You’d be surprised how many e-commerce shops only offer Paypal, which is leaving too much on the table.
So, where do you find your pictures?
Your own pictures are ideal, but finding your content can be found through another hashtag search on Instagram. Just remember to always cite the user handle in the picture description if you take a snapshot of someone else’s picture.
In closing, focus on a lifestyle that matches your product and engage on Instagram for five minutes a day for a long period of time. The results will surprise you.
Not sure if Instagram is right for your brand? Read this post Why Your Busines Should Be on Instagram.
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