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.
And here’s the shocker: You don’t have to use photo posts to stick
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
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?
First up, let’s look at video posts’ uses and
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.
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.
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.
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.
However, while 500 million
accounts use Stories daily, they’re not for everyone. Creators who
prefer longer content may get more mileage from 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.
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.
Henderson as an example. Emily creates multiple types of content
with her IGTV videos, including how-tos, Q&As, and peeks into her life.
60 Second Docs, on the other hand, creates
60-second documentaries with IGTV.
The final type of Instagram video content is
Instagram Live, where you can broadcast videos in real-time.
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.
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
90% of consumers have said UGC is influential in their
buying decisions, with 24% ranking it as “extremely influential.”
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.
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,
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
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.
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.
For every photo submitted, Aerie donates $1 to the National Eating
Not only is this donation charitable in its
own right, but also related to Aerie’s commitment to not retouching their
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
Goldens. She shared a picture of herself wearing their watch while
petting her dogs.
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.
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.
Unlock Instagram’s power for your digital product business
Instagram holds so much potential for digital
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
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.
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