“Brands that ignore social media… will die. It’s that simple.”
Imagine you’re an apparel store on a crowded street in Manhattan. It’s rush hour and everyone’s walking by hastily.
You want them to stop and take notice of your store, but you don’t know how to make that happen. Just being on a popular street is not going to cut it. You have to stand out.
It’s the same with Instagram, but instead of rush hour passerbys, it’s 2 billion people scrolling through the app every month. That’s 2 billion people you can instantly attract to your brand with a few powerful tips.
I’ve tried and tested these methods with the brands I’ve managed for over a decade and the top 5 strategies are the holy grail of what’s worked for my clients. You can use these to turn your brand into the next unicorn on the gram.
Piggyback on Viral Content
Go big or go home!
Did you know Nike piggybacked on the success of the popular movie Back to the Future II? As most of you might remember, in the movie Marty time-travels from 1985 to 2015.
Nike had product placement in the movie showcasing its futuristic trainers.
When 2015 actually arrived in real life, Nike cleverly leveraged this by replicating those exact trainers from the movie and creating a video featuring basketball athlete Kevin Durant, Bill Hader, and the movie’s original star Christopher Lloyd.
The video used well-known nods from the popular movie with humor and quick wit to make it a viral hit. Today Nike has over 234 million followers on Instagram and they’re only growing stronger.
Brands like Nike have learned that Instagram users have a short attention span and they use this knowledge to create content around things that are popular with their audience.
Whether it’s stories, reels, posts, or live content, users are always looking for something to surprise them. It is why only a few pieces of content end up going viral even though millions are published on the gram every day.
Today, virality is the name of Instagram marketing and you have to take advantage of it to drive awareness for your brand.
Subtly Snoop on Your Competition
In any industry, there are a few brands that are absolutely winning on Instagram.
These brands have already invested a lot of time and resources into learning what their target audience likes and they’re churning out that content to keep them interested.
Rather than creating an entire Instagram marketing strategy from scratch, you can learn from these brands and develop a winning strategy for your business.
If the wheel’s turning, you don’t need to reinvent it. Analyze, find, tweak and publish.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Make a note of all the industries your brand caters to.
Step 2: Look for the most popular and engaging designs for the gram in those industries.
Step 3: Create and tweak your content with influences from those Instagram designs.
Step 4: Leverage the hashtags your competition uses and go live.
Step 5: Track the results and then tweak them accordingly.
I use this method every month with the brands I manage and I’ve found quite a bit of success with it.
If the content is king then ‘location’ is the queen of all.
Most businesses still don’t know this but when you geotag your posts, you’re instantly making your content more visible to users in that particular location.
Instagram knows the value of localized content and it pushes your posts to users searching in that area.
Let’s say you’re running a sale at your store in Manhattan.
When you post about it, geotagging Manhattan or New York, Instagram recognizes this content could be immensely valuable to users in Manhattan or New York and automatically pushes your posts to their explore feed.
This drives a lot of awareness and visibility to your Instagram page.
I’ve realized this Instagram marketing tip works best when you have something really attractive to offer users of a particular location.
It also helps to add a ‘New update coming soon to your content so users follow your account to stay updated with what you’re posting next.
Also check out – Search Engine Crawlability guide
Engage in meaningful conversations
This Instagram marketing tip would work best if I show you what I do as a social media marketer to engage with my clients’ audiences so you can replicate this for your business.
Step 1: I take an hour out of my day to find user-generated content about my clients or their competitors on Instagram.
Step 2 (Content about my client): If the content is about my client and is positive, then I’ll send an appreciation to the user for sharing it. I word my replies like, “Thanks for that great review. We were delighted to have you shop at our store. Looking forward to seeing you again. Feel free to follow us if you’d like to know about our summer promotions that are launching soon. We’re going to be making an announcement in the coming days.” If the content is negative I usually ask for more details and then invite them back in to change their opinion.
Step 3 (Content about competitors): This works regardless of whether the user has published positive or negative content about your competitors. First understand why they’re posting about your competitors and then acknowledge their point of view, “We understand how frustrating it can be to not find clothes that fit properly. FYI, we’ve got an entire collection in exactly your size. Pop into our store to check it out. Also, we’re launching a new collection in a couple of weeks. Feel free to follow us to stay updated.”
Not only have you gained a loyal follower from this but you’ve also got a potential customer and she will probably tell all her friends about you, thereby making you the talk of the town. Sure enough, you’ll see your Instagram account blow up soon.
Partner with relevant brands
Brands are so busy trying to beat their competition that they sometimes forget partnering with competitors could actually be a huge benefit for both parties.
You can leverage the growth your competitors have on Instagram to grow your following while creating value for both parties.
To do this, it’s first important to identify the brands that your audience would be interested in and then reach out to them to strike a partnership.
If you secure a partnership, begin creating Instagram designs, posts, stories, reels, and other content that showcases both brands. Use the exposure you get from this to grow your Instagram following.
It’s important to also ensure that the values and image of the brand matches yours to avoid any pitfalls that could arise in the future.
Keep in mind that partnerships work well when there is a balance of giving and taking.
The main goal of coming together should be to create value, drive followers, and increase sales for both parties involved.
Also read – Types of Flyers
When Instagram marketing is done right it can help you gain followers, and sales and drive brand awareness. Use these 5 strategies to grow your Instagram followers:
- Piggyback on viral content
- Subtly snoop on the competition
- Boost visibility with Geotags
- Engage in meaningful conversations
- Partner with relevant brands
We hope you have a lot of success with these, just like I did.