Today, you can hardly find a business that is not on Instagram. In fact, the number of businesses on Instagram grew from 15 million in July 2017 to 25 million in November 2017, reaching almost 30 million within one year.
So, you can assume that this number will surpass 100 million by the end of this year.
Why Is Instagram So Valuable for Businesses?
Instagram is a great marketing platform with diverse options for content creation and the potential to reach over 1 billion people.
As a marketer, you can agree that missing such a possibility would be a mistake.
Instagram campaigns also have more potential in terms of sales. According to Omnicore:
- Instagram currently has more than 2 million monthly advertisers
- Instagram’s potential advertising reach is about 850 million users
- Over 70% of Instagram users follow at least one brand, from which they purchase products or services
Such sales potential is possible due to Instagram’s engagement rates.
For instance, brands that use Instagram over Facebook for marketing see ten times higher engagement rates.
Such high engagement is possible due to a diversity of content that can be created on Instagram compared to other social media platforms, and due to the fact that Instagram content mostly relies on visuals.
So, how can you incorporate all Instagram’s potential to create campaigns that boost your sales?
Here are some campaign ideas inspired by brands on Instagram.
1. Valeria Lipovetsky’s eBook Instagram Campaign
Valeria Lipovetsky, an Instagram influencer with almost 600K followers and a nutrition specialist, launched an Instagram campaign to promote her eBook with the recipes of healthy smoothies back in 2019.
During this campaign, Valeria and her team created a series of Instagram videos under a hashtag #SmoothieMonday to invite her followers to start the week with a healthy meal:
To boost eBook sales, Valeria partnered with Action Against Hunger, a global humanitarian organization committed to ending world hunger, to donate $1 from every sold book copy.
After the campaign added, in one of her Stories, Valeria mentioned that she and her team managed to sell over 50,000 copies in 4-5 months.
Why is this Instagram campaign idea worth your attention?
This is a great example of how an eBook can be promoted on Instagram. The same approach works well for landing pages and offers. The main idea behind this campaign is to introduce value to attract more potential buyers.
In Valeria Lipovetsky’s case, she made an IG Story series recreating the recipes from her eBook. She did it consistently throughout the entire Instagram campaign and created a #smoothiemondays, which her audience could follow to find her and other people recreating recipes from the eBook.
To increase the public’s attention to her eBook, Valeria tied her campaign to a social cause connected to the idea of the book.
Of course, connecting the sales of your product with a good cause, such as a partnership with an NGO, is always a good way to both increase your brand’s value and boost sales, as you show people that their purchase is also a donation to a worthy cause.
However, such Instagram campaigns can also help you generate leads if you promote landing pages and offers.
During this campaign, you give a sneak peek of your offer on Instagram, which prompts your potential buyers to subscribe to your brand to receive further information about your product or service. This also works well to help you grow your list of email subscribers.
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2. Scramble X Julien Solomita Influencer Marketing Campaign
This year, Scramble USA, a brand that sells martial arts apparel, teamed up with an influencer and a YouTuber Julien Solomita, who’s also a jujitsu enthusiast.
Julien has been a fan and a customer of Scramble’s products for many years, so the brand decided to involve him in creating a set of Scramble X Julien fanny packs.
The collaboration fanny pack was $35 apiece and was so popular that the brand had to restock it several times. Finally, after only three weeks of the campaign, Scramble sold out all the collaboration fanny packs.
During the campaign, the brand managed to reach and engage Julien’s 1 million Instagram followers, as well as 2.3 million YouTube followers.
Why should you try this Instagram campaign idea?
As a marketer, you know all the benefits of influencer marketing, from building trust to effectively generating leads.
Apart from that, influencer marketing is trendy, as 65% of influencers marketing budgets are expected to increase in 2020.
This campaign, however, is a great example of how you can use influencer marketing to reach a very niche audience.
Niche influencer campaigns deliver a lot more value in terms of sales than other influencer campaigns. Here are several reasons why.
- Engagement and specialization. Usually, if you search influencers by engagement rates, you get influencers with a low number of followers. Niche influencers don’t necessarily have a lot of followers, but they make up for it with high engagement rates and narrow specialization.
- Affordability. Niche influencer marketing campaigns usually cost less but drive more sales due to high engagement rates.
- Trust. It is generally believed that influencer marketing can bring you more high-quality leads, as influencers advertise a product to the people who trust a person they follow.
In reality, however, people don’t necessarily trust a macro influencer or a celebrity that they follow. Niche influencers, however, are usually followed by people who trust their recommendations, thus, they will deliver more high-quality leads.
As influencer marketing gets more and more popular, don’t miss this train and hop on to remain in trend. However, make a very careful choice of an influencer for the partnership and check whether the influencer’s audience meets your expectations.
3. Starbucks’ #WhiteCupContest UGC Campaign
In 2014, Starbucks launched its famous White Cup Contest, inviting the customers to invent new designs for the limited edition of Starbucks reusable cups. Millions of people in the U.S. and Canada posted their designs to Instagram with a hashtag #WhiteCupContest.
When the campaign ended, Starbucks choose the best design, which jump-started the winner’s designer career:
By involving their customers to contribute cup designs, Starbucks managed to reach their goal, which was to increase sales of reusable cups.
How can this Instagram campaign idea benefit your business?
Hence, involving your target audience to contribute user-generated content will only increase attention to your brand and your product. However, there should always be a bigger idea behind this move than just boosting your sales.
The greater idea behind Starbuck’s intention to increase sales of reusable cups, which was to make their customers more environmentally conscious.
So, if you choose to make a UGC campaign part of your Instagram marketing strategy, find an idea that will motivate your audience to create and contribute the content that delivers value and represents your brand in the best way.
4. Blue Apron’s IGTV Recipe Prep Course
Talking about delivering value and putting your product to practical use, check out Blue Apron’s innovative approach to an Instagram campaign.
On its Instagram page, Blue Apron, an American meal kit service, started a series of IGTV tutorials called ‘On the Menu’, where their chef teaches you how to prepare their signature dishes:
Blue Apron’s meal kits come with visual step-by-step meal preparation guides, which their customers have to follow to cook the dish. These IGTV tutorials, however, serve those who prefer videos over visual instructions.
Why could this Instagram campaign idea be useful for your business?
Blue Apron’s diverse approach to meal preparation guidelines shows how a business can cater to the needs of different audiences.
While printed meal prep guidelines are their main marketing content, reviews on their IGTV allows Blue Apron to also respond to the needs of their audience, which is more interested in seeing a meal prep in action.
In this case, IGTV is a great option as you can also use it for live cook-offs and prepare a meal together with a chef.
How do such Instagram campaigns affect sales?
- IGTV helps boost brand exposure and visibility of the products.
- IGTV content works great to consistently educate your audience about the products.
- Incorporating IGTV in your Instagram marketing campaign also helps you create a community of loyal customers and establish a strong connection with them.
The more needs of your target audience you answer, the more people will be interested in purchasing your product.
Talking about answering the needs of your target audience, you can also incorporate social media customer service to make your Instagram campaign more effective in terms of sales.
Social media customer support, in general, gives a good boost to sales, as 90% of social media users regularly reach out to brands and criticize brands that don’t respond to their inquiries.
The quality of customer care has a direct impact on your sales, so adding Instagram as a customer support channel can help you improve the connection with your customers, and improve sales.
5. Nike #DreamCrazier Female Empowerment Campaign
Lastly, let’s talk about how tying your Instagram campaign to a greater cause can be a great booster for your sales.
Take a look at Nike’s example.
Last year, Nike launched the Dream Crazier campaign that united women athletes in inspiring other women to follow their dreams of becoming professional athletes. The campaign took place during the time when female empowerment movements, such as #MeToo, took place in the U.S. and around the world.
Nike’s Instagram campaign ad was so successful that it reached 19 million views in 30 days.
In this Instagram campaign, Nike used a storytelling approach, posting the stories of female athletes on their Nike Women Instagram page:
Thus, the support of the female empowerment movement became another social cause that Nike supports, along with supporting schools with equipment and supporting Paralympic athletes.
How can your business benefit from this Instagram campaign idea?
Making a greater cause a foundation of your Instagram marketing campaign is a great way to drive engagement and boost sales.
Having a social issue as the center of attention in your Instagram marketing campaign adds immense value to your brand. Apart from that, your customers expect your brand to be socially active and interested in social issues.
Reportedly, 70% of consumers feel more connected to brands, where the CEO actively participates in supporting social causes.
As consumers feel that your brand can relate to what they are passionate about, they will be more interested in supporting you and your products, which will positively affect your sales.
How to identify the cause to support through your business?
- Match the outcomes of supporting a certain social cause with the values of your business. For instance, one of the values of P&G is supporting every human’s right to clean water and basic hygiene tools. Thus, as one of their social initiatives, they choose a program that helps deliver clean water and hygiene supplies to poor communities in Africa.
- Ask your employees. There is a chance that some of your employees already participate in supporting a social cause, and this cause can become your company’s mission. That’s how Apple finds social causes to support – all Apple’s charity missions are initiated by the company’s employees.
- Listen to your audience. Your customers can give you great recommendations, which social causes to support. This is what helped Mr. Beast, a YouTuber with over 20 million subscribers. He asked his audience how he should celebrate reaching 20 million subscribers, and they recommended him to plant 20 million trees. He opened a fundraiser, and invited many celebrities to support this cause. As of now, his fundraiser reached over $21 million.
How does establishing a connection through a social cause helps sales?
Take a look at Nike’s example.
After its female empowerment campaign, Nike saw a considerable increase in sales and now holds 18.3% of all female sportswear in the U.S., followed by Adidas and Under Armour.
This means that using this cause spiked Nike’s country-wide sales, helping them take the #1 position in the female sportswear sector.
Why did it work so well for Nike in terms of sales?
It reinforced Nike’s brand and presented it from a different perspective.
Tying a social cause to your Instagram marketing campaign enriches your brand’s story, helping customers identify your brand with something more than just your products.
A social cause added another reason for the customers to support Nike’s brand, beyond the great quality of their products. Involving a social cause creates a different product experience, which goes beyond consumerism, prompting customers to support something else than their personal needs.
Time to Get Creative!
Instagram gives you all the resources to launch a successful marketing campaign. From influencer marketing to user-generated content and IGTV tutorials, you have an endless resource of marketing opportunities on this platform.
If you are using Instagram to promote your eBook or a landing page, tease your target audience with a preview of your offer, tapping into their curiosity and prompting them to buy a product.
If your goal is to boost engagement, involving user-generated content or tying your Instagram campaign to a social cause can help represent your brand from a different perspective and make it more relatable.
The same works for creating IGTV series involving your product. As you offer your customers more value, they will be more engaged and connected to your brand and, thus, will be more interested in supporting your product.
We hope that our picks will inspire you to launch a creative Instagram campaign. Choose, what currently works for your brand and your products, but remember that your main goal is first to drive engagement and deliver value. Meeting these criteria is essential if you want to boost your sales.
About the Author
Daniela McVicker is a blogger with rich experience in writing about UX design, content planning, and digital marketing. Currently, she contributes to many authoritative sources, where she helps individuals and organizations improve their web content writing, design, and planning skills. Her posts are always packed with examples and actionable content that readers can put straight into the action.