The average person will spend five years of their life on social media. So if you’re selling a B2C product or running an e-commerce business, you should already utilize social media advertising.
Many of the largest fashion brands are moving their advertising budgets onto social media and influencer marketing, as it offers a higher return on investment when compared to conventional advertising.
Instagram is particularly appealing to marketers. The social platform provides a great way for brands to promote their products, connect with new audiences, and engage with existing customers. By linking up with Instagram influencers, you can promote your products to thousands of people in your target demographic while boosting your chance of conversion by utilizing the relationship the influencer has already established with their followers.
So how can you use Instagram to help your business build an online following, increase brand loyalty, and drive sales?
Instagram Marketing: 7 Strategies to Build Your Brand and Drive eCommerce Sales
Here are seven ways to boost your social media following and build your brand using Instagram.
Get Facebook Ads Manager: Instagram Ads
Around 93 percent of marketers are regularly using Facebook Ads. Instagram Ads run through the platform and offer a high return on investment with instant results for your brand.
Understand Instagram’s Algorithm
If you produce viral content on Instagram, you must understand how it chooses which content it shows users.
The three core factors that decide what Instagram puts on your feed:
- Interest: Instagram analyses your past reactions to posts and uses this data to predict and present posts that you will find interesting.
- Recent Posts: Instagram prioritizes newer posts over posts that could be a week old or more.
- Strength of Connections: Instagram gives a higher priority to posts shared by people you’ve interacted with by commenting on posts or being tagged in the same photo.
Keeping the three core factors in mind, the additional aspects that affect rankings are:
- How often do you check your Instagram? Instagram tries to present the best posts since you last checked in.
- How many people do you follow? If you follow hundreds of people, it will be picking posts from a deeper pool, so you might not see as much from each person.
- How much time do you spend on Instagram? If you spend more extended amounts of time browsing, Instagram will dig deeper to find posts you haven’t seen before.
Engage and Maintain Followers With Regular Shoutouts
Content that provokes high engagement helps bring new followers to your account by expanding your organic reach. Make regular shoutouts mentioning active followers in your Instagram posts to boost the engagement of your followers.
Offer Discounts to Followers
Give customers a reason to follow your account by offering discounts to Instagram followers. Some state-of-the-art e-commerce systems can inform you if a buyer at your store is already following you on Instagram. However, suppose you don’t have the budget for expensive e-commerce technology. In that case, you can encourage people to follow your account by sending automated direct messages with exclusive discount codes to your followers.
Send a friendly and polite direct message to a large Instagram page requesting their prices for shoutouts. It will give you an idea of what you must spend to promote your products on pages of that size. You might be pleasantly surprised, too; some well-followed pages offer great value for promoting your product to their audience.
Brands Fashion Nova and HiSmile have seen massive market presence boost by partnering with social media influencers Conor McGregor and Kylie Jenner. While it will take a large budget to partner with influencers with millions of followers, everybody needs to start somewhere. So look for influencers in your niche with around 10,000 followers to start.
Much well thought and respected brands, like Mercedes-Benz, regularly highlight user-generated content (UGC) on their social media platforms. UGC is an excellent way for a brand to exhibit social proof while sharing compelling brand content.
Those looking to build their e-commerce brand and grow their Instagram following have several tried and tested strategies to help them achieve their goal. Good marketing is always about testing, analyzing, and learning from your efforts. Keep the above strategies in mind when you start your Instagram marketing campaign.
George Drennan is a writer on digital marketing and the founder of Eagle Content, a UK-based copywriting company that helps businesses connect with their clients.