Let’s face it, Instagram is your go-to choice when boredom strikes.
With over 800 million users worldwide, about 35% of all 18-35 year olds who use the internet have an Instagram account. That’s a lot.
What makes Instagram even more of a marketers dream is that almost half the user base access the app at least once a day, while over a third visit it several times a day.
By giving brands the opportunity to highly customize and stylize the posts they put out, Instagram ensures that the users remain highly engaged, all while still spreading “branded content”.
This is what makes almost 50% of the daily Instagram users follow at least one brand, while a third actually actively visit a business’s profile every day.
So, come to think of it, building Instagram into your marketing strategy the right way ensures a number of things:
- You’ll have a highly engaged audience that’ll actually look forward to your material.
- You’ll be able to survey your audience with quick polls, thereby getting a feel of what they really want.
- You’ll be memorable, which is basically what every marketer wants.
How small and medium-sized brands can benefit from leveraging Instagram
The old adage – “a photo is worth a thousand words” is truer than you think in the digital and social media landscape. There’s a reason why 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, ahead of blogs (68%) and videos (60%).
With videos, live streams, and stories, Instagram holds limitless potential. Small and medium-sized businesses can leverage Instagram to:
- Showcase new products
- Run multiple campaigns and contests
- Educate and engage consumers
- Track outflow traffic from the app to their website
Zappos was one of the early adopters of a great Instagram – and overall social media – marketing strategy. By carefully crafting a presence that was essentially a reflection of their company culture, while simultaneously highlighting their products, and they successfully leveraged social media, especially Instagram, to not just drive sales but build a community online.
A few ways you can achieve Instagram success in your marketing efforts are:
1. Make your photos look professional, but don’t lose the human side.
Instagram lets you reach hundreds of millions of people on one platform. Even if a fraction of those is converted, you got it set! Using a professional to capture your images, will help capture your business in the best light possible. Literally speaking. There’s no way people are going to like your feed if they’re going to get it better someplace else. And let’s face it, you’re not short on competition.
If you’re not up to forking up the extra monies for a professional, you can do your best with tools like Canva. Using the same filters throughout is also a great way to get a uniform and semi-professional look without the extra.
You have to realize though that from all of the social media platforms out there at the moment, Instagram has got to be the most human of them all.
So don’t use the channel to only showcase your products and services. Candid, quirky, and personal shots of your employees, the activities in the day, and the overall work culture can make your Instagram feed a lot more relatable.
2. Align macro and micro influencers to your objectives and goals.
With a rapid, ever-evolving social media landscape, influencer marketing is the siren song of today. While macro influencers are celebrities in their own right, micro influencers are people with smaller followings – real people with real stories.
Macro influencers, while expensive, can make your brand go viral. Micro influencers, on the other hand, can drive engagement inexpensively as most of their followers are friends and family, and can relate to their posts on a personal level.
The choice between the two depends on the brand’s goals and campaign objectives. It’s all about striking the right balance.
It is important to note here that some of the most effective micro influencers a brand can have are its own employees. Employee Advocacy can be a game changer, especially for brands that are just starting out, looking to build a loyal consumer base and increase visibility.
3. Keep your caption short, but use the right hashtags
Instagram is often the place for looped scrolling and liking. It’s almost become a default for some. It’s not very often that people would stop to read a caption, but a caption is nonetheless needed. A short, snappy, and to the point caption will keep your audience coming back for more.
Hashtags, on the other hand, are your lifeline on Instagram. By using the right hashtags, you might just pick up a few extra followers who were simply browsing through the posts on a particular tag. Just be sure to use the relevant hashtags, and #not #tag #everything.
Brands that got it right
A major player who successfully harnessed the power of influencer marketing and employee advocacy. By encouraging their employees to actively share their passion for fitness and post videos of themselves doing activities such as weight-lifting and running using a common hashtag – #FitAssCompany.
The makeup giant very successfully brought out the human side of the organization by urging their employees to share images from their usual workday, with the hashtag – #LifeAtLoreal. And their employees didn’t disappoint either.
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