Instagram is a photo sharing platform with a highly engaged global community. If stats could tell you a story, here’s the story of Instagram.
Instagram opened up the world of visual stories. Not to forget the selfie wave that everyone has been riding upon. The staggering level of engagement generated on the platform has not gone unnoticed as brands saw an opportunity to directly connect with people through visual storytelling. Instagram has also established itself as a hub for industry-specific influencers giving way to influencer marketing strategies for brand promotion.
While Instagram is one of the fastest growing platforms, it is also one of the most underutilized marketing platforms. Unlike Facebook, Instagram is not limited by brand reach to fans. That leaves us with an important question – How are brands really using Instagram for marketing? Here are some basics to start with.
Use Links in the Right Place:
The only place your link will be clickable on Instagram, is in your profile below the bio description. Make the most of this space and change the URL as often as you like based on the results you want to achieve. Some important pages to link with your account are Website URL, Blog page, Products page, Custom landing page, live campaign/contest page or a lead generation page. Use a trackable link to analyse how much traffic you are actually driving via Instagram. Avoid using the links in image post or comments as they will only consume space.
Narrate a Visual Story:
A picture speaks a thousand words and gets the attention of your target audience. With Instagram, brands have an opportunity to tell their business story through attractive and creative visuals and videos. Put your products and services in context and your audience will connect with them. An image of a dress on mannequin doesn’t convey the same feeling as an image of a real person wearing it. Add relevance to the visual with a background such as party, festive season or wedding. Use text overlay to add pizazz to your images. Whether you are sharing a tip, promoting a sales discount or simply branding an image, text overlay should easily convey the message.
At times, users will also share their photos and tag relevant brands. Most of these will come from industry specific influencers. As a brand, this is a great opportunity to connect with these influencers and create user generated content.
Call to Actions:
Post caption is the first comment to appear immediately underneath the image. Upon seeing an image, the user will always look for the caption. Hence, this space should never be left blank. Write a clear call to action asking the user to “Click on the link in the bio” or “Leave their email address in the comment section” etc. Be as descriptive as needed.
Make the best of your visuals and post comments with the use of relevant hashtags. The purpose of hashtags is to categorize your content and make your content searchable. This will help the brand reach out to wider audience and increase overall visibility. Choose your hashtags wisely. Add hashtags that are relevant to your brand, your content and your target audience. While hashtags are important for a post, over dosage of anything is bad for the brand. Using up to 10 relevant hashtags will get you the desired result.
Host Contests and Campaigns:
Photo contests are a great way to increase the brand visibility, showcase your products, attract leads and grow your followers on Instagram. Moreover, users love to engage in fun contests. There are several ways to engage an audience through contests. From simple photo-sharing contest to product treasure hunt, these contests help brands maintain active community.
Use Instagram Ads:
When it comes to organic reach, Instagram has an advantage over Facebook. However, do not write-off the potential of its inorganic reach yet. Advertising is a great way to put your products and services in front of the right target audience. It allows you to reach out to customers beyond your followers and target them geographically. Brands in ecommerce space use Instagram ads to showcase their products through high quality images. Small, medium or large, all businesses can run ads on Instagram through a Facebook page. All one needs to do is set a budget for the ads, select the target audience and create the ad content. Currently, Instagram ads can be run to meet 4 objectives: clicks to website, mobile app installs, page post engagements and video views. The 3 types of ads one can run on Instagram are: Image ads, Video ads and Carousal ads. Choosing the right options will help brands reach out to the target audience and drive the desired results.
While most brands are yet to explore the full potential of Instagram, early players are sure to benefit the most. Above tips should help you create a unique brand identity and stand out from the competition. To summarise it – IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE, CREATE UNIQUE CONTENT, INTERACT AND ENGAGE.
Check out the effective ways of marketing your brand on Instagram