Can Instagram Function at the Top of Your Sales Funnel?

Posted on August 16th 2014

Can Instagram Function at the Top of Your Sales Funnel?

Instagram has broken into the mainstream, and while that may scare off the Millennials, it offers enormous marketing opportunities for local small businesses here in Gilbert, AZ, as well as Fortune 500 companies around the nation. With over 200 million active users, Instagram has evolved from a trendy new app to a multi-faceted business with massive potential. It’s no wonder that Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion!   On any given day, there are over 75 million users on Instagram, taking, filtering, editing and sharing 60 million photos. It hasn’t taken long for brands to notice the shift in visual marketing and jump on the Instagram bandwagon. Everyone from Disney to Starbucks, Forever 21 and your local florist is on Instagram, benefiting from the age of visual marketing.  

The Instagram Sales Funnel

The social media sales funnel usually includes a top-down approach where Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest balance at the top, increasing brand awareness and possibly driving traffic to landing pages or websites. It use to be that brands would use Facebook for strictly brand awareness – or to make their brand look cool and trendy. Over time brands have learned how to harness the power of Facebook, as well as Twitter and Pinterest, to turn customers into Fans and Fans into customers.  

While Instagram does not offer the ability to create a custom landing page, it does allow brands to tap into the core of the audience, with emotional, awe-inspiring and motivational images.  

Follow these simple tips to turn your Instagram account into a master of sales:  

1. Be Authentic: In my work with Quaintise as the Social Media Director, authenticity is a word that gets used quite often, but for great reasons. If a brand is able to stay authentic throughout their lifetime, they will cultivate lasting relationships with customers.  

2. Be Original: Use Instagram to share products that have yet to be shared publicly. Select images and filters that speak to your brand, but make you stand out from the crowd. What does your brand have, what does your location have, that no other brand has? Show that to your audience.  

Disneyland uses this technique in nearly every post, because no one else has what Disneyland has, especially when it comes to first experiences.

instagram marketing 101

 

3. Be Consistent: Across any social media platform, you must remain consistent with your brand message. That is a given. But on Instagram you must remain consistent with your theme and filters. You will lose credibility and professionalism if you step too far outside the bubble with your editing and filters.  

4. Be Friendly: User-generated marketing works extremely well on Instagram, where users are still highly engaged and love taking and sharing photos. Invite your audience to share photos with your brand, tagging your brand in the comments.   Once again, we turn to Disneyland’s Instagram page, where they encourage Fans to share their photos with hashtags after obtaining an approval.

Notice in the Disneyland description the link to "approve your photos."

 

instagram marketing 101

 

5. Be Creative: Hashtags are a wonderful way to integrate user-generated content with brand-generated content. Develop hashtags for contests, themes, and so much more.  

6. Be Conversational: According to Adweek, Instagram is achieving three times the engagement per post when compared to Facebook. This means that you cannot simply upload an image and leave it out there, hanging. This is true for any social medium, but when Instagram is currently generating more engagement then any other medium, it’s that much more important to be conversational, answer questions, join discussions and get involved.  

7. Be Inspirational: Just as Facebook and Twitter can be used as tools for good, Instagram can be used as a tool to inspire action. Many brands, including Chobani and Nike, have created hashtags to encouraging community involvement. What does your brand stand for?   8. Be Beautiful: Beauty is all around us. One of the most profound aspects of Instagram is its capacity to turn us all into amateur photographers, searching for that hidden beauty, that perfect shot, that stunning moment in time.

Allow your brand to be beautiful, to find beauty within itself and it’s customers and products.   Everyone these days wants that perfect shot, but it’s sometimes those things that you don’t realize how beautiful they are until you’ve Instagrammed them. Walt Disney World does a great job making an ordinary patio chair look magical:

  instagram marketing 101

9. Understand Your Brand: Not every brand fits into the Instagram mold. If you are going to take on Instagram, be sure it’s where your audience is and where it wouldn’t mind seeing you.  

10. Understand Your Audience: If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. Understanding your audience, where they are, what they care about, what touches them emotionally is the single most important aspect to social media marketing. If you know your audience, you will know exactly what to post in Instagram.  

What did I miss?

kandice

Kandice Linwright

Owner, Linwright Design

I am a very proud momma of two beautiful boys, and a small business owner. For Local Marketing, Content Management and Social Media Marketing services, check out http://www.LinwrightDesign.com, a local marketing company that I've built from the ground up right here in Gilbert, Arizona. But, my true love is http:www.Linwright.com, my new and very exciting Social Media Consulting business. Now it's my turn to take all that I've learned over my long career in social media, and offer it to my clients!

I've been lucky enough to pick up my most successful Facebook Marketing strategies through trial and error as Social Media Director at http://www.Quaintise.com. If you're looking for some serious, full-scalle marketing, check out Raquel's agency located here in Arizona as well as Los Angeles. 

Life has been good to me, and I am thankful each and every day for that fact. Thanks for checking me out!

"Kandice is one of the most knowledgeable people I have met when it comes to social media and SEO marketing.  She has a very keen sense of what works and what doesn’t.  She is not only a great communicator when explaining her reasoning to me, but as a writer, Kandice has a very lucid way of communicating a company’s services, benefits, and does so while writing content for different vertical markets.  She is a supremely good writer.  She also has been very effective in helping us improve our own SEO rankings.  However, Kandice’s biggest strengths are her creative strategy skills.  She is on the forefront for what is new in technology and social media and how to leverage these assets to improve our client’s brands.” - Raquel Baldomar, CEO, Quaintise, LLC

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