5 Ways to Use Instagram for Marketing

You probably already know that Instagram can be used to engage and interact with customers. And, between 200 million active users and not being widely used major brands, it’s a great platform to use in marketing. And, here are five ways that you can use Instagram to accomplish all of your marketing needs.

1. Tell Your Brand’s Story

When it comes to telling your brand’s story, the adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” is pretty spot-on. An image is perhaps the best way to showcase to your customer’s what your brand is all about. Whole Foods shows delicious images of fresh produce and platters. Starbucks captures refreshing Frappuccinos. Whether you want to raise awareness or make people laugh, Instagram is a great platform to tell your brand’s story. Just remember to use relevant captions and hashtags when posting images.

2. Give People a Chance to Win

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How can you use contests for marketing? For starters, run a simple photo contest. This will give you the chance to interact and attract customers. All you have to do is ask followers to use a particular hashtag for the contest by tagging and submitting their pictures. From there, you could run a photo-of-day campaign or ask users to select their favorite images in order for participants to win a prize.

If contests aren’t your thing, you could include coupons or promo codes. All you have to do here is contain a promotional code in some of your pictures, so this way people will keep coming back and could be rewarded. You can even use Facebook and Twitter to drive people to your Instagram page by posting these images. TopShop has perfected this tactic.

3. Go Behind The Scenes

Let people know that there are actual human beings behind your brand. Take candid snapshots of employees during lunch breaks, collaborating, holiday parties, company dinners or product launches. This is helps humanize your brand and can help build trust with customers.

4. Highlight Customers

Speaking of customers, make them a part of your campaign. This is a common technique for clothing companies like Levi’s and American Eagle. instead of using models, these brands have used real people who were already fans to showcase the latest items. It’s a simple, yet important, way in creating authenticity.

But you don’t need to be a clothing company to highlight customers. You can showcase them when they win a prize, Virgin America does this well, or just when they’re using your product – which you can include in a catalog as well. It creates a community around the values of your brand and establishes a connection with your customers. And, they’ll also spread the word about being featured by your brand to everyone they know.

5. Link Instagram Galleries to eCommerce Site

Let’s say you’ve done all of the above, how are you still going to get people to make purchase? One of the easiest, and obvious, would be to include a link to your eCommerce site. So, if you were selling a product like a t-shirt, followers could purchase it right then and there – instead of going elsewhere. Best of all you can monitor traffic and conversions from these links.

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