In Ukraine, Instagram is visited by more than 11 million people a month on average. Over the past 7-8 months, the audience has increased by two million and continues to grow. Many companies have been communicating with customers for a long time and sell here.
Victoria Kharakhash , CEO of Kiwi Agency, lecturer at WebPromoExperts Academy and curator of the course “Instagram Promotion”, told how Instagram is useful for business, what tools work best to achieve certain goals.
For some, on Instagram, traffic to an online store or website is important, for others – increasing brand awareness. Others use Instagram as a place to communicate with followers, customers, or for technical support. Depending on which goals you have in priority, the necessary tools are selected.
Business goals in Instagram
After analyzing the briefs that potential customers for our company have filled in over the past two years, we realized that the following goals have taken the leading positions: sales and increasing brand awareness . For any business, it is important to first define goals, and then choose the toolkit that will definitely work.
Tool # 1. Instagram Stories & Live Streaming
In recent years, the popularity of stories as a separate tool has grown exponentially. More and more people are visiting Stories and viewing them daily. For many users, stories have become an alternative to a YouTube channel or TV.
Stories views statistics
How to use the Stories Tool
To work with Stories, you need to think over a content plan and strategy. It is important to understand that they need to be compiled not only for working with posts, feed and headings, but also separately for stories.
When creating a content plan for Stories, always use the holiday calendar . Choose what suits your brand, niche, industry, and see what events and situations you can prepare in advance and play it in your content.
In 2021, the publication of Stories will focus on visualization, dynamics and movement, alternating slow and fast frames, CTA and animation, highlighted swipes (link to an external source – available to those who have 10 thousand subscribers or in an advertising post).
What to Post in Stories
The Stories rubricator most often includes customer reviews, backstage (you can show the team, people, workflow), useful lists, ratings. You can give out promotional codes in stories, hold sweepstakes so that your subscribers will follow your company more. New items, contests, products, gamification will be popular.
- Showcase your brand in the first 3 seconds of Stories.
- Provide quality sound and video.
- Be sure to include a call to action.
The indicator of interaction of subscribers with your account and stories is very important. The more people click on your Stories, participate in polls, press their finger on the screen to view a slide, leave a reaction, the more often the system algorithms will show this person your story. To achieve high reach, you need to motivate people to do these actions.
You can post tests, polls, a scale of emotions, gifs in Stories – everything that a person can easily and simply interact with for the benefit of your further communication.
During the quarantine, Instagram also saw an increase in the number of live video broadcasts – another promotion tool. If you or several speakers have something to show and tell viewers about a brand or business, use this opportunity.
While preparing for the broadcast, make announcements in advance – prepare subscribers so that you will have a live broadcast. If necessary, collect questions for the live broadcast. For example, viewers can leave them in the comments below the announcement.
What applications are used to create Instagram Stories
My favorites for editing Stories are Inshot and Instories. Both work for Apple owners and Android. Here you can make gorgeous animation stories in 5-10 minutes on your own, add dynamics, sound and make the content much cooler and better.
You can test different programs for work at the start in the demo version to understand whether this application is suitable for your project or not. If you’re on a team, you can delegate responsibility for creating Stories.
From the Editor . Don’t miss out on How to Create a Content Plan for Instagram Stories: A Guide for Marketers.
Tool # 2. Situational SMM
In situational marketing, reaction speed is important. Sometimes it’s about minutes or even seconds. The reaction to the situation can be a challenge, some kind of discussed event from the music industry, cinema, politics. For example, the release of a cool new long-awaited movie is a great topic for the situation.
Stories are a great tool for testing a situation in terms of how it will reach audiences.
In quarantine, many brands played the topic with a distance. This is how McDonald’s changed its logo
Situational is a 50/50 game. You can hit the jackpot and soar to the top of requests and reposts. Or you can break a harsh ban for an unsuccessful joke that does not resonate with the brand’s values, or you can get lost against the background of one hundred thousand of the same situational posts. But it’s worth a try!
To catch a wave or, as they say, ride a trend, install yourself TikTok and periodically view the feed. This network is a treasure trove of challenges and flash mobs. Subscribe to popular TikTokers and come back periodically, see what they post. As soon as there is a new challenge, everyone starts to beat it.
Tool # 3. Sticky Insta Tape
When we talk about the feed, we understand that a person, when scrolling, analyzes your brand account in a split second. In this instant, he understands whether the brand is interesting, whether he will subscribe to the account, whether the feed is cool, whether the profile header is understandable. The decision to subscribe and follow the page is influenced by the last 9-12 posts.
Before launching an ad campaign, work out the feed – the last 9 posts should be perfectly beautiful.
Try working with different grid formats and see what visually suits your brand or company the most.
Ask yourself these questions at the start:
- How will you produce content?
- What kind of content is this: live photos or more Photoshop, collages and so on?
- Who will prepare the content and visuals?
The idea of flowing from one post to another looks nice. There is a lot of room for visual tricks: borders, repeating elements, borders .
Checkerboard is one of the most popular types of grid design on Instagram, when live photos and text alternate.
Verticals is ever one vertical, or two verticals differ from the rest. That is, when your content is plus or minus the same, visually similar, or one heading, for example, is published in only one column.
Modular grid – work according to the scheme of three squares. They are linked by a single visual ideological block and differ from other lines. But this type of work is not always convenient in posting: you need to publish three posts at once or do so that each of these three looks great in itself. It is important to think in advance whether a separate post of three will convey the idea.
Infinite feed – when visually publications are selected so that content flows from one post to another post. Such publications can be made for months and combined with different visual elements. It can be a repetitive background on layouts, but each subsequent post should be part of the overall visual image.
Landing Page is an account feed where, for example, 9 or 12 posts are posted one time, and in the general picture on the user’s page it looks like a landing page.
Initially, 9 posts are drawn – 9 squares where there is information (like headings on a landing page). Accordingly, each box answers a specific question. If a brand does not plan to promote itself with posts, it has no content, or it will not be updated for a long time, such companies conditionally make a Landing Page in the format on the Instagram platform, where each post will highlight the values, goals, target audience and provide answers to other popular long-running questions.
For the design of the ribbon, it is best to use no more than three main combined base colors of your company. Of course, this does not mean that tomorrow you will need to remove the fourth color from your Instagram feed. Consider your style, audience and preferences. If something visually looks unattractive or does not fit together, but you need to show it (for example, in cosmetology, the BEFORE and AFTER views), you can hide such photos or videos in the carousel.
The visual design of the page will look easier and more harmonious when the same colors, shades, toning, filters are repeated.
How to create a beautiful ribbon with UNUM – Design Perfection
UNUM is an application for creating a beautiful Instagram feed in a certain style, works on both Android and iOS. The free plan includes one Instagram account, 18 feed slots, and the ability to publish up to 500 photo and video posts per month. The application is suitable for those who are planning visual brand content for a month in advance.
UNUM main features:
- the ability to save content for Instagram in the application, so that later you do not have to search for it in the entire phone gallery;
- visual post planner , the ability to change the order of photos in the feed by dragging and dropping + the ability to see how the feed looks like without any previously published images;
- photo editor and color correction inside the application;
- tons of free photo filters ;
- statistics best time to post to your account and other analytics;
- the ability to manage multiple accounts in one application;
- scheduling publications for a specific time + notification of what needs to be published;
- ability to write and save signatures to photos, then quickly add them to publications;
- a list of recently used hashtags that can be added to the description of the photo or in the comment, + hashtag counter, so as not to exceed the limit of 30;
- photo search on Instagram and repost via UNUM.
The first example is the Novus hypermarket page, the second is the Borjomi mineral water producer
Example of Kiwi agency’s work for Epicur (emphasis on healthy eating) and Soffione (demonstration of production history)
Trash content is a type of content that is not always clearly structured in relation to general rules. If this content does serve your brand goals, keep doing it.
It takes a lot of tests to figure out what exactly works for you. Play with your feeds: do something different every month and watch the audience react. And of course, don’t forget to keep an eye on your competitors’ feeds.
Tool # 4 Highlights
Highlights (pinned stories) – showcase your brand. They are located right under the page header and help to quickly orient subscribers where, what and what products you have are relevant, how to find you, what they say about you.
In highlights, you can show what is currently relevant in the assortment of your business or in sales, you can post answers to frequently asked questions, prices for services or goods, reviews, maps, promotions, announcements and posters, search.
All this is necessary in order for a person to scroll through several stories in three seconds and put together some kind of dynamic picture about your business.
Highlights are best styled in the same style as the brand avatar. You can do this in a graphic designer or find online templates using services such as Canva, StoryArt, Picsart, Pinterest.
Tool # 5. Masks
Masks have become one of the top and most affordable Stories tools. Both bloggers and regular Instagram users often use a variety of filters and masks when recording their stories. As for brands, they are not yet actively introducing work with masks, but it is necessary to analyze competitors in their niche.
If you independently study the interface of the program in which they are made, you can try to develop a mask. You can make such a product for a specific situation and event, product, or just for your brand.
The mask can be used for gamification (game). If the user likes the branded product, he will save it and publish it in his story. This will help you organically reach new potential followers and customers for your brand.
Before the opening of the Miniso chain store, we developed several masks that people used at the event itself, marked the store and became participants in the drawing
Another example of using masks
Brand development at Ukrainian Fashion Week is commendable – they made a series of virtual reality masks where you could try on an accessory or clothes.
Tool # 6. User-generated content (UGC) or custom content
People trust other people. User-generated content doubles brand credibility and is 35% more memorable than other ads. UGC gets on average 28% more engagement than brand content.
In addition, about 86% of users believe that the presence of such content is a good indicator for a brand. Of course, these are statistics, but you can check them in practice.
For example, you can tag a store of the Ukrainian brand Casta and get to them on Instagram. So the user can upload his content with the store’s products and get into a separate highlights folder. This is unique content that the brand got for free, and they can further use it in their work. Encourage people to create this content for you.
Apple, AirBnB, Starbucks, GoPro actively use UGC in their accounts
Large companies and brands are actively using user generated content. But if you have a small company, you can still motivate people to create this kind of content.
How to motivate a user to do UGC
- Post user comments, stories with your brand and products (for example, unboxing or product review) on your page.
- Come up with a contest with thoughtful mechanics and involved participants.
- Use masks and gifs to get branded content into your users’ stories.
Terms or conditions for creating custom content should be clear and simple. Set an example: ask a friend to post this content, and people will know they can do it too.
Tool # 7. Microbloggers vs millionaires
Bloggers differ in audience size. nanobloggers (aka nanoinfluencers) have up to 10 thousand subscribers in America (and in Ukraine – up to 5 thousand subscribers).
Microbloggers have up to 50 thousand subscribers, and megabloggers work with an audience of 1 million subscribers.
What are the advantages of working with each of them?
Microbloggers set affordable advertising prices, especially nanoinfluencers. Often for them, the fee is not always the main goal, they care about the fact that the brand has paid attention to them, so cooperation can be negotiated on a barter basis.
It is easier to communicate with such bloggers, they easily make contact and responsibly approach the task. They try to provide their audience with quality content and have a high engagement rate (5 to 15%).
The more followers an account has, the lower its engagement rate will be , which is fine.
If we are talking about nanoinfluencers, then the only disadvantage of such cooperation is that the work requires a lot of time and effort. You can’t get the same reach as a millionaire blogger in one collaboration. In addition, you need to select, check, analyze a blogger, prepare materials – all this will take a lot of time.
How to choose an influencer?
- Assess the size, geography and quality of the LM audience – who are these people who sit in his subscribers.
- See if his communication tone and the content he posts match your business or brand values.
- Look at the engagement rate of the people you selected. But for micro-, nano- and macroinfluencers, the metrics will differ.
Good engagement rate:
- for micro-influencers (10-100 thousand subscribers) – 4-8%;
- for middle influencers (100-500 thousand subscribers) – 2.4%,
- for macroinfluencers (500 thousand – 1 million subscribers) – 1.7%.
4. Look what advertising posts he already had (maybe competitors were advertised there), how these advertising companies worked. Look at the comments under these posts, how many there were real adequate reviews and opinions, or are they just words about nothing (“wow”, “cool”, “beautiful”), which are most often used to cheat.
5. Request statistics from past advertising campaigns, what were the reach, what were the metrics, how many clicks were on the link.
This all needs to be analyzed before you sign a cooperation agreement with an opinion leader.
One-time posts or stories are not enough for a good result. Most brands require 4 to 8 touches to sell.
Long-term partnerships between LM and the brand are considered a trend in Instagram promotion today. Brands choose an opinion leader with whom they will work on an ongoing basis, make friends, and agree on loyal cooperation.
Another important trend in such cooperation is video content preparation . It gains 135% more organic content and reach, so it is important to discuss with LM how you will show or talk about the brand, where the publication will be placed: in the feed or in stories or there and there, with what frequency, what type of content it will be. .
Write down all the points in the TK : what you want or don’t want to see, how to mention you, what values and key message to convey, up to the point that it will be a video where the LM will pronounce the name, and it’s important for you to make sure he says it correctly.
Where to look for an influencer?
You can search for LM in special applications. For example, Livedune, Publicfast. Here you can find an opinion leader by brand or category, by city or budget. You can choose an LM and set a task for him immediately through the platform, where the blogger confirms the order. Also, based on the budget and the cost of a blogger’s post on Facebook or Instagram, you can choose one top influencer or several micro-influencers.
On the Myscore.today website, you can independently check your account – how much you fit into the category of influencer, what is your rating, the cost of your post.
You can check bloggers for cheating using the Picalytics service.
You can see real reviews on the Ukrainian service Revizion.
Of course, the most useful tool is manual check and search . In this case, we independently look for and check the opinion leader. For example, you can select 30 portraits, 30 accounts of your target audience, go to each one, see who they are subscribed to. If you identify the same opinion leaders, move on and collect it all in one document.
From the Editor . Internet Marketing Academy WebPromoExperts is preparing to launch a new course “Working with influencers” . Influencer marketing is a rapidly growing field that will help you learn more about the blogging that is around us everywhere. Follow the announcements!
Tool # 8. Targeted advertising
Targeted advertising is the tool I believe in the most. There is probably nothing to do without targeted advertising on social networks. With the overabundance of content we currently have, getting into the feeds of your target audience is very difficult. Therefore, you need to try, think over, select a budget, test how the target works.
When should you run targeted ads?
- When you have a nicely designed profile, there are at least 9 or 12 cool, “tasty” posts in your account.
- When pinned stories (highlights) are filled in and decorated.
- When posts have at least some likes. You can ask your friends, employees first to like publications.
- A great option is to make some simple competition at the start and put it on advertising so that more people are interested, see and come to your page.
Running Instagram Ads
Better to run ads from an Instagram business account. To do this, go to the general menu and find the “Settings” section. You can switch to a business account in the “Account” section. There you will see a “Switch to Professional Account” button.
The next step is to link to the Facebook page. It is advisable to create a business page for the company on Facebook in advance and link it to your account, but this is not necessary. You can skip this step by clicking “Do not link with Facebook”.
In the Instagram application itself, you can also easily run ads, but with limited functionality. I recommend using the Facebook advertising account or Facebook business manager, there are more functionality and options for advertising settings.
More settings in the Facebook ad account
If your site does not have a Facebook pixel, install the code as soon as possible. Even if you are not going to launch ads yet, you can still “collect people” and in the future show ads to your warm audience, those who have already visited your site and are relatively loyal to your brand.
From the Editor . Internet Marketing Academy WebPromoExperts has updated the course “Instagram Promotion”. Among the new lectures:
- Visual content for feed and stories.
- Video production for Instagram. Organization of the filming process.
- Working with the audience, community management.
We also expanded the material on promotion and advertising of the account, updated services for working with analytics and added more practical part to the tasks for the group.
The April launch starts with a new program, but still at the old price!
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