— October 5, 2018
Did you know that 50% of Instagram users follow at least one business? A further 60% of users say they have learned about a product/service whilst using the platform.
When looking at the popular social networks, I would have to say that Instagram have made the most changes, and changes that have made the platform better.
As you may know, Instagram changed their branding. At first, it was heavily criticised because… well; people don’t like change.
Their change in branding marked a new era for Instagram, and every since they have not only increased their user count, but also how often the network is being used.
Because of this, and how visual the retail industry is; Instagram is a must-use network for you.
I first want to share with you ways in which you can generate organic Instagram traffic, followed by paid traffic.
Instagram Organic Traffic
I am going to share with you six amazing Instagram features you can use to market your retail business on Instagram.
In 2017, Instagram introduced their Slideshow feature. Whilst a very simple addition, it has increased the platform’s popularity, especially when it comes to businesses marketing online.
This new feature allows you to upload 10 photos/videos in one single post. The photos/videos could be a behind-the-scenes look at your working week, it could be the latest product launch or even an event you are attending – the options are endless with the slideshow feature.
Instagram Stories allows you to share moments throughout your day, whether it be photos or videos that appear in a slideshow format for all of your followers to see, and experience, for up to 24 hours. Whilst some may say that Instagram Stories is just a mirror of the already existing, and successful Snapchat, I would have to disagree. This feature may allow you to do exactly the same thing as Snapchat but don’t forget the importance of Instagram as an engagement network as a whole.
There are three amazing things you can do inside of Instagram Stories:
#1: Tag Other Users: inside of Instagram Stories, you can tag other users.
#2: Add Links: this is something unique, as you cannot add links in the description of a normal instagram post so if you do want your audience to take action, use the Instagram Stories feature.
#3: Run A Poll: the newest addition to Instagram Stories is the ability to add a simple two-option poll on your story. Use this to ask your audience questions, and get their feedback.
Five years after the launch of video on Instagram, Instagram introduced IGTV which brings audiences closer to the creators they love. They are re-envisioning mobile video with a new stand-alone surface that features longer videos and easy discoverability through channels, all in a vertical format that sits upright, in the palm of your hand.
People are watching less TV and more digital video. By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic. The younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals.
Boomerang was created by Instagram as a way to make small, mini videos that loop back and forth in a more visually engaging way. Boomerang will take a burst of 10 photos in a matter of seconds, and turn them into a mini video. You can share this directly to Facebook and Instagram right from the app.
Think about how you can use this to showcase a bride or groom in their fittings for example or customers sampling a new drink product or trying a new kitchen gadget – the possibilities are endless!
Instagram have made their image creation even more exciting for users by introducing their feature called Layout. With this feature, you can create one-of-a-kind layouts and use your photos to create one main image that can be shared with your audience. You can add up to nine photos, tag people in the pictures and add text.
Instagram has offered users an inside look at their brand profiles with a ‘contact’ button, allowing users to directly email a business, or get directions to their store.
We have also seen the introduction of new analytics options – this includes the above, as well as a host of new insights and tools to give businesses the data they need to improve their Instagram marketing.
Once inside analytics, you will see your Instagram insights. You’ll be able to see all information regarding where your followers are geographically and what times your audience are on Instagram. You will also have access to analytics that provide a gender and age breakdown of your audience, as well as data on how many impressions each of your posts generates.
Now that I have shared with you six ways you can use Instagram to drive organic traffic, here is how you can use Instagram to generate paid traffic.
Instagram Paid Traffic
Because Facebook owns Instagram, there are similarities within certain parts of their paid advertising, which I will share with you shortly. But first, here is what makes Instagram’s paid opportunities worthwhile.
Instagram has four different advertising options:
#1: Photo adverts
For Instagram’s photo ads, use a square or landscape format visual to tell the story around your retail business.
#2: Video Adverts
I’ve been testing Instagram’s video adverts over the last year and have found them to be extremely successful. If you’re going to use this option, make sure that you keep your video to under 60 seconds.
#3: Carousel Adverts
If you want to use more than one image or video, take a look at the carousel advert option.
#4: Stories Adverts
A new option from Instagram is the ability to use their Stories feature as a paid advertisement option for connecting with over 200 million people using stories daily.
Custom Audiences were mentioned in my Facebook Playbook, and are used by uploading your existing database to make an audience that you want to target for an Instagram Ad. Custom Audiences is also available on Facebook. Instagram will take your database and analyse every single person who has used the email on your list to create a Instagram account and target your ads at them.
Now that you know how you can use both organic and paid routes to market your business on Instagram, here are three of my best practice tips.
#1: Use Filters
Studies show that 60% of top brands on Instagram use the same filter on every post. If you want to make your image more visually attractive, consider using a filter.
#2: Use Tags
If there is one social network where you can “go to town” with tags; it’s Instagram. Use as many tags as you like, but make sure they are relevant.
#3: Engage With Influencers
Follow those who are influencers in the retail industry and comment on their photos to encourage engagement.
Do you feel confident that you can maximize your potential on Instagram?
Originally published here.