Congratulations! Your hard work creating a beautiful Instagram page for your agency is paying off in the form of followers. Gaining followers, however, is just the first step towards using Instagram to increase revenue for your business. To make Instagram really “pay off,” you’ll need to turn those followers into clients—and that begins with using the platform strategically.
2017 Digital Marketing Predictions From the Experts
This can be accomplished in a number of ways. The path you choose will depend on your industry, your target customers, and your specific goals. At Visual Country, we are a creative production agency whose clients are global brands and the agencies that support them. Here are some tips that work for our team.
- Your Content Should Exemplify What You Can Do For Your Customers
At the end of the day, content is the key to turning your Instagram audience into customers. Given that our target customers are agency and brand executives, we feel there’s no better way to sell our creative production work than to showcase it in its final form. Therefore, our Instagram account page is used in part as an additional platform to showcase our portfolio.
Our videos can be very subjective, which makes it easy for potential customers to envision something similar for their brand or client.
- Align Your Messaging With Your Audience
A lot of the videos we make are branded ads, so when we repurpose them for our social content, we make sure our captions and overall messaging convey the “#agencylife” with which our target customers are familiar.
On our website, we have very high-level descriptions of each client project, but on Instagram those same videos have captions that are humorous, centered around pop culture, and lighthearted.
- Showcase Your Culture
Give your followers (and potential customers) an inside look at your office, your employees, and your corporate culture. It goes a long way towards “humanizing” your brand, which strengthens loyalty among your audience. It also gives your followers something to comment about and can spur conversations about your business.
2017 Social Marketing Planning Guide
We use our Instagram Stories to host our behind-the-scenes content, such as Q&A’s with our directors, step-by-step BTS storytelling of our shoots and press mentions. Each story we post is planned at least a week prior and is thoughtfully curated. Whatever your content, it should have value beyond a sales pitch and should be just as engaging as the best consumer-generated content.
- Don’t Oversell; Entertain
Make people happy, or trigger an emotion. A post that induces an emotional response is much more likely to be liked and shared. Visual content evokes emotion much faster than text, which requires time and envisioning on the part of the reader; this is a big reason why Instagram can be such a powerful tool for business.
At Visual Country, our goal is for our potential customers to be inspired by our work and want to work with us. Our clients genuinely enjoy our content (that’s why they hire us), so for the clients that do follow us, even after they have worked with us, we make sure our Instagram content is consistently engaging and relevant in order to continue the conversation, stay top-of-mind, and land repeat business.
- Post Consistently and at the Right Times
We have our client work as first priority, but we also make time to test our own creative ideas for our channels to keep our audience engaged, and to explore new styles and techniques. We create about 1-2 creative assets per day and post an average of 3 times per week from our official business Instagram account. This allows us to keep a healthy queue of potential content, which we can then schedule for the future or lean upon during busy periods.
Our target customers typically work regular business hours, so most of our posts go live in the evening when they’re home, in the morning for that quick, before-you-get-out-of-bed scroll, or on the weekends.
- Network and Engage
Follow the right accounts—the trusted publisher of your industry, other agencies, agency professionals, creatives, and businesses that are of interest to your potential customers. Then pay attention to who their followers are, and engage with them. Turn on post notifications for these key profiles and engage quickly while users are still in the app. This results in immediate increased follower count and engagement. Also consider collaborating with other accounts whose audiences are similar or complementary to your own.
- Use Hashtags Wisely
Keep an eye on niche hashtags and jump aboard if the topic is relevant to your brand or industry. Hashtags extend the reach of your posts and let you become part of the wider conversation. If you are creating your own branded hashtag, be sure to make it memorable.
Hashtag searches are also a smart way to keep track of what people are saying about your brand and your industry.
- Know your numbers
Determine which audience members interact most with your account and engage with them. By reaching out, you are making them feel special, and they just may turn into ambassadors for your company. Similarly, understand which types of posts resonate the most with your audience, so that you can feature more like them.
- Leverage Your Bio
Your bio section is the first introduction of your brand when someone lands on your Instagram, and it should succinctly explain who you are and intrigue your potential customer to scroll down and explore your feed. The URL in your bio should ideally lead to a landing page on your website that focuses on having visitors complete a single desired action, such as showing off the breadth of your work or products, signing up for an email list, or downloading a piece of content. Our URL sends users to our homepage, which prominently showcases our reel. We’ve also set our @VisualCountry account as a business profile. Using the tools provided, our contact button serves as our call-to-action.
Instagram is most definitely part art and part science. If done well, it can not only delight and grow your audience with valuable content, but also build real connections with your followers and motivate them to seek out your products and services. As the platform continues to evolve, these nine tactics should remain consistently useful.