Icebreaking On Instagram: How To Gram Your Brand To The Top - Amber Hurdle | Brand Strategy & Leadership

Icebreaking On Instagram: How To Gram Your Brand To The Top

August 08, 2019

Instagram is the MVP for brands. It’s popular, creative, and offers a staggering variety of customization features for brands that want to get seen. But this is no secret — every business knows the value of Instagram, so there’s fierce competition for the top spot.

Getting your brand to the top isn’t impossible. There are plenty of things you can do to drive traffic and exposure to your business on Instagram. Read on for essential tips on how to ‘gram your brand to the top.

Embrace UGC for quality customer-led content

Getting your content seen on Instagram can be tough. Finding that perfect formula of unique and engaging takes time and effort. So, why not lean on your audience instead?

User-generated content (UGC) is a branding quick-win. It’s quick and easy to source and provides you with some authentic content in a pinch.

And authenticity matters— customers respond to content that feels genuine and not overtly marketing-centric. It opens an intimate channel between yourself and your audience that feels real, paying dividends for your branding.

Sourcing UGC is simple too. Create a competition in which your audience submits their best photo centered around a specific theme (e.g. best use of your product, style tips, etc). Select the best snap and share it on your Insta feed (with their consent, of course). Ideally, it shows off your product or service being used, but not exclusively. 

Your best customers are passionate about your brand. Consequently, they’ll be only too willing to share their own UGC with you. If you’re striving for branded UGC, letting your customers showcase their personality is a branding win.

Create a buzz by inviting engagement

Top tip: the Instagram algorithm favors the posts that get engagement — specifically, comments and likes. The more engagement a post gets, the more popular it is. The more popular it is, the more worthwhile it is, so Instagram ranks it higher. Simple as that.

Consequently, actively inviting engagement is a strong way to boost your content to the top of the ‘gram. 

The best and easiest way to elicit engagement is through competitions and giveaways. There’s nothing quite like a prize to get people involved. 

Keep entry as simple as possible. For instance: tag a friend to win, answer this quiz question, comment with your favorite product we sell, and so on. Use competitions sparingly, though; too many will saturate your audience’s feed and put them off. 

Another strong way to invite engagement is simply by asking questions. People love giving their two cents, especially if the question is personal enough. For instance, you might ask your audience their worst holiday experience or their top tips for first-time mothers  — this is all dependent on your business’s industry, of course.

Introduce e-commerce to drive engagement

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of relying on Instagram as their sole business channel. Wowed by its diverse popularity and glittering features, they place all their eggs in the Instagram basket.

 But building a business on Instagram alone is risky. Only recently, the social platform recently closed countless meme accounts with millions of followers, accounts that many people relied on for their income.

Instagram shouldn’t be your only business outlet — instead, it should form part of a multichannel business strategy that spans a variety of online (and, indeed, offline) spaces. 

Instagram easily integrates with your online store to help you expand and diversify your business reach. Shopify, in particular, has pioneered this, adding Shoppable posts and Stories to its social e-commerce offerings. And beyond diversifying your reach, selling products via Instagram in this way also encourages custom and engagement with your brand.

Such integrations introduce a dynamic way to drive engagement with your Insta profile. It gives people a reason to seek out your brand on Instagram and engage with your brand.

Tell your own branded Stories

Getting your content ranking on Instagram can be tricky. But you can circumvent this entirely by leaning on Instagram Stories.

This ephemeral content appears right at the top of your audience’s feed, ready for viewing as soon as they open the app. Consequently, it’s a quicker and easier way to get your brand seen.

Like other Insta content, Stories are also ranked by an algorithm. And like all social platforms, the content that ranks highest is high-quality and invites interaction.

But unlike other Insta content, Stories have an array of Stickers to help elicit this engagement. Questions, music, quizzes, countdowns, and more can all be launched on your Story through dynamic and eye-catching Stickers.

Immerse your brand in live video

Stories appear at the very top of a person’s feed, increasing your brand’s visibility by default (if, as mentioned above, your Stories are engaging enough). But it’s possible to hack Stories themselves by embracing live video.

Live video appears at the front of the Stories feed (if no-one else in your followers’ feeds is live at the same time). As a result, you can get your branded video seen swiftly and with ease.

And the more you produce live content, the more likely your other content gets seen too. It acts as a hook to drive traffic to your own feed

But as with everything on this list, you can’t do live video by halves. It should be creative, unique, and above all, engaging.

Instagram isn’t an essential part of your business strategy — but it’s one well worth having if you’re ready to put in the time. Don’t let your brand wallow at the bottom though. Follow the tips above and get yourself noticed by the people that matter. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it when you finally reap the rewards.

 

Contributed by Kayleigh Alexandra from Micro Startups. Connect with Kayleigh on Twitter.

 

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