Behind every thriving business, there's a story. The story that has creativity, dedication, hard work, good times & not so good times. When you share this story with others, people get to know you, they understand you, they relate to the brand. Considering the current circumstances, there's no better way to share your narrative & stand out, than 'Instagram'.
The evolution of Instagram from a photo-sharing platform to one of the most powerful social media networks has been uplifting for both the developers and the users. You as a brand can share your story, start conversations, learn about your audience or customers and build lasting relationships. It becomes so much more when your audience discovers your products or brand in a new way or approach.
Let's understand how you can utilize this platform, so that your business can not only survive these difficult times but grow exponentially.
THE PANDEMIC UPDATE
Restaurants are amongst the hardest hit industries in this pandemic phase. Keeping that in mind, Instagram is facilitating food orders through Stickers. They are redirecting users to apps like 'Zomato & Swiggy' when users click on the stickers (used in stories). An initiative by the platform, to contribute in reviving the industry.
Besides the restaurants, extending support to Facebook's initiative of helping small businesses, all sticker packs from Facebook are available on Instagram too. Whenever one of these stickers is used on someone's story, all such stories are clubbed together and it allows users to identify and support small businesses. It provides a way for businesses to stay connected to the customers.
SHOPPING ON INSTAGRAM
Instagram has the power to replace your shelf space, providing customers with a new approach to discover products. Instagram Shopping gives your audience an immersive experience, allowing them to explore your storefront with a single tap. Your buyers can browse the best collections, filter by categories and make a purchase, all in one place. While announcing Facebook Shops, they also revealed the new update IG Shopping will receive soon - A new shop tab in the navigation bar, so you can get to the Shop in just one tap.
BEST PRACTICES TO KEEP PEOPLE ENGAGED
WHY BUSINESSES LOVE INSTAGRAM?
90% of accounts follow a business on Instagram & 200M+ accounts look at a business profile each day. No matter what type of business you have; from major brands to local, family-run shops, businesses are driving proven results with their IG strategy.
Modern Mattress company 'Simba' achieved a 73% higher return on ad spends, through a series of Instagram Ads with relevant and relatable messaging. Know more about this, through this case study - https://business.instagram.com/success/simba
Furthermore, people contact businesses through ‘Instagram Direct’ every day. It allows people to go from visual discovery to learning more about the businesses; they stumbled upon, in a few taps. The latest update allows the users to utilise 'Direct' even on their desktop, not only on phone.
EFFECTIVE USAGE OF STORIES
It's a kind of secondary, exclusive feed of content that you provide. Stories are a source of openness, showcasing the brand's identity with creativity, humour & brevity. With even Twitter getting into the wagon, it's becoming a prime feature for a variety of campaigns for businesses.
Considering the time-sensitive nature and creative freedom, there's a lot more that a brand can do to utilize this format. Some of the types of stories that are popular with brands of all shapes & sizes -
- How-To's & Tutorials
- User-Generated Content or UGC: Asking the users to share their experience/usage of the brand, with the brand hashtag and posting their point of view through stories or even posts
- 'Behind the Scenes' footage of your upcoming project or old project
- Time-sensitive offers or deals for the customers
- Special Announcements regarding the brand
IDEAL APPROACH FOR LEVERAGING THE PLATFORM
Concerning the current outbreak, people are strategizing with short term, temporary growth tactics. It is understandable, as they care about their business and don't want it dead. However, a 60/40 split between Brand building and Sales delivers maximum effectiveness.
Brand building is your strategy for short term recovery & long-term growth. There's no better way to build a community than platforms like Instagram. The key aspects or levels of differentiation, you should consider in building lasting relationships on the platform are -
- Tell your story by building for feed
- Own moments on the Internet
- Build for the community (Ideas that bring people together)
Whether it's a story or a post you're figuring out, catch the eye of the audience with the following approach of creating content for businesses; also make sure you switch to a business profile to better understand the insights.
- Stand out with your feed, highlight your products
- Put out content regularly, make it relevant for the followers by connecting it to the events happening around the world
- Responding to the direct messages helps you in building a strong community, making it relatable to the audience
- Get creative and try something new with the stories
- Bring your products to life using stories & highlights
- Stay consistent with fonts & colour palette
- Make the most of your captions and respond to the comments
- Try creating a brand-specific hashtag
- Analyse your most successful posts and experiment with UGC (user-generated content)
- Transform user experiences through creativity
Ultimately, ‘Instagram for Business’ is a powerful approach to make use of the digital medium in tackling these unprecedented times.
If you're on a lookout for assistance in running your business or building your brand online, we'll be happy to support. You can contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org or you can DM us on our Social Media.