I'm so excited to share this Instagram case study with you because I know the success story behind this company. Today I am introducing you to MB Designs on Instagram. You can find this account at @mbdcanada and this account is unique for a couple reasons. First of all, he built his business exclusively on Instagram - without a website or online store! Secondly, it's a very niche industry and he has grown so significantly by keeping a tightly targeted audience.
Of course, I usually drop my disclaimer here, which I will. I am in no way affiliated with MB Designs. I am not being rewarded, compensated, or paid in any way to write this post. This post is based entirely upon my opinions of his Instagram content from what I’ve seen shared publicly. But, that being said, I actually know Mike Brown, the owner/founder of MB Designs, very well. In fact, we've know each other for something like 17 years (S#!t, Mike, we're getting old! 😉 ). I've enjoyed watching Mike grow this account and his business. I've seen his success and couldn't be more proud!
Ok, so let's talk about why this Instagram is working so well.
An Instagram Storefront
I get asked all the time "How can you sell on Instagram?" Well, MB Designs does it in spades. When he started his business, he sold all of his products exclusively on Instagram. He didn't have a website or online store. He posted everything to Instagram, advertised the price and details, and collected payment via PayPal. Shipments were then sent out to happy customers. And he did this over and over and over, building a successful business. To the point where he now actually launched a website with an online store to expand his business!
And because the products he manufactures and sells are unique and in a highly targeted niche, Mike has been very smart about not carrying too much product. This keeps his costs down and ensures that his customers take advantage of exclusive buying windows.
Instead of stocking product, Mike launches a pre-sale for almost every item. This allows him to collect more orders and get an exact count of his needs before he even hits the manufacturing stage! So smart.
Or he designs and manufactures a limited number of items so that once they're gone, they're gone. This encourages his customers to act fast to get the ones they want when they see them.
So, yes, as this account proves, you can sell on Instagram. And, now that he has his website set up, he is still promoting items on Instagram while driving that traffic to his website for purchase. Find ways to promote your items, showcase new products, and advertise promotions and you can see more success driving revenue on Instagram.
Branded and Styled Images
One of the things I like about this account is how he uses a very branded editing style on his images. The images are recognizably his and tie in closely with the theme and niche of his audience and products. When you're scrolling through Instagram and see one of these photos, you know immediately it's MB Designs.
I've preached this over and over again. You want your images to stand out in the feed. Find unique ways to brand your images and make them stylistically representative of your brand in order to generate more reaction from your audience on a regular basis.
Highly Targeted Audience
All too often, people try to be too much to too many people. Instead, Mike knows his audience and what they want. And that's what he gives them. Repeatedly. And they stay highly engaged as a result.
He has grown his Instagram following to nearly 5000 followers, all of whom are a part of this unique community who appreciate the tools, utility items, and metal art that Mike creates. He has grown this audience organically and doesn't try to attract people who have no interest in his content.
User Generated Content
I also love how much user generated content is shared on this account. This is a testament to the quality followers and customers that he has! His customers regularly post photos of his products in various locations and uses. And then he regrams them to his page, sharing with the community and building his business on the testimonials of others.
The more ways you can use your customers' comments and photos of your products (or services), the better you can connect with your audience and build your brand. Encourage your customers to do more of this, as Mike did in the caption on this post above.
And, because his customers are always tagging and mentioning him, they are sharing his account with all of their followers. This also helps him to generate a bigger, targeted audience on a regular basis.
When trying out new techniques or new products, Mike typically asks his audience for their input. By asking the right questions to the right people (his highly targeted audience), he gets immediate feedback to his business while generating enthusiasm and excitement for his customers of potential new products. It's a win-win from a business perspective!
Take the time to incorporate leading questions and conversation starters into your Instagram posts and captions. Your audience wants to talk to you!
And, of course, Mike does a great job of engaging with his followers, answering questions, and keeping the dialogue going. Which is also key.
Behind the Scenes
On occasion, Mike takes his followers behind the scenes of the manufacturing process or the business in general. He allows his audience to learn more about how he does things or why certain steps are taken. It's a great educational tool but, again, allows him to better connect with his audience and build trust with his customers.
Finally, you know how I feel about a good hashtag strategy on Instagram! And Mike does a good job of using all the right, industry-related, product-related, content-related hashtags in all of his posts. If you want to grow your audience the right way, use the hashtags they are using and looking for!
So, if you have something to sell and want to better understand how you can use Instagram to drive sales, I hope this case study gives you some insight and help. Instagram is really a very powerful tool when you grow your audience effectively and create a highly targeted group of customers anxious to buy what you sell.