First, we’ll go over organic tactics, or basic ways to boost following and get sales with no ad spend. This approach will take a lot longer so you should combine it with a paid campaign to get awesome results.
- Hashtags, this is the most common advice so I’m not going to over explain it but basically, find 20-30 hashtags that have a lot of people using them and relate to your posts. Pretty simple, but very effective and costs nothing.
- Engaging with others, respond to every comment on your posts and engage with other people in your industry. Again, simple but effective.
- Post at least once a day. There is so much noise on Instagram that you will be lost and forgotten if you’re not posting every day, so even when it feels like a drag, do it.
- Focus on great content, nothing cuts through all of the noise like unique and compelling posts. So you need to have quantity and quality, no it’s not easy but that’s why so few succeed on Instagram. Stay committed to consistent quality and people will pay attention eventually.
Now it’s time to start looking into paid campaigns because this is where you can get really creative. There are 3 main ways to approach paid advertising on Instagram.
- Create a specific ad and pay Instagram to promote it,
- Boost your regular posts by paying Instagram,
- Paid a third person to promote your account known as Influencer Marketing.
Now the reason I said you can creative is because you can do a lot of different things with paid advertising. One of our favorite things we do for our clients is creating awesome branding content, like video or maybe an image carousel, or a lot of other things that aren’t actually trying to sell anything. Instead, it’s more of an overall branding campaign highlighting a cool product, a customized service or any other particular feature that may be attractive to their followers.
In this case, we will add it as a regular post for their followers and then just boost it, sometimes to the automatic audience, but mostly to specific demographics and groups of people interested in certain things that we know correlate to them wanting to buy our clients product or services.
The second great option that performs fantastically well on Instagram is creating an actual sales ad. A formula that works for our team is creating a very eye-catching video promo that’s 15-30 seconds long with a very specific offer at the end of it. We then put it in a carousel next to other images that relate to it and one of those images, preferably the last one will have the offer on it too. Sort of like a “book-end” format.
The above technique works very, very well for straight up sales conversions, but it is not so beneficial for a branding campaign. The trick with sales ads is always testing and making sure you get it right. With sales ads there’s a lot of nuance and subtleties that separate and weaker ad from a great one. Obviously, our MGR Team has a lot of experience with these types of campaigns and that helps our clients save a lot of money in trial and error, but if you do an ad like that make sure you test subtle variations in the copy and images, audiences, etc.
So now let’s talk about the marketing option that everyone loves to talk about but few people actually know how to do or act on, Influencer Marketing. This one is actually really simple but for some reason is hard to implement for a lot of people.
People have 3 main problems when it comes to this: How to find the right influencer for your business, how much to pay them, and how to instruct them to get the right advertising. So let’s take it step by step.
Number one, how to find them. This is easy, go to hashtags that relate to your business and look at the top 9 squares for that hashtag. Those are the most popular 9 posts, click on the profiles of the people who posted them and see if they get good engagement, have enough followers to make it worth it, and if they post content that isn’t in conflict with your brand. And the same goes for geo targeting.
Second, how much to pay them. This is a bit trickier, and you’re going to have to negotiate but on average a $10-$15 CPM is what you’re looking for. It’s not over-priced, but it’s not super low either. But that’s okay because you’re paying for word of mouth advertising which is universally known as the best form. Now in some cases you might not have to pay them you can just offer them and 2 guests free dinner at your restaurant, or any other exchange that works best for your particular line of business.
And third, deciding what they should post. And the answer is you don’t decide. Give basic guidelines if you want, nothing bad towards us and nothing controversial. Just whatever they think will get the most engagement and attention brought to you for your business. Because they know their audience way better than you do, so let them do their thing, after all that’s why they have enough of a following for you to want to pay them in the first place.
So there you have it! At MGR we use the above four techniques among many other ones on a regular basis. Of course, the secret for a good recipe is in the proper mix of ingredients, so have fun and give it a try!
Thank you for reading. Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR). And remember short and quick MGR updates, be sure to subscribe to our Podcast at www.MGREdge.com