Instagram provides a great way to market your business and connect with customers, but how does that translate into sales? We chatted to April Bowden of Play the Field – a creative digital agency that helps brands to connect with their audience – and found out why consistency is key.
Play the Field is a social media and digital marketing agency that provides social media strategy, content marketing and community management services for startups, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and large corporations.
The agency was founded in 2014 and has now worked with over 40 clients to generate quality content and push the boundaries for businesses and individuals.
Having studied degrees in Fashion Marketing and Fashion Communication during the years 2007-2012, I understood how social media was impacting the way in which people were buying, finding information and engaging with brands.
Over 96% of fashion brands use the platform to promote a lifestyle associated with their brand, so it was only a matter of time before professionals and other businesses could see the benefit in driving traffic to their website.
Being a former photographer, I naturally migrated towards Instagram from other social media platforms when it first launched in 2010. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?
Initially, Instagram was a way to promote my photography and the area I lived in. It also allowed me to find like-minded individuals to ultimately build a name for myself in the field.
As my interests moved away from photography and into Play the Field, I could see how posting a high-quality photo benefitted me by the engagement it would receive. In turn, this helped to further increase my brand awareness.
The more interesting and consistent content I posted about building a business, the higher the engagement rate and the more quality followers I attracted. My profile is split 50/50 between personal use and business. I like it that way, as it shows some of the personality behind the business. Plus, it’s more personable as people can get to know me by first-name terms.
We have built our following slowly, gradually and organically over the past few years. We only started to generate sales from Instagram recently, as we saw the platform as the one that has shown the most growth in a short space of time.
We initially decided what kind of content we should post and what kind of content our target audience would like. We researched the Instagram users, profiles and popular hashtags that could lead to the fan base we would like to build. We used these as inspiration. Not only were the images well crafted, but their profiles were also visually appealing. Once we had a good sense of what works, then we created content of our own.
Consistency is key. At Play the Field, we try and post daily Instagram Stories that help to tell a story about where we are and what we are doing. We’re selective over what we post on our page, as we like to keep it visually strong. We don’t post offers on our page, but if we’re speaking at an event we add a call-to-action in the caption and ask people to contact us if they are interested in any future events.
We don’t like to be too sales based on Instagram. That leads to followers turning off and not engaging. But if we have something to promote, such as a training slot, we post it on Instagram Stories. Through this, we generally secure at least 3-4 enquires from startups and small businesses that require advice with their digital marketing.
From finding out who our core target audience is and what content they like, as well as by posting consistently, we were able to generate sales and brand awareness. This has resulted in an increasing monthly turnover of 40%, while also helping to attract interest from businesses that require training sessions or speakers at events.
Initially, it can be hard to start posting on Instagram, but once you’re in the swing of things it is easy to start seeing the benefits quickly!
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