INSTAGRAM MARKETING FOR BEGINNERS
Article by Cinthia Singleton
So many are on Instagram, “IG” as it’s commonly known. Their reasons for being on it are about the same as any other form of social media, really - to share and connect. By posting a pic on IG you are keeping in touch with friends, family, colleagues, but if you’re a business, you could doing a little more with it. Perhaps you’re checking out what others in your field are making or finding as inspiration. Maybe you’re seeking inspiration for projects…
And marketing and selling product and/or services. And attracting new clients.
This can be done whether you are are a reflexologist, auto repair specialist, graphic artist or t shirt designer. First, you need to use the medium’s best to its fullest. And what is that?
It has built-in visual appeal. It’s a place where people tell visual stories.
Even more fantastic? Over time, IG shows people that they can trust you to [ take great wedding photos, design original invitations, detail their car, groom their dogs, sell the coolest custom-made corsets, etc. ]. Talent and trust bring in sales, returning customers too.
Note that there are lots of retailers actually selling on IG by way of posting and direct messaging - right there on IG. The focus of this article, though, is how to use IG to market.
Say you are a vintner… there’s a new chardonnay coming down the pike. The ad agency would put a picture of the bottle on the pages of the magazine and say, “Thirsty much?” BUT with IG you get to build a relationship with your audience, posting images that appeal to first the eye then the other senses. Know how the wise ones say that a picture is worth a thousand words? IG! The IG campaign could revolve around the steps leading to the finished product, the bottled wine. The fields. The changing leaves. Foggy mornings. Grapes on the vine. A hand holding grapes. All you need is a camera phone and the IG app.
If one can almost smell, as an example, the fresh baked muffins, they are likely to follow your IG feed. And if they’re there, they might be interested in visiting your brick and mortar bakery too. Or recommend it to a friend.
Really important is over time, your followers and your IG community, in seeing what you share, get an idea what you care about. People love to sink their teeth into the story behind the person. This really builds trust, and trust equals brand.
Steps for beginning if you’ve not already:
1// Link your IG to your webpage. That would mean add webpage link to your IG profile then add the IG badge to your webpage. By doing just this, there’s interconnectivity and where there’s interconnectivity, there’s BRANDING. Add a little about yourself in the profile, i.e. Designer, Art Director, Voice Over, Tour Guide, Foreign Car Specialist...
2// Share a few times a week. It can be anything. If you just post 2x/week, you’re doing fine. Some post more, others less.
3// You *could* just share your finished product (i.e. the custom product labels, cake, knitted cap) but how ‘bout sharing what goes into the work. Everything from a close up of the new yarn to the cover of the cd you’ve been listening to while working; those “looking in” want that personal experience, remember? The artist might share photos of, for example, the special pencils laid out all nicely on the table, the vintage clothing dealer close ups of shiny buttons on a blouse.
Details, details. It’s all in the details. Details make us slow down. It’s the little things that seem so precious.
4// Find IG followers. They can be people you know but they can also be people whose vision YOU dig. There’s a search bar where you can look for people by name or interests or hobbies. Or you can just look around Instagram and enjoy the pretty pictures and explore without a destination in mind. IG can be a a great ‘amasser’ of the visual Zeitgeist.
5// Interact with your followers. Start liking their pages and/or posts. Comment on them. Reply to their comments on yours.
And - something we’ll save for a future article - #hashtag creatively… #Hashtags are the milkshakes that bring them to the yard. To be continued. ; )
Each IG pic is a business card. Over time it’s a most comprehensive press release. Get posting.
“Precious and few are the moments we two can share.” Climax