For most startups, generating more customers from Instagram can sometimes feel like a tall task. Beyond just how wildly competitive the platform is, generating consistent content that people will not only follow but become customers over can seem like something only full-scale agencies can do. However, with the right approach, your startup can not only bootstrap your efforts to bringing on quality content but more customers as well. Here’s how:
Start with where your brand stands
While your brand may not be at the ranks of ‘unicorn’ yet, that’s not to say it doesn’t have a foundation worth following. After all, the biggest reason many of us launch startups is because we want to solve problems. However, expressing that message on Instagram can sometimes become convoluted, which is why it’s smart to go back to the roots of your brand and figure out why people would gravitate towards it.
In looking at the core of your brand, the first thing you should ask yourself is why you’re business, as well as what problem you’re aiming to solve. In other words, how are you making the world a better place and why should people care?
Although that can be a tough question to answer, it’s also one that involves a certain level of passion or emotional response, which is the main driver to how you’re going to generate a response from your Instagram audience. According to Invesp, brands that inspire a higher emotional intensity receive 3x as much word-of-mouth, which is always the most successful method of becoming the topic of conversation (and possibly going viral).
With an idea of the identity of your brand, shift your focus to what it means to build your brand. Whittle things down to the simplest way of conveying your logo, nomenclature, and brand guidelines/standards. The more you can communicate with less, the better. A lot of branding boils down to the psychology of colour schemes, typeface, or filter choices. Branding is a science as much as it is a creative process, and the end goal should be to have a brand you can proudly show that others are going to want to share on Instagram.
Figure out the proper content to reach them
Your content is driven by the ethos of your brand. From your local coffee shop to global companies like Zara, we all have a certain expectation out of what we’d see from these brands, which comes with knowing what they stand for or what the allure behind their message is.
Even beyond just discovery, there’s also the aspect of keeping your content consistent, which is a big reason why we stay following brands. Instagram can often follow the old rule that while it’s not always hard to get followers, it can be increasingly competitive and difficult to keep them. However, that’s why knowing what content to produce consistently is so imperative.
Going back to our brand ethos, we first need to look at our audience. For example, 71 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds are currently on Instagram, but to reach them, you’ll need to know how to utilize the best Instagram tools on the market.
Start digging through what content has been the most successful for you, as well as the noteworthy pieces from your competitors that went viral. From there, start setting yourself up with some content planning tools (such as Buffer for scheduling, or Buzz Sumo for influencer marketing choice), as well as other items that can help with design and editing content.
With research in hand, make a content plan of the types of campaigns you’re going to run, including the overall message/how it ties into your brand ethos, as well as the practicalities of your campaign such as if you need a photoshoot done or outside help.
The goal here should be to make a schedule that keeps you competitive but also doesn’t exhaust you or your resources, because as noted by Kettle fire Creative, 62
Know how they’ll find you
Finally, as you’re gearing up your content for launch, the last step you need to consider is implementing the little details so people can find you. Quite simply, if you’re going to bring customers into your startup from Instagram, then you first have to discover how they find your content, then discover your page, then make a purchase.
Although likes and comments can be great, our end goal should always be to have a pipeline with quantifiable benchmarks on where someone starts and where the process ends. Don’t stress, however, if this sounds complex, as the process behind is actually much more intuitive than you might imagine.
When you take a step back and think about how you discover brands on Instagram, the process often feels pretty natural, usually by passively clicking on ‘hubs’ like geotags, hashtags, and tagged accounts. These are used far and wide; in a study of the top 100 brands, the average number of hashtags is 2.5 per post, which shows why engagement agencies like HashtagsForLikes.Co can be so useful.
Remember, the goal of becoming a hub is for your startup to become the topic of conversation, which often starts with knowing why people are willing to talk about you in the first place. While it can be a tough challenge to narrow this down to a hashtag, it’s also a wildly useful aspect of discovery for brand customers. However, once you nail that, your pipeline from discovery to follower to a customer will be shortened up in no time.