25 September 2015

Guidebook: 5 reasons why you should start using Instagram to promote your online store

In marketing, any form of content and message transfer is important, but pictures and videos are the most effective. In the end, it is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Instagram is a social medium that...

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a social network based on visual messages. The principle is trivial - you can observe selected users and other users can observe you. If you add a photo or a video, all people following you will see it on their "timeline". If someone you follow adds a post, you can also see it. Everything is done by using an application installed directly on your smartphone. Taking a picture or making a video, as well as editing and publication, take only a few seconds and do not require any special tools. Photos can be square or horizontal and video can take up to 30 seconds. Such restrictions make the Instagram timeline visually appealing and very convenient to browse.

Why is it worth using Instagram to promote your online store?

1. Popularity, wide outreach and valuable target groups

For example, Instagram is used by almost 3 000 000 people in Poland, of which 64% are women and 36% are men. 73% of Istagrammers are people aged 15-35. 70% of users follow specific brands - it is a very important information for online shops. Data mentioned above clearly indicate that Instagram is a medium with a great marketing potential and is an excellent tool for building brand awareness online. In comparison with other social networks, Instagram has the highest rates when it comes to involving users in liking and commenting on the published content.
What is more, in the near future Instagram is to introduce promoted posts, which will further increase its marketing value.

2. Effective platform to carry out content marketing activities

Content marketing is a commonly known marketing branch, which - in short - is based on publishing of valuable content with viral potential, customized for the target audience. Instagram is a tool that supports all necessary viral processes because it enables liking posts, writing comments, adding hashtags, marking users and has the option to share someone else's content. Content marketing strategy is well-suited for specialist and lifestyle online stores. With the use of images, one can quickly and cheaply create an interesting storytelling.

3. Marketing messages always at hand

Instagram is based on a mobile application which is run by its users at least once per day. The comfort of its use and quick access to photos and videos support user engagement. Due to the growing share of mobile solutions in online sales, multi-channel marketing is no longer just a trend, but a necessity. A coherent and consistent brand communication leads to online stores experiencing higher sales rates.

4. Place for engaging and interesting competitions

Viral mechanisms mentioned above can also be used in a creative way, for example to organize involving competitions. A competition is one of the elements of marketing which:

  1. tells the history of the brand, allowing the recipient to relate to marketing messages, and to mature into a fan of the brand,
  2. has the viral potential, which makes the contestants talk about it with their friends and family,
  3. builds brand trust and it actually influences sales,
  4. helps the business turn into a lifestyle brand and thus, become fashionable.

The most successful competitions are based on publishing photos or videos by the participants, which are marked by the organizer with certain hashtags. As a result, information about the brand will be seen by each person who observes the contestants. Clicking on the hashtag will result in all labeled materials being displayed. This effect is commonly called a snowball effect.

5. Gallery and opinions

Instagram is a place where people present their everyday life, at the same time focusing on their lifestyle. For this reason, fashion, sports and technology brands are promoted by the Instagram users. Getting new clothes, a bike or a smartphone, are great opportunities to brag a little by sharing pictures and videos with your friends on Instagram. These types of publications can be treated as recommendations. Therefore, an appropriate policy of hashtags use is very important. If the brand develops its own individual hashtag, it will be more visible on Instagram and thus, promotional activities will be more effective.
In addition, Instagram can be used as a gallery. You just have to find photos of a given product, ask the author for permission and place a photo on a product card. Instagram is proving to be a great repository of promotional materials and inspirations.

Creative and modern brand on Instagram

It is worth to use Instagram in many ways. For example, while adding a new photo or video, you can define a unique location and enter the URL adress of your online store. Each creative and non-invasive method of promotion will, with time, bring the desired results. Instagram has become a channel, which should unquestionably be included in online store's marketing strategy, regardless of the business type and products offered.

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