Photo from Stock That Rocks
The rise of Instagram as a leading social media platform was mesmerizing. What started out as a limited photo-editing app with wacky filters is the now the hottest, most influential platform on the market. Today, Instagram is the place to be for creative entrepreneurs and artists.
We could all agree that we spend a lot of time on our phones, whether we need them for work or entertainment. So, with Instagram being a mobile-first platform, there is practically no better place to reach your existing and potential customers.
So, how do you stand out on the platform and utilize it as an effective tool in driving sales and conversions?
Instagram presents an amazing opportunity to tell our brand stories, one aspect at a time. A lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs have a hard time telling their brand stories, though. Whether it’s because they’re unsure which aspects are the most important, or whether it’s because they have to rely on visuals, a lot of business owners seem to stumble with Instagram.
This network can also be deceptive to those just starting out. While it seems really casual — snap an image, slap a filter, add a caption, you’re done, right?! — It’s much more than that. Smart marketers understand the need for a cohesive, polished and well-planned out feed; and thus, do not post sub-par images, because there is no way to earn any meaningful following by posting less than stellar graphics.
First of all, Instagram has attracted creatives that produce stunning content on nearly every topic possible. Besides, humans are very visual creatures, and as such, we get a lot of information through imagery first, and then through a written text.
So, if you want to attract followers and convert them into paying customers, let’s figure out how to tell your brand story through imagery on Instagram!
Figure Out Your Story
Let’s start from the basics. Do you know your brand story? Do you think you know it or do you really truly know it? Do you know what attracts people to your brand? Do you know what kind of value they see in your offerings? Does your passion shine through with every image and every caption you post on the interwebs?
Are there any parts that can be omitted or added? Is there an engaging and interesting backstory to your brand people need to know?
Here is an exercise for you: take 30 minutes or less and write down your brand story on one sheet of paper. Can you fill up the whole page with a cohesive and captivating story? Frame it, internalize it, think of it every time you sit down to create a new post.
Tell Your Story Through Images
Treat your Instagram feed as a Christmas catalog. If you were to put together a catalog of the best offers and ideas, and bundle it all up in an attractive catalog with a specific mood, what would you include and what would you get rid off?
Think about your audience and what mood would make sense for your products. Create this mood on your feed with specific style of photos and filters. Remember that some filters accentuate specific colors, while others increase contrast and saturations, while yet others make the color look subdued — all of them create a specific mood in a picture.
Also, pay really close attention to the subject of your images. No one wants to see your product shot at 25 different angles.
Think outside the box. Instagram is very big on aspirational content. So, what is it your potential and existing clients aspire to have or be? Demonstrate how your offering, whether it’s a product or a service, can help them achieve their aspirations.
Also, do not hesitate to occasionally use stock imagery. However, make sure that it fits in organically into your feed. For example, Stock That Rocks makes it super easy to post gorgeous images that can be very on-brand for your business with a little help from photo-editing apps and filters.
Show Your Human Side
While you’re carefully crafting your Instagram presence, be sure to not go overboard and create this hard-to-reach persona, or worse yet, a faceless corporation. Be sure to inject your personality and your human side. Strive to make real connection with people by telling delightful stories and sharing the inner workings of your company. Remember that people want to do business with real people!
Over time, as you skillfully build this amazing brand online and make personal connections with your following, customer loyalty increases. If you do Instagram right, your followers will feel like they know you and your brand. What’s even more important, they feel like you “get” them and their needs. Selling to an engaged community becomes effortless — no sleazy sales tactics involved!