Marketing Strategies for Instagram

“The goal of social media is to turn customers into a volunteers marketing army.”
– Jay Baer

We hear it all the time: brands need to develop a solid foundation on social media. They need to network, promote products to their audience and make their brand personable. While this is doable, businesses must have a marketing strategy. It’s unrealistic to get onto Instagram and automatically be successful. Unless you have a team pushing your brand every day, and publishing content frequently, it’s hard to gain traction. So how do we develop a marketing strategy?

First and foremost, hashtags are necessary. A hashtag is the pound sign located about the four on your keyboard (#). There are hashtags for literally anything and everything under the moon. Want pictures of cats? #catsofinstagram has over 59 million+ followers. If you post pictures of your book covers, these hashtags are popular: #bookworm (7 million+ followers); #bookshelf (1 million+ followers; and #bookcovers (7 million+ followers). When using these hashtags, research them well. You want to use dominant hashtags that have a strong following. This ensures that people will see your content. It increases the chances that you’ll get followers, likes and comments.

Social media influencers are another marketing strategy. Think carefully about your niche. Who on Instagram is posting content like yours? If you’re a pizzeria, look for similar pizzerias. They don’t necessarily have to be located in your geographical area. But social media influencers agree to work with you. They post your content if you agree to post theirs. In the writing world, it’s the equivalent of guest posting. I’ll provide you web traffic if you send it back to my site. Followers from both accounts are able to see both profiles. You can tag the social media influencer’s account by using the at sign located above the two on the keyboard (@). Place it before their name and they will be tagged in the post.

Likewise, it’s crucial that you engage your Instagram audience. Don’t just post quotes. Don’t just post behind-the-scene photos from the office. While your audience enjoys these photos, they want to see different content all the time. Post a video, a promotion or a photo related to your brand. If you have a series that you started, post a photo in relation to it. Keep your content fresh for the viewer. Posting too many similar photos together can make your content go stale. The viewer gets bored and wants to see new. They want to see different. Give it to them or they may go astray to your competitor. Keep their foot in the door by keeping the content interesting and interactive.

On this note, involve the customer. Use call-to-actions to your advantage. A call-to-action tells the customer to do something. Take a look at this: Click on the link to get a free t-shirt! A call-to-action, I believe, has two parts. The first part is what the customer has to do. They have to click on the link. But what is the point? What’s the incentive? These days we live in a bargain society. Everybody wants a freebee, a bargain or a promotion. The customer has to get something for their action. So, in this case, the customer gets a free t-shirt. This is known as click bait because it encourages the customer to click on the link.

Another way to market your content is this: cross-post your images. Link your Instagram to your business Facebook page. In essence, you should connect Instagram to every social page you own. The five main social networks you should share it to are (excluding Instagram, of course): Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. Share out your content. Encourage people to follow your content on Instagram. This is going to boost your following and your credibility. As you post more frequently, followers are going to trust your brand. Engage and interact with those that comment. This is going to make you humanistic and personable. It shows that you are comfortable stepping away from your logo.

Finally, don’t overwhelm your audience. In other words—I don’t want to see ten cute kitten pictures from your account in one day. Okay, bad example but you get the point. When you post too much, it’s like that pesky door-to-door salesman that won’t go away. He tries every sales pitch until you finally pay attention but then you just zone out. If you post ten pieces of content in one day, you have lost me by your 3rd or 4th image. It’s not that people don’t care, but your audience is not on Instagram all day and all night. They will not see each and every post. Those that do will feel as if they are being sold to, while those that don’t see your posts aren’t able to like or comment it. Post content at specific times in the day, unless you’re running a promotion. That’s my only exception.

I hope this has helped you get your Instagram off the ground. Instagram is quick and fun to use. Just don’t forget to have fun with it!

How to market your business on a small budget

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
– Peter Drucker

It takes skill to be an authorpreneur. This is an author that is also a small business owner. In essence, they are an entrepreneur. Most of us aren’t wealthy. We don’t have cash hidden in mattresses or a secret vault. This is all the more reason to market our business on a budget. If you are careful with your money, and target your audience well, this can work in your favor.

First and foremost, you must have products. These can physical products such as mugs, t-shirts or anything with your company logo on it. It may also be any digital product. E-courses, e-books, webinars and services all fit into this category. You could charge for a membership area of your site, for instance, or charge customers if they want personal one-on-one mentoring from you for their own business.

The best place to market these products is via your social media pages. If you want to reach more customers, you can use paid advertisements that start at $5/day. But this isn’t necessary. Consistently post products and promotions for your customers to see. With everyone wanting a bargain, you’re going to keep your products in the minds of your customers. They won’t forget that you have books or webinars out that they can purchase.

But get creative. If your webinar has a deadline, sweeten the pot by offering the customer a coupon. They will save forty percent if they sign up a week in advance, for instance, while the price goes up after that week has passed. Focus on the needs of the customer and what they want from your company. If they want more books on gardening or parenting, then make sure to give it to them. Anything else is not going to gain as much traction. As a result, it’s not going to get leads to your website and may not generate many sales. The customers that buy your products are your target audience. You are solving a problem for them, so focus on their needs and you will always have a thriving business.

You also have to be competitive in prices. Don’t forget we’re living in the digital age. Everyone wants a discount or bargain. A customer will be looking for a deal whether they shop online or are at a store’s check-out lane. It’s just how we have conditioned ourselves. Due to this, it’s crucial you meet your customer in their social space. Post promotions and deals on each of your social media pages. Make your prices competitive to other businesses within your industry. If you go too low in price, people will skip over it. Yet, the same effect happens if your price is too high. To get the most sales, it’s important to price somewhere in the middle. It’s nearly a game of trial and error, which is why companies do surveys and research to find their target buyer.

Where can customers find you? Are you in large department stores, boutiques, or just online? Are you selling your book at book fairs or driving cross country to donate to libraries? If you expect to make sales, customers have to know where they can purchase your products. Put links to your products on your website, as well as all your social media pages. Make your products visible to your customer. Post updates about your products by giving the customer coupons and discounts. This is going to keep your product front and center, preventing it from being buried in other content.

And finally—sell! sell! sell! Promote your products on your website. Consistently advertise your products on your social media pages and in your e-mail newsletter. If you’re not well-known, consider running a giveaway or sweepstakes for a free product. The customer, in turn, would post a review of the product. This is a fantastic way to get more sales and more traffic to your website. Try to think outside the box when you advertise. There are unique ways to advertise both online and offline. Take advantage of all of these and you’re sure to be a success.

Being an authorpreneur is no cake walk. But, with the right tools in your wheelhouse, you’re going to have everything you need. Soon your business with thrive with more customers than you expected. Watch it grow and be thankful. You’re making a difference in the lives of others.