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Do you feel like your brand doesn’t belong on Instagram?

Your Instagram feed is peppered with posts and
ads for physical products and services.

But digital products?

You’ve seen maybe two or three posts over the
past few months. That’s all.

But that doesn’t mean that Instagrammers
wouldn’t want to see more from digital product brands like yours.

In fact, the lack of digital product businesses on Instagram may help you stick out amongst the endless feed of beauty products and food photos.

Holiday Marketing Toolkit 2020

And here’s the shocker: You don’t have to use photo posts to stick
out, either.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to three
low-cost, beginner-friendly ways to market your digital products on Instagram.

Method #1: Use Instagram video, Instagram Stories, IGTV, and Instagram
Live

Instagram is famous for photo-sharing, but
it’s ramping up as a video platform, too.

There are four types of Instagram videos:
video posts, Instagram Stories, Instagram TV (IGTV), and Instagram Live.

No video production experience?

No problem. You can create engaging videos for each of these formats using a little creativity
and willingness to experiment.

First up, let’s look at video posts’ uses and
requirements. 

Instagram videos can be up
to 60 seconds
in length.

Despite their short length, video posts can
drive more engagement than traditional Instagram posts.

Research by Mention found that Instagram video
posts receive two times as many comments as photo and
carousel posts, for example. 

Instagram for Product Promotion - 1

Source: Mention

Video posts are probably best for posting
promotional teasers or mini-tutorials since they’re so brief.

At 15 seconds, Instagram Stories are much shorter than video
posts. Stories can be photos or videos. They also disappear after 24 hours.

However, brands can use third-party programs
to break a longer video into Stories.

Despite their length, there are plenty of ways
to use Stories.

You could use them to run a poll or survey,
offer quick answers to questions, or repurpose longer content. Stories could
also tease an upcoming sale or product launch, or showcase a product.

Stories can be used for shopping, too. Brands
can add product stickers to Stories, such as in
the Madewell example below.

Instagram for Product Promotion - 2

Source: Instagram

After clicking on the sticker, the viewer will
be taken to a product details page.

Don’t worry about seeming too promotional by
including product stickers, by the way. 83% of people said Instagram helps them
discover new products and services, so it’s not unwelcome.

Instagram for Product Promotion - 3

Source: Facebook

54% of consumers purchased something either in
the moment or after seeing a product or service on Instagram, as well.

Therefore, your product stickers may prove
more of a help than a hindrance for viewers.

To make the most of Stories, don’t miss these
tips on how to use Instagram Stories
to entertain, sell, and more.

However, while 500 million
accounts
use Stories daily, they’re not for everyone. Creators who
prefer longer content may get more mileage from IGTV.

IGTV allows creators to share long-form videos that are a minimum
of one minute long
and a maximum of 15-to-60 minutes, depending on
how they’re uploaded.

Though IGTV
faced some hiccups in the beginning, Instagram has been rolling out features to
make it more appealing for brands and viewers.

For instance, IGTV
recently began supporting landscape videos. It also allows creators to post a
one-minute preview in feeds.

Instagram for Product Promotion - 4

Source: MeetEdgar

Though IGTV isn’t currently monetizable, it’s
a valuable tool for brand awareness and relationship building.

You could use IGTV for product
demos
, tutorials, or Q&A sessions. You could also repurpose
other video content through IGTV.

Consider Emily
Henderson
as an example. Emily creates multiple types of content
with her IGTV videos, including how-tos, Q&As, and peeks into her life.

Instagram for Product Promotion - 5

Source: Emily
Henderson

60 Second Docs, on the other hand, creates
60-second documentaries with IGTV.

Instagram for Product Promotion - 6

Source: 60
Second Docs

The final type of Instagram video content is
Instagram Live, where you can broadcast videos in real-time.

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Instagram Live videos are posted toward the
top of followers’ feeds, which could result in more views.

Like the other types of Instagram video,
Instagram Live can serve many purposes.

As an example, this fitness company used Instagram Live to stream
one of their fitness programs.

Instagram for Product Promotion 7

Source: AdEspresso

This approach could be useful for both brand
awareness and helping customers with their purchase decisions.

Likewise, Instagram Live sessions could
showcase product demos, tutorials, Q&As, behind-the-scenes looks at your
business, and more.

So to recap:

Instagram video posts, Stories, IGTV, and
Instagram Live are fantastic ways to market your brand.

Instagram videos can pique viewers’ curiosity
about your business and product offerings. But before opening their wallets,
they’ll want to know if your products will truly deliver.

For that, they’ll want information straight
from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

Method #2: Encourage user-generated content and testimonials

Customer reviews and testimonials work well
with product pages.

Though, like happiness and goodwill, they’re
something you should spread all around.

Aside from asking customers for reviews,
encourage customers to post user-generated content (UGC) on Instagram, ideally
with a branded hashtag so you can track it. User-generated content is simply
any photo or video a customer creates about your brand.

Let’s unwrap UGC and reviews’ many benefits.

To start, consumers — 93.4% of them, to be specific — research
unfamiliar digital retailers before making a purchase by reading customer
testimonials.

90% of consumers have said UGC is influential in their
buying decisions, with 24% ranking it as “extremely influential.”

Instagram for Product Promotion - 8

Source: TurnTo

Another 61% of consumers said UGC encourages
them to engage with brands.

Finally, consumers are three times more likely to say content created
by consumers is more authentic than content from brands.

Convinced of UGC’s benefits? Check out this user-generated content guide for more tips and best practices.

It’s great for consumers to see UGC in the
wild, so to speak, on their favorite creators’ and friends’ channels. Don’t
discount the benefits of sharing UGC and customer reviews on your channel,
either.

57% of consumers have said less than half of
brands create authentic content. This may, in turn, affect their trust in you
and your overall appeal as a brand. 

Sharing UGC from your audience, as well as
customer reviews, interviews, and case studies, could boost your brand
perception.

Major brands have shared UGC on their channels
to great success. Glossier shares customer photos and videos —
such as the video below — on their Instagram channel.

Instagram for Product Promotion - 9

Source: Glossier

If you want to copy Glossier’s approach, there
are a few ways to encourage and collect UGC. You could offer an incentive for
posting their content, like a discount or free download.

You could follow Aerie’s example and use your
UGC to help others.

Specifically, Aerie asks users to brand their photos with
the #AerieReal hashtag and submit their photos.

Instagram for Product Promotion - 10

Source: Econsultancy

For every photo submitted, Aerie donates $1 to the National Eating
Disorders Association.

Not only is this donation charitable in its
own right, but also related to Aerie’s commitment to not retouching their
models.

You could also encourage UGC
for an
Instagram
contest

Etihad Airways ran an Instagram photo content
to celebrate getting one million followers. They picked one winner per day for
10 days to receive one of their luxury amenity kits.

Instagram for Product Promotion - 11

Source: Wayin

Basically:

One of the lowest-cost ways to spread your
brand’s influence is by encouraging UGC and testimonials.

All happy customers have their own sphere of influence. But our final promotional tactic combines the intimacy of UGC with a massive potential ROI: micro-influencers.

Method 3: Partner with micro-influencers

You’d be forgiven for thinking Instagram influencer marketing is limited to influencers with
hundreds of thousands of followers.

Micro-influencers, defined as those with
30,000 or fewer followers, are often more affordable and effective to work
with, which may be why 40% of annual influencer spend was spent on
micro-influencers.

READ ALSO  7 Social Media Marketing Trends in 2019 You Need to Prepare For [Infographic]
Instagram for Product Promotion - 12

Source: Rakuten Marketing/Podia

56% of marketers find micro-influencers to be
more cost-effective to work with. Many marketers felt they produced more
authentic content and were better connected to their audiences, too.

Those beliefs aren’t unfounded.

The average engagement rate for an influencer on
Instagram was less than 1,000 followers was 10.01%. That rate decreased
steadily as follower counts increased.

Instagram for Product Promotion - 14

Source: SocialPubli

Those engagement rates can translate into more
than traffic to your Instagram channel, by the way. It could also result in
more email signups or purchases.

87% of consumers were inspired to make a
purchase based on what they saw from an influencer, for example.  

41% of consumers said they find new products
or brands from influencers weekly. 24% reported doing so daily.

Instagram for Product Promotion - 14

Source: Rakuten Marketing/Podia

74% of consumers even said they would spend up
to $629 on a product inspired by an influencer.

OK. So you’re convinced: micro-influencer
marketing is fabulously effective.

But how could they promote your digital
products?

You could ask influencers to share photos or
screenshots of your digital products, for one. The influencer could include your
product in a listicle-style post or video of helpful content, as well.

And, of course, there’s nothing wrong with
classic product placements and reviews.

Daniel Wellington, a watch brand, worked with
micro-influencers outside of the style and fashion spheres to reach new
audiences. The result was tapping into an audience their competitors weren’t
actively pursuing just yet.

One influencer they partnered with was Alyssa
of Joyful
Goldens
. She shared a picture of herself wearing their watch while
petting her dogs.

Instagram for Product Promotion - 15

Source: Social Media Strategies Summit

And, at almost 30,000 likes, you can see how
effective it was.

Micro-influencers could also announce a
product launch or special promotion.

Jenn of Hello
Rigby
is a micro-influencer who has worked with multiple brands in
the past. In this post, she promoted Biokleen products
being made available in Target stores.

Instagram for Product Promotion - 16

Source: Hello
Rigby

Lastly, micro-influencers could promote your
brand. Dane
and Stacey
have posted several sponsored posts/ads for brands, such
as this ad for Visit
Brussels
.

Instagram for Product Promotion - 17

Source: Dane
and Stacey

While these two examples have far fewer likes
than the Daniel Wellington example, remember the golden rule of small-side
influencers — they get way more engagement with far smaller numbers.

So, just where are you supposed to find
influencers
to work with?

This may be a little biased, but I’d recommend you start with Mention. Mention enables businesses to identify influencers, increase your campaign’s reach, and monitor competitors, among many other perks, all from one easy-to-use dashboard.

Holiday Marketing Toolkit 2020

Unlock Instagram’s power for your digital product business

Instagram holds so much potential for digital
product businesses.

Specifically, digital product creators can use
video posts, Stories, IGTV videos, and Instagram Live broadcasts. These could
help you raise brand awareness, convert more customers, and stand out from the
crowd.

Companies could also encourage UGC and reviews
from happy customers. Spotlighting UGC on your brand’s channel can help with
your brand perception and trust, too.

Lastly, digital product brands could partner
with micro-influencers to expand their reach.

As you can see, digital product businesses can
market themselves on Instagram in the very same way other brands do.

There’s no time like the present to start
experimenting with Instagram. Unlock the rewards it has for your business today
— you won’t regret it.

Taylor Barbieri is a content marketer for Podia, an all-in-one platform where online courses, digital downloads, and membership websites — alongside their creators — thrive. Check out their free 12,000+ word guide to creating profitable online courses, even if you’ve never done it before.

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