How to get started with Instagram marketing in Malaysia
One of the things that a person would do on a typical day is scroll through their phones, connect with others and browse through various social media feeds. The average Malaysian has been found to spend up to three hours and one minute on social media daily. As a business owner, what better way than to tap into your potential customers' usual touchpoints to showcase and promote your products or services?
If we could recommend one platform to kickstart your social media marketing strategy in Malaysia, it would be Instagram, as it is one of the most popular social media apps in the nation. As of September 2022, there are a total of 15,436,000 Instagram users in Malaysia - that is close to half (45.3%) of the local population on a single platform!
Now you might be thinking: “Sure, that’s a large audience to promote my brand, but do people even look at business accounts on a social-centric platform?” On the contrary, it has been found that 90% of Instagram users do follow business accounts, and 81% of them use Instagram to research products and services before making purchase decisions. Judging by the numbers, you might be missing out on a lot of potential leads if you have not established your brand’s presence on Instagram.
Of course, different social media platforms provide varying content formats and cater to different audience groups. Some popular niches on Instagram include beauty, fashion, health and fitness, and lifestyle content, as they benefit from a platform that allows creators and businesses to display products and services visually. There are a variety of features available on Instagram for you to easily develop visually pleasing and interactive content, so if your business falls within the niches mentioned above (or even if it doesn’t), a well-developed Instagram marketing strategy has great potential to bring your business to greater heights. Read on and learn how to do digital marketing effectively using Instagram as a marketing tool!
See how Singapore Airlines succeed at Instagram marketing with an interactive campaign.
What is Instagram marketing?
Instagram marketing, as a form of social media marketing, basically means connecting to your brand audience and marketing your products through Instagram. It is a medium for effective digital marketing, including making a good use of marketing tools such as Instagram broadcast messages, Instagram shops, automated messages on Instagram, and more.
As nearly half of the people surveyed use Instagram to shop weekly, businesses are catching up by understanding how to sell on Instagram. However, before you start closing deals, you must first master Instagram marketing.
Effective Instagram marketing strategy for your business in Malaysia
Before launching your next big marketing campaign on Instagram, it is important to first understand what piques your potential customers’ interest and what matters to them on the platform - here are some things that you can do to cater your Instagram marketing strategy to appeal to your target audience in Malaysia.
Creating engaging content that attracts followers
Instagram is a visual-heavy social media platform. As users tend to seek inspiration and ideas through images and videos posted on the platform, this is a good place to showcase your products and services to increase awareness of your brand. This can be done via interactive and informative content to engage users and allow them to see your products or services in action. Some content examples include:
Makeup tutorials featuring beauty products
Source: Sephora Malaysia on Instagram
Recipe videos featuring food products and household/kitchen appliances
Source: Maggi Malaysia on Instagram
“With Me” videos featuring various products and services (e.g. Get Ready with Me, Go To A Cafe with Me etc.)
Source: Bay Doucet and Nelissa Hilman on Instagram
Funny sketches and short video content incorporating your products and services
Source: Handmade Heroes Malaysia on Instagram
Read more: 6 video marketing tips that every e-commerce business should know
Instead of showcasing your products in a formal and direct manner, a human element is added to such content, making it much more relatable and entertaining for your target audience. It is also important to continuously keep up with the latest trends in Malaysia, in order to fit your brand in conversations (where appropriate, of course).
Using hashtags to reach a wider audience
Instagram users can now follow hashtags on topics that interest them to view related posts that will appear on their feed, regardless of whether they have followed those accounts. This feature is a good opportunity for brands to ride on, as you can utilise relevant hashtags to further expand content reach and increase discoverability on Instagram by directing your posts to potential followers.
While you can add up to 30 hashtags in a post for Instagram, don’t blindly dump in any and every possible hashtag available out there! We believe that less is more and recommend using around 5 to 9 hashtags that speak the truth about your brand and the products or services that you provide. Do your research and look at current content posted with hashtags that you’ll potentially consider using and see if they are closely relevant to your content.
The hashtag #malaysiancafes would provide more targeted reach for a local cafe business rather than the general #cafes.
Promoting your brand or business on Instagram ad campaigns
Even with a well-planned content strategy that is engaging and eye-catching, your business account might still need a little extra push to stand out from the already highly-saturated sea of contents on Instagram. Enter Instagram ads, which can be easily generated by boosting your existing content to be delivered to the feeds of your intended target audience. These ads are either seamlessly embedded between posts in the feed or displayed between Stories.
The strategies above should be able to get you started with the first phase of building your customer base on Instagram. However, in order to seal the deal and complete the customer journey, you need to implement tactics within your Instagram marketing strategy to reduce purchase friction as well as enhance customer loyalty.
Want to learn more about advertising on Instagram? Have a read of our ultimate strategy guide on Instagram advertising.
Instagram DMs are the new way to reach your customers
Email marketing is a common tactic used by businesses to keep their customer base in the loop of their brand’s initiatives, such as new product launches and promotional campaigns. Before being able to proceed with this though, you will need to have access to customers’ email addresses (as well as their consent!) to deliver newsletters and other announcements into their inboxes.
On the other hand, social media marketing identifies your target audience and pushes your content to all possible users out there who might be interested in your product or service, regardless of whether they have heard of your brand or not.
Diving deeper into Instagram and its DM (Direct Messaging) function - this instant messaging feature works similarly to how you would engage in a private conversation with friends on any social media platform. Hence, when compared to email marketing, which is usually a one-way interaction, you can establish a two-way interaction with your customers via Instagram DMs to not only share updates about your brand but also receive feedback and engage in dynamic, individualised conversations with them.
How to send automated messages on Instagram
Nevertheless, we do understand that it becomes tricky to go through every DM on your business account, crafting individualised messages and reaching out to every potential customer on time, especially as your brand content starts to gain traction and customer patience starts to wane. That is why we at SleekFlow have developed features to automate your interactions on Instagram to ensure customers are getting the necessary information and support whenever they need it. You can even embed payment links in chat to provide a seamless consumer experience up to the final product purchase.
Besides directly establishing conversations in Instagram’s DM inbox, SleekFlow is also able to detect keywords in comments on your posts and generate automated comment replies and DMs to your potential customers and loyal fans to keep them engaged with your brand.
Do you know? Not only do comment replies make your business account appear more authentic and reliable, it increases the engagement rate of your posts, which makes them more popular based on Instagram’s algorithm!
Source: cottonbro on Pexels
Watch: Comment auto reply on Facebook and Instagram
Kiehl’s Malaysia: 29% sales conversion rate are attributable to Instagram Direct
In 2021, Kiehl’s Malaysia launched a multi-phased social media campaign in conjunction with the Ramadan season. On Instagram, they have utilised various features such as Instagram Shop, Instagram Ads, Instagram Direct and more to reach their potential customers in Malaysia as well as to boost online sales, which was a crucial factor considering the pandemic situation back then.
Source: Kiehl’s Malaysia on Instagram
Throughout the campaign period, Instagram Ads were utilised to direct their target audience to take part in their promotional events and to understand more about their products. Some of the ads linked users to Instagram Direct and automatically initiated conversations for them to either purchase their products or address any enquiries. From this campaign, Kiehl’s Malaysia managed to achieve a sales conversion rate of 29% through conversational commerce via Instagram Direct alone.
As you can see, Instagram Direct automated messaging can be integrated seamlessly within your marketing campaign, bridging the customer journey between awareness of your products from viewing and interacting with posts to finalising the purchase by providing an individualised approach to connect with your potential customers.
Sell successfully with Instagram marketing campaigns on SleekFlow
When done right, an all-rounded Instagram marketing strategy would be able to translate likes and comments into sales and leads. SleekFlow is able to provide support for your next Instagram marketing campaign in Malaysia to help you cut through the competition. For the full run-down, check out our 13-step starter kit to begin your Instagram marketing journey today.
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, you can also implement other features on SleekFlow such as the omnichannel messaging feature to integrate all of your business’s messaging channels such as website live chat, WhatsApp - and of course, your newly revamped Instagram business account! - within one interface for easier and seamless management.
Interested but don’t know where to start? Consult our localised experts in Malaysia.