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5 Ways to Make Instagram a Successful Marketing Tool

As it’s one of the fastest growing social networks in the marketplace, using Instagram makes sense. It fits into our daily lives – built as a tool for showcasing digital images on the go. Without the confusion of standard social networks, yet easily integrated with them, the network creates a massive marketing opportunity for any brand looking to increase an online presence.

With 200 million global users–75% of whom use the network daily–the opportunities to engage and connect on a branded level are limitless. Check out 5 ways to integrate Instagram into your regular online marketing strategy.

1.    Create a Profile

Introduced last year, Instagram profiles enable brands to create web profiles for the mostly-mobile site. Recently shared photographs, company contact and biographical information, and calls to action can and should be posted to increase brand awareness and interest. While most users access Instagram through mobile devices, the profile extends additional information to those who search online or come to your network page organically. The more rich and enticing the information on a brand’s profile is, the more likely a conversion will take place. Update your profile by accessing your network settings, and be sure to include a link back to your home page, contact information and other relevant data for best results.

2.    Offer Promotions

Promotions can be shared just as easily on Instagram as on other social networks. Create an image overlaid with text with a typography app – like Pic Lab – that announces a promo code or special deal for users. Not only will this drive traffic, but it’s also like a digital ‘thank you’ to your followers that will encourage them to revisit your account in the future. This also increases the sharability element of your content, leading to additional exposure.

3.    Feature Your Followers

For many people, there’s no better way to feel meaningful than to be personally recognized. Brands can take advantage of this, especially on social networks like Instagram. Consider featuring customers of the week or month. Show an image of a client along with a little background while thanking them and offering a special deal. CJ Pony Parts does a great job of this. For example, when a customer purchased new calipers and posted a picture of them, CJ featured the photo on their own site. It was a quick thing for them do to, but the will stick with the customer forever.

4.    Throw a Contest

Create a contest each month that encourages participation. In the beginning of the month, post an image that outlines the rules: daily posts? Themed posts? Photos of customers using products? The possibilities are endless. From there, announce the hashtags and let it run its course. Search those hashtags at the interval of your choice to pull winners, and make the prizes worth the effort. For every entry, your brand will be promoted exponentially through the power of social sharing. This easy, clear-cut method guarantees engagement and increases brand presence across the network.

5.    Highlight Your Team

Consumers want to connect with the brands they do business with; they want to know what goes on behind the scenes and what separates one business from another. Instagram makes this level of brand transparency simple. Take the time to photograph your team filling orders, going on sales calls or working in the office. Share little pieces of “inside” information and give background on the team member featured. This builds your brand’s online story and leads consumers to feel connected.

Instagram is rapidly becoming a network that is essential for online marketing and digital branding. Take the time to become familiar with it and to incorporate the steps above into your marketing strategy.

About the Author

Scott Huntington is a writer and blogger. Check out his new blogoffthethrottle.com.

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