For many of us, the world has always revolved around advancing technology. The only reference to a travelling salesman comes from old movies or the performing arts. Back then, a salesman had to master the art of rhetoric and charisma and sell himself as much as his product. The road was long and the day was hard, travelling door-to-door to greet an unwilling audience. Today, we have a much easier platform; one that is user-friendly, intuitive and exponentially efficient. 

Enter: Instagram. Instagram has quickly become one of the hands-down best applications to use if you want to market your business. Whether you are a small business owner, or potential entrepreneur, Instagram is an essential addition to your toolkit. The marketing rulebook has changed significantly and is much different than traditional marketing, so if you feel confused or overwhelmed by it all, do not fret! You are not alone. Here are a few tips to market your Instagram account and get started.

Suggest your product

Instagram has one billion users. The highest percentage of users are between the ages of 24-34 and are a pretty even mix between men and women. These people are decision makers, free thinkers, and influencers. This generation despises traditional marketing and all the pressure and awkwardness that goes along with it.  Have you ever been approached by a salesman? It is usually an uncomfortable encounter, ending in frustration and harsh words.  

Traditional marketing is not the approach to take in today’s industry. More and more businesses are looking at an organic marketing strategy to get the job done and to get real Instagram followers. The key to organic is to create the effect of desire. Make it your audience’s decision to buy something, without them knowing you led them there. Suggest a sale by creating a need that wasn’t necessarily there before. Suggest products that complement your products. 

Create desire organically, this generation is tired of being pushed like cattle into a decision they don’t want to make. Subtle suggestion, influential partnerships and interactive, branded hashtags are all new techniques you can use to build your brand on Instagram.

Don’t stop producing content

Back in the day, once your word-of-mouth referrals dried up, it was time to start cold-calling and believe me, no one enjoyed cold-calling people and pushing their products on them. Today’s equivalent of referral drought is when an Instagram account stops producing new content, which you can’t do if you want to get more followers. A billion people use this platform! By not posting enough, your content won’t reach far enough and you won’t reap the exponential benefit that the internet specializes in. 

The last thing you want in this extremely competitive environment is a stagnant feed or dated posts. It is so, so important to know how and when and what to post. Build habits, build routine, and learn to love creating quality content that people will enjoy. 

The best part is that not all posts need to be advertising! Have fun and make your brand relatable by partnering with key influencers, using shoutouts to identify strong role models or agencies, and building an identity you are proud of. Humor is key! A well-placed jibe, or self-deprecating remark will cause you to stand out in a world of bots and automation. Try to make your IG account more than one-dimensional.

Use Appropriate Hashtags

Hashtags are like webs that connect people with similar values or experiences. A well-placed hashtag can make your business, just like a poorly-placed or inappropriate hashtag can break it. Do some research and look into what other, similar brands are hashtagging. There is a fine balance here, spamming irrelevant hashtags can be damaging to your brand. 

Check out your brand’s role models, who is succeeding in your industry, and do a little hashtag digging! Use them sparingly but with purpose, this will give your posts an extra boost, and be super effective.

Applications like Instagram have changed the face of marketing and industry branding. Don’t be left in the dark ages; make sure you learn the rules, and manipulate them to your advantage. What is your target demographic saying? What is it they want you to hear? Every post you make says something about your brand, make sure the people hear your message.