While I'm putting the finishing touches on my course, Instagram Marketing Simplified, I'm getting more and more into the specifics of creating and managing a really good Instagram account for a business.
Today what's front and centre is branding.
According to Entreprenur.com, the definition of a brand is "The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.....your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors."
Long gone are the days of creating an advertisement that is designed to embody everything about your brand for everyone related to your brand. With non-stop news feeds full of millions, or billions of posts every day, your brand is seen from all angles and many times over. That means creating interesting, brand relevant content consistently and frequently. So how does a brand stand out against this kind of busy and demanding playing field?
Truthfully, there's really only one way to do this. That is to sell the lifestyle, not the product or services. Remember, your brand is your "promise to your customer" about how your product or service is going to make their lives better, or how it will hold an important place in the life of your customers. In general marketing terms, this is called Lifestyle Branding.
Whether your brand is an actual "lifestyle brand" or not, you need to present it like one on social media. Because social media, by definition, is designed to be social. It's designed for sharing bits and pieces of your life with those you connect with. Without the bad parts of course, just the beautiful, shiny, fun stuff which turns out to be a good thing for branding. You can't run as a non-stop commercial on social media. People will simply refuse to engage with you. This mean you need need to be more subtle about the actual 'offer' by demonstrating how fantastic life is with YOU in the world.
According to Alex Frias of Track Marketing Group, "Lifestyle brands implement a strategy that is the complete opposite of "A.B.C. (Always Be Closing ~ an old approach to sales)" Their marketing doesn't explicitly imply the selling of their product; rather, it’s about figuring out creative ways that their brand can enhance their consumers' way of life. It’s about finding the "lifestyle secret sauce" that connects their brand with their consumers' daily lives."
This definition is speaking about branding in general, but it does adequately summarizes an effective strategy social media content strategy.
Don't tell your audience how great your brand will make their lives, show them.
A great example of life style content, is David's Tea. Their content is selling the benefits of the brand, not selling tea. Check out their Instagram to see more about how they use their products to sell a lifestyle that is made prettier and more interesting with tea.
One of my favorite parts of David's Tea's Instagram account is the flat lay styles showing the contents of a purse. These images so clearly say "your makeup bag, your sunglasses and your tea are essential".
What ways can you create lifestyle images for your products or services?
Follow me on Instagram @catherinemellon and tag me when you find your groove with your content and your brand. I always love a good Instagram post! Or tag me if you need some help defining your style!
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Catherine Mellon is a Social Media Director with 5 years experience helping entrepreneurs & small businesses use the internet to grow their business.