Nothing builds trust or brand loyalty quite as effectively as letting your customers do the talking. Word of mouth advertising has always been one of the most effective forms of marketing, and the Internet has not changed that dynamic. In fact, the Internet has provided companies with many new and creative ways to harness the power of word of mouth advertising, from asking customers to share and like their firms on Facebook to featuring happy customers on Instagram.
Instagram can be a particularly powerful tool for word of mouth advertising. The visual nature of the site makes it an excellent platform for showcasing your products and the happy customers who use them.
Your existing customers are the best marketing tools you have. You can spend all day telling customers how great your products are, but it will not be as effective as one friend telling another how much they love what you have to sell. Using real customers on your Instagram page engages customers on a personal level. The perspective of an outsider can be particularly effective as a marketing tool; the customer has no ties to the company, so what they say has real merit with other visitors.
There are literally thousands of product review sites, and they serve an important purpose. You can create your own product reviews using real customers and make them an integral part of your Instagram profile. You can solicit those reviews in any number of ways, from personal contacts and surveys to other social media sites. The method is not important; it is how you use the reviews.
Once you have your reviewers lined up, it is simply a matter of getting a good photograph and quick description to place on Instagram. Pictures of customers actually using your products can be particularly effective. If you sell a new and innovative cleaning product, for instance, a picture of a smiling customer standing next to her gleaming stainless steel refrigerator is sure to get the attention of casual web browsers.
Virgin America has been at the forefront of this type of marketing. The airline often posts pictures of its customers with surprise celebrities, from rock stars to the CEO of the company. The strategy of surprising customers and posting their reactions has been very effective for the airline, and many other companies are following suit.
No matter how you decide to implement the strategy, think about how to best showcase your company and the values of your brand while highlighting the positive experiences of your customers. Think about what your customers enjoy most about the products they buy, and use that knowledge to create engaging Instagram content that will engage existing customers and attract new ones.