As society evolves and adopts new technological and social trends, business have to evolve as well if they do not want to be left behind. Nowadays, it is incredibly common to watch brands older than 50 or 60 years reinvent themselves and try different approaches to target the most powerful demographic that exists currently: millennials.
Millennials communicate mainly through social networks and are only attracted to smart and fresh marketing campaigns that really appeal to what they feel more than what they want. Even if a traditional brand has to offer something that millennials want, if it is not properly tailored to appeal to their emotions, they are not going to buy it. And, naturally, the best way to this is through social networks, such as Instagram. So if you are looking to promote your local business on Instagram to increase your sales and gain a very loyal new demographic, you should try these seven tips:
1. Be active on Instagram
The first rule is to hire an experienced community manager –or become one yourself, if you do not have the money-. Community managers are in charge of posting frequent and relevant content on social networks to gain more organic followers who are actually interested in your product or service.
Regardless of what you have to offer, if someone hears about your brand, searches it on Instagram and discovers you only have posted five or six times in a year, the first reaction is to think that your company must not be that serious and look for a different option.
If you want to promote your business on Instagram, posting relevant content on almost a daily basis is a must.
2. Give a behind-the-scenes tour
Instagram is amazing because it offers many cool features to choose from in order to properly promote your business. And one of the things that Instagram users love the most is a behind-the-scenes tour. The reason for this is that giving your followers a peek of all the process and people who work to make the product or offer the service helps them empathize with the brand and perceive it as more familiar and reliable.
It is cool to have an amazing promotional video that looks like taken out of a movie, but live streaming or posting a regular video of your workshop, your offices or one of the founders directly talking to their customers to express what the brand means to them is almost guaranteed to earn you a loyal customer base.
3. Use hashtags
Hashtags are one of those technological aspects that some old people simply don’t get, but young people love, and they are very useful for two reasons:
First, they actually serve as a subcategory in any social network, including Instagram. By clicking on them, you can find only posts that include that hashtag, which makes it an amazing categorizing solution to gather all the posts from a specific product, service, promotion or idea in the same place. You could create a different hashtag for every product you have so that people can click on it and find them together or you could suggest to your customers to upload their products when they arrive using a particular hashtag, so that everyone sees the quality of the real products bought by real people.
And second, hashtags give a sense of coolness and unity to your product. Instead of just literally using #YourProduct, you could create kind of a movement that transmits the message or attitude that lies behind the actual product.
4. Include a real catalogue, or at least a direct link to one
There is nothing more obnoxious than finding a product you absolutely love on Instagram in the company profile and having to click on twenty links before you get to the online store when you can compare models and prices and actually buy the product.
While some brands choose not to display the price on their Instagram posts, it is always useful to at last include a direct link to your online shop to keep the customer’s interest until they make a real purchase.
5. Sponsor influencers
Influencers are people on social networks who have a lot of followers, but most importantly a lot of influence on them. If they recommend a product or even just wear it without mentioning it, a lot of their fan base is going to try to imitate them and acquire the same thing.
Depending on the size of your business you could sponsor influencers from minor local celebrities with a couple thousand followers to major rock stars with millions, and the deal could be really giving them money to recommend your product or just giving them some products for free so they can wear them in their Instagram posts.
6. Engage with followers
There is nothing cooler than commenting on a post by a brand you like and getting a response from the account. It makes you feel them close and familiar and it certainly could convince you to buy something you weren’t planning to.
Besides, solving questions on Instagram posts is an efficient way to do customer support in a public way, so that everyone with the same question reads the answer.
7. Use Instagram Ads
You should definitely consider investing a little money on ads, no matter what the size of your business is. Ads are a very smart tool that shows pieces of your content to users who might not know about your brand yet but they could be interested in it.
If your content is of high quality and reflects the spirit of your product or service, Instagram Ads are a great way to promote your local business and gain more customers.