How To Establish A Strong Brand Presence On Instagram To Drive Sales

Published on: March 22, 2024
Last Updated: March 22, 2024

How To Establish A Strong Brand Presence On Instagram To Drive Sales

Published on: March 22, 2024
Last Updated: March 22, 2024

With 80% of marketers worldwide already using Instagram and 66% planning to increase their share of Instagram usage for marketing, conveying your message on this noisy platform can be rather challenging.

Still, brands that have carefully defined their goals and target audiences successfully leverage the power of this network.

First, it’s essential to understand that goals — raising awareness, increasing the follower count, boosting traffic, etc. — these can fluctuate over time, with one objective taking precedence over the other.

Still, the most common goal of using social media — sites under the Meta umbrella included — is to drive sales.

For this, it is vital to understand your target demographics’ goals, aspirations, and pain points — without this step, brands will never get far.

Assuming you already know your perfect buyers, let’s look at some effective strategies that can help establish a strong brand on Instagram, inspire loyalty from your followers, and, eventually, attract new audiences of engaged buyers.

Prioritize Quality Content

Quality content is the cornerstone of any branding efforts, and social media promotion is no exception.

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Instagram has always been a highly visual platform, but today, video plays an even more important part than stunning pictures.

The trend will persist for as long as Instagram reels compete with TikTok video shorts — and so far, it’s a close tie in terms of reach and popularity. 

On the other hand, Instagram does excel at sheer numbers — and catching the video tide is a good decision for most brands, especially when targeting GenZ, who just love video content. Some tips that can help you use its power to the fullest include:

  • Using built-in Instagram editing software and filters for a ‘native’ effect;
  • Showcasing behind-the-scenes content (when available) to promote authenticity and build closer connection with the followers;
  • Balancing the right combo of pictures and videos that appeal to the brand’s target demographic.

This last tip is obviously about trial and effort — brands will have to closely monitor the results of their campaign to figure out which combination is that golden balance.

Still, marketers should aim for diversified content. Fortunately, Instagram supports reels, stories, and other content types that leave much room for experiment — so do it and measure the results!

Partner Up With Influencers

Partnering up with the right influencers is one of the most effective Instagram lead-generation strategies.

Here are some proven stats to help you on the path of choosing the best influencers for your brand:

  • 44% of markers choose small influencers because they are less expensive.
  • The number of brands investing in influencer marketing has grown exponentially, and many plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2024.
  • Over 60% of consumers prefer to buy products recommended by influencers they trust.
  • GenZ and millennials both trust social influencers, but their trust in small and mid-influencers is higher than in celebrity advertising.
  • Roughly a third of social media users discover new products through influencers, and about 78% of users have purchased products after influencer recommendations.
  • E-commerce brands are especially successful with influencer marketing on Instagram.

With this in mind, it makes sense to tap into the world of micro-influencers — not only because small content creators drive the most engagement from their followers but also because collaborating with small influencers is usually more affordable than engaging creators with a high following. 

Still, the most important tip when choosing the best influencers for your brand is to search for people who share your company’s mindset and values.

It’s ok to explore adjacent business niches, especially with commodity goods that do not have any narrow focus — food, clothes, small electronics, etc. 

But even with more specialized products, like professional hiking equipment, there is room for experiment.

For example, instead of reaching out to professional cyclists, you can search for Instagram influencers who promote active lifestyles, healthy diets, or camping in nature.

This will give you an excellent opportunity to expand your reach by attracting followers in adjacent niches. 

Leverage The Power Of UGC 

On Instagram, user-generated content (UGC) and influencer marketing go hand-in-hand.

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In fact, the growing popularity of micro-influencers keeps blurring this already thin line. One of the surest ways to inspire a wave of UGC posts is to start an Instagram contest. 

A good real-life example here is Mint, a personal budget app that sky-rocketed the number of its followers with a #MyMintMoment campaign.

The idea was to post photos of important moments in a user’s life — a wedding, buying a dream house, earning a promotion, graduating, or even getting a new pet. 

The app did offer a monetary prize of $1000 for the pic that got the most engagement. However, it should be clear to everyone that money was not the primary incentive for users to share their proudest moments.

Mint understood what drives Instagram users to share their life moments online and made full use of this knowledge to boost brand awareness and acquire new followers. 

More functional tips to inspire UGC creation about your brand include:

  • Creating unique, catchy hashtags, like RedBull’s #givesyouwings, to encourage more tags of your brand;
  • Celebrating user testimonials and reviews and sharing them on branded accounts like Dove does;
  • Encouraging users to create videos using your brand products, like GoPro — an Instagram champion of leveraging the power of UGC. 

Use Ads Strategically

Instagram advertising is a very powerful branding and marketing tool if used wisely.

Generally, it is possible to build a natural following and drive sales without paid posts, but carefully targeted ads can help enhance this effect.

The platform’s built-in features offer brands multiple capabilities to promote their products to wide audiences.

Here, businesses are advised to pay special attention to the Instagram Shopping feature that allows tagging brand products in UGC posts. This helps spread the message and makes shopping easier for the users. 

The ‘classic’ Instagram ads also offer plenty of customizable targeting parameters and advanced post-campaign analytics that can be useful in planning your next campaign and engaging new audiences.

Once again, knowing your audience’s pain points can help attract new buyers with a carefully targeted ad campaign.

Another (often overlooked) feature of the platform is Instagram Live. With its help, businesses can host live streams with questions and answers about their products, inform users about new product features, or simply entertain their followers — in a balanced combination that works best for each business. 

As long as brands keep their message and posting schedule consistent, combining paid and natural posts can help gain new followers and drive sales.  

These are some of the most effective branding strategies that have already proven effective for many brands — on Instagram and other social sites.

The last tip would be to leverage the power of several social platforms favored by your audience. TikTok, for example, has an equally strong potential for influencer and UGC marketing — and there can be more sites for reaching your ideal buyers. 

But, of course, you have to create unique content for each social platform, so if your current business budget can only cover just one or two sites at the moment, Instagram is an excellent choice to focus on right now.  

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Written by Allison Langstone

Allison produces content for a business SAAS but also contributes to EarthWeb frequently, using her knowledge of both business and technology to bring a unique angle to the site.