It’s day ‘who’s counting anymore’ of lockdown and one thing is for sure, life as we know it has done a 180-degree flip. Who would have thought we’d only leave our homes for essential items, start collecting hand sanitisers and that face masks would become a fashion statement? Being South Africans, we have taken these changes in our stride and stayed true to our humour-coated coping mechanisms for the most part.
However, memes and elbow shake gifs aside, the lockdown has left a wake of suffering and despair for many small and medium enterprises who have either tried their best to push through this period of dire economic uncertainty or, sadly, have had to shut their doors for good. That is where we step in with some encouragement and tips, because with the right attitude and fighting spirit, we believe your business can make it through this foggy time. How, you may ask? By taking your business online of course.
Online marketing platforms are the thing right now, thanks to social distancing, but also for a few other reasons: less capital is needed to get it going, you have fewer overhead expenses, fewer utility bills, location isn’t a problem, you can outsource work tasks to virtual assistants as and when you need, the list of pro’s goes on. But, you will need to be creative and consistent!
Getting your business started on Instagram is a great place to start. It has now been around for 10 years, becoming increasingly influential across the globe. There are 116 million active uses in the US alone, it’s the second most logged in social media site and users spend an average of 53 minutes on it daily. It’s clear that setting up your business on Instagram has the potential for success. What are you waiting for?
Now, the ‘tricky’ part; managing an Instagram account isn’t easy. It’s an ongoing juggle of posting the right type of content at the right time, engaging with followers and constantly coming up with innovative ideas that beat the algorithm. If your current business Instagram page hasn’t been bringing home the bacon, then it’s also time to spice it up. Follow our fresh ideas to get motivated:
Switch to a Business Account
Before you do anything else, switch over to a business account. It’s as simple as clicking on the settings tab and scrolling down until you see the ‘Switch to Business Profile’ option. Followers will be able to click on your contact button to get in touch from your Instagram page, you can create and publish adverts within the app and you get access to analytics tools.
Create Engaging Content
This could be in the form of asking your users questions that they comment on in the post. They could even help you come up with new product ideas and guide your content in future posts.
Another option is to create tutorial videos that show users what your product/service is all about. Application videos or ‘How to’/ DIY videos are winners. How you present yourself in the video will depend on the type of audience you are wanting to attract.
Don’t be afraid to do some ‘behind the scenes’ content such as showing your followers the hard work and commitment that goes into building your brand. Sharing your story is a great way to build trust.
Give your audience a mind break, where, instead of posting the usual photos, create one that makes your audience pause and think a little, like a mind puzzle or having an opinion poll. Make sure to apply this content to your stories and highlights too.
Find ways to Highlight the Features and Benefits of your Product
Associate your product with your brand values, heighten its exclusivity or share how it solves a problem your audience might face. Sometimes it’s best to first think about and decide on a caption and then find a photo/illustration/meme that suits it.
Product launches and upgrades are a great way to publicise your business and get creative with content. Have a count down with sneak peaks of the product to create anticipation.
Throw in some competitions every few months to keep your site and products attractive; including holiday and special events competitions. Set clear guidelines on how to enter, e.g. Tag three friends, share the page, follow the page. This will boost your following. Remember to engage with followers in the comments section and on other pages too.
People like to follow other people, not a faceless brand. These days it’s about building relationships with your followers and one way to do so is to use an influencer or celebrity who is well known and genuinely liked within your niche market. Because the followers are already fans, it will be easier to sell your product and brand. Don’t forget to include popular hashtags to draw a wider audience.
There are so many other clever tips to get your business booming on Instagram so be sure to do your research and planning before you get going. If you need any assistance get in touch and we’ll gladly assist, www.skivvy.co.za.