.Instagram has taken world by storm in the field of visual marketing where photos and videos are shared by over more than 600 million active users. It’s a way to share moods, genre and niche to like minded people out there. Followers keenly wait for their icon or ideals brands to upload latest news and launches .
Here are some of the many tips and tricks on how to start marketing and promoting your brand on Instagram and build a quick fan base as well as share your message or brand ideology in the right segment.
Get, set and go …..
Create an account of course with Instagram. It will ask you to give it a handle name which is like a user name. Keep it as close to your brand name, Gmail account or your website. Then there are accounts meant for specific niche like an instructor’s workout account, account related to recipe or health tips or big brands promoting their stuff. You need to decide name will best suit the statement you want to make and build your name it accordingly.
Its all about common interest or purpose that people are looking out for over here. They wana follow someone who they see as an ideal or inspiration that at times turns to aspirations as there are many wanabies or look alikes who identify with celebs they follow; all set to gulp every feed . So for those who want to make their mark on this platform should not leave any stone unturned to make their shares as inspiring as possible and with a reason compelling enough for their followers to cling on to.
Let fans find purpose in your feeds. There is a polls apart difference between a professional page and a group of tipsy people trying to share their random binge Pictures or Pictures of cats and dogs which by the way has 2nd most likes on Instagram but that’s besides point and you should stick to a professional face forward approach.
Making your Pictures stand out:
Here’s a word or two about taking best pics from your mobile or a DSLR. Its advisable to have a camera with Wifi port so whenever you want you can connect it with your mobile and upload your pics through mobile instantly. For taking a pic or shooting a video (recently short as well as long videos have been allowed by Instagram) Always take pics where there is ample sunlight like next to a window and if their isn’t ample light use soft bulb which is neither too yellow or too blue. Using reflectors to bounce light can be highly empathic.
it’s always better to use the back camera. That said sometimes it’s more convenient taking Pictures thru front camera. Simple tips come handy like Pictures taken from a mobile slightly facing above the head makes a person look slimmer and if taken sideways it makes them appear taller.
Set up an identity : Choose a theme
Themes are important and meant for general esthetics. It makes everything follow a sequence and make all the Pictures look cohesive and similar. You will be surprised to know how certain upmarket restaurants design menu to make it conducive and pleasing for Instagram purposes. Make your brand stand out by by giving it a certain ting or coloring effect. Many brands or entrepreneurs select specific theme. An example to cite can be a cosmetic store that uses a lot of pink and purple on their page. Sometime brands give a new splash of color to every weekly campaign.
Once a picture is taken apps like AppLike or Facetune come handy to enhance and retouch photos with significant changes and after effects . These editing tools will help improve the quality of the photo in a big way and differences can sometimes be startling.
Clean and arrange the items to be clicked. Although you can easily make the blemishes go away thru the app. These tools can also help to change the tone, whitening effects, stand out detailing, text enhancement and sharpening, giving certain hue of color in the background or using filters and finally giving shape to pictures like that of a heart or circle or of an an oval.
Once the upload is done it’s important to speed up traffic. Instagram has a convenient way of linking your emails and Facebook contacts so feel free to send people from your Facebook, Snapchat, Youtube on to here as well .
Avoide buying likes and followers – Keep relationship more organic
There are companies out there who can always help with a quick fix solution to increase both. However its going to be apparent sooner than later that certain company or brand has an inflated fictious list of inactive followers and it can be really damaging to the image. When such people post a Pictures and get only 10% likes from a huge arsenal of followers its clear that the company is using some shady practices. Same way if someone ends up buying likes this will show as a huge contrast between likes and total followers.
It takes time to build an engaging relationship with people. Instead of cheap short routes try helping those who are under similar niche or interest area. People with their network can promote your brad in return for a likewise favour.
Engage more and get super fit followers :
Talk to fans; involve them after each post, get to know them. Leave your comments and replies as much as possible. It’s an internet relationship you would build over time. Sometimes a fan can tag your inspiring quote or a tip with the most interested person who may like to see it. There replies or comments while checking your account can be an ideal gift like no other. This may accompany with a thread of conversation among interested onlookers on such a photo and it’s as organic as it can get cutting out any need for an artificial boosts. Your Pictures and posts should be inspiring for people to repost and come to your page and leave their comments. In reciprocation please appreciate and say a word or two to thank them for liking showing you care. You can mention them to acknowledge their efforts.
Timing is important : What’s the right post time
There’s more likability when people are around. A recent study by Huffington post suggesting most appropriate time to post Pictures and specifies that the ideal frequency keeping it somewhere between 1.50 to 1.75 posts a day and can go up to 2 a day. As a thumb rule it should not overwhelm followers with incessant blasting of Pictures and should be just right enough so fine tune postings as per the audience. Ideal time in general for posting is around 10 in morning say for a health page or late afternoon when people unwind, similarly there is more traffic towards late evening when people are off from work. However for a startup there is more opportunity late at night to early morning to post things and get it featured on Instagram’s suggested user list.
Keep in mind the geographic location for optimal time. For example there is hardly any point posting the breakfast of the day at 5 pm for a food outlet. Relevance is the key.
How to use Hash tags # and build campaigns around it :
Specific tags help you connect with focused interest groups. People can connect instantly by searching specific hash tags and bringing everything related to it. Check competitors hash tags and try to keep it in and around same lines. It helps users find their topic of interests or zero down on a particular niche easily. There can be a max of 30 hash tags that can be used in one feed or post. Avoid using hash tags that are too common cos then there are likely chances of your Pictures getting buried in a pool of 20 Pictures being uploaded every minute.
Best way to check is by visiting free online program Iconosquare or Webstagram that will suggest different keywords and how many times these have been used. Take your Pictures from the list of popular words , identify best keyword hashtags of the category you are interested in.
You can also replicate your competitor’s strategy by checking their account and see what similar keywords they have been using in their contests.
How to create contests and engage people:
Setting up contest thru hash tagging is easy. Participants upload a pic with your given hash tag and instagram will put it up on the contest. Define rules; wire it up for voting option. Use third party apps to monitor likes, track followers and its easy. Website like Wishpond can help you do it. They have an interactive dashboard that can help create landing page, give a Performa of coupon form for launching a campaign ect.
Contests are simple to create. Insert image, give it a name under banner, specify key rules and use their text editor to spruce up the layout, inserting a call to action button. Ask your users to put their Pictures with your given hash tag and it will be pulled and uploaded by Instagram into the contest directly. Take a preview to see how the add will look on various devices like mobile or a tab. Alongside you can run your own adds and drive traffic from Facebook or Twitter , send out emails of contest thru the app, check performance and do comprehensive analysis.
How to motivate fans to participate:
Set up simple tasks for your fans. Ask them to tag their friends; all that their friends need to do is to vote for them.
Some companies select a fan of the day or week and post their Pictures on their cover page of official website, something that bigger brands are doing already. They sometimes embed a fans photo to the official website as well. Use @mention to mention an ardent fan. Ask for their favorite model or flavor; can even run a contest separately pertaining to this.
Companies have come up with newer techniques to impress their followers. Ingenuine ideas like posting videos of behind the scene of a launch or an after party, post lunch session with selected fans or partnering up with another brand are all out of the box ways to make it big for creating brand value.
Finally; featuring adds directly on Instagram
Run adds by joining facebook with Instagram via power editor. As we know that Instagram is owned by facebook its mandatory to join both to showcase your adds.
Go to page setting of the official page of Facebook and in settings click page settings to select Instagram, add user name and password. Now click on manage adds and choose power editor to set up attributes and conditions for the add. Create Add set with different limitation. Specify if you wana feature the add daily till your budget gets exhausted or mention a daily limit. Setup a schedule during the day when the add will run or leave it open to run all day long. Also choose audience in certain demographic and age criteria, what profession would you like to target or what liking should you focus on. Mention the official website as well.
Taking help of shadow programs or Shout out services :
There are many profiles out there which are ok with promoting your brand and showcasing your stuff on their feed. These profiles have huge fan following base which can be easily seen along with their email specifying that they are open to piggy back your promotions of course for a price. A typical rate would be anything from $ 10-20 to more than a $100 and in a matter of few hours you can see 100’s of followers throng your page. But a big word of caution; Please do check their statistics of followers and likes on any photo they featured earlier and compare the two. There shouldn’t be a big variance between followers and likes.
Here’s an example. Lets assume a profile has more than a million followers and if I open a few photos and see that likes in it is almost 30 40% then rest assured my campaign will be in safe hands. On the contrary if see that they have a huge fan base but most of their photos fall short by way less margins; say only 10% likes then it’s a hoax and better to stay away rather than burning your money on them. There are also contactors to outsource shadow programs. These contractorts have a rich pool of such promoters with them. They will take business from a new brand if they have promoters in similar niche and charge money to pass the promotion work to such influencers or groups.
Overall its all a matter of sharing and get shared, some methods will work other will lag. Don’t lose faith and keep sharing. Don’t follow short routes of buying likes and followers; rather co promote and help people with similar interest. It’s a rapidly emerging platform and already many big fishes are there. There is a lot of scope to make your brand famous in quick succession.