7 Ways Instagram Can Help You Build Qualified Leads
Instagram — the little photo sharing app that lets you post photos of your kittens and vacation pictures — has suddenly become one of the biggest and most influential marketing tools on the Internet.
Why? Because of its popularity.
Instagram currently has more than 30 billion – that’s “billion” with a “B” – images and more than 300 million active users each month. The site generates an average of 70 million photos per day, or roughly 3 million images per hour.
The most amazing statistic of all? Just five years ago, Instagram didn’t even exist. But in that short period of time, the site has undergone significant growth in its user base and in nearly every demographic group. In other words, Instagram is a marketer’s dream come true.
As a social media tool, Instagram is more powerful than Facebook and Twitter combined when it comes to brand marketing. That’s because Instagram posts generate a per-follower engagement rate – or the amount of people who actually look at the content that is posted — of 4.21%. That’s 58 times more than Facebook and 120 times more than Twitter.
To engage customers on Instagram, a business needs more than just great looking images. It also needs a thoughtful content strategy and a clearly defined brand identity based in visual creativity and effective customer engagement.
Visual social media offers unique strengths for telling compelling stories about your brand and business. To help you develop an effective Instagram strategy for building qualified leads, here are seven simple techniques you can use starting right away.
Determine Your Objectives
Before you start arbitrarily start posting random images on Instagram, it’s critical that you have a well thought out strategy. Consider the benefits that Instagram offers that your other marketing platforms don’t: A higher engagement rate, the opportunity for visual creativity.
Then consider the target audience you want to engage and which portion of this audience is likely to be active on Instagram. They aren’t necessarily the same thing.
Finally, consider how your Instagram marketing efforts will integrate with the other social media networks you currently are using.
Increase Your Brand Awareness
Instagram is a great place to promote marketing campaigns you are running concurrently on other platforms. But given its unique visual sharing capabilities, it also can be used to run exclusive content and campaigns.
For example, it’s ideal for showcasing your culture and people as well as your products and services. And the mobile nature of Instagram makes it optimal for quickly capturing moments, giving your customers an opportunity to interact with your brand in a more casual way, and providing more instantaneous interaction than you can with other social media platforms.
Boost Customer Loyalty
Showcase your products, services, and even your team members to engage your customers as a member of your community. Use the images you post to build brand loyalty by providing insider access and showing behind the scenes details of your operation.
People love to feel included and welcomed as a member of the family. Use Instagram to create this image and reinforce it with your customers.
When you have promotions, sales, special offers, contests, or other incentive programs, sculpt unique marketing campaigns exclusively for Instagram to promote them. These can run concurrently with other promotional programs – such as advertising and marketing elsewhere – but have the special image-centric feel of an Instagram campaign.
An image or endorsement of a celebrity or other influential user of your business’s products or services can go a long way toward attracting new leads. Connect with these influencers and post pictures on Instagram.
Create Content Themes
Once you have developed your Instagram content strategy objectives, use your products, services, employees, and company culture to craft specific content themes.
You can post images from the themes you identify during a specific time period – the Animal Planet’s “Shark Week” is an excellent example – or run multiple themes at the same time. Just make sure each is clearly defined and don’t interfere or distract from each other.
Maximize Instagram’s Filters and Creative Tools
One of the killer apps that make Instagram so popular is its ability to edit photos and videos using specialized filters and other creative tools. Your business can use these to create a specific brand aesthetic and to ensure that the images you post are visually consistent.
Choose one or a two filters and use these for most of the images that you post. This will create a distinct visual style that eventually will become instantly identifiable to your subscribers. They will know when you have posted a new image because they will be able to associate the photo’s style and composition with your brand.
Instagram has become very popular very quickly. Smart, pro-active businesses are using this sudden popularity to attract and retain new customers.