How to Build a Strong Instagram Brand
- Find Your Niche
Before you begin creating your Instagram account, it’s important to find where you fit into the Instagram world. While, yes, Instagram is skewed toward women 18-34, that doesn’t mean you have to try to fit into that demographic. If your product or service is geared toward more manly-men, then follow them, and companies they’d be interested in, and make sure you’re getting in front of them. Not just the women.
- Develop a Cohesive Theme
This needs to be decided before you ever post a thing. You need a consistent ‘look’ when people look at your Instagram. This might be a theme, or a color scheme, or anything that gives it a singular look. Some companies that are really good at this are Patagonia and GoPro. They both are centered around adventure and use action shots. Some people, Like Frank Bod, are more focused around colors or material.
Frank Bod focuses on pinks and browns (particularly coffee grounds). They also put the same white boarder around every photo. Because of this strategy, their Instagram has a standard look from beginning to end.
- Find Influencers
Almost every industry has people on Instagram who have a huge following. They usually have around 50-100k followers. These are the people you want to mimic. And I don’t mean post the same photos every day, but just steal from the way they talk about products or services. It’s likely this language appeals to the same people you are trying to get tot follow you.
If you’re a big hitter in the makeup game, then this is the kind of influencer you want to reach out to. 3.5M followers, holy smokes!
- Talk to Your People
Once you do start to get a following, it’s likely you will have people comment on your photos. When you can, respond to this. Good or bad, it helps create a relationship if your followers feel like you’re a living, breathing human.
- Let People Use Your Products
Companies will sometimes give free product to their influencers, or will do giveaways to their followers. While this does create positive rapport, they really do this in hopes that those people will post pictures using their products with glowing reviews. This is the best way to market your products on Instagram, because praise is always best served by someone other than yourself. Give your followers a chance to do your work for you.
- Don’t Underestimate the #Hashtag
Often you see a person with 100 hashtags and we think ‘that’s so pointless, nobody is going to read those’. And people don’t really. The point of a good hashtag is actually to reach out to people all over the world who are interested in the same industry, using that same hashtag. Never underestimate the power of some good hashtags, this might be the thing that gets you off the ground in the beginning.
- Where Ya At?
We’re talking about geo-tagging. You have the option to put a location on your photos. DO THIS! People love to support things near them. If you’re at a coffee shop, a concert venue, or a new city, let people know.
A second advantage to this, the places you tag are usually going to like your stuff and maybe even repost your picture. Talk about a great way to reach a ton more followers than you were!
- Link Up and Make Friends
Networking is nothing new, so don’t forget to do it on Instagram, too. There are going to be other companies that have the same demographic as you. Make friends with them instead of seeing them as indirect competitors. For example, if I was an airline, I would team up with a hotel chain. We could plan giveaways and join forces to reach more followers together, than we could apart.
Another way to do this is to partner with a somewhat relevant cause. Philanthropy not only helps people in need, but also increases your brand’s reputation. For instance, if you are a produce or farming company, a cause that feeds the hungry is extremely relevant to your brand.
Delta Delta Delta
TriDelta teamed up with The Clothesline Project to allow people to express their emotions on domestic violence. Definitely relevant to college-age females, aka their demographic. Almost every sorority has a cause they support like this.
- Up Your Photo Game
Gone are the days of running an Instagram account with just your phone camera. Today, high-quality shots are necessary to create dynamic images that stop followers while they’re scrolling through their feed. ATTENTION: These pictures still need to look organic. Followers today can smell an advertisement from a mile away.
- Pretty the Pig
Look, not every product or service is attractive. Sometimes, you have to find a way to create a picture that is both beautiful and highlights your product somehow. Some great examples of this are done by No Your City and FedEx.
No Your City
These photos don’t even necessarily tell you what they do, but that’s okay, because once they have someone’s interest they’re going to read the caption and look at the bio.
You almost can’t even spot the FedEx truck in this picture, but you for sure notice the beautiful avenue sunset. This is a perfect example of making your service look pretty.
- Don’t Overdo It
When you’re excited about building your brand, this can be hard. However, resist the urge to post any more than once every other day. Over-posting on Instagram, unlike almost any other platform, is a big no-no. Posting often and consistently is still a good idea, just find that perfect balance.