In August of 2015, Lukas Kurzmann, his brother David, and their friend Thomas Mark launched the female fitness brand Women’s Best. It’s the first sports nutrition company to market exclusively towards women, and it was an almost instant success.
Looking back to that point now, Lukas, the company’s CEO, is amazed at how far they’ve come. They currently have a social reach of 1.3 billion people annually with 3.8 million active followers. Most impressively, the company boasts an 8-figure yearly revenue.
The Women’s Best CEO attributes much of their success to their Instagram marketing campaign.
“The number of Instagram users there are in the world and how active they are on their accounts makes it a fertile soil for businesses to grow if they use it well,” Lukas said in a recent interview. He also shared some of his tried and true secrets for marketing a thriving business on the platform.
Encourage Word of Mouth Marketing
“On social media, sharing and talking about things is easy and fast for the users, and that’s what you want people to do,” he explained.
This sharing and talking is known as word-of-mouth marketing, and it’s the most effective marketing strategy for any brand. A Nielsen report showed that 92 percent of consumers value the suggestions and opinions of people they trust above any other form of advertising, and they often seek out those opinions before they make a purchase.
You can help others share the good word about your brand on Instagram through user-generated content campaigns. You might host a contest, offer incentives, use hashtags, ask customers to be your models, or ask questions that your customers want to answer. Mention your customers in your posts as well, as those few seconds of fame can be really motivating for others to join in too.
Women’s Best is a great example of creating content that people want to share. Their photos are relatable, stunning, and comment friendly. They make it easy for users to share their content, so they do just that.
There are tons of tools available to make your Instagram campaigns easier to carry out. One of the most important tools you can use is a social media analytics app, which offers advanced tracking of your current activity.
There are tools for creating hashtags, sizing images, editing images, geotagging, creating captions, integrating email marketing, and so much more! You don’t necessarily need a tool for everything, but you should have a few up your sleeve to make things easier.
For Kurzmann, a scheduling tool was the most important thing. “We use SWAT, a social media stats and posts scheduling tool, to save the time and make sure that our content is planned upfront and to track everything properly.”
Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is social media 101, but many brands still haven’t mastered the concept. It can be difficult defining a narrow group of people interested in your brand.
Kurzmann says that the most important thing any Instagrammer hoping to build a brand can learn is what value your customers are expecting from you. With that knowledge, you can curate a clear image and formulate a posting strategy to provide that value on a regular basis.
Post at the Right Time
Many Instagrammers don’t realize that their post receives the most engagement within the first few hours of publication. You can reach a lot more people simply by posting when your audience is online.
“Posting at convenient times for most of them makes it easier for them to interact with more posts,” he says.
There’s plenty of research indicating when the general population of Instagram users is online most, but you can get a curated analysis of your audience by looking at the audience tab in your Instagram Insights.
Utilize Hashtags and Location Tags
Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post, and many popular brands use them all. They choose a combination of existing hashtags and branded ones. Location tags also make your posts more relatable to your audience and attract more people residing in a specific area.
“You need to use popular ones that are also targeted to your type of audience,” he explains. “Popular hashtags already have a following, so when you use these hashtags for your own posts, you can pull from existing traffic to draw attention to your content.”
Try IGTV Videos
IGTV expands the reach of your videos. It’s a searchable platform that makes it easier for people to share your content, spurring on word-of-mouth marketing. It’s also a great way to reuse popular video content to give it new life. You can generate more traffic on existing videos with little effort.
Kurzmann says that the use of IGTV is a great way to get the Instagram algorithm to work in your favor. “Instagram pushes the creators who use it,” he says. “We’ve seen a 30-50% increase in total views on our Women’s Best videos.”
Prioritize Quantity Over Quality
There’s long been a debate about whether quality or quantity is more important. Some argue that it’s better to post every day, even if you don’t have much to say, but Kurzmann says the opposite is true.
“We should make sure that every piece of content we are sharing has something the follower can benefit from,” he says. “We need to remain consistent with posting, however, we don’t need to post too much. Like Bill Gates said, ‘Content is king.’”
His logic makes sense. If you post poor-quality content on a regular basis, you’re going to lose customers. If you don’t post anything for a few days while you work on a spectacular piece, you’re not gaining followers during that time, but you’re not losing them either.
He also warns about posting too much or too little. Focusing on quality will help you develop Instagram posts that are just the right frequency.
Stay Transparently On-Brand
It can be tempting to hide missteps in order to save face, but remaining open and honest is always the best policy.
“Avoid the use of any false or misleading information….Be transparent to your followers with everything you do,” Kurzmann says.
Additionally, stay on-brand. Don’t get overly caught up in promoting your products, and don’t post news content that interests you personally, but does nothing for your brand. Women’s Best is where it is today because they remained transparent and on-brand in all their doings.