Any good advertiser knows that you should never put all your eggs in the proverbial basket when chasing customers.
What does that mean? Don’t solely focus or rely on any one method of acquiring new subscribers – whether that’s paid advertisements, reviews, newsletter placements, social media, and so on. Rather, a good marketer should use all these avenues.
This can be tough, because it requires a diverse skill set that is able to adapt from channel to channel. Instagram, for example, requires the user to be able to handle a smartphone, use hashtags, and of course, be a good photographer. For a sole business owner, it can feel hard to juggle.
But Instagram is a powerful tool – one of our favorites for customer acquisition – and it shouldn’t be overlooked. If you think this is a channel you can’t master, think again.
What is Instagram?
Though it’s nearly synonymous with modern dining experiences, you may have never used Instagram personally, let alone for business. So what is this gramming of insta’s?
The short story: Instagram is a fun, personal way of sharing your life through photos. Much like a digital photo album, with a few added features, Instagram has leveraged the ubiquity of smartphones with cameras to create one of the most widely used apps in the world. Plus, with their use of hashtags (#theylooklikethis), users are easily able to surf around the app and explore interests.
But it’s a lot more than that, too. It’s an online community of people who are very engaged with the content that is always being shared, posted, and going “viral.” Instagram’s system of organizing content encourages its users to discover and interact with new posts constantly. In that, it offers both macro- and micro-interactions. You can use it to partner with huge influencers and reach thousands of people, or use it to service customers in quick 1-to-1 interactions.
Check it out here.
First, don’t hesitate when creating a unique account for your business. Tons of brands use the app and drive quality traffic to their online stores. It works because Instagram has a built-in culture of reciprocity. That is, when you interact with people on Instagram, there’s a good chance they’ll take notice and interact back, by following, liking, or navigating to your website via your profile.
So what do you need to know before jumping into Instagram marketing?
1. The Perfect Content, Always
Instagram is about pictures, and who likes bad pictures? The first thing you need to know about Instagram is that the regularity and quality of your pictures greatly affect the likelihood you’ll attract likes and followers. Here some awesome accounts to get some inspiration from:
As you can see, both people, dogs and brands can cultivate massive followings. You can do the same for your subscription box, too. Consider these few points when developing your feed with the best content possible:
Timing: You should make this a regular activity (every day). Post at least once a day, perhaps a few times if warranted. Avoid spamming (posting one after another after another), but don’t worry if you post 2-3 times throughout the day. Tons of people do it, and as long as you’re following these other principles, it won’t dissuade people from following your account.
Uniqueness: Try to make your Instagram account a source of unique content from your brand. That is, split the content you post on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest from this channel. You should have unique photos that you may only see on Instagram – maybe photos from in the office or during packing time. This really comes down to having your Instagram account actually tell a story. Because this is a more intimate social app, you should replicate that feeling in your photos. Show the faces behind the operation!
Quality: Above all, make sure you’re posting great photos. These shouldn’t be grainy, poorly lit, or overly filtered photos. Make sure you’re using quality stock photos or taking clean, crisp photos yourself. Text should be easy to read and shouldn’t clash with the background. Make sure it looks beautiful and your followers will reward you with love!
2. Interact Often
Once you’ve got a solid content strategy down, be sure you engage proactively with people as often as possible. This means following other users, liking their photos, and leaving comments. We suggest you identify pages who might have the same audience as you, then start by following their followers. You can also leverage hashtags in this case. #subscriptionboxes might be a good start.
In addition to proactively interacting on other people’s feeds, be sure you pay attention to your own. Answer questions quickly, tag users with the @ sign to make sure they get your message, and regularly perform customer service over this channel (simple questions, without account information, of course!).
3. Encourage Sharing/Reposting
Another powerful element of Instagram is the behavior of having followers share or repost your content. For example, consider asking followers to “tag 3 friends” under a contest photo (like a giveaway for a free box) as a strategy to get more eyes on your page, or have them repost a photo as an entry. This directly puts your brand in front of their friends or followers on their feed. This drives interaction to your page, interest to your website, and ultimately, converting customers.
Instagram Marketing Works. Just get Started.
If you haven’t started your account yet, the first thing to do now is to get started and keep it going.
- Build out a nice profile with a clear profile picture and your website link added to the account.
- Next, start interacting with users and identifying which feeds and hashtags deliver the best for your business.
- Remember to be consistent, both with interaction and the quality of photos you post.
Soon enough, you’ll have a page with thousands of supporters that you can draw real customers from every month!