Instagram is an extremely popular social media app that focuses on photo and video sharing, and it’s this rich media aspect of Instagram that allows it to have such great marketing opportunities. The reason for this is because photos and videos are much more engaging than traditional text posts seen on other social networks.
If you are not using Instagram yet? Here’s why you should be…
- 400 million active monthly users
- Users have shared over 40 billion photos to date
- Users share an average of 80 million photos per day
The Opportunities For Business
“People come to Instagram for visual inspiration and simple design allows captivating visuals to take centre stage.”
Instagram is a great way for brands to increase awareness of their products and services. Through showcasing work you do outside of selling products and services, Instagram will also help with brand recognition.
Quick Ways To Leverage Instagram
- Feature photos of your products and services
- Host contests and giveaways (post photo of the most creative way of using your product. This allows your customers to do marketing for you. You are reaching a much wider audience, and getting free marketing while keeping customers happy and engaged.
- Find users that are already customers through Hashtags or Keywords.
- Communicate with existing customers and potential customers – it’s your chance to give your company a personality and let people know that it’s made up of real people who care about their customers.
- Keep tabs on competitors (search for keywords or competitor products to see what people like/dislike. Take a look through their accounts and see how they are utilising it.
- Think outside of the box and do something different, people will notice and it will differentiate you from your competition.
Let’s Look At Some Examples
Scroll through the GoPro Instagram page and you will notice first and foremost how they share the experiences of their community by showcasing their product’s capabilities and the lifestyle it supports.
What do GoPro sell?? Cameras… but their pathway to Instagram is one we can all learn from. They aren’t just uploading product shot after product shot, and I am sure if they were they wouldn’t have 7million-engaged followers. They use Instagram to showcase how their products are incorporated into the lives of those who own them. Their account is very much about sharing exhilarating moments from those who own a GoPro camera. If you head on over to the Go Pro website you will also notice that they reward their users for submitting their photos, a perfect way to encourage user generated content. There is also a #gopro with 15,560,648 photos/videos which have been taken using a Go Pro, perfect promotion and it didn’t cost GoPro anything to get those users to tag their photos.
Here are the products Go Pro sell:
And here are the images that help them to sell them!!
Much more engaging don’t you think?
So, what are the lessons we can learn from these brands who are achieving Instagram success?
Tell Your Story
Story telling is a powerful tool in marketing. Using visual content, you can create an experience for your customer, clients and wider audience. Frank Body is a fantastic example of a brand telling a story. The product itself is a coffee-based scrub, but they have cleverly turned their product into a personality and this is showcased throughout their page, you can see how “Frank” transforms bodies of the people who use the scrub. They have also created a Hashtag #thefrankeffect which has 56,234 posts of customers using the product.
Use High Quality Images
Even if your product isn’t a camera which takes fantastic photos, today’s smartphones give you the possibility to take great imagery to help share your story. There are also a number of apps available which can take your shots to the next level.
Go Behind The Scenes
Provide insight of what’s to come, build excitement. Take a look at NetflixUK for some pointers on how to achieve this. Their account is full of behind the scenes shots that help to build excitement around a new series or movie release. You will also quickly notice how they use user-generated content to create a two-way dialogue.
Engage With Your Fans
It’s not all about posting and liking photos, fans will undoubtedly leave comments, you need to acknowledge those and respond. It’s not a one way platform.
Here is a great example of this from Zaini Hats. I uploaded this image of my niece sporting a gorgeous pink and green hat and within moments I had a comment from Zaini “Love this! Great hat! ZH x”. They turned my Instagram post into a two-way conversation and actually engaged with the post rather than ignoring it.
Post often, but not too often – Consistency is key
Create And Monitor Brand Related Hashtags
BUT don’t forget to encourage customers to use these when posting photos about you or your product.
- Learn what your community likes and post more of it.
- Don’t overuse the hashtags! Keep them relevant
- Highlight fan content. I will use Zaini again here as I posted an image under the hashtag #ZainiHats and my image was featured on their page, not only that, they got in touch and sent me some more hats which was a great way to encourage me to take more images of their product.
If your customers are posting nice things about your brand, re-post their content, give them credit, offer them rewards. Don’t be afraid to have your community tell your story and promote your brand. Facilitating this content creation with targeted visual influencers on Instagram can increase your community’s sharing exponentially. Influencers can create great awareness for your brand- consumers trust their friends, so if they like a product enough to share it, it’s likely they might just buy it, or at least have a look into it.
Instagram has been seen as a poorer cousin amongst the more popular, more obvious social platforms, but it is becoming a vital part of the social media recipe as engagement grows. Investing in Instagram as a viable marketing platform is a smart move on the part of brands at a time when social media users are becoming more ‘snap happy’.
If you would like to discuss your social media strategy, get in touch with the StrategiQ team today.