Instagram is a natural fit for several industries, such as the food and floral industries and the retail clothes sector. Pictures of aesthetically pleasing things are always a pleasure to look at. How, therefore, can you market something that isn’t particularly aesthetically appealing and still amass 88,000 Instagram followers? Scott Marquart, founder of guitar string manufacturer Stringjoy, feels that telling a good story is vital.
He claims that people spend too much time researching “best practises” and “hacks.” But when you do things differently and violate the norms, that’s when you’ll get the farthest with content. What makes your brand unique and valuable in the eyes of consumers is the key to success. If you want people to take notice of you, be who you really are.
The Instagram Branding Process
Scott started using Instagram three years ago as his Facebook page’s organic reach continued to fall. In the beginning, he followed conventional thinking and shared images from within his company. He initially thought that all the likes went to gorgeous instruments until he started exploring the guitar realm on Instagram using hashtags. And as a self-proclaimed “guitar nerd,” he has the skills to make that strategy work.
A lot of content creation was difficult at initially because “we didn’t have the muscle,” he explains. We made an effort to include the community by sharing what was already there through reposts. Being one of the earliest companies in our industry to include stunning guitar photography helped us stand out from the competition. We eventually figured up ingenious ways to collect that material without having to constantly snap photos.
Since then, Stringjoy has collaborated with local, artisanal guitar makers. In exchange for their wholesale string sales, they were shown pictures of stunning guitars, with the comment that the builders would only use Stringjoy strings.
In addition, he started seeing an uptick in the number of postings including images of buyers holding up Stringjoy’s package alongside their strings, which he promptly published. Social proof is generated when customers provide public evaluations of your items on Instagram. You may spend all day explaining the benefits of your product, but nothing will convince potential customers like hearing it from a satisfied customer.
Stringjoy’s success may be attributed in large part to the company’s dedication to its user base. Scott explains that sharing and connecting with others is inherent to social media. It’s all about telling each other tales. When companies use social media, they don’t have to contact with their customers or listen to their feedback. Sharing the experiences of others is important to us, so we make sure to give them due credit when we use their work.
Prove and tweak
In Scott’s view, the best way to learn is to experiment. Things that defy conventional wisdom. A lot of times you have to “swing and miss” before you find what “hits,” as he puts it.
Stringjoy constantly experiments with novel concepts.We used to post twice a day, but now we spread our updates out across four or five hours.
He has also tried using hashtags, and he has found that categorising them by topic (such as “hashtags for strings,” “hashtags for lifestyle,” and “hashtags for guitar pedals”) yields the best results.
Scott’s one rule for his posts is to be varied. I think it’s crucial to switch up the pace of the information. I prefer not to feature two consecutive images of our product next to a guitar. We combine product promotion with eye-catching visuals.
Their artsy, well-lit photographs are getting more likes than ever since Instagram’s huge change, while their less aesthetically appealing stuff is doing worse than before. However, this does not mean that he has ceased sharing it. “We should still use it as a seasoning. The best parts are highlighted with a variety of information. He has also lately discovered success using video, so at this point the group is just trying a bunch of different strategies to see what works.
Scott offers five pieces of advice for emerging businesses using Instagram.
- Gain traction by connecting with others. “When I first started, I followed relevant individuals in our niche, commented on other people’s images, and engaged people in conversation in order to develop a community. Not enough Instagram users put themselves in the shoes of the account’s user and ask themselves, “How would I use this account if it were mine?” I choose who to follow and interact with based on their postings.
- Don’t pay for popularity.On a channel that gets this much natural engagement, purchasing followers serves no purpose. Your engagement is doomed if this happens. It may be useful if you solely care about boosting your public image, but that’s a rather narrow perspective to have. A dedicated fan base is more valuable than a massive following any day.
- Do take note of hashtags.A solid hashtag list may be a powerful tool for spreading the message. Using the proper hashtags, your photo might earn more likes than you have followers. Look beyond the obvious to see which hashtags people are genuinely using.
- Activate people’s emotions. “The most shared content is driven by emotion. They are either really humorous and relatable, or deeply moving and emotional. To elicit a powerful response, you must first arouse strong feelings.
- Learn to use mobile picture applications. Scott owns a Nikon DSLR, but he prefers to take his images using his Google Pixel phone and edit them in an app like Photoshop or VSCO.