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Show Notes

Welcome to the e-commerce marketing podcast today’s guest is Ross-Simmonds. Ross is the founder of foundation. It’s a Content consultant and creation company he is also defined co-founder of hustle and grind and that’s a subscription service for entrepreneurs for coffee, and he’s also a Founder for crate accounted marketing software that he’s working on right now welcome to the e-commerce marketing podcast Rose.

How you doing. Very well, thanks so much for having me. I’m looking forward to chatting with you about marketing and digital strategies for e-commerce companies. Yes, so we’ll be talking today’s top focus is going to be Instagram marketing you have written a if done a lot of work on Instagram marketing you also use it for your company the hustle and grind coffee subscription service, so if you can just give us a beef a small background about that company and what kinds of results.

She got using the Instagram definitely so Instagram marketing for us started as an experiment. I like to do experiments every once in awhile with different channels. I’ve done experiments with SlideShare where I’ve been able to recently crack over 1.2 million views and this past year one of our experiments was with Instagram.

It was a channel that I always had interested. I created a deck all about Instagram probably in 2013 and I always knew that it was an interesting Channel, but it wasn’t what I really dived into most recently. I kind of invested some significant amount of time with hustle and grind. Is my coffee subscription company me and my co-founder invested a lot of time in trying understand this platform.

We’ve been able to grow our channel to 75,000 people all over the world since then through my consultancy Foundation. We’ve worked with Brands and help them grow their Instagram following to over 200,000 500,000 followers, and there’s a lot of different tactics and strategies that we’ve kind of used along the way that really demonstrate how this is a channel that is still being underutilized, but it’s definitely a channel that I think can drive some meaningful.

Result when you look at the overall kind of digital marketing landscape Instagram marketing is still just content marketing the only difference is that it’s not happening in a feed like Twitter. It’s not happening through a Blog. It’s happening through visuals and its visual marketing 101, so it’s a channel that I think is still very new, but it’s a channel that is a great opportunity for e-commerce businesses to who are looking to kind of tell their story in an effective way, and you mentioned that you’ve used Instagram to Market.

Ostling grind the coffee subscription service, so what kind of results did you did you get from that it’s been great, so we have customers all over the world. Thanks to Instagram. We’ve been able to take those 75,000 followers and convert them into newsletter subscribers who we’ve been able to kind of use email marketing as a way to kind of keep them engaged with our Ecommerce products, so not only do we sell coffee subscriptions.

We office also sell posters. We sell t-shirts. We sell coffee mugs we sell variety variety of one-off products. And what Instagram is allowed us to do. It’s a lot us to kind of put up a picture of a T-shirt, and then tell people to click the link in our bio to download to order this t-shirt. Do then clicking the link in our bio, and they’re ordering and what we tend to see is a conversion rate between clicks and actual acquisition to nearly probably about 30% so the number of people who actually click directly from Instagram and go to our website if we have a call to action up about a product of some sort they tend to convert which is very interesting.

In the early days before Instagram allows you to actually do advertising this was the primary way to really kind of convert leads and turn them into customers so we were into it very early on where we were pushing and telling people to click the link in our bios by our products buyer t-shirts download a new ebook from us order our content, and we found that the conversion rates on this platform are higher than they are on Twitter higher than they are on Facebook.

Especially when we talk about organic content so on Facebook if you put up a. Senate organic meaning you just share it and it’s there the amount of conversions that you get from our experience has been very low lower than say 5% on Instagram the click-through rate is just through the roof we can put up a post for example saying join our newsletter, and we would see anywhere from 200 people sign up for our newsletter with one single post and that’s organic and it’s not paid which is interesting we don’t actually pay to put up that post we just design it press upload and then it’s done, so I think that Instagram when.

Grow your channel to a significant number it becomes a mini Network on its own within your following OK, and what’s the type of audience or who are the users in Instagram? Is there a certain demographic that tends to go to us Instagram the reason I’m asking about that is because a couple of weeks ago.

I was talking to my nephew. He is 14 his going to be 1014 and those like okay. What social networks. Are you on? We can connect and you know just communicate to make it faster, and I say that your Facebook since I use Facebook. I’m heavily on Facebook, and he said no. I’m on Instagram and Snapchat, and you’re not that made me sign up for Snapchat.

I really really Snapchat, and then I sent my text just joking saying hey, okay, so now I’m signed up to Snap Jet OK. Can you send me instructions on how to use this perhap form so? Yeah, so the majority of the users on Instagram are between the ages of 25 and 34, so you’re hitting a younger demographic once you the second most popular is 18 to 24, so it is skewing relatively young under the 35 range, and then when you go 35 and plus.

It’s a very small portion of the overall Instagram audience, so you are targeting a younger demographic, but what’s interesting about it? Is that it’s a channel being used by all walks of life, so somebody who’s 34 for instance is in a different state of mind than somebody who’s. 25 but they’re both using Instagram, which makes it very interesting because that thirty-four-year-old might have kids that 25 year old is probably just trying to figure out where they’re going to go out on a Friday night, so it’s a very distinct group, but it’s still skewing younger if you consider 35 and under to be young okay, and so what are some of the ways that e-commerce businesses can use Instagram to get more traffic and more customers and sales, so there’s three tactics one of them is very straightforward, and I think all of your audience can figure this.

Note on their own, and that’s advertising like if you want to drive traffic to your Instagram account you can go to Facebook use their ads manager, and you can promote your Instagram account and that’s an easy way to kind of grow your account, but there’s another way that is less talked about but just as powerful if not more powerful and that showed so I show tote is when you get another account somebody who has similar amount of followers or hopefully fingers crossed more followers than you.

And you get them to put up a post and say something like just found this post Forum at hustle and grind love this post great account check them out by then pushing out that content their followers. Then see it they can decide if they like the post it. They just shared and then they’ll follow your account as a result.

This is something that Brands e-commerce companies have used significantly and been able to generate some significant results if you look at Frank body which is a huge e-commerce system. I think they’re doing nearly. I think maybe I. That they were doing about 1 million in Revenue this year. They were able to capitalize on showed its through Instagram and grow their account to the millions the way that they were able to do it was very straightforward.

They reached out to some influencers who had significant followings. They sent them free product, and they told them to take a picture and they give a shout out to their Instagram account if you can do that. You’ll get more people taking photos with your product giving you love and then ultimately having their followers, then follow you it’s a great approach its.

Phones are marketing 101 by leveraging show totes is a huge approach in one that I strongly recommend. I wrote a blog post and I’ll send it to you so you can link to it in the show notes and it’s called how to go from zero to 20,000 followers on Instagram real friggin quick, and what it’s all about is understanding that there’s different types of show totes that you can do to generate a following, and I strongly recommend that your listeners check out that blog post.

It’s very in depth and it can provide a lot of insight around this idea of show totes and influencer marketing. I think it’s a one of the best. For two knees on Instagram, and I’m really think anybody in the e-commerce space should be paying attention and then finally the third type of approach for generating followers on Instagram is compelling content.

You want to share great product shots you want to share content that connects with people on an emotional level and that they would resonate with and on top of that you should consider understanding that Instagram is a very emotional channel. It’s a channel. Where people don’t come just to follow Brands.

They’re coming to Instagram to see what their friends are doing to see what their peers are doing? Maybe see what celebrities are doing and it’s an emotional kind of channel, so if you’re putting up a post on Instagram. You can kind of Leverage that fact that it’s a relationship driven Network and tell people to tag their friends, so if you put up a post and you’re like who made 2016 a great year for you tag them below.

They’re going to start tagging their friends their friends are they going to see your posts, and then they’re going to follow you on Instagram as well so adding in generates since the opportunity where you can kind of start to build your following that way, or if you sell a product put it up on Instagram and then say tag the friend who you think would love these shoes or tag the friend you think would love this t-shirt that kind of thing goes extremely does extremely well on Instagram and can really Drive some significant results in building that following OK, so you say there’s three things you started with the shout out.

He also mentioned the content marketing was the second map advertising so advertising through Facebook ads manager setting up ads in driving people to your Instagram account OK already, I stumble upon that article that you mentioned that I will link up in the show notes to that one article you talked about getting followers on Instagram, but in that article you also mentioned a lesson you land after you tried to send out the.

In your coffee subscription to some some of the influences, can you talk about that a little bit definitely so the lesson that we learned is you want to ensure that the person who you’re going to send the content to is knows two things one they’re aware that you’re going to send it to the into they know that there’s an expectation that you’re going to share it on their Instagram account once they receive that product we were sending.

Oh product to influencers without actually letting them know that we were sending it. But also made the mistake of sending them product without saying hey, would you mind taking a photo with our products so a lot of people were able to get coffee, but they didn’t do anything with it. They didn’t take a photo they didn’t upload it to Instagram.

Nothing happened as a result so the one thing I would. Investigate make sure that you do when you’re going about this approach is to ensure that you’re reaching out to these influencers beforehand you lay out specific requirements that you’re looking for let them know that you want them to put up a post on Instagram on Twitter on Facebook and let them know that you want them to kind of tell the story and tag you in that content once you do that though you have to recognize that you are opening yourself up to an opportunity where they’ll say okay.

I’ll do all of this, but I also want to be compensated and in those situations. You’ll have to negotiate a fee, which again. Can be anywhere from $10 to $20,000 depending on who you’re going after okay? That’s for elaborating on that other top mistakes. You’ve seen people make in Instagram. Yeah, so one of the biggest mistakes that they see a lot of people do on Instagram is when they share a post.

They go crazy with their hashtags and don’t get me wrong when it comes to hash tags on Instagram hashtags are very important. Channel are very important tactic in the marketing mix as it relates to Instagram as a whole hashtags allow you to be discovered easily, but what I recommend is instead of putting up your hashtags in your caption and hash tagging every other word you’re going to put up your posts.

You’re going to use a caption. That’s very intriguing something that might say check out this post these are ladies shoes. Click the link in our bio regardless you put that post up. You don’t put any hashtags in it as well what I want you to do is then comment on your post comment on the exact post that you just shared and include all of the hashtags there, so take like a block of hashtags up to twenty different ones and comment with them that way when somebody seeing your post in their news feed.

They’re not thinking. Oh this person is a scammer this person’s trying to kind of scam the system and just stop a bunch of hashtags. They solely see the caption and then as more people start to comment on your post those hashtags will disappear. So that’s one recommendation that I would make for sure it’s a huge mistake that people make you don’t want to look like a spammer on Instagram so comment with your hashtags instead of including them in that primary caption you have both love various make your way of adding those hashtags in it is I don’t know how many people are using it, but I’m glad you mentioned that in cash out that is that not a mistake or atomistic seeing people make when they are trying to Market on Instagram.

Yeah, I think one other mistake that people do is they think of Instagram as a one way. Channel right like they think of it as a billboard. Let’s put up a message. Let’s scream at people and let them go from there so they put up their posts. They walk away from their phone. They don’t come back. I think that what you need to do is understand the Instagram again is used for social conversation so if you put up a post and people are commenting you should respond back to them reply back say.

Thanks for your comment send them an emoji something as simple as that and also don’t be afraid to go in to discover and search on Instagram find people who are sharing pictures of your product sharing things that are. Interesting to you and commenting on their photos for example with how some grind were motivational brand.

We are focused on people who are entrepreneurs who are go getters, so we’ll look at the hashtag rise and grind will see what people are using that hashtag for it. They’re taking a picture of their computer if they’re taking a picture of them at the office even in the gym and will comment, and we’ll just say simple something simple like.

You’ve got this or house on now shine later, or will send them an emoji with the fire something like that and they love it people connect with it because they say oh this brand is not just a regular brand. That’s just pushing up their content. They’re actually trying to have a meaningful conversation and interaction with me.

Okay. How can you tell the success when you’re dealing with Instagram? I guess some types of analytics you you should be looking at or some numbers. You need to be set in as your goal using this channel. Marketing one of the there’s some simple approach if you’re using advertising you definitely want to use Facebook’s ad manager and their analytics system, but there’s a few channels in particular that I use a lot in there Hudson and simply measured so Hudson is a full Suite Instagram marketing and management system that allows you to schedule your content allows you to track when people are mentioning your brand and allows you to compare yourself to others.

What’s great about it. Is it puts it all in one dashboard. Simply measure it is great because it delivers report, so you can sign up. Simply measured you can plug in your Instagram account and it will give you reports around your following engagement purpose things like that. What’s very cool about Hudson.

Is that it shows you also the influencers that are following you, so let’s say for example you built up your following to 10,000. You don’t have time to go through those 10,000 users then find out who they are but with Hudson. It will show you exactly who’s following you what they look like where they’re from what type of following.

They have and it will also show you if they are mentioning you so for us one of our. Biggest strategies is that show tote approach that we talked about we reach out to accounts we reach out to influencers, and we get them to give a show notes on their accounts with Hudson. We can see windows influencers are making their show totes and we can see a direct relationship between the show and the number of followers that we get as a result so instead of us guessing and thinking.

Oh, everybody’s going to generate us followers. We can actually use this platform to track and see who’s actually giving us show totes. That’s actually generating results for us, okay. And other than Instagram what’s another successful digital marketing strategy using to promote hustle and grind so with hustle and grind we’re doing a lot of different things, but I’d say one of the other pieces that are been very successful for us is a combination of content curation and content creation, and I like to call it the Netflix approach, so.

You look at Netflix and the way that they’ve been able to build their empire is they’ve been able to go out and find some of the best content from all over the world. They’re finding things from the UK they’re finding content from the US. They’re finding content from Canada that movie producers and TV producers are creating and then their curating that content into their platform.

They’re taking all of this content, and they’re giving it to people who are subscribed to their channels who want to see it on top of that they’re creating their own content like House of Cards. We’ve done is we’ve taken a similar approach so we curate content on a regular basis with things like our newsletter and on our blog and on Twitter.

We use Shameless plug get Krakow to kind of curate content that we can share on our social media channels, and then we just distribute this content through our newsletter through our blog through our Instagram account and also through our social media networks on top of that we create content. So we’re creating our own ebooks.

We’re creating our own blog post we’re creating slideshares. We’re creating a variety of different contents, so it’s the Netflix approach as in we’re not only using the illin assets the content that we can produce, but we’re also taking content from others through guest blogging through featuring their tweets by taking their quotes and putting them up on Instagram.

We’re doing a combination of curation and creation to really deliver value to our target audience and ultimately that’s driving traffic back to our site, which is leading to a sale OK Roth. I really. You’re coming on the show and just sharing some of those tops Rises. You’ve shared with about Instagram marketing.

I actually like the ones Nikki commenting hack for Instagram. I think that’s that’s pretty neat. Do you have any final thoughts about Instagram marketing or just e-commerce Marketing in general the only thing that I would recommend Robert is for people to definitely understand the psychology around my people share content wedding engage with content, and why they what makes them love.

Content I would strongly recommend that people spend some time understanding Their audience, and then understanding what motivates them. What drives them to share what motivates them to engage with your post spend time doing that I think that at the end of the day listening to a podcast like e-commerce American podcast they will gain insights like this, so I’m going to leave it in your hands to ensure that the receiving that message, and I might hats off to you guys for delivering such a great show keep doing what you’re doing we need to elevate the e-commerce marketing space, and I think you guys are doing a great job in helping do that so hats off to you guys.

Thank you for saying that and how can people reach you if they want to just get at you so if you want to find me you can find me on Twitter. That’s probably the easiest way at the coolest cool on Twitter, or of course you can find me on my website bra Simmons always happy to chat with Mariners from all over the world, and I again.

I appreciate the opportunity to come on here and share my insights. Okay, last question. What is the one thing and e-commerce business can do right now to help the business grow and just get traffic assailed the one thing they could do right now immediately. I would say is talk to people who have budget product a lot of people come up with assumptions around.

This is who were targeting. This is what they want talk to the people who you buy your product. Talk to your customers and understand what it is that they want from you and then deliver based off of that. It’s easy to get caught up in your own world of thinking oh. Overthinking it, but I think the number one thing you can do today to start figuring out how you can drive sales is actually talk to your customers.

Okay? We’re all thankful being on the show. Thanks for having me Robert. I appreciate it. Thank you for listening to the e-commerce marketing Partners join the e-commerce marketing podcast Facebook group to learn connect collaborate and grow with other e-commerce marketers at e-commerce marketing podcast /f be e-commerce marketing podcast for.

FB subscribe to us on iTunes by searching for e-commerce marketing podcast and please leave a rating and review, thank you for listening. See you next time.