In only four years, Instagram has blossomed into a prodigious social media channel with over 200 million active monthly users that post an average of 60 million photos a day.
But as with any social network, digital marketers want to deliver tangible business value to brands in order to prove the network’s impact on the bottom line.
Here are three types of true business value brands can get out of Instagram followers with visual content:
1. Product sales
Instagram is an ideal platform to encourage product sales because it’s visual; it gives brands the ultimate opportunity to show off products and drive purchase decision. After all, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. Instagram’s visual appeal is a very effective way to showcase products and influence purchasing decisions.
Use Instagram to drive product sales by giving your followers the first peek at a new line or product and provide an easy-to-type link allowing them to be the first to buy. Share photos with discount codes that are good for a small window of time to encourage purchases, too. Track code usage in order to understand conversion rate and sales.
When conducting campaigns, utilize UGC to drive product suggestions for purchasing. Consumers are more likely to purchase based on a friend’s recommendation, and what better recommendation than their friend’s Instagram photo showcasing products they too can purchase?
When you run Instagram photo contests and marketing campaigns, you’ll see an increase in your follower count and user engagement. Your CMO will appreciate the increase in brand affinity. But she’ll be even more impressed by measurable return on investment.
Conversions are solid metrics. Triggered responses are an effective tool to build into Instagram campaigns to convert participants into customers.
Set up a custom, automatic response to each campaign entry. This response can contain a link to your campaign terms and conditions and a signup form. Because Instagram does not support hyperlinks in comments, users will need to copy and paste or manually type links into their browser. Make the links short and memorable.
Using the information on the sign-up form, marketers can convert Instagram followers into email subscribers. They can then follow up with applicable discounts and exclusive offers, converting a measurable percentage of participants into customers. Follow-up campaigns that enabling this path to conversion offer a measurable business impact.
3. Site traffic
Whether you’re looking to increase e-commerce sales, create business leads, or build owned audiences, Instagram can help you meet all these goals by driving traffic to your website.
Triggered responses, mentioned above, are a fantastic way to get traffic to your website from Instagram.
L’Oreal Shu Uemera utilized the feature to drive hashtagged content owners to their site to claim a contest entry. In order to actively drive commerce, L’Oréal took it a step further. They associated each individual entry with a product on their site, making it easy for users to purchase the products their friends love and recommend.
Integrating a gallery of UGC Instagram campaign photos on your website is a great way to drive Instagram audiences there, too. Participants love to see their content embraced by brands, and in turn, they can also share with their friends to visit the site or participate in the campaign.
To measure results, make sure that you integrate conversion tracking through your web analytics platform. You’ll learn how many entries convert into sales and how much revenue your campaign generates.
There are many ways to measure success from social media marketing, but perhaps the most tangible and valuable are the metrics discussed above. If brands can share beautiful photos, engage communities and make a profit simultaneously, they win in all senses of the word.
Guest Author: Mairead Ridge is senior manager of marketing at Offerpop, where she leads the content and creative team. Most recently Mairead spearheaded a six week program called Staycation to educate digital marketers on everything from Instagram to budget approvals.
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