Beauty and Brains: 6 Ways to Build Your Brand and Drive Sales on Instagram

We've worked with and spoken to 100s of apparel, beauty, and lifestyle brands this year, and Instagram is their top social priority for 2015. The smartest brands are building their audiences and reaching new customers by partnering with influencers.

Instagram influencers create engaging content that helps your brand reach new customers. Sponsored posts can be used to build brand awareness, engage a new audience, drive new followers to your brand account, and to capture consumer intent around your products.

Here's a great example of a collaboration we recently did with Gilt and Clover Canyon, featuring ultimate cool girl Natalie Suarez.

Natalie Suarez: Top notch insta cool girl.

Here are six things you should do to maximize the impact of your campaign.

1. Choose the Right Influencers for Your Brand

It's critical to choose influencers who will create beautiful content that puts your products in their best light. It's also important that these influencers reach the right type of audience for your brand. Dash Hudson helps you find the right influencers for your campaign using a blend of curation and social graph analysis. Fancy stuff.

2. Content is Queen/King!

It's no secret that people come to Instagram for beautiful, aspirational content. Regardless of your goal (brand awareness, new followers, capturing customer intent), the quality of the content will be the most important aspect to your campaign. High quality images like the one below by @pepamack will outperform 'normal' posts by up to 300%. Don't worry, we can show you the secret recipe.

Pepa has the formula down.

3. Use a Strong Call to Action

If your goal is to convert the influencer audience to an action (follow your account, view your product), you need a strong call to action. But be careful, you need to provide value to the customer, and not oversell. Contests work well for driving new followers to your account, so have influencers ask their followers to go visit your account to check out something rad. If your goal is to capture the intent of a new customer around the featured product, use a call to action to have the potential customer like the photo to add it to their Dash Hudson wishlist (it's like magic, we do the work). Adding in a promo code will also do wonders for driving conversions.

4. Sponsor a Minimum of 10 Posts in the Campaign

To build awareness amongst a target audience, it's important to work with several influencers on the campaign. We recommend sponsoring a minimum of 10 posts across 5-10 influencers. This maximizes the potential of multiple impressions reaching the same potential customer. Our data shows that conversion to product view increases by up to 500% when a potential customer sees your product featured by multiple influencers. Check out the campaign that Onia did if you want to see how it's done right.

5. Leverage the Content to Maximum Effect

One of the beautiful things about working with Instagram creators, is once the content has been created, it can be leveraged for multiple purposes. Instagrammers love when you share the sponsored photos on your company Instagram account, other social channels, and blog. The smartest companies negotiate rights to use influencer content on product pages (we help with this). This style of organic content is proven to increase conversion rates on product pages by up to 5%.

6. Capture Customer Intent

The brand building effects of working with the right influencers are so important. But critical to maximizing the value of influencer posts is to harvest the intent of those who engage with the post. When people 'like' a post, they are expressing a form of intent, especially where apparel, beauty or lifestyle products are featured. Dash Hudson uses a proprietary technology to automatically add these products to a customer's wish list. Once added to the list, customers can view the specific product later, and brands can use our platform to re-engage and convert customers. Magic.

Follow this blueprint, and you will have the best looking, smartest campaign you'll run this year.

Found this helpful? Come learn more about how to make it happen for your brand, or click below to get a private demo of our platform.

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