Beauty of Instagram: Part 2
In my last post, I discussed the way Instagram, separate from other social media networks, fosters almost instant intimacy and how its hashtag system makes it easy for users to engage with your brand. Now, it’s time to talk about how to make the most Instagram’s marketing potential.
How To Use Instagram To Market Your Beauty Brand
The beauty industry provides products and services that customers connect with personally and socially. When a customer chooses a beauty product or service, she or he is making it a part of who they are to the world.
Unsurprisingly, this means customers of the beauty industry like to know as much as possible about products and services before they buy. This is where Instagram really shines as a marketing tool.
Branded Hashtags and Mentions
I mentioned in my last post that every time a user adds your branded hashtag to a post is becomes part of your marketing, but that’s only the beginning. Branded hashtags and mentions (#NYX and @NYX) are the root of some of the best marketing opportunities Instagram provides.
Remember the beauty gurus from my last post? They generally post at least one makeup look per day and list every product they used for it, including branded hashtags and brand mentions.
If users are interested in a product, but want to know what other users think of it or how it will look on multiple skin tones, a simple search for the product and brand hashtags will connect them with hundreds of customer experiences.
These customer experiences are such an effective conversion tool that major companies like Sephora and Ulta are connecting their online stores with Instagram and using hashtags to feature product specific user images on their product pages.
Branded giveaways are a relatively low cost way to spread brand awareness, making them an ideal marketing choice for smaller companies. Giveaways are typically sponsored by a brand and a beauty guru (also known in this case as a brand ambassador) and involve a branded image that contestants must share on their own Instagram pages along with a couple of branded hashtags and mentions.
The giveaways usually last a few weeks and winners are chosen at random. For the cost of a few products, that brand has just run what is comparable to, but much less expensive than a traditional ad campaign.
Links and Calls to Action
The final step in converting Instagram users into paying customers is the link in your bio or essentially the “about me” section of your profile. Users visiting your page will see this link at the very top and you can include a call to action in your posts that directs them to it.
Makeup gurus often use this link to send users to their YouTube channels, creating mini-tutorials on Instagram and directing fans to follow the links in their bios to the full videos. Beauty brands sometimes use their links to guide users to a specific portion of their websites, linking to a specific product page during a sale or new product launch for example.
Bringing it all together
Instagram is a prime marketing tool for the beauty industry because it’s image based, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a powerful marketing option for other industries. All of the tools and methods mentioned here can work for you, whether you sell lipstick or lawnmowers.
Any company can connect with other users via branded hashtags and mentions, create engaging content, sponsor events with the gurus of your industry that encourage users to share that content and include a link to your website in your profile. That’s the real beauty of Instagram.