Instagram is an image-based social network, founded in 2010 and acquired by Facebook two years later in 2012. While still owned by Facebook today, the network and its services are largely run as an independent operation, with its own login options, app, and webpage. It does, however, offer a number of cross-sharing and posting features with Facebook.
Approximately 1 billion users use the service every month. Instagram is also hugely popular with younger audiences. Over 71% of the users are under 35, and in the US it’s estimated that 72% of teens regularly use the service, which makes it the most popular social media platform among teenagers today.
What is Instagram Marketing?
Using and marketing on Instagram is all about stunning multimedia. Posts consist of an image or short video and a short description, including optional hashtags and geotags. Each post a user makes will be shared with their followers to the followers feed, and if hashtags and/or geotags are used their posts can appear to the public based on location or search results. Like most other social networks’ users can interact with posts by either commenting or liking (displayed as a heart symbol).
Instagram offers a number of features to help companies engaged and interact with their customers. Brands can share content that will appear in their followers feed, or possibly go viral with the use of a hashtag or geotag. Since Instagram is all about visual (in comparison to Facebook’s hybrid text/image format), it’s particularly well suited to showing off your products in exciting new ways and providing short usage videos.
Benefits of Using Instagram
Whatever the size of your business, be it a massive international entity or small sole-trader, Instagram can and will benefit you. If you haven’t already incorporated it into your marketing strategy, now is the time to start. Here are some of the great ways Instagram can boost your new and existing marketing strategies to create outstanding brand awareness and business growth.
Visual Content Drives Engagement
Research shows that visual content such as images and videos drive user engagement over 600% higher than text-only content; that means that for every one like on a text-based post you can expect six extra likes on visual content. That makes Instagram not only great for generating engagement, but also for testing imagery that will be utilised across other brand marketing channels.
With the focus on pictures and videos and the inclusion of associated hashtags, Instagram is perfect for monitoring and gaining a feel for your industry and competitors. Keeping tabs on leading influencers and competitors will give you insights into what trends they are following and even sneak previews for their upcoming products and services.
Instagram is highly focused on storytelling. Using images and videos to tell a story about your brand is a great way to get and keep people engaged. It also allows you to highlight features and philosophies of your company and products in a way that is impossible with traditional marketing.
4 Easy Tips to Quickly Get Your Brand Seen
So, you’ve decided that your brand could benefit from Instagram. Great! Of course, it can. But how exactly do you get started developing a presence to get your brand seen and engaged with?
Get a Business Profile
While you technically can operate your business account as a standard account, switching over to a business account is a no-brainer, especially when it’s absolutely free! Business accounts offer many great features from allowing better tracking of user engagement to tools for opening up direct communication.
Avoid the Hard Sell
With the amount of advertising, both online and off, today users often feel overwhelmed. Nothing is more likely to turn users against your brand faster than the hard sell. The best social media posts are laid back and tease users, enticing them to seek out more information rather than trying to sell them on a specific product.
Partnering with influencers is a great way to get your products and brand in front of thousands of new people. Influencers are users who have already built a sizeable following — think hundreds of thousands — who trust their recommendations. Getting your content shared by an influencer is a great way to boost your engagement and follower count at any time, but can be especially helpful in the early days.
Social media is all about two-way communication. The goal isn’t just to push content at your followers, but also to actively interact and engage with them. One of the easiest ways to do this is by sharing content you followers post about your brand, something Instagram is particularly well suited to as people like to post images of them using things they love.
With its focus on multimedia and its massive younger user-base, Instagram is the perfect social network to get your products and brand in front of millions of potential customers and influencers; people who will not only benefit you in the short-term, but will help you to build brand awareness and loyalty for years to come.
Want to learn more about Instagram and the potential of Instagram Marketing? We’re available for a chat anytime about how we can work together to develop your brand and stimulate business growth through the use of social media.