The 11th instalment of our tips for growing your gardening business focuses on the value of Instagram marketing. A website is a great place to start, but your business must also focus on social media in order not only to stay relevant but also focus on brand awareness – and to drive quality traffic to your website.
As the owner of Jackson Garden Services, a Plymouth-based gardening and landscaping company, I have successfully grown my gardening business and gained a strong client base in the process using a combination of direct and indirect marketing (both online and offline). Since I started the company in 2018, we’ve gone from being a small, fledgling business to a successful and popular company. With a small team, strong client base and a combined approach of working hard, we pride ourselves on being great at what we do and having a successful and useful approach to marketing the business.
Social media channels such as Instagram are being used more and more by businesses these days as a way of showcasing their products and services. It gives your business great exposure to billions of users in a video/image format. In my experience, it’s a great way for me to show the company’s excellent workmanship and various projects we have been working on in an easy and accessible format.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is built almost entirely around sharing images and videos – since its launch it has become a popular way to connect with brands, celebrities, friends and family, for example. From short videos to live streaming, Instagram has a wide variety of features. To top that, “Instagramming” is officially a verb now. As an image and video-sharing network, Instagram is perfect for businesses that are happy to present their products or services to their followers. It has been well documented that 60% of Instagram users looking to discover new items or products do so on Instagram.
How can Instagram enhance my website?
Not a lot of businesses are aware of the full functionality of Instagram. You can publish video tutorials, service reviews and publish imagery of your services. It’s a fantastic way to get your business noticed. However, try to avoid creating too many product-related posts as users of Instagram don’t like to see lots of sales-orientated content.
It’s a common myth that Instagram is useless to try and drive traffic to your website – it’s quite the opposite. It is a chance to turn followers into website visitors.
Best practices for using Instagram
Traffic website – adding a link to your website in the BIO section is an easy way for users to have access directly to your website. This is the only link that Instagram will allow you to post. You can lead more users to your website by using this cleverly.
New audiences – gaining more followers to your social media platform can often be challenging. However, a good way of getting around this is by making use of hashtags. Your hashtags should be representative of your brand but also short and memorable. You should also write about your hashtags on all of your social media channels.
Growing your brand – as we all know, word of mouth in marketing is huge. Studies have shown that 90% of people trust online reviews more than anything else. As you keep building relationships with your followers they will steadily become brand advocates for your business.
Targeting audiences – not a lot of people are aware but Instagram also allows you to target three types of audiences through its advertising platform. It doesn’t always have to be completely organic. You can display ads targeted by demographic. You can also target users who already have a connection with your brand – website, email, social etc. You also have the option of targeting people who mirror your existing customers.
The use of imagery and videos – it is important to include relevant imagery and illustrations in your Instagram posts. By doing this you create a better browser experience, and your users will spend longer reading through your article. This will make your post more memorable, whilst achieving an emotional connection. If you were thinking about using a video, a good way to gauge if the topic you are blogging about warrants a video is by searching the topic on YouTube. Look at the results of the search and if there is not a high demand for that topic, it probably means that a video is not necessary.
• Get to grips with editing tools
• Try other apps that work with Instagram
• Use Instagram’s apps
• Use hashtags to reach more people
• Use stories
• Broadcast live videos
• Use a proper camera
The first thing to do is set up an Instagram account. Choose a profile name – this is the name that will be displayed above your bio and identifies your business. When creating an account, you’ll choose a username which is also called a handle – this is how your profile is discovered and tagged. Don’t forget, your Instagram bio is the most important part of your profile so make sure you take the time to complete this fully. Always include a website link on your profile and last but not least make sure that your account is set as a business profile.
I do hope you are finding these ‘Grow Your Gardening Business’ articles of interest. I will be covering more topics over the next few editions, hopefully providing you with the basic tools to start you off growing your business too!
In the meantime, you can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn; I’m always happy to chat!