Instagram has become one of the latest trends in digital media marketing, with brands investing time and effort in building their fan base on the image-sharing platform. As an instant self-promotion space where brands can easily showcase their offerings and connect with consumers, Instagram is undoubtedly a meaningful asset in a brand's online marketing arsenal. But without a method to get users clicking through to ecommerce facilities, it can be tricky for marketers to see a clear ROI from their Instagram efforts - even less clear than from use of Facebook and Twitter.
So how can Instagram-savvy brands gain the best and clearest ROI from their forays into this exciting new platform? How can Instagram likes and follows become customers who visit your site and purchase products?
The Inner Circle
It's an undeniable fact: social media users love free stuff. Offering an incentive, such as a coupon or special deal, can go a long way in bringing new fans to your Instagram page - and then get them to your website. To illustrate just how beneficial this approach can be, keep in mind that an impressive 43% of American social media users 'like' Facebook pages not simply from brand loyalty, but to get their hands on freebies (June 2013, Syncapse).
To achieve the best results using incentives on social media, you need to figure out at which point customers go from being those who follow you for free stuff, to those who stick around because they like your offering. Instagram followers are especially useful for this, because they've already shown interest in the brand. The next step is to motivate them to make a purchase.
Displaying exclusive offers on your Instagram feed is a great way to make your Instagram followers feel special and motivate them to redeem the offers on your company website. Making followers feel like part of an inner circle not only drives sales but also increases brand loyalty and good will.
Create a Hot Spot
There's something about Instagram that makes any photo look amazing! So travel brands should leverage this to display an appealing range of their products and services. These filters and borders lend themselves especially well to tourism, making destinations around the world look stunning/gritty/glam/alternative - whatever you want them to look like.
This is great for inspiring your Instagram fans to book tickets to the destinations showcased on your feed. Leverage this by giving them options to click through to your main website where they can research the destination more closely and find links to book flights and hotels.
Leverage Your Fans
It's likely that people on Instagram are already snapping photos of your destination and posting them for the world to see.
So why not take advantage of their work and use it as part of your own feed? It generally offers a positive customer take on your destination and showcases people enjoying your offering in various different ways.
As brands start to develop their presence on Instagram, the potential to convert follows into purchases will continue to increase. Brands will benefit greatly from more opportunities to gather user-generated content and repurpose it across their other social platforms.
With visual platforms like Instagram, content sharing is a two-way street. Once you learn how to communicate effectively using images, you’ll eventually have the power to frame the conversation to better reach your followers.
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