Digitalization is on the rise, and more businesses are turning to the online world in a bid to adapt and stay relevant.
And according to NapoleonCat, a social media analytics platform, as of 2017, Instagram (IG) has recorded 8.5 million users in the Philippines where over 80% of them are between 18 to 44 years old.
This number only shows that Instagram has the potential to open up a lot of opportunities including brand/self exposure, promotion and/or products and services selling. In fact, there have been a number of entrepreneurs who use it as an online shopping platform, and by far, it has been really useful and noteworthy.
At this day and age, more people prefer online shopping because it’s hassle-free, it’s easier to compare prices, and without having to worry about accessibility. As business owners, this should be a great way to gain a closer access to your consumers. Adapting to the changes triggered by technology would really be beneficial as this would allow you to have a better view at what’s trending while reaching out to millions of potential costumers.
Instagram has progressed rapidly from simply being a photo-sharing app to becoming one of the biggest advertising platforms online. It has provided small businesses the invaluable opportunity to promote their products and services, grow their brands, and eventually make profit out of it. So should you sign up now?
Here are 4 reasons why small Filipino businesses need to create an Instagram account!
1. More users could mean more potential customers.
As mentioned above, there are over 8 million Instagram users in the Philippines. How many of those do you think would at least be interested in what you are selling? We could talk about hundreds (or even thousands) potential customers if that’s the number that we are looking at whether your target is to get recognized as a brand or to literally sell your products.
2. Instagram’s features could advertise your products easier. [restrict]
The Instagram community is massive. Thus, your chance to get noticed should be pretty high. However, connecting to the right type of customers that could relate to your brand could get a little tricky.
While you could use hashtags to narrow down your audience, a more effective way to really filter them out would be through the use of paid ads. This would not only help you out in targeting your customers, but it could also boost traffic to your site and make your brand more popular.
3. Online users prefer images over texts.
Why do images generate more engagements on social media? Simple. Humans have a natural attraction to images. We are wired to notice visual content over texts which is why online users should put more emphasis in posting photos to attract more attention. Aside from that, it is equally important to promote your brand in a tasteful and original way.
4. It helps drive more customers through user-generated content
User-generated content is to put it simply content that is produced by users on a particular platform. For this to work, however, you need to be creative. And one of the great things about Instagram is that it allows you to showcase your brand in so many different ways.
You could get creative with the filters, upload your photos in a carousel (10 photos all at the same time) or start an IGTV (video content) to further engage with your followers. Also, it allows you to connect with other users and potential customers through the use of hashtags.
Using Instagram Effectively For Your Small Business
When setting up an Instagram account, there are some things that you have to consider such as your profile picture, a description of your business and even setting the mood and branding that you want to reflect on your feed as these are the first 3 things that people look at when they visit your page.
Ideally, you should use your company logo as your Instagram account display picture. For the ‘bio’ area, you could display a witty one-liner or your company tagline. As for the feed, opt for designs and filters that best represent your brand.
Users will identify with content and a branding that resonates with their personal liking, so it’s important to create a feed that is uniform while promoting your company’s product or service.
Marketing could also help in establishing your company. On Instagram, there are 2 main types of marketing: Paid Marketing and Free Marketing.
In Free Marketing, you basically use all the resources that you got to promote your brand organically. Perhaps you could come up with a very interesting content that could persuade your audience to engage or you could just maximize the use of hashtags to attract people with the same interest.
You could also start posting Instagram stories to spice things up a bit. Maybe give your viewers a little sneak peak on what’s happening behind the scenes or tease them with what you’re coming up with.
On the other hand, there’s Paid Marketing that filters out the reach of your posts by age, gender, location, interests, etc. With this, you could also determine your advertising budget and the duration of your ad. You can also control the number of people who could see your posts thru this type of marketing. However, it comes with a price. But if you’re really determined to reach a bigger audience in a short period of time, this might be the way to go.
In every method, free or paid, it is essential to get in touch with your audience very well. The more knowledgeable you are about their likes and dislikes, the more likely your products will sell. It’s not just about audience impact, but also about keeping up with your competitors, and trying to level with them in every way possible.
In online marketing, you need to remember that you cannot get everyone’s approval and attention. In fact, it’s common for your product or service to not resonate with all consumers. But there are some things about Instagram that could shed a light on this situation:
- Instagram ads are non-intrusive and less likely to annoy your targeted audience.
- The engagement rate on Instagram is higher than the engagement rate on any other social media platform.
- You can easily integrate Shopify and sell your products instantly.
- Instagram measures the success of your campaign based on awareness, reach and recall instead of follower counts, likes or comments.
Filipino Retailers on Instagram
It doesn’t matter if your business is basically still a baby, online presence could definitely take it a long way from where it is now. Take it from the following successful online Filipino retail stores.
1. Sirena Swimwear PH (@sirenaswimwearph)
Not only is this swimwear popular because of their cute designs, it’s also worth your double tap because it’s owned by the famous Filipina actress Sam Pinto. With over 46,0000 followers, the swimwear company’s Instagram news feed features content that is young and fresh, providing much appeal to visitors to the page thanks to their bright and warm colours.
2. Araw The Line (@arawtheline)
Araw the line does a fantastic job at creating a visual feed that is attractive and engaging. Inspired by Filipino fashion, their Instagram account is dessert for the eyes, filed with warm pastel hues that induce a sense of calm and chic at the same time. It’s clear to see why the company has 14,000 followers
3. Locals (@locals_ph)
Consumers love nothing more than tailor-made and bespoke designs to call their own. The Locals brand themselves as Handcrafted Ateliers specialising in Leather and Garments. Catering to men’s fashion, their Instagram feed uniformly features their products ranging from classic leather wallets to uniquely funky printed shirts that resonate with the modern man.
4. Space Encounters (@speaceencounters)
Space Encounters Instagram account is nothing short of eclectic. Their Instagram feed stays true to the brand name as their content is filled with bright neon colours and bold visuals.
Established in 2009, this Filipino furniture company specialises in creating customized mid-century modern furniture. With over 13,000 followers, it’s clear to see why this brand is a hit with fellow Filipino Instagrammers.
Creating an Instagram account is simple. But keep in mind, however, that you have to be always be creative, fun and consistent to maximize its potential in driving traffic to your page. Capture amazing images, write smart captions, use hashtags, and just get involved with the Instagram community.
It could totally be the platform that could step up the game of your business. Therefore, sign up now!