What is instagram?
Instagram is a photo app that is available for free from the iTunes App Store and from Google Play. If you own a blackberry, a Windows Phone or another device besides Apple or Android, you will not be able to access Instagram. You sign up for free and the reason behind this is that Instagram is not only a photo app but also a popular social network. Members can view other users photo streams and comment on them and also find friends that are on the app through Facebook and Twitter. This app also allows you to share images you have made on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. So why is Instagram such an important tool to use to for marketing? In this blog we will take a closer look at how other companies successfully use Instagram, and suggest tactics your business can use to become successful on Instagram.
Why is it such an effective marketing tool to use?
First off mobile media consumption surpassed online for the first time. Every day there are more than 100 million daily active users, 1,6 billion daily likes and 20 billion shared photos. Especially if you want to reach millennial’s this is the best way. 42 % of smart phone users are millennial’s they spend more than 439 minutes per month on their smartphones according to comScore Mobile trends 2014.
So why is Instagram a more effective platform to promote your brand than say Facebook or Twitter? A study conducted by Forrester Research found that Instagram users are more likely to like, comment or share a brands post than Facebook users. Data shows that most people are shifting from Twitter and Facebook and are more active on Instagram.
The reason that Instagram is doing so well is that people crave to visually share their stories, reactions and experiences. The platform that Instagram offers is unique because of its ability to highlight visual content and as we all know visual content is a very powerful way of sending a message to your desired audience. Visual marketing was cited as a main trend for 2013. Images spark emotions within people. Photos drive more engagement than any other kind of posts on other social media sites. Facebook for example noticed that the posts that have an image included have 39% higher engagement rate than other posts. Sharing appealing images to develop a brand name and reputation is just the start of visual marketing strategy on Instagram it can later be complemented with User Generated Content.
Examples of Instagram marketing done right:
Facebook and Twitter are social media platforms that marketers have learned to master but Instagram is a fairly new platform. A lot of the audience wants to see behind the scene pictures from their favourite brands that they would normally not have access to. Burberry is a great example unlike its competitors the brand uses their Instagram account to post images of London (where the company is based), backstage pictures, now and a again they post a merchandise image but they do not over do it and therefore they do not annoy their followers.
Virgin America also does it right on Instagram. Their account tagline is: A breath of fresh Airline. Tag your travel pics with #virginamerica so we can follow you along on your trips. Tweet us: @virginAmerica”. What makes the account so great is that they link a fun experience with traveling. Vevo also has a great Instagram account their account tagline is: “See Music Play”. Vevo is a music video website and they post personal pictures of their artists and backstage images of their stars. Redbull sparks a lot of engagement on their account. Account Tagline: “@RedBull #GivesYouWings: F1, racing, skating, surfing, snowboarding, skiing, soccer, football, music, art, culture, gaming. What #GivesYouWings?” They post images of action shots of people doing various kinds of sports. Their hash tag invites people to post images of themselves doing sports.
First off create an business account on Instagram , make a business username that is linked to your brand and recognisable by the audience. Add images that are related to your brand, write a informative biography and link it to your website. Link your account to your Facebook page. After this create a brand specific strategy. Do not forget to incorporate hash tags in your updates. Use trending hash tags if a trend fits your brand this can help reach thousands of interested people in a flash.
Engage with your consumers; make them famous by reposting their images or responding to their posts this will show that you acknowledge them and that you appreciate them. Note: ask permission first! @ Mentioning is a big part of instagram so be sure to @mention your customers and consumers to ensure engagement. Respond to complaints if someone has a question or even a negative complaint about your brand, this will show that you care and are willing to change for the better. Another great tactic is to @ mention celebrities and related industry leaders, if they like it they might even share it and make your message visible to a tremendous amount of people.
Instagram can be a tough cookie to crack but once you have mastered it, it can help build your brand and create a lot of traffic for your business. Make sure to be active but do not irritate people. Give them the feeling that you are sharing and not just bothering them with savvy sales techniques. Create content that is not only engaging but also shareable to give them a sense of interaction. Pick the right influencers they are the key to reach who matters. An influencer can reach over 300,000 people with one simple re-share of your image. It can be a challenge to use Instagram effectively the key is to tell a story about the brand through an image and appeal to the emotions of people and give them a sense of friendship. Be interested and curious about THEM. So what are you waiting for? Get on Instagram because otherwise you are really missing out.