Instagram’s move to make its Stories feature more like Snapchat’s has drawn in quite a lot of viewers. With an increase of nearly 50 million users just these past 3 months, Instagram Stories is looking more promising as a way for your business, large or small to entice new followers to watch their content on this platform. I have done some posts in the past about Instagram just because I really have come to find this app as a very effective marketing tool. Being tied to Facebook helps as well. I thought I would re-post some of the great ways you can use Instagram!
#1 Use Your Product Or Service in Real Time
Images can only give so much information about how a product will perform. Instead of relying on photos and product descriptions to sell a product, featuring clips of that item in action can go a long way towards selling it. Some prominent sports clothing companies will feature athletes going through a workout wearing their gear. By featuring your products being used, your audience members have a better idea of what they’re getting into when purchasing from you. Be sure to use the short video feature as well to even further enhance your follower's experience!
#2 Blast Out Limited Promotions
When a product or giveaway is only available for a limited time, it creates a sense of urgency for your audience to act on. Limited-time promotions is an excellent way to get a small burst of activity and engagement with your company’s brand. If you have excess product or some swag like stickers or t-shirts, these are great products to use in a promotional giveaway. These promotions work well because your Instagram audience is already following you since they like what you do and they want to see more of your content.
#3 Use The Story Feature to Connect With Your Followers
Take Instagram Stories at face value and use it to tell a story your audience will share, Creative content works well. Find some stories that reflect your brand you know your followers will enjoy. This will help your viewers associate positive feelings with your company, which in turn prompts them to support your business. Note that if your content is funny, touching, or just simply creative, that content will be quickly shared by your followers and that is exactly what you want as sharing makes your brand go!
#4 Tell News That Is Relevant To your Business In Short Precise Clips
Your Instagram followers likely stick by you because they are interested in the industry you represent. Sharing industry-related news with your followers will help boost your company’s image as an expert in the field, and will show your audience that you care about the industry at large. Trying to promote your own company all the time can make followers feel like you don’t care about their interests. However, sharing relevant news makes your brand feel like part of the community. Keep In mind content needs to be short and precise. Today's Instagram users are typically mobile, young, and with very small attention spans. Get your news out in a 5 to 10 second read.
#5 Go Behind the Scenes
Content exclusivity is a great way to entice your audience to follow you on multiple social media channels. Instagram Stories makes it easy for you to show clips of behind-the-scenes moments during company events. Your followers will feel like they are getting access to something they can’t get anywhere else, and are more likely to follow you actively to make sure they are up-to-date with company happenings.
#6 Do Short Educational Pieces
Social media is a great platform to share educational resources and teaching moments. Travel blogs can use Instagram Stories to teach followers about cultural practices around the world, or host a quick geography lesson. Your brand can take this opportunity to teach your followers about manufacturing processes, or share some interesting facts about events and phenomenons related to your industry.
#7 Feature Calls to Action (CTAs)
Calls to action (CTAs) are a great way to prompt your audience to do something. Use Instagram Stories to prompt your followers to check out your main website or landing page. If you use CTA's typically your engagements will increase greatly!
Many of us have probably used Facebook Live for fun and for personal reasons but how many of you in business have taken advantage of the many benefits of Facebook Live?
Facebook Live is the most sociable and genuine way to communicate your brand and your reputation as a business owner. Why? because it’s in the moment, as it’s happening, uncut and real. It’s real people conversing and engaging with other real people. Facebook Live works as a window into the inside life of a company, beyond polished exteriors and branding. I am not getting any residuals or benefits by promoting Facebook Live but I have used it many times and I like it.
In addition to this, Facebook Live is also user-friendly. Whether you’re an experienced Social Media Manager or a "Mom and Pop" store Facebook Live is easy to use. Whether you plan to stream via your phone or you’ve invested in some cool video equipment, Facebook Live has the capabilities to hook up to many different devices and cameras to ensure high quality and effortless streaming. Here are some great reasons to consider Facebook Live for your next marketing event.
1. Steaming More Than Just Your One Page
Facebook Live’s simulcast function enables Social Media Managers to stream live to more than one Facebook Page at a time. This is a great feature if you manage more than one Facebook page for your business. Perhaps you have multiple locations?
2. Facebook Live's Tools Allow You Advance Promotion Capabilities
Despite being one of many social platforms offering a live experience, Facebook is by far the most developed.
The platform’s built in notification system lets users know when a Page they like is 'going live' - Facebook even has capabilities that enable a Page to promote your event in advance while also letting users set reminders so they don’t forget to tune in.
3. You Can Save Your Broadcast
After finishing a live video, Facebook gives you the option to save the video to your phone’s camera roll, meaning you’ve got it for playback and further marketing use later.
Plus, once your live broadcast is over, your video turns into a standard video that lives on your Facebook Page like any other post, -meaning the content isn’t only available at the time of going live. If you had people who missed your stream broadcast and wasn’t able to tune in, they can catch up later.
4. Native analytics
Facebook, as an overall social platform, has well-developed in-stream analytics. In addition to the standard Facebook Insights video stats, they have live analytics as well to offer information on peak live viewer figures, total reach, reactions, comments and shares. Having access to this user-friendly analytics dashboard makes it easy for you to see what content works and what doesn’t. Checking in on your analytics is vital to the success of your Facebook strategy; knowing what type of live content your audience responds well to means you can create more of it.
5. The Wonderful Facebook Live 4 Hour Steam Time
Facebook live allows users to steam up to 4 hours of live content in a single stream, making it the perfect platform for showcasing more timely events, such as gigs and conferences although most never use that much streaming time due to bandwidth or wi-fi limitations. Apps like Instagram and Periscope, also providing live-streaming functionality but have very limited streaming times in place. These apps are great for spontaneous short live video, people turn to these channels for quick updates and snippet insights of casual and fun stories.
6. Great interaction
Facebook, unlike some of the other competing social channels, allows you to write a caption along with your video. And although its simple, a caption is a great way of enticing viewers.
Facebook’s Live interface also displays comments on the Live post in real-time, enabling the subject of the video to communicate and interact with viewers. The ability to reply to comments and converse in the moment lends itself to creating meaningful customer relationship without parameter.
7. It’s free
In such a busy world, where we're constantly surrounded by brands and logos, advertising and marketing is a must. With billions being spent on forming customer relationships each year, Facebook Live is a refreshing and low-cost way of connecting with an audience.
The "Because I Can Morons"
If you plan to take your brand live, it’s always a good idea to have a Social Media Manager or some staff person on hand to answer any questions or defuse any debate that may erupt in the comments. You can always count on finding someone with nothing else but time on their hands who loves to hide behind their cell phone or desktop and spew negative crap about anything including your event because they can.
Marketers who work with their companies are at different stages when it comes to the digital transformation. Some are just beginning the transformation process, while others are unsure of what it really involves. But according to a new study of US digital transformation leaders, many agree that digital innovation comes with many advantages.
The research from Couchbase, an open-source software company, found that improving customer experiences and increasing profitability of services and products are widely considered some of the important benefits of digital transformation.
For example, more than nine in 10 respondents (95%) thought improving the customer experience was an at least somewhat important aspect of digital innovation, while nearly as many (89%) said the same about creating services and experiences that stand out from the competition.
In fact, a majority of respondents thought each of the digital transformation projects cited in the study was important.
According to the report, many respondents felt that businesses that can’t keep up with digital innovation will survive less than five years before going out of business or being absorbed by a competitor. What’s more, 80% of respondents were already concerned that their own organization could be at risk of being surpassed by a rival.
If you don’t think the digital transformation of your business is not important, just stop and think how newspapers which during the “good old days” thought nothing of pages of paper print and the advertising to go with it. Newspapers were the first to go digital with their content when print edition sales fell sharply. Sadly, due to overkill of ads popping up (which they need for survival) has made many of their loyal readership go elsewhere for less intrusive on line reading.
In summary, if you have not made the digital transformation, when you do, think about your content and your visual images. Think about your customer’s experience when they see the “New You!”
Before you can create any kind of a great Facebook advertising campaign, you need to know what your goals are and how to read those goals. (analytics) You’ll need to measure to determine how successful the campaign is. Avoiding these steps can really take a toll on your ROI. Take advantage and use Facebook Insights.Generating sales: Your approach will vary depending on whether you’re in the B2C or B2B sector. When in the B2C, your best bet is to use page post ads to promote in the news feed, where you can use larger images to promote your products and services. When in the B2B sector, you should use both page post ads and right-hand column ads to focus on acquiring more leads you can nurture through the sales funnel to convert to sales. Your goal is to send more traffic to your website or landing page, and you should target based on interests, age range, and gender keeping in mid that is appropriate to do so.
Building more brand awareness: Use page like ads to get more likes for your page. You should aim for likes only from highly targeted people, so it means using targeting competitors, similar interests, and custom audiences to get newsletter subscribers to like your Facebook page. Exclude people who are already fans of your page to avoid wasting your hard earned advertising bucks.
Getting more engagement on your posts: Use link ads, photo ads, and video ads to get more engagement for your posts. Your ad creatives should be extremely visual with stellar photos. If you’ve built a relevant audience, start by advertising to them. If not, target people who fit your ideal customer persona based on interests, age, gender, and purchasing behaviors.
Getting installs of your mobile app: Use the mobile app ads for install ad type. Once your app is published in the app store, you should implement Facebook event tracking. Use app screenshots in your creative, and target based on the audience you believe to be most interested. Thought check. Mobile apps although a bit costly if you are a small business owner, are great to have but also it is for more on lines sales or retail type businesses-e-commerce. If you are a consultant or in the service type of industry, having a app for smart phones may not work for you.
Keep Desktop and Mobile Ads Separate
Facebook gives you the option to run various advertising in different locations. You can run on mobile newsfeed, desktop newsfeed, right column, and Instagram. It’s a good idea to keep your desktop and mobile ad campaigns completely separate, even if you’re aiming to achieve the same goal. Again, your budget needs to come into consideration.
Keeping them separate allows you to optimize your ads, bids, and conversions based on device. Your ads and calls to action are likely to perform differently on desktop than they would on mobile, so your ad setup needs to fact that in. If you’re using the Power Editor to design and build your ads, then you can choose the device targeting on the ad set menu.
Test Different ImagesImages will draw attention to your ads, but no two images will perform the same way. That’s why you should test the same ad copy with different images, to see which ones your audience responds to better. Then, stop running ad campaigns that use the images with the lower click through rates and conversions, so you can maximize your ROI.
Use Lookalike AudiencesA Facebook Lookalike Audience is a list of users who have similar characteristics to your website custom audience. You can use it to find other people who are already like your customers, or to find people like the ones who are already like your page.
If you want to create a lookalike audience, login to the Facebook ads manager and click audiences. From there, click “Create audience” and choose “Lookalike audience” from the dropdown menu.
Then, choose the source of your look alike audience, such as the people who already like your page, or the people who’ve visited the thank you page on your website. Choose your target company, and select your audience size. The smaller audience size you choose, the more targeted it will be.
Use the Remarketing PixelAny potential customers who’ve visited your website from any traffic source, but didn’t convert, are likely comparing prices and providers. They’re in the research phase and are trying to get the best possible deal. So, by the time they’re ready to actually make a purchase, chances are high they’ve forgotten about you.
The Facebook remarketing pixel allows you to target people who’ve visited your website in the past on Facebook with ads. This is an excellent way to make the most of traffic that originally came to you from AdWords. All you have to do to setup a remarketing pixel is login to your Facebook advertising manager, click on Audiences, then click “Custom Audience and Website Traffic.” From there, you’ll be able to start the process of creating a remarketing pixel.
You’ll need to install the code in the footer of your website. It may take a day or so to start pulling in data, but you can then go back to your website traffic menu and choose “people who visit specific web pages.” From there, you’ll be able to create lists of people who are visiting a certain page on your website, and target them or exclude them from your campaigns. One of the best ways to make use of this is to exclude anyone who has visited your thank you page, since they have already converted. You’re not wasting time or money advertising to them.
Target Your Email ListFacebook lets you create a custom audience based on your email list. Create a .CSV or .TXT file with a single email address per row. Remove any other data your email marketing platform includes in your exported file.
Click “Audiences” and click “Create Audience.” Then choose “Custom Audience” and “Customer List”. From there, you’ll be able to upload your list.
You can also upload a list of phone numbers and target those people on Facebook ads, but it only works if their phone number is listed in their account. You can create a lookalike audience based off of these targeted lists, too.
Schedule Your AdsOn Facebook, you can segment your ads by days and hours, if you have a lifetime budget, rather than a daily budget option. This issue is why many businesses aren’t using this feature. If you use this approach, you’ll need to think of the total budget of your ad set. If you don’t have a successful performance pattern over time, then don’t use this setting. It’s not a good option for the first run of an ad for testing purposes.
If you have an ad you know works, you can set up the days and times you want it o run in the budget and schedule section of your ad set.
Use Carousel AdsIf your audience seems to respond well to a series of product images, you can combine those images into a single ad with the carousel ad. This is a newer ad type that allows you to show more than one image at once within a single ad. Ecommerce brands can use dynamic product ads that allow them to cross-sell complementary products, or even retarget customers who click through to their websites, but don’t make a purchase.
Ecommerce brands can also improve their Facebook marketing strategy using multi-product ads. This allows you to show multiple products in a single ad, giving customers more to choose from. You can also use these ads to show different benefits of a single product. An Adobe study showed these ads are more cost efficient per acquisition, saving you up to 35 percent in cost per click because of higher engagement. And, they can boost your click through rate as much as 50 percent to 300 percent.
Advertise on Instagram, TooSince Facebook owns Instagram, you can create the same ads on Instagram that you can run on Facebook. You can choose to run your campaigns solely on Facebook, or duplicate them on Instagram. If you know your audience can be found there too, then it’s a good way to build more traction.
The key with Facebook is to segment, and run multiple ads on a small scale to see what works before spending more money. Always be testing, and paying attention to your conversions.
Some portions of this article from "Small Business Trends"