Instagram, the world famous social networking app has seamlessly stitched the need for people’s assurance and visual keys to break the internet and thus also helping smaller boutique brands garner not just followers, but actual customers. Over the years, the app has moved up the e-commerce game to help brands build a visual story among their customers while also subtly injecting their products into the mix. Here’s a quick guide to how you can optimally use Instagram’s features to up your brand game.
This 15 second format while extremely tricky, helps brands engage with it’s followers in a more humane and natural manner. As a brand, you may choose to use the Instagram story to share ‘behind the scene’ sneak peaks of your product, use polls and countdowns for product announcements and build excitement, create templates for customer testimonials with mentions of the customer’s handle that helps gain brand advocacy and trust, go Live with influencers and KOLs through relaxed, real time conversations and most importantly, use the ‘Swipe up’ feature to drive conversions for the brand. A good mix and match of the above tools should over time help you receive 15%–25% swipe ups on branded Stories from it’s views. This of course is a factor of brand, product, audience, visual appeal and lots of ‘hits & misses’.
Instagram Explore (IGTV, Shop, Beauty etc.)
The explore tab throws out the most relevant content based on your interests and engagement with posts, stories and profiles. IGTV sectionis the second of the full-screen formats available on Instagram wherein brands can use this ample space to showcase their products in detail, make louder announcements, add make-up tutorials & DIY series and feature challenges & influencers. Note that the brands and profiles feature on these sections based on IG’s algorithms and hence it’s important to play around with your content to keep the brand’s visibility high.
Posts are static images or short videos that are shown on a user’s feed. Brands can use this space to let people know the story behind your business (brand story), create promotional posts such as giveaways or ads with a call to action, use the 9 grid format for product reveals, make smaller testimonial templates as well as product features. Using relevant hashtags and frequency of posting images / videos based on a thematic or content calendar helps increase a sticky audience and engagement
- Hashtags: Keep working on those hashtags based on trends or create propriety IPs to draw interest and stickiness e.g. #FunFridays #MakeupMonday
- Educative Content: IG is not only a place to showcase your products but it’s also important to show your viewers how to use them. Information dissemination when provided through an authority in the space brings loyalty and brand advocacy
- Visuals: Your post or story needs to pop out of the million visual distractions that viewers are bombarded with. You can decide to use a single colour scheme across all posts or go wild with themes, use faces or even products. Depending on your brand’s vision; you need to work on what will appeal the most for your followers
- Interaction: Brands can be seen as authoritative, friendly, aspirational, fun etc. based on the tonality and interaction formats you choose to indulge your users in. e.g. a brand using GIFs or stickers in their stories are seen as fun and approachable, one using ‘countdowns’ or reveals are seen as slightly authoritative, the format of Insta Live and Q&As too tend to set a tone for your brand
- Frequency: It’s important to be present in the viewer’s mind but also not barrage them with content. Hence, it is important to fix to a frequency and time so your followers know what to expect and when to expect. However, don’t make things too boring or you might end up losing yourhard earned followers!
Author : Swati Viswanathan