Instagram is huge right now, and successful brands have long since started to notice.
Believe it or not, Instagram is more than just a place to share photos with your friends. It’s a powerful marketing tool and a lucrative sales channel.
With over 800 million active users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms to ever exist. Especially among younger demographics, who are increasingly moving away from Facebook, Instagram reigns supreme.
It’s a great place to build up a social presence and cultivate an audience that’s genuinely engaged with your brand – and most importantly, that converts into more sales than ever before.
But how will you convert your Instagram business page into an outstanding branding channel?
With the right strategy, and some simple but powerful tactics you can implement, your brand can leverage Instagram’s massive reach to connect with more potential customers than you could ever imagine.
It’s not just a matter of content marketing, though. You can also use Instagram directly as a sales channel.
Do you want to know how?
Here’s a list of 10 essential ways to convert your Instagram business page into a branding channel:
1. Turn your one-time visitors into loyal long-term Instagram followers.
Don’t lose potential customers once they’ve come and gone from your site. You can keep them engaged long term by encouraging them to follow your brand on Instagram.
There, they’ll be able to catch your latest posts, keeping your brand at the top of their mind for some time to come.
This is especially important if you’re getting traffic via your company’s blog. Recent studies have shown that as many as 80% of blog post visits are new visitors, not people who have been to your site before.
Creating a unique Instagram marketing strategy will compel people to follow your brand and maximize the likelihood that they’ll come back to your site again – and in the long run, become your customers.
So how do you do this?
You’ll want to have a prominent button on your top performing pages with a “Follow Us on Instagram” CTA (call to action).
Here are a few small tweaks you can make on your site to turn readers into loyal Instagram followers.
Add follow buttons.
If you’ve already got these for other platforms like Twitter and Facebook, add Instagram to the mix, too. Make sure they’re featured prominently on your site. If you’re using WordPress as your content management system, there are quite a few plugins you can use for this.
Implement pop-ups on popular pages that encourage readers to follow you on Instagram.
There’s definitely a balance involved here. Too many popups, too soon after a person lands on a page, can cause them to bounce. But you might want to try Instagram CTAs in popups, especially if you’ve already got them for other things like newsletter subscriptions.
If you’ve got author bios on your blog posts, add a “Follow on Instagram” CTA.
This also applies to your guest posts on other sites. If you’re using guest posting as a link building strategy, ask the sites you’re working with if you could include an Instagram link. Most of the time, they’ll say yes!
2. Use simple plugins & tools to turn Instagram into a direct sales channel in just a few clicks.
One of the best ways to make more sales is to make it as easy as possible for people to make a purchase.
And Instagram is actually great for that.
People have limited time and mental energy. If they see your product on Instagram and think, “Hey, that’s kind of neat, I might buy that later,” they probably won’t.
Making your Instagram shoppable is a smart way to turn a “maybe” into a “yes” when someone sees something they like. Brands who’ve implemented this strategy successfully have reported revenue increases as high as 20%.
3. Get noticed and make a statement with a killer Instagram bio.
Do you have a good bio on your Instagram account?
If not, breathing some new life into it could make a big difference in your follower count.
A great Instagram bio stands out and gets noticed, making an impact on people who come across your account.
Let’s take the example of Vera Bradley’s Twitter bio:
Yes, it has an interesting Instagram bio, but do you know how you can get a unique bio for your brand?
Here are some advanced tactics you can use to make your bio more interesting and more alluring than ever before, striking the right chord with the people most likely to buy from you.
Targeted language that expresses your brand’s identity and lets your target audience know they’ve come to the right place.
Unfortunately, you don’t have much space to work with. You’ve got 150 characters to convey who you are and what you do. Don’t be afraid to hire a great copywriter for this part. You want to capture your brand’s “voice” as succinctly as you can.
Add a couple emojis to catch the reader’s eye.
Don’t be afraid to use an emoji or two, especially if you’re a brand with a “fun” aesthetic going on. Images and colors catch the eye and make things more memorable.
Include a CTA.
Including a URL sounds good, but you don’t want to just leave it there. Weave it into a clear CTA: “Visit us at AwesomeSite.com for all your awesome needs.”
Include contact information.
Invite your followers to reach out and actively communicate with your brand. This could mean an email address, a Twitter handle, or a link to a contact page.
Making these simple tweaks to your bio can have a huge impact on your account’s growth and popularity, helping you bring in new followers who might have passed you over before.
4. Promote your products with fun, creative visual content and irresistible captions.
Don’t just post a product photo and slap some hashtags on there. You need text, too. And it needs to be engaging.
For best results, you want to aim for a professional-level copy. Like the product descriptions on your website, your Instagram captions should be informative yet engaging.
Here are a few actionable tips you can start using today for captions that pack a serious punch.
Put your hashtags at the end of your caption.
Don’t worry too much about these being “above the fold.” Their biggest function is to improve searchability and make sure your content comes up when someone’s looking for whatever it is you have to offer. The General Instagram etiquette is to put hashtags at the end of captions, not the beginning. The latter looks tacky, and screams “I’m new to Instagram and have no idea how anything works.”
Keep it casual.
Instagram is a pretty easygoing, lighthearted kind of place. Don’t feel like you have to be super formal, even if you’re in a niche or industry where your overall brand voice needs to be relatively formal and professional.
5. Capture your brand’s unique aesthetic with Instagram’s built-in editing tools.
As you’ve probably noticed, Instagram has a ton of built-in editing tools you can use to modify and enhance your posts.
Filters make the images feel more unique and stand out from the crowd. You can use these features to enhance your brand’s unique aesthetic, creating a consistent “look” that lets your followers know instantly whose photo they’re looking at.
Don’t be afraid to play around and experiment with everything Instagram has to offer. There’s more to life than #nofilter.
6. Share your brand’s impressive culture and legacy with content that adds a personal touch.
There’s more to being successful on Instagram than just posting pictures of your products. It’s more about capturing your brand’s unique personality and aesthetic.
Want to know how?
Well, Google’s Instagram profile can help you get a clear idea.
Are you confused about what you should post?
Here are some ideas you can draw from to create content your audience will love.
Give your followers a peek behind the scenes.
Photos of your team at the office, your production facilities, and other behind the scenes content can really help humanize your brand and forge a connection with fans.
Post images with a story behind them.
This is a different take on the “behind the scenes” concept.
Encourage user-generated content.
Create branded hashtags, and encourage your followers to post their own photos of your products. Pairing this approach with giveaways or photo contests is a great way to encourage active engagement and connect your brand with the right people.
Embrace #ThrowbackThursday and #FlashbackFriday.
Tell the story of your brand’s unique journey by sharing some of your history with your followers.
7. Offer exclusive and promotional announcements to followers.
You can offer limited time discounts, coupon codes, and other promotions exclusively for people who follow you on Instagram. This adds an incentive for customers to follow you.
Here’s a basic strategy you can use to plan and execute sales-oriented posts that convert every time.
Let your audience know ahead of time that you’re about to run a sale or a promotion.
The goal of this post is to encourage your followers to share your brand with their own audiences. Branded hashtags are great for this.
Regular content your brand usually posts.
You don’t necessarily want a streak of nothing but promotion posts. Don’t be afraid to break things up with the kind of content you usually post.
This gives you sale context. *Why* are you running a sale in the first place? Answering that question can make your offer a lot more engaging and appealing. Example: “Winter is coming. Get 25% off Game of Thrones themed extra warm fleece lined hoodies on Wednesday only!” Holidays and changing seasons are the natural opportunities to run a sale.
One or more posts advertising the sale itself, complete with a link or coupon code your followers can use.
These promotions work best if you create a sense of urgency. Emphasize that your sale is only for a limited time, or that only a limited number of people can get the discount.
Also, while your sale is active, temporarily change the link in your bio to make it even easier for people to come “get it while it’s hot.”
8. Use popular, relevant hashtags that make sense for your business.
Hashtags are essential for searchability on Instagram, and choosing the right ones can lead to tons of new followers.
There are two factors a great hashtag should have: relevance and popularity.
You can see how Nespresso has used all the coffee ingredients as their hashtags in the post. This way you can also use hashtags relevant to your brand and get in the limelight!
What you don’t want to do is to jam in a bunch of dubiously relevant or just plain out of place hashtags.
It can be tempting to throw in a few ultra-popular hashtags that get a lot of traffic, but that may not have much to do with your brand.
Here’s a simple example to gain in depth knowledge…
It doesn’t matter how popular #cutepuppies is, it doesn’t belong on your health supplement company’s picture of your brand new banana flavored protein bar. Even if #cutepuppies gets ten times as many searches as any other hashtags out there, your protein bar isn’t what people are looking for. They’re going to ignore it.
You won’t get engagement from irrelevant hashtags, no matter how popular they are.
Instead, it makes more sense to hone in on hashtags that are popular and engaging, but that also depict your brand.
For a protein bar, you could add hashtags like #cleaneating, #fitness, #gettingfit, #supplements, #ketodiet, and others that are relevant to fitness, healthy eating, and a healthy lifestyle.
While you don’t want too many hashtags, don’t be afraid to use a bunch of them. Think seven to ten though, not twenty five.
9. Use fun contests and high value giveaways to boost engagement and reach new audiences.
Everyone likes to be a winner. Everyone likes free stuff.
Exactly how Fabfitfun has grabbed the users attention through giveaways:
You can use these facts to your advantage, by using Instagram as a platform to run contests and promotions.
Using a branded hashtag, you can do things like organize photo contests that revolve around your products. This helps you not only bring in new followers, but leverage your existing followers for some extra publicity.
10. Join forces with top Instagram influencers in your niche.
Influencer marketing is huge right now, especially on Instagram.
There are tons of people out there whose visual charisma and charm have won them tens or even hundreds of thousands of followers.
Many of these people have an audience that overlaps quite a bit with yours. Selling women’s fashion? There are tons of popular fashionistas with massive Instagram followings.
Whatever your niche may be, you can almost certainly find influencers who can tap into the right audiences for your brand.
Be advised that this isn’t free. Some smaller-scale influencers, often referred to as “micro-influencers,” might give you a promo in exchange for some free stuff.
But in many cases, you’ll need to pay influencers for promotions. However, this can pay off in spades, and it’s an option worth exploring.
Let your brand’s uniqueness shine through with Instagram
Instagram is a great platform to capture your brand’s unique personality and distinctive aesthetic.
Using a variety of different kinds of visual content – including behind the scenes photos, product photos, aesthetic imagery, and more – you can make an impact on the minds and hearts of your target audience.
With a little creativity, just about any brand in any industry can make the most of one of the most popular social media platforms of all time. For building an audience of loyal fans and brand advocates, you can’t beat Instagram for sheer reach.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.