Instagram has grown faster than anyone could have anticipated. According to recent figures, there are over 600 million monthly Instagram users (it actually doubled in size from 2014 to 2016).
As it continues to grow, Instagram is attracting the attention of marketers in many verticals. They have discovered that Instagram can be a very powerful medium for social selling. However, the rules are also very different than Facebook. Here are some lessons social sellers must follow to succeed on Instagram.
1. Don’t Forget About New Video Streaming Capabilities
Video is one of the most powerful ways to engage with your audience over the Internet. It is also one of the best ways to build trust. According to a recent study from WordStream, customers were 79% more likely to visit a website with video ads, since they seemed more transparent and genuine.
Video streaming can be even more effective. People enjoy watching videos that appear to stream in real-time, because they seem more real. They will be more likely to respond to social selling messages if you take advantage of video streaming.
Instagram has also introduced some great new video features that marketers should take advantage of. The platform introduced “Disappearing Live Video” last month, which is shaping up to be one of the most engaging forms of content. Marketers can stream videos to customers throughout the world.
2. Create a Signature Presentation
Social selling requires a clear, consistent message. This consistency needs to apply to your content; you need to create a uniform style of images.
Think about your overall brand message. Are you trying to market your brand to high-end users? Are you trying to establish trust in an industry where trust is lacking or nonexistent? Your images and videos need to be designed with these goals in mind. Come up with a standard template for your content and follow it consistently.
3. Create Catchy Product Descriptions
Social selling is a mixture between social networking and old school marketing. On the one hand, you will need to have a strong message and clear call-to-action. Unlike building a follower base on Facebook or Twitter, you will actually need to actively market, rather than focusing purely on engagement.
On the other hand, you can’t treat your Instagram posts like classified ads either. They need to encourage people to visit your website to make a purchase. However, they also have to be interesting and insightful. This is a difficult balance to strike. Birchbox is an example of a brand that uses social selling on Instagram very well.
Here is an excerpt from one of their Instagram posts: “You’ve switched up your wardrobe, your mani, and your coffee order (ahem?), but what about your perfume?”
As you can see, this post is very different from a traditional ad. It speaks directly to the reader in a conversational tone. It is much more likely to work on Instagram than on other platforms.
4. Remember Your Audience
It is important to have a personal conversation with your followers. Talk to them like they talk to their friends.
You can’t do that without knowing your audience well. Before creating any social selling posts, you need to ask yourself one thing: “Who am I writing this for?”