Flippa Seller Showcase – Happiest Camper Blog

Flippa Seller Showcase – Happiest Camper Blog

Happiest Camper is a blog about creating the happiest life in any space. It currently receives 66,978 page views and 46,204 unique visits per month and generates considerable revenue through Mediavine and Amazon Affiliates. Content includes tutorials and step-by-step instructions on furniture makeovers, renovating an RV and other projects — from sewing and gardening to raising animals. The business is currently for sale on Flippa and we interviewed the owner in the video below. 

We currently have 92 articles on the site. A seller could easily continue to add to these and create more evergreen content. 

Watch the full interview below and click here to see the business listing on Flippa. 

Increasing the value of your advertising website

Increasing the value of your advertising website

Mat Bennett is a long-term web publisher and Co-Founder of Website Monetization agency OKO Ad Management. 


 

If you watch the lists of websites for sale on Flippa you’ll soon notice that ad-funded sites consistently attract interest from buyers. Sale prices vary greatly though. What’s more, many websites that are promising at first look fail to sell at all. Thankfully, there is plenty that a seller can to make their site more appealing to buyers and to ensure it sells for a reasonable price. 

 

Why advertising sites are popular

 

Advertising sites are popular with buyers and sellers alike, second in number only to e-commerce sites in the Flippa listings. 

Low barriers to entry and multiple niche possibilities mean that there will always be plenty of these types of websites for sale. All you need is an AdSense account and a good idea to get started and demand from buyers for this type of website site remains high. 

What makes an advertising site attractive to buyers will depend a lot on the buyer. However, there are some key features that remain popular with all buyers. 

Advertising is a well-established model : Ad funding is the dominant financial model for website and one that buyers are quick to grasp. This model is simple for buyers to quickly gauge the potential value of a site and submit a strong bid.

Residual income: Ad revenue is the ultimate residual income opportunity online. Even if you stop publishing new content tomorrow, the impressions will continue and so will the revenue. This allows buyers to focus on the future direction of the website whilst still having revenue coming in. 

Minimal administration: Whilst the admin involved in running any particular site will differ, the administrative overhead of advertising as a model is low – particularly when it comes to programmatic advertising. Get content production right, and the result is attractively high margins.

Six ways to quickly boost your ad revenue

 

Bid prices tend to be guided by income multiples. Smart and saavy buyers will carry out their due diligence, so it’s important not to do anything that brings short term gains at the risk of long term harm. Nonetheless, there are easy steps to follow that can have a positive impact on ad revenue

 

1. Additional ad units

The fastest way to increase revenue is to add additional ad units to your website. If you are going down this path it’s important not to overdo it. If a buyer thinks that the revenue is only being driven by showing too many ads, they may decrease their offer. One of the best ways to increase impressions is to selectively add one or two additional units only to the most viewed pages. This will help to achieve the most impact per unit.

Another method is to add a unit that has a 1 view/day frequency cap. This can have a big impact on revenue on sites that have a low average visit depth without creating a site that feels overly monetized.

Don’t overlook missed opportunities either. Check for popular pages that have fewer units on than the rest of the website.

 

2. Replace poor performing units

Most websites have a few units that perform at a fraction of the level of the average. These are invariably placed without thought somewhere below the fold where there is a convenient space. 

Hunt these down and look for better placement opportunities on the same page. For ads to perform they need to be viewed so try to get your placements where they are going to be seen.  Scroll depth monitoring tools can be a great way to find those placements, but don’t forget to check for both mobile and desktop users. 

 

3. Optimize for viewability 

If your ads are paid per impression, then most revenue will only come through viewable impressions. If they are paid per click, then those ads still need to be seen to be clicked. Either way, optimizing for viewability is a proven way to boost ad unit performance. 

Google measures an impression as viewable when at least 50% of the creative has been in view for one second. If you have ever watched recordings of users on your site then you already know that one second is a long time in a page view and users can scroll past your valuable inventory in a fraction of that time. This is especially true of units at the very top of the page.

Units placed alongside the stickiest parts of the page will tend to achieve the best viewability. For example, the opening paragraphs of content will generally perform better than the very top of the page. 

 

4. Speed things up

Multiple articles have been written about the impact of page speed on e-commerce website conversions.  A study by DoubleClick found that publishers whose sites loaded within five seconds earned up to twice as much ad revenue than sites loading within 19 seconds. 

Whilst it would probably take significant time and investment to optimize a site from an average 19 seconds load time to under 5, many improvements can be made quickly and cheaply. One of my favorite quick wins for performance is to use a CDN like Cloudflare

Using Google’s lighthouse tool is a great way to find more quick wins. The greatest dividends can usually be found by focusing on “time to first paint” and then on how fast the ad server itself is called. If you are serving ads via Google Ad Manager you can also use the Ad Manager Speed Test offered for free by my own company. 

 

5. Introduce competition

If all of the ads on your site are currently served through one network or exchange (for example AdSense) then you could see huge increases by introducing more competition through Header Bidding or Exchange Bidding. The same is true if you are running multiple demand sources but they are either served into different placements on run in an old-school waterfall.

Header bidding has every interested buyer compete for the impression and only gives Google the opportunity to buy the impression if they can pay more than the winning bidder. With an effective set-up and the right buyers in the auction, this can have an instant and significant impact on ad revenue. We typically see increases of 30% to 60% from this step alone. 

 

6. Consider using a specialist monetization agency

As the founder of one such monetization agency, I have to confess some bias here, but I still stand by this advice. A good website monetization specialist will be able to tackle all of the issues above and also be able to introduce demand from premium networks and exchanges that you might not be able to access directly.  Most work on a revenue share basis but are able to work quickly to significantly increase your take-home revenue, even taking their fee into account. 

If optimizing the sell then you should be careful not to enter into longer-term agreements that might be seen as risky to a buyer. Many specialists now though, like us, offer services without long term commitment. 

Working with a specialist agency also offers another advantage to sellers. Agreements with such companies are often more portable than trying to transfer direct accounts from the likes of Google. The best providers will also be able to lend expertise during the sale. 

Ways to quickly lose a sale

Whilst it’s not difficult to boost the ad revenue on most sites prior to a sale, there are pitfalls to be wary of. In a bid to increase revenue and maximize those multiples, it is vital that you don’t do anything that is going to put off buyers. Some examples which I’ve seen that have caused problems are listed below. 

Getting an AdSense ban

Once a domain finds its way onto a Google blacklist it can be a long hard job to get it removed again. Google plays an important part in most display ad stacks, so a site that cannot run Google demand is going to be worth significantly less. 

 

Bad ads

If a potential buyer is getting alerts from their anti-virus as they view your site, they are going to be a lot less willing to part with good money for your website. Bad ads are unfortunately a feature of programmatic advertising, but they are far more common with some low-quality partners.  Pick your partners carefully.

 

Too many ads 

Revenue is great, but if your website ends up covered in too many ads then it is going to put off buyers. Not only can it impact the perception of quality, but if it seems that revenue is only being achieved by aggressive monetization then buyers are less likely to see an opportunity to add value and make a profit. 

If those ads are putting off users and your page views per session drop as a result, then there is going to be a revenue impact too. 

 

Not planning ahead

Buyers are likely to want to see at least 3 months of revenue before even discussing prices, and most of these methods require some work to get gains from. It’s important to plan ahead and start as soon as possible.

However, even if available time is short these tips can help. An upturn in revenue, even if it is only for the last month, is going to help when securing a sale and will keep paying dividends if a sale isn’t immediately completed. So, if you are wondering when to get started then the answer is now.

 

How to leverage video marketing to grow your business

How to leverage video marketing to grow your business

Author bio – Lilach Bullock

Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. She is listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers, named one of 10 top digital marketers by Brand24 and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business


 

Content marketing has undoubtedly become one of the absolute best forms of branding and growing a business. But content marketing can mean a lot of things: business blogging, social media, email marketing and so many different forms of content, from a simple written blog post to social media images and to videos.

And the biggest form of content marketing at the moment is…drumroll, please: video marketing!

A good video marketing strategy will help you grow your business and generate better results overall from your marketing, whether we’re talking social media, your blog or website or any other platform you might be using to promote your (new) business.

In this blog post, I’m going to share what you need to know in order to leverage video marketing to grow your business.

 

Why you need to incorporate video in your marketing strategy

Before I get into how to leverage video marketing and how to develop a strategy – as well as how to create engaging videos for your business – I first want to talk about why it’s so important to start leveraging video marketing, whether you’ve just bought a new business or thinking of selling your existing business later on.

But the fact is, there are a lot of reasons and statistics why video marketing is so important right now – it would take a while to go through them all.

Like how by the end of this year, video is expected to account for about 80% of all consumer Internet traffic.

Or how there are over 500 million people watching videos via Facebook every day.

Not to mention, social media videos generate 12 times the shares of text and image updates combined.

There are numerous statistics, all suggesting the same thing: people love watching videos online.

And if your business isn’t putting out the content that audience want to see – i.e. videos – you’re likely to struggle getting the results you need from your digital marketing strategies.

Even if you’re already thinking of the time when you’re going to be exiting the business, it’s important to maintain business health through great content, particularly video.

Not to mention, as video tends to generate much higher engagement than other forms of content, that means it will help you drive steady streams of traffic to your website, as well as higher conversion rates – and any prospective buyers interested in your business will definitely want to look at your traffic analysis when they’re carrying out their due diligence.

So whether you want to brand or grow a business you just bought or boost up the numbers for a business you’re planning to sell, start leveraging video marketing now.

Here’s how:

 

Establish your video marketing goals

Depending on whether you’re planning to sell or you just bought your business, your video marketing will likely differ.

That said, there are several big marketing goals you can reach with the help of video:

  • Build your brand and improve brand awareness
  • Build trust in your brand and showcase your value to consumers
  • Generate more social media engagement
  • Increase your website traffic
  • Generate more leads and conversions
  • Generate more sales

At this stage, consider your overall business/marketing objectives to help you choose the right video marketing goals; for example, if you’ve just bought a business and you need to start branding it, then leverage video to help you build up brand awareness and help establish your branding.

Or, if you want to sell your business, then it might be worth focusing your attention on boosting social media engagement and particularly, your traffic.

Whatever your end goals are, videos can help you achieve them more efficiently – if you know how to leverage them.

 

Where will you be publishing your videos?

Now you know what you want to achieve, so the next question is, what platforms will you be using to share your video content?

Make a list of where you are planning to use video marketing to boost your results:

  • On social media, to generate more traffic and engagement
  • On your blog and your website, to generate more traffic and leads/conversions
  • On your landing pages, to boost your conversion rate
  • In your email marketing campaigns, to generate higher open rates and more click-throughs
  • On YouTube, to reach a wider audience and boost views

When picking your channels, remember to consider your marketing objectives, as well as your resources; thankfully, you can easily optimize videos for multiple channels leveraging video creation and editing tools – but I’ll get to that in a bit.

 

Coming up with your video marketing calendar: video ideas for business

You know your objectives and you know where you’re planning to post your videos. But what kinds of videos can you actually create?

Here are some great ideas that you can use to create varied videos, depending on what your marketing objectives are:

  • Brand videos: if you want to boost brand awareness and/or build up your brand, you can leverage videos to put your brand in the spotlight. For example, you can create behind the scenes videos that show off your team in action, or behind the scenes images from your events
  • Product videos: another route you can take is to promote your products through videos and use these videos on your website, as well as social media and other marketing channels to help boost your sales. For example, showcase specific features of your product, the value it can bring to your target audience, or, like GoPro, show your products in action:

 

  • Tutorial videos: another way to highlight your products and boost sales is to create tutorial videos showcasing how people can use your products or how they can use specific features
  • Educational/how-to videos: people love content that provides them with some sort of value. So, just like you would create a How to Guide for your business blog, you can come up with similar ideas for videos that show viewers how to do something – ideally, something your business or your product can also help with. For example, here’s this video from Gillette which offers tips on how to shave sensitive skin – not only something that is highly relevant to their target audience, but also something that their products can help with:

 

  • Listicle videos: listicles are popular in all formats, including video. Make sure they offer some kind of value to your audience, just like with How-to videos earlier and that they are highly relevant to your industry
  • Live streaming videos: live streaming videos are very popular right now; ideally, if you plan to leverage live streaming, create a regular schedule so that your audience knows when to log in to see your stream
  • User-generated-content videos: one of the best ways to engage your audience and build trust at the same time is to leverage user generated content (as made popular particularly by Instagram!). For example, like Rockstar Games highlight user generated videos on their YouTube channel:

 

  • Testimonials: another great way to build trust in your brand with video is to create some testimonial videos and/or case studies with current and past customers

Most of the videos in this list can be leveraged on pretty much any channel, with some small differences; your videos will of course need to be optimized for each channel, and it’s important to remember that on some platforms, it’s best to keep things short and sweet – particularly social media and via email marketing.

 

Creating your videos: useful tips and tools

There are 2 main options for creating your videos:

  • Either film your own videos and edit them
  • Or use a content creation tool to create a video from scratch, using stock footage

Or, of course, a combination of both.

 

How to create videos without having to pick up a camera

This is one of the things that scare off businesses from getting started with video marketing: hiring someone to create videos for your brand constantly can get expensive, but at the same time, you might not have the knowledge or resources in-house to consistently film marketing videos.

So what can you do?

There are actually numerous tools available that allow you to create and edit videos very easily, even if you don’t actually have any videos of your own or any editing experience. These types of tools have video templates that you can use, as well as large and varied libraries of stock video clips.

For example, you can use a tool like Wave.video – a video creation and video editing tool that was created specifically for marketers and businesses; it has over 200 million stock video clips and images (although you can upload your own video clips too), as well as numerous templates for all kids of industries and occasions. Plus, it’s also worth mentioning that you can instantly resize your videos to over 30 different popular formats; meaning, you can easily publish your video across channels.

As for the actual editing, it’s all very straightforward, especially if you’ve already selected a template:

 

You can change video clips and images, add new ones from their (or your) library, add text overlay in your brand fonts, create different effects and watermark your videos. Plus, you can add music from their library or record yourself as a voiceover for the video.

Another similar tool is Biteable, a video maker created for marketers and businesses; as before, you have access to over 85,000 Shutterstock video clips and images and a great selection of templates to help get you started:

 

As for the video builder, it’s super easy to use; add text overlay to each scene, change the video clips and imagery you use in your scenes, change the colours in your video to suit your branding and add music to your video from their library or upload your own.

 

Useful tips for creating videos you’re filming yourself

If you want to film some – or even all – of your videos yourself, in house, you’ll most likely need to invest in a few things: microphones for making sure the sound is very clear, a camera (unless you’re doing videos exclusively for social media where you can pull off videos that were shot on your phone, you need to invest in a better camera), a tripod for making sure your shot is stable and not wobbly (both for smartphone and a “regular” camera) and, of course, great lighting.

Another important tool you’ll need is video editing software to help put together your clips into the video you wanted; you can use tools like the previously mentioned Wave.video as well, or you can get an editing tool like Filmora, which you can use to edit your videos from top to bottom: add titles an text overlays to your scenes, improve your video’s sound, layer different video clips and improve the actual aspect/aesthetic of your video.

You’ll need to spend some time getting the hang of it and watching some tutorials if you don’t have the experience and knowledge, but it can definitely turn your videos from great to amazing.

 

Conclusion

Video can make a great asset for your business, whatever your business goals are. If you’ve just bought a new business, video marketing will help you build the brand you want to build, as well as help you reach a wider audience and grow your traffic. If you want to sell your business, then it can help you boost your overall marketing results so that you can showcase the success of your business – and demonstrate why it’s a great option.

Follow the tips outlined in this article, and you’ll start churning out awesome videos in no time.

 

 

 

6 email marketing automation tips for eCommerce businesses

6 email marketing automation tips for eCommerce businesses

Gloria Kopp is a ecommerce digital marketer at Academized. She is an editor at Studydemic blog for writers and international students. Gloria is a contributor at Collective Evolution, Template Monster and Big Assignments. Follow her on Twitter: @Gloria_Kopp


 

With the rise of social media, SEO and paid advertising strategies, it seems like many businesses are letting their email campaigns slip off to the wayside. However, if used effectively, it’s still one of the most popular and most effective forms of marketing you can invest in.

In fact, according to one study by MarketingSherpa, they found that 72% of customers preferred communicating via email, that’s way more than calls, texts, instant message and social media combined.

So, as an e-commerce business, what can you do to implement an email strategy into marketing efforts? If you’re scratching your head for ideas, here are six tried and tested email automations you can set up and starting today.

Start with a Welcome Email

When a customer signs up to your business by joining your mailing list, what’s the first thing they receive from you? Is it an email a couple of weeks later featuring offers or a newsletter? KissMetrics found that implementing a welcome email into your marketing strategy will boost your click-through rate and revenue three times more than any other email you’ll send.

So, using automated email clients like GetResponse or ReachMail, you can set up triggers so as soon as a lead signs up to your mailing list, they’ll receive a welcoming email from you saying welcome to your community and a bit of information about your business and what they can do next.

Making Sure Everything is Okay

Following up the sales that you’ve made is a great way to improve the overall e-commerce experience that you’re offering your customers. It shows that you care about the service that you’ve provided them and that you simply haven’t taken their money and disappeared.

By using services like Litmus, you can send timed emails a few days from when the purchase is made to make sure that everything is okay, adding contact links and asking to get in touch if they have any problems. If you don’t have time to create these emails yourself, you can use email copywriting services such as UK Writings, as suggested by UK Top Writers.

The Importance of Upselling

Upselling has long been a successful marketing tactic used by businesses all over the world. With this process, you simply send out an email which details related products to the ones that certain customers have already been looking at or offers in regard to the products they are interested in.

This can be done with most email automation clients and can significantly boost your turnover and revenue, as well as increasing the chances of repeat purchases if implemented properly. As you can imagine, this is a lot of emails to create. To help you with this process, it can be beneficial to use free online tools like Easy Word Count or Cite It In.

Cart Abandonment Prompts

How many times do you see that a lead has added products to their basket and are just a few clicks away from making a purchase before they change their mind and leave your store? This could happen for a number of reasons from having simply no time to finish their purchase to changing their minds about what they’re buying.

However, using email automation, you can set up triggers that send off an email to your customer to remind them that they still have items in their cart waiting for them to buy, helping you claw back those all-important sales.

When generating these emails, be sure to maintain your credibility by checking the content to ensure it’s free from errors. You can make this process easier by using services like Essayroo (as recommended by Best Australian Writers ) or Boom Essays, another popular service recently featured in the Huffington Post.

Educate Your Customers

In marketing, there’s the 80/20 rule that refers to the content that a business sends to its customers. This means that 80% of the content you send should be educational while the remaining 20% is promotional.

So, in relation to your email marketing strategy, you’re going to need to plan what educational content you’re going to send. Luckily, there’s a lot of opportunities open to you, whether you’re talking about your products and their origin, industry related news and media, information about your business and more.

The most important thing to remember here is to keep the content relevant and relatable to your business. If you’re strapped for time, you can use writing services like State of Writing and Academadvisor for writing, editing or proofreading your emails.

Re-Engaging Customers

Sometimes you’ll see customers on your page analytics who regularly came to your website and interacted with your content and products but have since disappeared for whatever reason.

This is one of the easiest automated emails to set up as you can wait a month or two to remind customers that you exist as well as some information on what they are missing out on! “This can re-engage potentially lost customers, bringing them back to your business, customers you would have lost completely without email” – explains Richard Lainez, an Email Marketer at Assignment Help.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many simple yet effective ways to implement email automation into the marketing process of your e-commerce store. All you need to do is get creative with what you want to achieve, and you can be sure your campaign will be a success.

How to plan a successful content marketing workflow in just 5 steps

How to plan a successful content marketing workflow in just 5 steps

Gloria Kopp is an ecommerce digital marketer at Academized. She is an editor at Studydemic blog for writers and international students. Gloria is a contributor at Collective Evolution, Template Monster and Big Assignments. Follow her on Twitter: @Gloria_Kopp


 

Content marketing is one of the most important and essential parts of your marketing and advertising campaign which requires an immense amount of planning and organizing to be successful. More and more businesses are seeing the benefits of having a content marketing workflow as it can help you and your team to streamline your processes and focus on achieving quality and results. Most businesses will have a workflow in place already but is it as successful as it can? Today, we’ll explore five key steps you can take when creating your workflow to ensure all the bases are covered and that your content is a success.

Identify Who You Need

Marketing teams can be extremely vast and variable departments with many different roles and job titles, from graphic designers and UX technicians to writers and SEO managers. When planning the start of your workflow, you need to create a list of all the job roles that you want to be included in that campaign. “This will help you to organize and plan who is going to carry out what tasks, whether you need to outsource any parts of the project and how your budget is going to match the project” – says Victor Raines, a Content Marketer at Resumention.

Finalise the Tasks Needed

Once you’ve created a list of the people that are going to be involved in your content marketing project, you need to define what jobs are in needed in order to make the project a success. When sorting out this stage of the workflow, the more detail you include now, the better your final project will be and the fewer edits you’ll have to make. And I mean you can go into an immense amount of detail. In regard to written content, think about the language you’re going to use, the grammar, the style of punctuation, the tone of voice and any information you need to include regarding legal or policy requirements.

Set Your Timeframe

With accurate time management in place in your content workflow, you can effectively manage your content marketing project to ensure everything is done on time and even leaves you enough time to make any changes and adjustments, so your content is ready and perfect for release. “It’s imperative that you remember that ASAP and Yesterday are not accurate deadlines to set your team members and precise times and dates are essential to your team’s success. Remember to include team feedback stages and leave enough time to evaluate your content and make changes” – explains Milton Clausen, a Marketing Manager at Bestbritishessays and Huffingtonpost writer. Don’t forget to make the deadlines realistic.

Creating the Content

Now that everything is organized, it’s time to set your teams up so they can start creating the content itself. With all the information and considerations listed above, this should be a relatively easy task since all the data has been compiled and it’s now a case of piecing it all together. Of course, you’ll need to ensure all of your teams maintain contact, so the style, of say, your images and banners match with the written content itself. Set up team managers to oversee every aspect of the content creation process so you can be sure that a minimal amount of errors and adjustments need to be made. Make your content easy to digest with writing tools like Bigassignments and Oxessays for more information, and your readers will digest it.

Review, Perfect, Publish

Once the content has been completed by the deadline, it’s time to review and make any necessary changes to the content that you need to make. Remember to check out relevant keywords and design aspects to ensure you’re giving the readers what they want. Once finalized, it’s time to release your content to the world and watch the traffic, sales and revenue soar! Don’t forget you can use a thesaurus or professional writing guides, like the ones found at My Writing Way and Australian help, be sure to make sure your language is captivating and compelling for your readers.

Using Online Tools for Creating a Successful Workflow

When it comes to creating your content marketing workflow, there are many processes which can be optimized and streamlined so you can process them faster and more effectively. Here are some tools and resources that can help you do this; Pulse App – budget is a huge part of planning your content marketing workflow, and it needs to be controlled. You can use this app to make sure that all your income and expenses are managed accurately. Trello – this is a collaboration app that allows you to bring all the members of your team together into one easy-to-use place where you can organize all your tasks, goals and communications.Revieweal or Paper Fellows – creating the content itself can be extremely time-consuming, and you may not have the time to do it properly. Instead, you can use writing services such as these to outsource your content creation tasks. Creately – this is a fully-featured desktop app where you can create and generate visual content marketing workflows from scratch Thrively – this is a time and workflow management platform that allows you to manage all aspects of your workflow, including sales leads, invoices and all the data surrounding your content marketing campaign. Academized / Grammarix – a copywriting tool to use when planning and research stages of content writing can drag on much longer than anticipated.

Conclusion

As you can see, when it comes to a content marketing workflow, the whole idea is to get as organized and as planned as possible. The more information and creases you iron out in the initial stages of the workflow, the smoother the entire process will be, allowing you to only focus on the important tasks so you can guarantee the success of your project.

How to build up your new businesses’ brand on Instagram

How to build up your new businesses’ brand on Instagram

Author bio – Lilach Bullock

Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. She is listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers, named one of 10 top digital marketers by Brand24 and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business


 

So you’ve just bought a new business and started the rebranding process – now what?

How do you brand your new business online and promote it effectively?

Great branding is essential to building up a successful business and there are few platforms more effective than Instagram at showcasing your branding and aesthetic, your brand’s core values and your business, as a whole.

In this blog post, discover how to build up your new businesses’ brand on Instagram.

Why Instagram?

Instagram is a highly visual social network – and that’s a huge bonus from a branding perspective. There is so much potential for being creative, from the images, videos and Stories you post to the colours you use in your content and to how you arrange your Instagram grid.

But, of course, numbers are very important as well; as per Instagram’s own statistics, the platform has:

  • 1 billion+ accounts that are active on a monthly basis
  • Out of those, at least half of them (500 million+) are active Every. Single. Day.
  • Just as many people (500 million+) use the Instagram Stories feature every day
  • 80% of Instagrammers follow at least one business on the platform
  • 200 million Instagrammers visit at last one business profile daily
  • A staggering one third of the most viewed Stories on Instagram are from businesses
  • 60% of people say that they discover new products on Instagram

Not only is Instagram an incredibly popular platform – and still growing in popularity – but it’s also one of the few platforms where brands and consumers have a very close relationship. People will follow and interact with a food brand that regularly shares delicious-looking recipes. They will engage with clothing brands that showcase cool new outfits. And they will follow their favourite brands to be the one of the first to know about their latest products and releases.

So, where do you get started?

Get yourself an Instagram business account

Setting up a business account is essential as it will give you a bunch of extra features:

  • Real-time metrics on your Instagram analytics, such as the performance of your Stories and of your promoted posts, as well as insights into your followers and your engagement
  • You can add important contact information to your profile: business hours, location and phone number

To create a business account, you’ll first need to download the Instagram app and create a regular user account; once that’s sorted, you can set up your business account following the instructions here.

Put together an Instagram marketing strategy

Before you start posting anything to your Instagram account, you need a strategy. That involves:

  • Setting up your Instagram marketing objectives
  • Performing competitive research
  • Establishing your brand’s look and content theme for Instagram and develop your brand guidelines for Instagram
  • Establishing your social media calendar
  • Analysing and optimizing your strategy

Setting up your Instagram marketing objectives  

Since you’re here reading this article, it’s easy to assume that one of your main goals is to build up your brand and your brand awareness.

That said, there are other business goals you can achieve with Instagram, together with your branding goals; these are:

  • Drive traffic to your business website, business blog, landing pages and product/landing pages
  • Increase your engagement
  • Showcase your team and business, along with your company culture (which also helps with branding your business)
  • Generate more sales for your new business
  • Connect with relevant social influencers on Instagram

Once you’re very clear on what your objectives are, you can finally start putting together your strategy in terms of your approach to reaching those objectives and the content you’re going to post.

Perform competitive research

Understanding who your competitors are and how they’re using Instagram to brand themselves – and grow their businesses – is an important part of the process. It can help inform your strategy, particularly because it helps you understand:

  • What types of content would work best for your Instagram target audience
  • What your top performing competitors are doing that gets them results
  • Which hashtags you should use

If you already know who some of your competitors are, then start looking up their profiles to understand what their strategy is and how they’re performing.

To find more of your competitors on Instagram, you can also use a tool like Combin; you can search for content in specific areas, using certain hashtags:

The tool will then pull any relevant posts from those areas, using the hashtags you specified – it’s a quick and effective way to find more local competitors for your business.

Next, to analyse their profiles in more detail and understand their insights and analytics, you can use a tool like Metricool, which allows you to monitor your competitors’ analytics:

Establishing your brand’s look and content theme for Instagram

The visual nature of Instagram means that each piece of content you post will showcase your branding and your brand’s personality. Each new image or video you add to your grid is part of a larger story: the story of your brand.

In order to properly brand your business on Instagram, you need to be very clear about your content theme and Instagram posting guidelines:

  • What is the mood/vibe that you want your profile to express? For example, if you look at Califia Farm’s Instagram profile, you immediately get a certain vibe from all the earthy colours they use in their content:
  • What types of visual content will you use? i.e. your products, people, beautiful sceneries and so on. Plus, will you be funny? Cute? Interesting and educational? Inspirational?
  • What will your Instagram grid layout look like? I.e. what will your profile look like? A great grid layout will not only help with branding, but it will also entice Instagrammers who visit your profile to scroll down and see more.

There are so many routes you can take here; for example:  

  • Use the same filter throughout all your Instagram content
  • Use the same colour scheme, like Canva does (and changes regularly, so they flow from one colour to another as you scroll down their feed):
  • The “line down the middle” feed is an easy, yet visually striking option; here’s how Bake Mixes does it:
  • The Puzzle feed: definitely the most difficult one to achieve, but the results can be absolutely stunning. The puzzle feed essentially means that all of the updates in your feed connect with each other and create a much bigger picture (literally); here’s an example from Simply Whyte Design:

Building up your Instagram social media calendar

Now you know who you want to be on Instagram. What vibe you want to express. What goals you absolutely have to reach. What next?

Putting together your social media calendar, of course. Because the only way to achieve your goals – and create quality content consistently – is to be very clear about what your approach is and what content you’re going to create and post in the future.

When you put together your calendar ahead of time, you have the possibility to ask yourself one important question (and answer it):

Will this post help me reach my objective?

And if the answer is NO, you’ll then have enough time to come up with alternative ideas. Plus, this gives you enough time to create your content in advance and ensure it’s not only the right approach but also that it looks great.

That’s not to say you can’t occasionally post something that wasn’t necessarily in your schedule – or constantly revise your calendar as you go along – but that, generally, it’s best to be prepared ahead of time, for the reasons I listed just before.

At this stage, you’ll need to decide:

  • How often you’re going to post new content on Instagram; ideally, you should post new content daily, but it’s up to you to decide how much more frequently than that. As you’ll start gaining metrics and insights from the content you post, you’ll be able to optimize your posting schedule for better reach (i.e. posting at the times when your audience is most active)
  • What your content mix will be like; ideally, post a number of different types of updates, not just in terms of content formats (images, short and long-form videos, Stories) but also in terms of the actual content of your updates (check out content ideas just below)

You should leverage all of these different types of content formats, not just images, as at least half of Instagrammers use Stories every day and video consumption is growing at a very fast rate, which is likely one of the main reasons why Instagram introduced IGTV, their own platform for long-form video content – video marketing is certainly booming right now.

To put together your social media calendar, you can use a tool like Agorapulse to fully manage your account, as well as schedule your updates directly (not just by sending notifications so you can post manually from your phone!).

You can use their social media calendar as a team to add your content ideas, as well as directly post and schedule your updates:

This is essential if you’re going to use Instagram consistently, as otherwise it would simply take up too much of your time. It’s not just about the ability to schedule content (which is certainly a great bonus) but also all the other extra features, such as geotagging for your posts, the ability to save groups of hashtags to use in your updates and the ability to monitor hashtags and keywords for more content ideas (and for discovering great user generated content, for that matter).   

Back to Instagram content, here are the different types of content that you can create for your profile that will help you achieve the results you want:

  • Behind the scenes: showcase your brand, your team and your company culture by sharing photos, videos and Stories of your business and team (anything from “a day at the office” to behind-the-scenes at industry or company events)
  • Brand photos, videos and Stories: highlight your brand and branding in different types of content to showcase your business, what type of business it is and what you can do for your customers
  • Your product: showcase your products and their uses in images, videos and Stories
  • User generated content: leverage content created by other Instagrammers, especially using your products or interacting with your brand in any way

These types of updates are great for branding your business on Instagram; some other types of content that you can create are:

  • Educational/how-to content, to help provide value to your audience and keep them coming back for more
  • Quotes: just add text overlay over beautiful visual content to help engage your audience
  • Useful tips: as with educational content, this type of content provides a lot of value to your target audience

Conclusion: analyse and optimize your Instagram strategy

A great social media strategy – as this is true of all social networks, not just Instagram – requires constant monitoring, analysis and optimization.

As you leverage Instagram to grow and brand your new business, make sure to keep a close eye on your insights to understand how you’re performing – and why. This isn’t so you can pride yourself in how many likes an image received or how many views a Story had; rather, it’s about understanding what works and what doesn’t so that you can improve your Instagram strategy, time and time again.