"007" Ways to Boost your Brand on Instagram For Free
James Bond is the ultimate spy. He drives an Aston Martin, drinks Bollinger champagne and Martinis, and is a brand unto himself.
He always looks sharp in a suit or tuxedo, his favourite card game is Baccarat, and even though his spycraft is a bit obvious at times, somehow it doesn’t get too annoying.
Bond is also impressively consistent, with almost 70 years of movies, books, and other media to his name.
Believe it or not, consistency and stealth are also useful to boost your brand on Instagram. But can you promote your brand subtly and successfully on social media?
1. Boost your Brand on Instagram with Personality
Over the years, Bond’s gadgets got more advanced and the situations he found himself were wildly different. But he always was, and is, a cool and collected spy.
Your brand may evolve and develop but the core of what you offer needs to remain the same.
Instagram gives you a way to display the core of your brand through imaging, fonts, and colors. For example, color alone can improve brand recognition by up to 80%.
Every time you post, your brand’s personality should be clear. If your elements are consistent, you can boost your brand on Instagram effortlessly and discreetly, almost as a side effect. Consistent branding also inspires more consumer confidence in your brand over multiple interactions.
McDonald's and Burger King's Instagram feeds have similar personalities, but different ways of expressing themselves. - image source
Burger King's Instagram - image source
Simply put, once you choose a theme, stick to it.
Finally, although you want to keep one eye on what your competition is doing, don’t be afraid to be an individual. Apparently, Sean Connery’s portrayal of James Bond was one of George Lucas’s inspirations for Indiana Jones, but inspiration didn’t lead to imitation.
2. Say What You Want to Say... Without Saying It
Don’t just post pictures. Put up quotes that express your brand. Ask questions and engage people who have interests that align with your brand. Be friendly, encouraging, and aspirational.
Bulletproof, a coffee, supplement, and lifestyle company, is a good example. Bulletproof promotes its products on Instagram, but they don’t stop there. Their Instagram feed also features quotes and questions that resonate with their customer base.
In fact, lots of their posts don’t directly promote any one thing, but they reinforce the brand and its ethos. Bulletproof’s feed creates a consistent relationship with their audience and inspiring them (literally) to come back.
Bulletproof uses questions and inspirational pictures to help the consumer become attached to the brand. - image source
The Bulletproof quotes are also noteworthy in that they use a strong background colour that contrasts with the font colour, which also contrasts with the rest of the feed. The quotes style is consistent but looks different from the other things they post, so the quotes and questions pop visually.
Infographics are also making a comeback on Instagram in combination with the slideshow format. Brands can break information down into easily-consumable slides that users can swipe through.
Finally, and it probably goes without saying, but use hashtags. (“Bond, James Bond” is by far Bond’s most-quoted phrase. If he had a hashtag, that would be it.)
3. Promote Products Without Promoting Them
Paid ads and direct promotion will always be part of your marketing efforts.
But can you supplement those ads with indirect, even sneaky, organic posts? There are a few options worthy of consideration.
One option is to post behind-the-scenes pictures, footage, or sneak peeks of things coming soon.
You can show the real world and the work that goes into creating your content. Lifehacks has some insights on effective behind-the-scenes Instagram pictures.
If authenticity is part of your persona, images or video that are less-than-perfect can reinforce your brand too. And if you don't want to give too much of the final product away, you can use props, objects, and colours that represent your brand with a teaser for something coming soon.
If you’ve seen enough Bond movies, you know that there’s always a scene where Bond learns about the latest gadgets, which is basically a behind-the-scenes look that sets up the action sequences later. Today’s superhero movies usually feature a scene like this too. It might seem overused on the big screen, but this tactic will do great on your Instagram.
You can also post photos of people using your product. And not just people — Lowes uses cute kids, pets, older people in quarantine, and various other figures to represent their brand.
Cute dogs aren’t usually associated with hardware products, but Lowes makes it work - image source
Lowes does it effortlessly, and maybe more importantly, discreetly. Your eye is drawn to the characters first, then the products.
You can also reach out to your customers and ask them to send you images that feature your products, and then repost or share them on your brand’s feed.
4. Use Stories Unexpectedly
Instagram Stories encourage engagement. You may be using them for direct marketing already. But they can also get your brand out there in a more stealth-like fashion.
How? If the stories you create are consistent with your brand, people are inadvertently engaging with your brand. And recent research shows that 62% of people become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Instagram Stories.
Forever 21 has multiple steps in one of their Instagram stories to keep people engaged with the brand - image source
Also, Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, so you can try a few new things and get experimental. Options include:
- Countdown clocks
You can also highlight good reviews and testimonials, recipes, tips and tricks on how to use products, checklists, updates — the list is endless.
5. Boost your Brand on Instagram with a Storyline
According to breadnbeyond, 65% of Instagram ad impressions come from videos. But if you’re trying to grow your brand organically (or stealthily, James Bond-style), you can also use videos in other ways.
One option is to develop the ideology of your brand. Give your brand some context and explain its history. You can even break the story up into ‘chapters’ and share each chapter as a weekly or monthly video.
Videos are one of the most effective ways to make your brand's story come to life. If producing videos about your brand’s history doesn’t fit your personality, try going the social proof route. Show people using your brand or products, and highlight the value it has added to their life.
Research shows that telling stories is much more memorable than just stating facts, and if you create a story that people see themselves in, your brand can reach an audience on a deeper level.
Part of your story, for example, can showcase an aspirational lifestyle that is centred around your brand. Try highlighting your products in exotic or luxurious places. You can tap into the escapism that Instagram basically runs on and generate more engagement by aligning your content with user interests.
Campbrand Goods' Instagram shows the life you can lead if you buy their products - image source
Remember, even though the Bond character himself rarely changes, the lavish locales he visits also featured consistently throughout the franchise.
One of Bond’s main jobs, believe it or not, is intelligence gathering. So not only can you gather intelligence from accounts that are related to your brand but you can also interact with them.
Leave comments on their posts that boost your brand on Instagram through your unique personality. This way, you may pick up followers from their accounts naturally.
Tag celebrities if you think what you have to offer would be of interest to them. And even if they don’t return the compliment, their followers might see your post and, as a result, begin directly interacting with your brand.
007. Get Quirky
Oxford English Dictionary defines quirky as being “characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits.”
Truth be told, we all have something a little peculiar going on. It might be your taste in food, a guilty-pleasure TV show, or talking to plants.
The same can be true of your brand. Quirky, out-of-the-box posts help your brand appear more authentic and honest, which consumers are looking for.
Letterfork showcases its products in a quirky way to ensure engagement. - image source
In fact, changing up the content you post on Instagram once in a while can drive more engagement. Try different photo styles, for example, or illustrations with unexpected twists.
Also, consider sharing your own guilty pleasures, or a team member’s (work-appropriate) quirk that can highlight personalities and boost your brand on Instagram.
This idea isn’t limited to images either. Write quirky or unusual captions that add humor and/or arouse curiosity.
After all, Bond has any number of quirks, starting with his signature Martini — shaken, not stirred. Even though that detail isn’t necessary for the plot, it establishes his character as someone a bit different.
Final Thoughts on Ways to Boost Your Brand on Instagram
The tips and tactics above aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution for your marketing needs. As always, you’ll want to track and test these methods to see which ones engage your audience effectively for your brand.
Also, don’t be afraid to try multiple tactics, or other innovations beyond what we’ve listed here. James Bond is always on the cutting-edge of new tech — and you should be too.
Good luck out there!
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