Before we can get into building your brand on Instagram, you need to know what branding actually is and what it takes to build one.
When most people think of branding they immediately think “Logo,” but it doesn’t stop there. In-depth, it is so much more than that. What it truly comes down to is the experiences you or your business personally have to offer. This includes how you look and sound, to what you offer, to how you interact with your audience and customers. EVERYTHING you or your company does and offers amounts to your brand’s overall image.
Think about your favorite brands. Whether that Starbucks, Apple, Amazon, or Subaru. Do you think they would be who they are, being able to charge what they charge for their products / services if their branding was off in even the slightest of way? Of course not.
The purpose of building your brand
Building a brand is no easy feat. It takes time, energy and commitment. What you want to have is consistent messaging via all physical and digital marketing platforms. Ensuring that your message is being interpreted and embraced the way you intend it to be, is the ultimate goal.
The most important thing for you to remember at this particular stage is, not all platforms are made equal. From websites, e-marketing funnels, social media channels, to your physical location, business cards, and brochures.
Some platforms such as Facebook are better used to build real, genuine relationships with your audience. Features such as a “Business Page“ and “Groups“ are exceptional tools that can help you do that. We won’t go too in-depth in this post, but do expect a post in the near future giving you more insight about how to use each platform more effectively.
As for Instagram… Instagram is hands down the best app for sharing your journey, products/services and showcasing the personality that you or your business embodies.
Building a brand as mentioned earlier, is about showing your targeted audience and customers exactly who you are and what you’re about. You want your audience to pay attention to you not only because you post ‘cool stuff’ on XYZ channels, but because they feel a connection to you. You want them to want to support your vision, purpose, journey, and appreciate what you’re putting out into the world.
What does that mean exactly?
It means that providing value to your audience is quite literally the missing variable to the entire equation. By treating your audience like people versus just a number is arguably equally as important, if not more important than just providing value. If they take the time to interact with you, take the time to reciprocate the love. Yes, even if it doesn’t equate to making a sale. We at Elevated Business Solutions, myself especially, believe in giving more than you receive, not for any reason in particular other than because it’s the right thing to do.
Now it’s time to dig deeper.
Instagram, being primarily imagery based gives us all a unique opportunity to share our stories and journeys with our audience. The quote “One image worth ten thousand words” holds true when it comes to Instagram.
So how can we use Instagram to build our brand?
Storytelling and Brand Positioning
Using Instagram, the mission should always be to tell your story, share your journey, and to provide value in a unique way. With that said, using stunning high-quality photos to accomplish that is just the tip of the iceberg. High-quality photos and videos are great, but storytelling and positioning are what you should strive for with almost every piece of content. The goal with your content is to hit emotional cues, provide value and be relatable. If you implement this within your content, you will begin building trust, authority and relationships with your audience.
When it comes to storytelling, think about everything that revolves around you or your business and the types of questions people would ask when first meeting you. Take into account how you want to portray yourself (playful, business professional, etc) as well.
- Who are you and what do you do?
- How did you get your start?
- What obstacles did you have to overcome? Was it easy or difficult?
- Outline your vision, your purpose, and your mission?
- What are your passions?
- How can you show your audience what you value and support?
- What kinds of problems are you going to solve and how?
The bullets listed above are just a few ideas to get you started. The truth is, drawing back the curtain and being real with your audience will always give you the best results.
Now that you have an idea of the type of content you should be posting, you should consider your long-term goals. Are you going to be offering products or services and how are those going to tie into your storytelling?
Below are a few brands I believe are doing an incredible job with their storytelling and brand positioning.
Are your goals to increase sales, build trust and authority, receive free products in the mail, travel the world for free?
Asking yourself those types of questions will help you decide on the type of content, as well as the message you want to attach to them.
Next, you’re going to want to ensure there is a theme you are going to run with. You need everything to flow together seamlessly. Think for a second, what about you and your story, whether it’s personal or business, is going to help you stand out in your niche? There are a crazy amount of people within each niche or industry aiming to achieve the same thing as you. So what are you going to do to stand out?
Well, what do we already know?
We know that people tend to flock to brands that they can relate to and/or have a positive association with. In other words, the more relatable and the stronger the positive association with your brand, the more value people tend to attach to you.
Crazy isn’t it?
Crazy that all of these little details actually makes a big difference in making or breaking a brand. Especially when it all comes together. Once you’ve got your content type down and the theme you’re going to run with, the name of the game becomes “consistency.” People like knowing WHAT they can expect from you, and WHEN they can expect it. If your content seems to be sporadic, then people won’t pay as close attention simply because it becomes harder for them to keep up with you.
Before we continue, if you haven’t already, try to incorporate some of the points in this post in your bio.
Now, it’s time to really think about the visual side of things. This is where we tie your content and messaging in with your theme. Your visuals need to lineup with every other marketing channel you have. Everything from your physical location, to your website, to your other social media channels. The purpose of doing this is to make your audiences experience seamless regardless of where they find you.
Example: Let’s say they found you on Instagram and then decide to take a trip over to your website. Is the content, content style and theme similar? Will they immediately see the similarities and know that they are in the right place? If your brand is made up of primarily dark colours, then you should consider carrying that over into your Instagram photos.
By making sure everything stays cohesive, you’re helping your audience distinguish your brand from every other brand out there.
That’s all for now. Next post we’ll be going over how to create high-quality content for Instagram.
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