insta

Instagram is the world’s fastest growing social network with engagement that is 52 times greater than Facebook and 127 times greater than Twitter.  With 400 million active users (and growing), Instagram is the place to be for savvy marketers.

Did you know that 90% of the world’s top brands are on Instagram?  They know that Instagram is the place to sell.  The big question is how to monetize Instagram for your business.  Whether you are an affiliate marketer or you sell your own products and services, Instagram can work for you.  But how?

If you haven’t yet read my post, “12 Tips For Using Instagram To Take Your Social Media Marketing To The Next Level…,” that’s a good place to start.  But come back here afterwards!

Using Instagram for business is about telling your business’s story visually.  Remember picture books?  Young children love picture books.  400 million monthly users love Instagram.  So, how are you going to market to them?  By telling stories visually.  In this post, I will give you a step-by-step approach with some strong examples.

Start by creating an Instagram business account with your business name.  This will help with your branding and name recognition for your business (which is an important part of branding).

80 million images are shared daily on Instagram.  To cut through that clutter, it is essential that you create a consistent marketing strategy that gets your brand noticed.  Whether you are an affiliate marketer or you are selling your own products and services, what is distinctive about your business?  What is your unique selling proposition that will make you stand out from the 80 million images a day crowd?

Instagram can be at the center of a consistent and effective marketing strategy.  This is key: How can you showcase what you have to sell in a way that will grab eyeballs and move your audience to take action?  This will happen as you use Instagram to tell your business story through pictures.  Here’s a great example:

giltman

Is there any question what Gilt is selling?  Gilt has hundreds of competitors, but there’s a reason why this post received 31,432 likes.  Color, layout, and the objects work together to tell the story of Gilt, a designer clothing and accessories seller.

Here’s another post that combines color and layout in a visually arresting way:macys

As Gilt and Macy’s show, Instagram is about telling a story visually – notice how few words there are on these two sponsored posts.  In the next post, words are used with an image for additional impact.

vogue

Spring uses an eye-catching image with a tagline from Vogue in the image.  Vogue magazine is a recognized authority on fashion,

Here’s a different kind of post:

mb

Mercedes Benz highlights their history and shows their new cars in an attractive light.

Here’s another kind of Instagram business post:

my-dunkin

Whether it is or not, this picture looks spontaneous, it presents a customer (and fan), and it encourages others to send in their pictures.

I hope that this short post gives you some ideas on how to use Instagram for building your brand and selling your products and service.  And about that other social media network, Facebook?  They own Instagram and you can easily combine your efforts by cross-posting to Facebook.

What would you add to this?  I welcome your comments or questions, your likes and shares.

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