Have you ever heard of Instagram? If you have, that's great news: it means you're living among us, in 2021, on planet Earth. For those who haven't, don't worry: the previous sentence is a joke. We're not judging you at all, it's never too late to learn.
It's simple: Instagram is the present and future of social networking. It is an application that is essentially based on sharing visual content with your "followers". Created in 2010, this social network has seen its popularity rise to the point where it now ranks second in the list of the most used social networks worldwide: according to Hootsuite, the website has no less than one billion active users worldwide. This billion loyal members include 200 million individuals who consult at least one business profile per day... Can you guess what we are getting at? Instagram gives many businesses and shops the opportunity to make their voices heard, and you should be no exception. It's a great way to build a virtual storefront, which is especially relevant when you run an online shop - just like YOU, the Print on Demand genius that you are.
... Except that, as we know, you can't necessarily find the time to invest in researching information on how to run a successful Instagram marketing strategy. Don't worry, our team has thought of everything and compiled a list of the most useful tips to improve your presence on the famous social network. Allons-y, Alonzo!
Tip 1 / Introduce yourself properly
The Instagram bio is the mirror of the soul, and we weigh our words. It is essential to make the most of it to give the best first impression. Let's take an eloquent example: our own Instagram account (because, without wishing to boast, we find it rather appropriate).
Just like the above, we advise you to first integrate your business domain into your Instagram name, so that the purpose of your business is understood at first glance.
Then remember to fill in as many of the fields as possible (such as website, e-mail and even telephone number if you feel ready): appearing available and involved with your audience will really work in your favour.
Finally, list your skills and strengths in the bio. If you want to have even more visual impact, don't hesitate to punctuate your list with emoticons, they make it easier to read.
Another good tip: you can't decide which link is the most relevant to fill in the "Website" field? Some tools such as Linktree or Linkinbio are designed just for you. They allow you to gather all the important links concerning your business on a single, easy-to-use page. This will be accessible via a link that you can provide to your audience in the "Website" field of your Instagram profile.
Tip 2 / Think about your content visually
As mentioned above, Instagram is an application for sharing visual posts. You don't have to be a photographer or filmmaker to shine on it, but keep in mind that on this app, EVERYTHING revolves around the visual aspect: so remember that it's important to have the text accompany your illustrations rather than the other way around. Big speeches should be avoided and will have the counterproductive effect of putting your audience off. Your Instagrammer's credo? "A picture is worth a thousand words".
Tip 3 / Stay consistent in your planning
The very first interest of being present on social networks is... To be present, quite simply. As an e-tailer, think of your Instagram profile as a way to show that you exist, that you are part of your business and that you are available to your audience. To do this, remember to post regularly: enough to show your presence without overwhelming your followers with a mountain of content. For a Print on Demand online shop, we recommend starting with one or two posts per week.
Tip 4 / Diversify formats
This is a far cry from the early days of Instagram, when the platform only allowed us to post traditional photos and videos. Now you can find different formats to use:
- Feed publications : These will be visible on your profile as well as on the home page of your subscribers. It can be a photo, a video, but also a set of visual contents that can be consulted in turn within the same publication (also called a Carousel). Given their perennial nature, these publications are most effective when they present content that is in line with your brand image, informative and entertaining at the same time.
- Reels: A multi-clip video service, ranging from 15 to 30 seconds in length, which can be viewed on your profile as well as on the exploration tab reserved for them on the application.
- IGTV: Similar to the Reels, the aim here is to produce longer videos, always filmed in portrait orientation. This is a useful feature for online shops, as it allows you to embed the link to one of your products directly into your video.
- Stories : These are ephemeral photos or videos that have a limited life span of 24 hours. Viewable from your profile or your subscribers' homepage, they are extremely useful for sharing limited or exclusive content, behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business, etc. This format is ideal if you want to convey an authentic and accessible image of your company.
Instagram's algorithm is complex, but it has been pointed out that it does take into account diversifying its types of posts. It would be a shame not to take advantage of this, wouldn't it?
Tip 5 / Set up Instagram Shopping
We recently wrote about the m-commerce phenomenon in an article:
This phenomenon shows that there is a desire to centralise services and to minimise the duration of the purchasing act. This is particularly evident with the shop option directly integrated into the profile and the specialised shopping tab developed by Instagram: more than a social network, the platform has the appearance of a marketplace. It now makes it possible to read customer reviews in the comments, find out about delivery times and order in two clicks, all in one place. Interestingly, Instagram users are generally particularly inclined to shop on mobile. According to Hootsuite, 70% of them do so... This is a great opportunity not to be missed.
To join the movement, there's nothing tricky: go to the application's settings, make your profile a "Business" account, check the "Shop" option and then manage it from the Facebook Business suite.
Tip 6 / Engage the crowd with CTAs
CTA stands for "Call To Action", a concept that is widely popular in marketing due to its reputation as a technique that combines simplicity and effectiveness. The principle is simple: engage your audience with incentives in the form of a directive or question.
The power of Call To Action is simply enormous: it attracts attention and engages your audience. Because nothing speaks louder than examples, here is a list of typical CTAs, each with a different strategic purpose:
- Get yours before it's too late! (Encourages purchase)
- What do you think about this topic? (Promotes engagement)
- Go read this article, the link is available in our bio! (Encourage to read the content)
In addition to being terribly effective, CTAs have one important quality: they are free. It's a no-brainer when you're an entrepreneur running an emerging business. We advise you to insert one per Instagram caption; the idea is to put all the chances on your side without going into an aggressive communication.
Tip 7 / Make hashtags rain
You're probably familiar with hashtags, those clickable keywords preceded by the hash key (#), usually written without special characters or spaces. Like CTAs, they are extremely useful and wonderfully free. They will allow you to increase the reach of your publications and, by extension, your brand.
And how does this happen, you ask? Each of the hashtags you use allows your post to be included on the page reserved for that hashtag in the "Explore" tab of the application. The point of this is to be visible to an audience that doesn't follow you, and thus to expand your public.
There are several types of hashtags available to you: those related to your field of activity (e.g. #clothing), your niche(#geekclothing), seasonal hashtags(#winterholidays2021), location hashtags(#newyorkbrand), and many others.
We won't go into detail about the Instagram algorithm, we don't want you to end up like this lady:
However, it is advisable to use the 30 hashtags that Instagram allows us to include in posts to maximise your chances. Also, make sure you stay relevant in your choices: the algorithm doesn't like it when you try to trick it into getting more views.
The world of social media may seem superficial at first glance, but it presents many challenges for brands looking to make a name for themselves at the lowest cost. Rising popularity, built-in m-commerce options, visual identities at the centre of your strategy: all these features make Instagram the ideal marketing partner for your Print on Demand shop. Now that you've got the basics down, it's time to start implementing your Instagram strategy. Remember: we believe in you.