Approximately 80 percent of all Instagram users follow a business on Instagram.
That’s probably why we’re obsessed with the photo-sharing app. Startup owners post torrents of content on their Instagram page to engage their audience. We constantly post visual content, race to share a funny meme, compete to send as many images and video clips on our pages as possible…
The process is random.
It makes us look dumb sometimes.
It annoys our followers and potential customers.
It hurts our brands.
So, to help you make sense of your Instagram marketing, I have a short story that I want to share with you. It’s all about three dumb mistakes to avoid when posting your next Instagram content.
Let’s jump right in.
Posting bland images of your products
You’re in the fashion industry.
So every so often, you snap a piece of your clothing line and post it on your Instagram page. In fact, you share 3-7 content a day. And you’re proud of yourself…because you’re sure, “I’m doing the right thing.”
You’re doing the wrong thing. And here’s why:
Image credit: Pew Research Center
As you probably know, teenagers hate bland posts. They see plain images and they screamed: “What the heck?” Or ask, sarcastically, “So what?” before they shove it off with a delete button. That said, posting pictures of your clothing line isn’t enough.
You’ve got to do more than that. You’ve got post a series of visual content—showcasing how you accomplished your tasks. For example, using our earlier clothing line example, you can post images of your tasks—how you cut, sew, and stitch a cloth—from start to finish.
Those kinds of posts will do well for a number of reasons:
- Empowerment. By sharing how you create your finished product, you’re sharing your knowledge. You’re informing, educating, and empowering your followers, prospects, and fans on a skill that they probably know little about.
- Emotional appeal. Showing the processes involved in getting a task done is emotional. The short clips of videos documenting how you perform tasks have some emotional appeal. Your followers will most likely love the story…
- When you post so many pictures and videos detailing how you get your product done, you connect with your followers. In fact, some of them will keep the post for later…or share them with their peers. Why? Because the content is educational.
And we all know the drill: Instagram content should add some value to the user. Random content and funny memes won’t work—if they’re useless for your audience.
Let me explain.
Posting random images of funny memes
Memes are good content to post on social media sites.
In fact, they’re great to post on Instagram for they produce an immediate reaction. And they’re relatable and simple to digest. No wonder some brands incorporate them in their Instagram marketing campaign.
But posting random of memes just because they are funny is a wrong way to go. “Because memes rely so much on humor,” SproutSocial’s Alex York says. “It’s somewhat easy to miss the mark or come off inappropriate or insensitive.”
Rather than posting a random meme of a celeb doing their thing on your Instagram page, try to post content that aligns with your marketing goals. Be a little more creative. For instance, post pictures or videos of people using your product: Wearing your T-shirt or using your SaaS software.
The people could be your friends, your staff, or your followers. That’s more engaging and creative than sharing your personal video clips.
Let’s talk about that next.
Posting personal videos; engaging less with your followers.
Some influencers are doing it a lot.
They have a big, profitable company and large Instagram followers. They’re thought leaders in their industry; so they post personal videos of themselves—or their cat liking milk—on Instagram. And they connect more with their audience doing that.
But…you? Do you think you can do the same?
Maybe…but it might not be a good idea. Why?
Because you’re not an influencer.
You’re not a thought leader.
You’re not an authority in your industry.
Your followers and prospects aren’t interested in seeing your personal life—because no one celebrates you. In that sense, your personal videos may be an obstacle rather than a boon for your Instagram marketing campaign.
So, what video content should you post instead? Post images of your customers playing in their leisure time. The idea is to take your life and business off of your Instagram and give your audience something amazing, memorable, and fresh.
That will help you in so many ways. It will show that you’re truly genuine, open to socialize, connect, and share value. And not to push your product to the world.
The bottom line
It makes sense to promote your brand on Instagram.
The social networking site has more than 500 million active users, surpassing Twitter (which has only 326 million active users) Snapchat (150 million active users), and Pinterest (250 million active users), according to a study by Mediakix. But knowing what to post and how to post it is the key to your Instagram marketing success.
And to achieve success in your Instagram marketing is to post valuable content that appeals to your audience.
- Informational content that reveals how you accomplished your finished products.
- Images of fans using your product.
- Personal pictures of your customers socializing in their leisure time.
In the end, social media marketing in general and Instagram marketing in particular is about audience engagement…serving your fans with valuable content. Or as the market researcher Tom Anderson nicely puts it, “Engage rather than sell … Work as a co-creator, not a marketer.”
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