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How to advertise on Instagram

Earlier this month, Instagram made it possible for any company in 30 selected countries to advertise on the platform. Already, companies have seen some great results and analysts predict the social network could make as much as 1 billion euros in annual revenue in the next four years. But what is the best way to promote your products on Instagram?

Swedish online fashion retailer Chiquelle is one of those companies that might have a clue about being successful on Instagram. The company has over 133,000 followers on the Facebook-owned social network. By way of comparison, on Facebook the Swedish company has ‘only’ about 7,400 likes.

To Ehandel.se, CEO and owner Pouya Boland explained the company’s strategy to continuously reach a growing number of followers on Instagram. “We are giving our followers an exclusive chance to see what happens backstage during our photoshoots and the opportunity to go backstage at our headquarters. We try to interact with our followers and publishing their images when they are wearing Chiquelle’s products. We give them simply our latest updates and news”, he says.

Create fans of your customers
Boland emphasizes that the company sees it as extremely important to be on social media, since most consumers now have access to them during the day through their mobile phones. In three years, Chiquelle has attracted lots and lots of followers on Instagram. According to PR manager Mona Doughforosh the company’s success on Instagram is due to the fact it was early to use this platform as a channel to its customers, when compared with other companies in the market. “The difference is that we create fans of our customers. We are not only an Instagram channel or a website where we promote and sell unique clothing. We are a role model as well, showing the latest trends and providing our customers inspiration and motivation”, she explains.

Boland adds that it’s important to work on a strategy that always provide the customers something valuable. “I would advise other online retailers who want to use social media, or in this case want to advertise on Instagram, to be open with their followers and use social media not only to promote what they sell on their websites, but to offer their customers something interesting. They only have to find out what that ‘interesting’ thing might be.”

Ads on Instagram

Want to generate traffic? Use sponsored posts
Mobile marketing agency Moburst also shared its experiences with advertising on Instagram. On Venturebeat co-founder Lior Eldan says that if you’re a mobile app and you want to generate traffic to your app, you can better use sponsored posts instead of influencers. “This is due to the simple fact that sponsored posts let you share a link to the app store — the ultimate purpose of app advertising.”

‘A snap out of real life’
He also found out that Instagram users are extremely active. Similar ads that generated between 15 and 30 likes on Facebook, got between 300 and 500 likes on Instagram. Also, the many comments which mentioned other users within the comments surprised him. “Since advertising on Instagram is 50 percent more expensive than advertising on Facebook, marketers might be hesitant to choose Instagram. But Instagram’s two-way channel means more engagement, and more engagement means more organic exposure”, he says.

But, Eldan concludes, it’s important retailers and brands must remember what Instagram is all about. Ads shouldn’t feature perfectly positioned actors and products. “It’s all about the candid shot, a snap out of real life that simply happens to feature a certain product.”

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