Over the past decade or so, start-ups have sprouted like mushrooms, often with little context or perspective. Everybody seems to want to join the bandwagon before it gets too late. Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. Everyone has a life-altering idea that can infuse the "Light" in a world brimming with darkness.
Okay, time for some reality check.
Only about 10% of all start-ups get to see the light at the end of a deep tunnel. In other words, 90% of them fail sooner or later. Against this backdrop, what is it that future-driven entrepreneurs can and should do to prevent their business ideas from dissipating into an already overcrowded market?
The viscerally virtual medium has become the most powerful, all-inclusive promotion podium for every conceivable brand. In this ever-growing list, one platform stands tall. Its penchant for delivering maximum coverage with minimal investment -- using a tool that literally conveys an eye-catching (pun intended) thousand words - has impelled all the big guns to stand up and take notice.
Yes, your very own Instagram is making eyeballs and business profits move in syncretised unison because games changers have learnt the art of making, breaking and re-creating their own rules.
Turn the Tide Before It Turns You Over
A cursory glance at the success story of Rich20Somethings will surely have you awestruck about its unutilized utility.Founder Daniel DiPiazza managed (well, discovered and demonstrated) to acquire an impressive 150,000 followers for his business consultation company in just one year. The brand grew fivefold within this period - which is no mean feat - and a lot of it was attributed to the way in which his business leveraged this social networking app.
Clearly, Instagram is here to stay and rule. This augurs well for those who're approaching a plateau, especially in terms of a mindset that has gotten into the 'groove' of making peace with the status quo. As a proactive entrepreneur, you may want to become a co- narrator of its growth story rather than sliding interminably into belated oblivion. To that end, here are seven strategies that'll make it easier for you to get on its right side.
Before you actually go ahead and chalk out your promotional path on Instagram, ask yourself a few questions:
- What are the various perspectives in which the product may be perceived?
- How far are you willing to deviate from standard marketing norms?
- How out-of-the-box are you willing to be?
- How will all the answers to the first three questions make your content viral?
- Is there a possibility that the idea might tank?
This brainstorming is what is known as growth hacking. By asking yourself these questions, you come up with tailored action points assigned to your product. It helps you filter solid, replicable ideas that help your brand go viral. Remember, content is the king, the kingdom and everything in between.
The Push-Pull Strategy
You know the cardinal rules for creating good content on Instagram - make it interesting, make it creative and use a lot of hashtags. However, that is not enough. The idea is to make people react. Tell them what to do. Create a good call to action. For instance, encourage viewers to visit the website and check out the new collection, instead of merely announcing that you have launched one. If you can push the audience into doing something, you can eventually pull them into your idea!
Generate a two-way Conversation
Having a good feedback mechanism is very important. Ask your audience meaningful questions that give you the answers you're looking for. Their needs should occupy the heart and soul of your brand positioning and content marketing efforts. Make them share their opinion and make them feel that it counts. In short, make your audience feel important and an indispensable part of the game (which they are).
This is an Instagram feature which will act as your greatest weapon. If a user uses a shout-out to mention you in their posts, you know that you've already been exposed to that user's followers. If you can convince some of your users to mention you in their posts, your presence is more than likely to grow in geometric progression.
SFS is an acronym for 'share for share'. This is a tactical move whereby you start promoting other businesses on your own page. You repost their posts on your page and tag them in it. After a while, you'll see some of them repeating your action in their pages. The structure of this tactic is based on goodwill and understanding. If you can build a community of such boosters, your business will automatically grow in no time.
Monitor and Streamline
What's the point of uselessly advertising if you can't monitor your progress? Keep a tab on how your posts are performing with specially designed programmes like Iconosquare. Software like these tells you about the type of posts that have evinced maximum engagement and drive outcomes. Based on these results, you can analyse and channelize your content further, thereby augmenting the efficaciousness of your promotion strategy. Such software also gives you a complete list of your followers and 'unfollowers'.
Yes! You know about Instagram, but do you know about Instagress and Autogrambot? Do you know how to use them well? A number of time-saving tricks give you the coveted scope for planning parallel promotional strategies. These are software that let you automate certain features of your Instagram account - like the comments section - and help you engage with your audience meaningfully, even when you are not around. For example, Schedugram helps you schedule your posts effortlessly.
The bottom line assumes great importance for your bottom-line - if you are not on Instagram already, you don't want to delay it any further. With an active and growing user base of 400 million, it is a sure shot way to catapult your presence, or at the very least, create the right visual noises for your business.