How Instagram Marketing Can Help Your Business
Social media, in today’s marketing world, presents a wealth of opportunity to build brand awareness, advertise promotions, and create an online persona that resonates with the public. And with over five billion downloads, Instagram is believed to become the most popular mobile marketing app of 2017.
Not only because it is an image-based social media platform, but also that the very format of it lends itself well to quick, brand-building impressions that, over time, only serves to create good will and generate sales. Several businesses across all verticals are flocking to it, and if you’re not using Instagram to promote yours, now would be the time to begin.
Getting Started with Instagram
Instagram, in short, is a mobile photo-sharing social networking platform that derives its name as a combination of the words “instant photograph” and “telegram”, allowing its users to share their updates on other social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and others.
Instagram is a great tool for brand presence that marketing strategists can use to create engagement, generate buzz, and build brand awareness.
It is well-suited for brands that rely on eye candy for marketing purposes. Food, fashion, and travel are a few of the businesses that thrive on Instagram. Some of the most popular brands on Instagram include, Ben and Jerry’s, Burberry, Starbucks and Nike.
Optimizing the Account
User Name: Choose a name that reflects your brand.
Add a Tagline: Create a one-sentence expression of your brand, that the consumers can relate to.
Add Link To Your Website: Easy backlink created! People who view your Instagram profile might also want to visit your website.
Profile Picture: Using your logo might be your first choice, but you can also use an image that’s more expressive of your brand mission.
Share Settings: Sharing images on multiple social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter at once is a great time-saver.
Creating a Instagram Content Marketing Strategy
A content marketing strategy can leverage Instagram as a powerful, brand-boosting tool.
Start with the proverbial “drawing board” to determine how it is that you want to use Instagram for marketing your brand. Instagram is best suited for sharing photographs or other image-related content as opposed to wordy blog posts. Evaluate other brands that are revolutionizing Instagram marketing.
Image-only: Instagram is a great platform venue for promoting your brand image. If you are a high-end fashion designer, ensure that your posts include high quality photos of attractive models wearing, and flaunting your designs.
Exclusive Insights: Behind-the-scene posts, posts that showcase the corporate culture of your company, your office space or short videos uploaded by the employees, go a long way in connecting with the ‘human-element’ of consumers.
Motivational Posts: Motivational quotes are quite the popular posts on Instagram. But try and find a way to personalize it in a way that the colors and fonts resonate with your brand’s identity.
Promotional Content: If you are in a niche sector and are given to frequent repeat business, you could use Instagram to let your consumers know about an upcoming promotion.
Consumer Engagement: Post images and videos on Instagram that are shareable and can generate a response from your target audience.
Creating Brand Guidelines
A written style guide made available to all those who access social media accounts on behalf of the company is an absolute must.
— It must be in-line with the brand image
— Must have direct links to all important resources such as logos in various sizes and other marketing materials. It is important that all Instagram posts draw from the same pool of images so that the brand aesthetic is consistent.
— Instagram allows users to enter captions that are up to 2,200 characters in length. Set specific rules about what type of content is allowed but, more importantly, what type of content is not allowed.
— Avoid the use of negative comments
— Avoid any mention of competitors
— Avoid anything political in nature
— Avoid anything that could be perceived as offensive to a particular demographic
— Instagram allows the use of up to 30 hashtags for each post. However, the social media experts believe it best to keep it under 5 hashtags per post.
— Have a review system in place to vet the posts before being published to ensure that they comply with the brand’s standard look and presentation.
Frequency of Posts:
— Restrict your posts to 2 to 3 per day. The key is to maximize your exposure online without unintentionally flooding your followers with promotional material.
— Spread out your posts to avoid publishing them back-to-back. Spacing out helps you potentially reach more people.
To Maximise The Marketing Efforts
Follow others in your niche —Do not follow your competitors. However, following other non-competing brands in your niche can complement your offerings and help promote your business.
Follow potential/existing customers — In many cases, they will follow you back.
Comment on relevant posts — If you want engagement, practice it. Engage with others who are posting content relevant to your niche. You will not only generate good will, but also are likely to pick up a few new followers.
Finally, remember that Instagram, like any other social media platform, is a place where consumers are looking for new and exciting content. Post content that people want to see — even if it doesn’t directly promote your brand. That’s a great way to generate a positive brand image right out of the gate.
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