5 Ways to Use Instagram for Marketing

You probably already know that Instagram can be used to engage and interact with customers. And, between 200 million active users and not being widely used major brands, it’s a great platform to use in marketing. And, here are five ways that you can use Instagram to accomplish all of your marketing needs.

1. Tell Your Brand’s Story

When it comes to telling your brand’s story, the adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” is pretty spot-on. An image is perhaps the best way to showcase to your customer’s what your brand is all about. Whole Foods shows delicious images of fresh produce and platters. Starbucks captures refreshing Frappuccinos. Whether you want to raise awareness or make people laugh, Instagram is a great platform to tell your brand’s story. Just remember to use relevant captions and hashtags when posting images.

2. Give People a Chance to Win


How can you use contests for marketing? For starters, run a simple photo contest. This will give you the chance to interact and attract customers. All you have to do is ask followers to use a particular hashtag for the contest by tagging and submitting their pictures. From there, you could run a photo-of-day campaign or ask users to select their favorite images in order for participants to win a prize.

If contests aren’t your thing, you could include coupons or promo codes. All you have to do here is contain a promotional code in some of your pictures, so this way people will keep coming back and could be rewarded. You can even use Facebook and Twitter to drive people to your Instagram page by posting these images. TopShop has perfected this tactic.

3. Go Behind The Scenes

Let people know that there are actual human beings behind your brand. Take candid snapshots of employees during lunch breaks, collaborating, holiday parties, company dinners or product launches. This is helps humanize your brand and can help build trust with customers.

4. Highlight Customers

Speaking of customers, make them a part of your campaign. This is a common technique for clothing companies like Levi’s and American Eagle. instead of using models, these brands have used real people who were already fans to showcase the latest items. It’s a simple, yet important, way in creating authenticity.

But you don’t need to be a clothing company to highlight customers. You can showcase them when they win a prize, Virgin America does this well, or just when they’re using your product – which you can include in a catalog as well. It creates a community around the values of your brand and establishes a connection with your customers. And, they’ll also spread the word about being featured by your brand to everyone they know.

5. Link Instagram Galleries to eCommerce Site

Let’s say you’ve done all of the above, how are you still going to get people to make purchase? One of the easiest, and obvious, would be to include a link to your eCommerce site. So, if you were selling a product like a t-shirt, followers could purchase it right then and there – instead of going elsewhere. Best of all you can monitor traffic and conversions from these links.


13 thoughts on “5 Ways to Use Instagram for Marketing”

  1. Hi John,

    Telling stories makes you plain stand out from the crowd. People love a great story, whether reading it through Instagram or through any channel. Well written post here.

    I tell a blogging from paradise story, full of travel pictures, laughing, smiling and unique experiences from the tropics, as well as a few other areas too. TV, movies, songs, and so many forms of entertainment focus on telling stories, which is why these mediums are so popular.

    If you can simply get clear on your brand’s story Instagram offers you a medium through which you can speak the story, through eye candy.

    For me, sharing my travels and explaining how I prosper, and the fruits of my work, are working nicely.

    I’d add to use hashtags extensively to drive targeted traffic to your business site. Since you can’t post links hashtags helps you target individuals, which makes your job easier. A little HT here and there; don’t get nuts because if you use 20 HT’s, you’re not only spamming, your diluting your targeting effect.

    Smart share John.

    Tweeting in a bit.

    Have a great weekend.


  2. Kostas says:

    Hi John, thanks for sharing these instagram tips. I have been looking at new ways to build it into my marketing strategy and this has given me some inspiration. Instagram is so popular right now that it is something I can’t put off any longer!

  3. constance says:

    I hate to admit this but I’m not on instagram yet I just learned to use pinterest effectively now I have to master something else too (I’m a slow learner)

  4. I. C. Daniel says:

    I don’t use Instagram yet!

  5. Hi Rampton,
    Really a very informative post especially for newbies like me. This is the first time I am looking at emphasis on Instagram. Thanks a lot for the post. Keep writing.

  6. faisal says:

    Nice tips, Instagram has loads of scope.

  7. I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.

    – Warren Buffett

  8. Dian Pramono says:

    Nice tips, thanks for sharing these instagram tips.

  9. Hunny Yadav says:

    I’m using Instagram for my CPA offers and I think i got some good tips here.
    Will surely apply these in my system !

    Thanks for Sharing 🙂

  10. skmothsara says:

    thanks for sharing this nice information about instagram becuse at this time facebook and twitter not enough to promote a blog.all social is work fast.so instagram pintrest etc. take a chane.thanks again

  11. DNN says:

    Instagram is a great network to build an online business with. Affiliate marketers and bloggers should be using it more if they’re looking to have their businesses taken seriously and increase exposure without resorting to paid online advertising services. Thank you for writing this blog post to provide a thought-provoking discussion. 🙂

  12. Hi John,

    I am a regular user of instagram. These tips are really great and new to me. I got some tips here about instagram marketing strategy, and i come to know that, even we can use instagram to earn money. Thanks for the share.

  13. Hi John,

    If a company is having an event they could create a #keyword hash tag for people to post photos to Instagram with at the event. Getting the crowd interactive with the brand leaves a lasting impression. Take it to the next step with a giant Instagram photo wall using a technology from Air Graffiti Dallas http://www.airgraffitidallas.com

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