July 10, 2018

Five Instagram Marketing Tactics That Build Your Brand And Generate Sales

Along with hunger, fear and love, visual stimulation is deeply embedded in the human experience. Ninety percent of all information is transmitted visually, with the human brain processing an entire image after viewing it for as little as 13 milliseconds. Social media platforms have tapped into this primal inclination with tremendous success.
Unique among them, Instagram has quickly proven to be one of the most influential forces in content-driven marketing today. The image-based app is known for having amplified engagement rates over other social media networks.
Instagram success comes with quite a daunting caveat: You must stand out on a platform with 800 million active users who “like” 4.2 billion posts daily. Luckily, there are ways your brand can cut through the noise. Here are five ways to build a passionate Instagram following that sequentially leads to increased revenue.
Create A Plan Of Action
Your Instagram strategy is what separates posting for profit from just crowdsourcing self-esteem. To be effective, your plan needs to define your target audience and outline a clear direction for content.
Creating content that resonates with your followers is the result of a well-defined buyer persona. When you internalize your ideal customers’ demographics, behaviors, concerns, motivations and goals, you can tailor your message to attract them. Doing so ensures your image and message will evoke curiosity, incite action and humanize your company, all of which will expand your base of regular followers and set the baseline for your overall strategy.
Instagram tactics might target several of the following objectives: increase brand awareness, build customer loyalty, enhance and complement event experiences or drive sales. By defining your goals, you’ll be able to determine the best approach for each step.
Elicit Emotions
Emotions are at the heart of all relationships, including with brands. Logic persuades but feelings motivate, influencing a customer’s intention to purchase over anything else. According to a study, purely emotional campaigns were twice as likely to generate profit gains than those with a rational approach. Therefore, when choosing images, the intended emotion should be front and center.
However, not all types of emotions are rated equally. Research found that admiration, interest, amazement and astonishment are extremely common sentiments in highly viral content. Positive posts are more prone to be shared than negative ones, but things get complicated when it comes to dealing with specific feelings.
Anger, anxiety and other high arousal emotions drive us to take initiative. Fear is a commonly depicted emotion in marketing. This can take the form of showing the downside of not taking action, as in Allstate’s Mayhem campaign. At our agency, we often use social proof in campaigns. Happy clients touting results that prospects are not getting taps into the fear of missing out and establishes credibility.

Build A Visual Narrative
Show actual customers using your product or service so that prospective buyers can easily visualize themselves enjoying the benefits, relate to the people featured and, in turn, connect with your business.
When using images of people, show their faces since that is what best conveys emotion. Instagram photos with faces are 38% more likely to be "liked" and 32% more likely to receive comments. As such, consumers who see a user-generated picture when online shopping results in 4.5% higher propensity for conversion.
The more authentic your photos, the better you will be able to form an affinity with your customers, followers and fans. Using a real person associated with your company instead of a stock photo can increase conversions by 35%
Create Conversations
Instagram posts should start conversations and encourage self-revelations that your social following can become a community. Participation provides a sense of connectedness, paving the way for conversions down the road.
Consider the desired response from your caption: Are you posting a statement or something that people will naturally reply to? Continue the conversation with exclusive discounts or by asking questions, using polls or hosting a live Q&A session. Dedicate time to responding to comments, liking other users' images and joining conversations where you can add value. By commenting on someone else’s profile, that person is 401% more apt to follow your brand.
Simplify The Path To Purchase
According to a survey, at least 72% of Instagram users have bought something they first discovered on Instagram.

Instagram has been continually rolling out tools that allow marketers to connect with customers in an immersive way, making shopping actionable and facilitating impulse buys.
 Stories: Include a link in your Instagram Stories that directs viewers to the product page on your website.
 Stories Highlights: These video clips appear directly under your bio and above your Instagram feed and play as a standalone story, allowing brands to showcase the content they want to be viewed first.
 Action Buttons: Fans can make reservations, buy tickets, place orders or book services through third-party partners without having to leave Instagram. 
 Shopping: Transform your Instagram profile into a visual storefront with easy access to pricing and details, where shoppers can tap on a tagged post to take the next steps to purchase.
Instagram is an essential part of any holistic marketing strategy and can be a dominant force in your brand-building arsenal. To attract new followers, generate leads and sell, it is imperative to use photos that create an emotional association with your brand.
With a proper understanding of the psychology and engineering behind the platform, you’ll ultimately be able to guide fans to take the action you want: make a purchase and become a long-term customer.
Written by: Jenna Gross - Forbes Agency Council
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