7 pieces of friendly advice to promote your brand on Instagram

Communicate well, sell better.

Instagram, a visual social network to promote your brand of customised t-shirts in Print on Demand.

Have you ever heard of Instagram? If so, here's some 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 don't judge you at all, it's never too late to learn.

It's simple: Instagram embodies the present and future of social networks. It is an application essentially based on sharing visual content to its "followers" (i.e. its subscribers). Created in 2010, this social network has seen its popularity climb to the second position in the list of the most used social networks worldwide: according to Hootsuite, the site has no less than one billion active users in the world. This billion loyal members would include 200 million individuals who consult at least one business profile per day... Can you feel where we're going with this? Instagram provides an opportunity for many businesses and stores 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 a cloud store - just like YOU, the Print on Demand genius that you are.

... Except, we know, you can't necessarily find time to invest in researching information on how to properly conduct an Instagram marketing strategy. No worries, our team has thought of everything and compiled a list of the most useful tips to improve your presence on the famous social network. Let's go, Alonzo!

Tip 1 / Introduce yourself properly

The Instagram bio is the mirror of the soul, and we weigh our words. It's essential to make the most of it to give the best of first impressions. Let's take a telling example: that of our own Instagram account (because, without wishing to brag, we find it rather appropriate).

Customised T-shirts on Instagram, thanks to print on demand.

Just like what can be seen 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, email and even phone number if you feel ready): looking available and involved with your audience will really work in your favor.

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 reading easier and more fluid.

Another good tip: you can't decide on the most relevant link 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 page will be accessible through 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 app 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: so remember that it's important to have text accompany your illustrations rather than the other way around. Big speeches should be avoided and will have the counterproductive effect of discouraging your audience. Your Instagrammer credo? "A picture is worth a thousand words".

Tip 3 / Stay consistent in your planning

Organise your posts on social networks to promote your POD online shop.

The very first interest of being present on social networks is... To be present, quite simply. As an e-merchant, think of your Instagram profile as a way to show that you exist, that you are part of your field and that you are available to your audience. To do this, consider posting regularly: enough to show your presence without swallowing your followers under a mountain of content. For a print store, we recommend starting with one or two posts per week.

Tip 4 / Diversify formats

This is a far, far cry from the early days of Instagram when the platform allowed us to post only traditional photos and videos. Now you can find different formats to exploit:

  • Feed" publications : These will be visible on your profile as well as on your subscribers' homepage. It can be a photo, a video, but also a set of visual contents that can be viewed in turn within the same publication (also called "Carousel" publication). 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: Multi-clip video service with a duration of 15 to 30 seconds, viewable on your profile as well as on the exploration tab reserved for them on the application.
  • IGTV: Similar to the Reels, the goal here is to produce longer videos, always filmed in portrait orientation. This format is very useful for online stores: you can directly integrate the link of one of your products in your video.
  • Stories : These are ephemeral photos or videos whose life span is limited to 24 hours. Viewable from your profile or from 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 post types. 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:

How to adapt to the rise of m-commerce
M as in marvelous, but above all, M as in mobile.

This phenomenon shows that there is a desire to centralize services and to minimize the duration of the purchasing act. This is particularly evident with the store option directly integrated into the profile and the specialized shopping tab developed by Instagram: more than a social network, the platform has the appearance of a marketplace. It now makes it possible to view customer reviews in the comments, find out about delivery times and order in 2 clicks, all in one place. Interesting point: Instagram users are generally particularly inclined to shop on mobile. According to Hootsuite, this is the case for 70% of them... This is a great opportunity not to be missed.

To join the movement, there's nothing tricky: go to the application 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

The little name CTA refers to the term "Call To Action", a widely popular concept in marketing thanks to its reputation as a technique that combines simplicity and effectiveness. The principle is simple: it's about engaging your audience with incentives in the form of a directive or a question.

The power of Call To Action is simply considerable: it attracts attention and engages your audience more. Because nothing speaks louder than examples, here's a list of typical CTAs, each serving a different strategic purpose:

  • Get yours before it's too late! (Encourages purchase)
  • What do you think about this topic?
  • 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 major 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 / Hashtags like it's raining

You're probably familiar with hashtags, those clickable keywords preceded by the pound sign (#), usually to be 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 you to integrate your publication to the page reserved for this hashtag in the "Exploration" tab of the application. The interest is to be visible to an audience that doesn't follow you, and thus to enlarge your audience.

There are several types of hashtags available to you: those related to your field of activity (for example, #clothing), your niche(#geekclothing), seasonal hashtags(#winterholidays2021), location hashtags(#newyorkbrand), and many others.

We're not going to go into detail about the Instagram algorithm, we don't want you to end up like this lady:

Managing the Instagram algorithm when you have a print-on-demand business.

However, you should know that it is advisable to use the 30 hashtags that Instagram allows us to integrate into posts to optimize your chances. Also, be sure to stay relevant in your choices: the algorithm does not like at all that we try to trick it to get 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 possible cost. Rising popularity, built-in m-commerce options, visual identities at the center of your strategy: all these features make Instagram the perfect marketing partner for your Print on Demand store. Now that you've got the basics, it's time to dive right in and implement your Instagram strategy. Remember: we believe in you.