Do you own a dog business? Are you wondering how to use Instagram to reach your customers? I handle various accounts for dog businesses and this post offering you ten Instagram tips is for you.
You’ve built something amazing. You’ve polished it up and now you have sales to make. You start telling people all about your product. Extolling its benefits, features and price value. Your message falls on deaf ears. And you wonder why?
There’s a lot of noise out there. There’s distrust. People do not like to be sold to. Times have changed! Interruption marketing no longer works. Permission marketing does.
Have you heard the saying “It’s their life …. I just try to be part of it.” This saying holds a lot of truth in how to approach marketing today. Marketing is the act of making change happen. You only make an impact when you are invited into the lives of those you serve.
There’s a party going on in Instagram. People are interacting with each other. Telling *their* story interacting with *their* friends.
Instagram Tips for Dog Businesses
The savvy dog business marketer knows you don’t enter the party on Instagram blaring your own message. You realize that you need to gain permission to tell your own story; to have them let you in; and have your story make an impact. Your story has to resonate with the listener to tell them something they have been waiting to hear and something they believe in. It invites them on a journey showing them the trajectory of their starting point with you and the transformation in their lives that you are promising. Your story solves a problem and it delivers on its promises.
To succeed today you need to have laser focus on what it is you offer and who it is you serve.
1. What makes you distinctive?
It’s not enough to be different. Today you need to hone in on what makes you distinctive. So much so that it’s a magnet and it attracts people to you time and time again.
Be specific. Be narrow. Boldly proclaim what it is you offer with such clarity that it stands out. Once you have written your identity statement – make this your Instagram bio.
2. Who are your customers?
Now that you know what it is that you offer and what makes you distinctive you need to know who it is you serve.
Where do they hang out? What do they like? And start talking to them. Do this with laser focus because you cannot be all things to all people. You cannot be wishy washy. You cannot try to please everybody trying to sell to everyone because that will mean you are selling to no one.
Start off with one. One person. Who are they? Who are they following … start to visit their profiles and interact with their posts. To get someone to listen and pay attention to you … you have to make the first move and pay attention to them first.
3. Tell their story
You read that correctly. You’re not telling *your* story on Instagram. You’re going to paint a picture of what the life of your customers look like. So don’t post the glossy brochure photos you paid a lot of money for. Because it’s not relatable. You need to find a way to use imagery that paints the picture of what your customer’s lives look like. You want them to picture themselves, in the story you create.
Have you heard of the “Hero’s Journey”? A lot of companies position themselves as the hero that has come to save the day with the product they are offering. Guess what? Your customer doesn’t want you to be the hero. They want you to be the guide. The customer wants to be the hero in your story. You’re the Obi One Kanobe to Luke Skywalker.
4. Remember this is a distraction platform
Have you ever turned on the TV and had nothing but ads play? If it did – would you sit through it? Chances are you will turn it off.
It’s the same thing with your Instagram page. You cannot have every single post be an “ad” or have every post have an “ask”. Your readers will tune out, mute you, or unfollow you.
Understand how people use the platform. They log in when they wake up, when they are sitting in the subway on the way to work, waiting for a meeting to start, waiting for lunch to be delivered, on the subway again on the way home and at night in front of the television.
First and foremost people on Instagram want to be entertained. They want to escape. They want comic relief. So part of your posting strategy should cater to those desires. Be fun, entertaining so that when you do tell your story about your product or service, your readers just might then listen.
5. To be seen you need to first see
People want to be seen. If they have an account on Instagram and are creating content …. the best way to *earn* their attention is to *give*attention to them first. Go to their page. Interact with their posts. Read about their lives and learn what brings them joy and what causes pain. Not only are you now starting a relationship with your target customer you’re also now conducting valuable market research.
6. Earn their trust
Show up every day. Not once a week or twice a week. EVERY DAY. It establishes trust. It shows that you are there for your customers. If you’re only posting once a week your customers might think that’s a reflection on your business. Create content daily and engage with at least 30 people daily.
7. Focus on one to one relationships
Most people ask, “How can I add more followers?” To which I reply, “But what about focusing instead on the one in front of you now?”
Focus not on growth. Focus on depth. Focus on nurturing your relationship with one and repeat that to get one more. And only look outside of your circle once you’ve served everyone inside of it.
8. Learn how to see and how to speak
Start learning how to see through the eyes of your customer. What are their dreams? How do they decide and act? How can you help them come better versions of themselves?
Once you start to see through their eyes you then need to learn how to speak so they listen. Don’t speak *at* your customer. Show empathy. Show compassion. And know what words to use and what stories to tell that will trigger decisions in their mind. The goal is for you to tell the story in such a way because you see your customer and speak their language so that they say YES I open my doors and invite you into our life.
9. Celebrate your customers
Have you ever been to Instagram pages that only showed the company employees and the company’s products? Boring right? Who tunes into that show? No one!
The best way to compliment your customers is to showcase them on your page. Remember it’s about them not you. Use their content (asking permission of course) and showcase them on your page. Not only are you showing you care about them, your customer feels “seen”.
10. Be human
People today don’t buy WHAT you sell they buy because of WHO you are. Be sure to tell your own story in some of the posts on your gallery. Tell them what drives you to do what you do. Create emotional connections and leave the sales pitches on the floor.
Even though Instagram is a visual platform … it is a story teller’s platform first.
I remember a time before digital. Most families had photo albums. Some had the sticky paper that you would place photos on and then cover with clear film. Later versions of photo albums had photo sleeves you inserted photos in. And even later were scrapbooks.
They sat on the living room coffee table until you had people over. And sometime after dinner was done and dessert and coffee was being enjoyed you might pull out that photo album and share a photo or two and tell the story around that photo.
If you remember that time … and you remember what that felt like … bring that story telling energy and experience to your Instagram page. Make it personal, intimate, conversational and so that it resonates. Do that and you will succeed.
You can also read more articles we have written about Instagram