The old saying goes that you ‘don’t sell hats, you sell warm heads’. This is one of the most useful sayings in business and one that everyone should always keep in mind.
What does it mean? It means that you are not selling the materials themselves, but rather the way those materials make your customers feel and the way they improve their lives.
This is what makes any business tick. And the most successful companies are the ones that truly understand this.
And the great news is that there is no platform better suited to this kind of marketing than Instagram.
How it Works
The reason for this is that it’s much easier to communicate a value proposition – or to ‘sell the dream’ as it were – when using images.
And to use an example of Instagram, we can turn to fitness brands. Fitness brands make money from selling products like clothing, supplements, or training tools. And the way they work, is by using images of people with six packs running on the beach with attractive members of the opposite sex.
The viewer will then see those images and they will feel a sense of longing – they will wish that they could be that healthy, attractive, and happy. And in doing so, they will be moved to a) follow the brand for more inspiration and b) buy the product.
This is a simplification, but it’s exactly what makes Instagram work.
How to Use This Strategy
So how do you use this strategy yourself? The key is to understand first and foremost what your value proposition is. What are you selling? How do you want to make people feel? Even if your business is a relatively straightforward and corporate one, there is still that value proposition. For instance, if you sell life insurance, then you are really selling peace of mind for family men and women.
If you sell EPOS systems, then you are selling the dream of having a restaurant, hotel, or similar.
The next step is to identify your target audience – your buyer persona – and to understand what they want and who they are. Speak to their deepest desires and you will be able to sell them anything!
Finally, make sure that your posts all work within that context and framework. That means that you should be taking photos that perfectly illustrate the point you’re trying to make.