- Posted by admin
- On July 30, 2016
- communications, instagram, marketing, social media marketing
5 weeks ago, without any knowledge of Instagram, I created the cooking account@incrediblecuisine . This is the story of how Incredible cuisine multiplied the number of his followers by 30 in less than 2 weeks.
To note: I’m posting here my Youtube videos showing low views numbers due to my focus on Instagram.
I created my first video and posted. I was so proud I couldn’t stop talking about it to my friends! I sat comfortably and waited for the followers to come.
Despite the video I was so proud of, not much happened really on my followers base.
I created another video, making sure my hashtags were buzzing: a 4th of July Trio-cake posted at the very early hours of the 4th of July. Again I was ready. But this time I was sitting a bit more on the edge of my chair.
11 additional followers in 48 hours later, I had to admit that it would be a bit more complicated than I initially thought. And this despite my perfect seasonal theme and carefully selected hashtags.
That’s when I thought I should increase the frequency of my posts to get potential followers’ attention. So I started posting pictures of my lunch, my cup of coffee in the morning, and even a couple of veggies roses (I must say that the tomato rose does look very good). I would religiously interact with people, scouting for pictures similar to mine to comment and like.
By doing so, I was adding around 5 followers per day. I also added my friends hoping they would take pity and follow me back (some did, bless them).
By the end of the week, my new hypothesis for such a failure was that I had to raise the bar in terms of photography quality. I took 2 photography classes. Pictures’ quality did step up, but the Instagram community didn’t seem to notice. Tough audience.
That was when my marketing knowledge kicked in (FINALLY!) . The foundation of marketing, but of sales in general really, is that you need to give your target group what they want. And clearly they weren’t really interested by my coffee’s pictures.
Now, that week was also the week Pokemon GO was launched. Where other saw Pikachus and Magikarps, I saw an idea: my next video would be the recipe for a Pokemon Pokeball mini cake. Would that work?
I remember the number of followers was 108 when I posted it. I spent one hour crafting the perfect hashtags. Let me tell you that some were in Japanese even, that’s to show you how serious I was.
When I posted… nothing happened. But I knew that by then. I spent 2 days commenting on all size of Pokemon cakes I could find on Instagram, inviting (begging?) the authors to check out mine.
Result of all this hustling? 8 new followers, reaching 116.
By the 3rd day from the posting I was in despair with no result despite having tried them all (a part from using other people’s videos and nudes, the first I’m still considering, the second definitively not).
By mid-day I finally had to admit that I will never succeed by myself.
Some more despair filled me.
Until an idea popped up: since I wasn’t going to make it alone, could I make it with the help of other accounts? I decided to mix 2 product validation techniques I knew:
- bring users in front of your product and ask them what they think
- ask the experts their advice
So I wrote the following direct message to the biggest accounts I could find that could be interested in my video. This included tutorials, recipes and Pokemon accounts.
I wrote to 15 accounts with 100 000 to 1 000 000+ followers. And then, once again, I waited.
And again nothing happened. No.bo.dy. answered my message. I was tired, having slept only a few hours since the Pokemon posting. I had to admit that this “Instagram thing” wasn’t working for me.
Until later that night when dozens of Instagram notifications started popping on my screen.
I didn’t understand for a long time what was happening. At first I thought the reason was behind US users having woken up (I’m in Switzerland). I finally found out that one of the large accounts I wrote to earlier that day had regrammed (forwarded) my video on their account!
By the time I went to bed, the video on their account was showing 44 000 views, resulting into 162 additional followers on Incredible Cuisine, jumping to 278. I was thrilled!
During the following one and a half days my video was watched by 1 million people across different Instagram accounts, resulting in my followers growing to 1000 people.
We are now 10 days later and the video has been watched 3 millions times across Instagram – see below an example from a large account.
Thanks to this exposure, Incredible Cuisine’s followers are now almost 3000 (2950 to be exact).
You can see the progress here:
In the chart on the right showing in orange the number of gained followers, you can see a second spike: the result of a second wave of direct messages and the upload of a new video (below).
Only the future will tell us if the Pokemon video was a miraculous exception or the start of something bigger for Incredible Cuisine.
For now, what I have learned is the following:
- Marketing principles work on Instagram too: have an idea, be different, touch the heart of people
- Be clear on who is your target group: my break through was when I realized my target group were large accounts eager for quality videos to use on their account.
- And last but not least, online you can’t succeed alone, instead you need the help of other people. And this is a great message considering what is happening at the moment around the world.
I would love for you to follow Incredible Cusine and share your thoughts on our video 🙂
- FB: Incredible Cuisine
- Instagram: Incredible Cuisine
- Twitter (just started! welcoming any tips!): Incred_Cuisine
- Youtube: Incredible Cuisine
Do you have any experience with Instagram? What have *you* learned?