In a world where visual content is critical to any business' marketing strategy, there’s one tool that presents a unique opportunity to tell your brand story, celebrate its personality, and build it as a destination.
The Facebook-owned, imagery-based app is an incredible tool for retailers and businesses for one simple reason: it’s all about photos. And when it comes to marketing, photos have power over your audience. Here’s why:
- Photos tap into emotions that words alone cannot.
- Photos make your brand more personable and relatable.
- Photos are eye-catching and engaging.
When used with Instagram, your photos can create a following retailers could once only imagine. After all, Instagram boasts more than five million monthly active Australian users – that’s one in five people.
But, as with any marketing strategy, the brands that are winning on Instagram are those who are smart about what they post, when they post, and the audience they are targeting.
Here are three simple rules to make your store an Instagram destination:
1. Be iconic
Choose one or more memorable features that can be instantly recognisable as yours. It might be a neon light, giant letters or a luxurious velvet wall. Place the icon somewhere customers can easily take selfies in front of it.
Take inspiration from UK fashion retailer Missguided, whose entire store is designed with social media in mind
– a smart move given its target customers are aged from 16 to 35. The store is filled with digital canvases and screens that bring social media to life with live-streamed content, as well as neon signs encouraging customers to get involved.
Insta-Tip: Create a hashtag for people to post with their pics. Track the hashtag to easily find your fans and re-gram their picture.
2. Create a backdrop
Paul Smith's store in Los Angeles has become an Instagram sensation thanks to its giant pink wall that has created a backdrop for celebrity selfies, fashion bloggers, and Instagram celebs. It even has its own hashtag, #pinkwall, which has been tagged over 50,000 times on the social media network. In June 2017, the iconic wall was transformed with rainbow colours and a new hashtag, #kindcomments, in honour of L.A Pride.
Consider how you can create an incredible backdrop for Insta-lovers. Maybe you could team up with a local street artist to create amazing artwork, display a giant motivational quote, or create a lounge area with innovative and interactive props and products that people won’t be able to resist.
Insta-Tip: Lacking inspiration? Take a look at the world’s first Instagram hotel in Sydney
. Not only does 1888 Hotel provide plenty of photo ops for its Insta-savvy guests, it even offers a free night’s stay for those with more than 10,000 followers and the guest who posts the most creative shot of the hotel each month.
3. Merchandise, merchandise, merchandise
Imagine a stunning magazine spread – the best shots are beautifully styled with one or two hero pieces around a central theme. The most successful Instagram posts use the same rule.
Less is definitely more, so aim for uncluttered store displays to encourage customers to take snaps for their social media posts. Create “hero” displays that prioritise best-selling, seasonal products that customers will be interested in and want to share. Remember to always give customers ample room to take snaps and set up shots of the sample products on display.
Insta-Tip: Change your displays regularly and show them off on your social media feed, so customers are encouraged to come back for repeat visits.
If you’re not using Instagram in your retail marketing strategy, here’s a final fact that should change your mind: 75% of people take action after seeing a photo on Instagram. View your store as a destination to inspire customers and create a space they will want to discover. People share experiences more than they share “things”, so if you can get that right, you’re winning.