Instagram has grown leaps and bounds since its release. In fact, the platform keeps offering a plethora of new features and it’s not showing any sign of slowing down.

This means businesses should establish a strong Instagram presence. They must think of the platform as a marketing channel and learn how to market on Instagram.

To have an edge over your competition, you first need to get to know the platform. Secondly, know what kind of content your audience love. Lastly, learn creative Instagram marketing strategies.

Why Is Instagram Marketing Changing the E-commerce Landscape?

Instagram uses visuals – photos or videos. This provides plenty of opportunities for businesses. For one, they can easily build an online presence through visual branding.

Second, the number of Instagram users continue to grow. More importantly, these users are more likely to engage than other social media users. This allows brands to reach new audiences.

Although with the latest changes in Instagram algorithm showed a drop in engagement, the platform still has higher engagement rates as compared to Facebook.

Third, Instagram users are also online shoppers. According to recent studies, consumers are now relying on influencers and personalities to make informed purchasing decisions. Users are buying stuff they saw on their feed.

That’s the power of Instagram marketing.

Need more reasons why Instagram marketing is a game-changer?

The platform continues to evolve. They leverage the user’s shopping mindset, developing features that are highly beneficial for businesses. Here are a few:

  • Adding links to Instagram Stories
  • Shoppable Instagram posts
  • Soon, the shopping experience will start and end on Instagram.

With that said, if you don’t start learning how to market on Instagram, you’re seriously missing out!

It’s the perfect place to:

• Build brand awareness
• Connect with the audience
• Launch new products and services

How To Market On Instagram Without Being Salesy

The fact is, even if you’re not on Instagram, your competitors are!

With that said, you should start stepping up your game. Simply having an account set up won’t translate to sales. You need to create a feasible Instagram marketing strategy.

We’ve come up with a comprehensive list. This will help you:

  • Build a strong online presence
  • Grow your account
  • Convert site visits to sales

How To Market On Instagram #1: Create Branded Hashtags

Hashtags make your content easy to find. However, you shouldn’t add just about any hashtags on your post.

When using hashtags, keep your brand identity in mind. Additionally, you must also think about your audience.

Take for example Coca-Cola’s “Share A Coke” campaign. With over 665K posts shared, this is one of the best marketing campaigns by the brand.

#shareacoke

They asked consumers to share photos and stories. This is where their branded hashtag, #shareacoke, comes into play.

What they did right?

  1. They gave full creative control to consumers. The campaign didn’t feel like a promotion at all.
  2. The branded hashtag and slogan is a powerful CTA. It encouraged consumers to buy the product and share their stories online.

Start-up brands can also use hashtag campaigns to grow their account. Take Krave Beauty for example. They are a new skincare brand founded by Liah Yoo.

This brand used the #PressReset branded hashtag to promote their brand’s advocacy. They aim to “press reset” on skincare routine.

This start-up company leveraged on its brand principle to come up with a branded hashtag. In doing so, they increase brand awareness. Additionally, they also encourage loyalty among customers.

How To Market On Instagram #2: Utilize Instagram Stories

Use Instagram Stories to humanize your brand. Add fun and interesting Stories. Since so many users watch it, your brand will stay top of mind.

So how do you do it?

Interact With Your Audience Using Polls

This is an excellent Instagram marketing strategy. For one, adding polls to your stories boost engagement. Second, it makes your audience feel like a part of something.

Take this Instagram Story from Delish. They ask their followers their type of egg. It caught their audience’s attention and they can’t help but answer!

Promote New Arrivals

More and more users are watching Instagram Stories instead of their feed. With that said, use it to promote your new products. Provide your audience with a sneak peek of what’s in store for them.

Look at this Instagram Story from Modcloth.

What they did right?

  • They made it known to their audience what the succeeding Stories are all about.
  • The next Stories showcased their new collection.
  • To make it easy for the audience to shop, they added the Swipe Up feature.
  • In the end, they added a call to action.

Get Audience Input While Promoting Brand Advocacies

Building an online presence means establishing your brand identity. What makes your brand unique? Your mission and vision? Your advocacies?

What does your brand stand for?

The answers to these questions are essential in coming up with an Instagram marketing strategy. Focusing on these helps build trust. And when consumers trust your brand, they’re more likely to patronize your products.

So how to market your business on Instagram without being preachy? Interact with your audience!

Take Summer Fridays for instance. They are marketing their products as cruelty-free and vegan. Plus, they also claim that their packaging is recyclable.

What they did right?

  • First, they posted these Stories during Earth Day which helped gain traction.
  • Second, they informed consumers about their brand’s contribution.
  • Lastly, they asked the audience their own contributions to Earth Day. This boosts engagement and creates buzz around the brand.

Use User Generated Content

Another Instagram marketing strategy is to use UGC in your Stories. This saves time in editing content to fit your feed. You can keep it light, casual, and fun.

More importantly, user-generated content can serve as positive feedback regarding your brand. This pushes would-be customers to buy your products.

Take this example from Klean Kanteen. They added UGC in their Stories. Each post highlighted the different ways to use their products. Plus, they marketed that these products are reusable.

How To Market On Instagram #3: Run A Contest

According to studies, Instagram accounts that hold contests grow 70% faster than accounts that don’t. Additionally, 91% of content with more than 1K likes or comments are contest-related.

A well-thought-out contest can attract users. It’s a highly effective Instagram marketing idea in terms of boosting engagement.

What you’ll need:

  • Simple mechanics: Take a look at the Instagram contest guidelines before running a contest. After that, you’ll need to create simple steps for entry. Example: liking, commenting, or tagging a friend is equal to an entry.
  • Start and end period: Clearly state when the contest starts and when it will end. This prevents redundant questions later on.
  • Prize: The prize should be related to your brand. Doing so will increase brand awareness.

This post from Glory Bee Foods is a great example of how to market your business on Instagram.

What they did right?

They partnered with different accounts to come up with a coveted prize. In doing so, all involved accounts were able to promote their products.

This strategy helps brands reach new audiences. As a result, it increases brand awareness and grows their account.

You don’t have to run contests on a weekly basis. If done right, once in a while is enough. Instagram contests are a great way to market on Instagram as well as increase your follower count and engagement.

Need another tip on how to market on Instagram? Consider affiliate marketing.

This Instagram marketing strategy has opened a lot of opportunities for brands and influencers. It allowed these two parties to creatively work together.

But First, What Is Affiliate Marketing?

This is a strategy where an influencer collaborates with a company or brand and promote their products. Of course, they will be paid for this promotion. It’s a strategy that utilizes word of mouth. Plus, it’s mutually beneficial for both parties.

How does it work?

The influencer earns a commission for any product sold or each sign up made through the affiliate link. This URL link is customized with a unique affiliate code. With that said, the brand needs to work with an affiliate network to properly track sale.

Is Affiliate Marketing Beneficial For Brands?

Learning how to affiliate market on Instagram opens a plethora of benefits. Here are a few:

Boost Brand Awareness

When collaborating with an influencer, they’ll start incorporating your products into their feed. Upon posting, they’ll also tag your brand. So when their followers engage with the post, your brand will be top of mind.

This is a win-win situation. Why?

For one, your brand will be featured on Instagram. Second, when a user clicks on the affiliate link, you’ll gain more website traffic. If a sale is made, the influencer will be paid.

Increase In Revenue

As previously mentioned, users are relying on influencers when making purchasing decisions. That’s why word of mouth Instagram marketing is highly efficient.

With the continued increase of Instagram users, brands and affiliate marketers are bound to make a profit out of these partnerships.

Developing Mutually Beneficial Relationships

Affiliate marketing fosters a mutually beneficial relationship with influencers. For instance, you worked with an influencer. This partnership generated sales and increased brand awareness. Of course, you’ll want to work with said influencer again.

With that said, affiliate marketing encourages on-going collaborations instead of a one-time promotion.

So how do you market your business on Instagram through affiliate marketing?

How To Affiliate Market On Instagram

Affiliate marketing means taking advantage of the power of influence. You can collaborate with different influencers to reach new audiences.

However, there are more strategies on how to affiliate market on Instagram.

Choose The Right Instagram Partners

It’s important to elaborate on the importance of trust. When partnering with an influencer, look into the level of trust they built with their followers.

Affiliate marketing means directing that trust in your brand.

  1. Look for influencers who offer brand value. They should also have a positive influence on their followers.
  2. The Influencer should not be involved in any negative issues. Remember, partnering with an influencer means associating your brand with theirs.
  3. Choose users with around 2,000 to 15,000 followers. These followers should be real accounts and not bots. Additionally, take into account their engagement rate. This means their posts should at least have 100 likes per photo.
  4. Their audience must be interested in your brand or product. It wouldn’t make sense to collaborate with an influencer whose audience aren’t your market.

Join An Affiliate Marketing Network

If you’re still learning how to affiliate market on Instagram, it’ll be beneficial to join affiliate networks. But what are affiliate networks?

You can think of these networks as a marketplace. This is where you will advertise your affiliate program. More importantly, these networks provide a tracking software for your partners. This means you don’t have to build your own.

Why is this important?

That’s because affiliates, or influencers, want to be sure that they get commission for the sales they generate.

Note: Affiliate networks charge fees. With that said, you need to consider whether this additional cost is worth it.

Aside from Affiliate Links, Use Coupons, Deals, and Promotions

Discounted prices are always attractive to users.

That’s why you need to take advantage of coupons and deals. This is one of the best affiliate marketing strategies to boost sales.

Take this partnership from RedBubble and Alexandra, a bookstagrammer, for example. Alexandra posted her code in one of her recent posts. When consumers use this code, they’ll get 15% off on their order.

So Which Instagram Marketing Strategy Caught Your Eye?

There are plenty of creative strategies on how to market on Instagram. With that said, there’s no excuse for your feed to look too salesy.

Remember, Instagram is a platform that continues to evolve. In fact, it’s turning into a more developed marketing platform as the years go by. That’s why brands need to build a strong Instagram presence.

Take advantage of Instagram marketing strategies and learn how to affiliate market on Instagram. Additionally, they should understand its ever-changing marketing landscape.

A strong presence on Instagram opens a lot of opportunities. Whether it’s growing your account, boosting brand awareness, or increasing revenues. It just takes time, creativity, and effort!