How to Leverage Instagram to Tell Your Brand’s Story
by Jenn Sherman
If you are a classic millennial like me, then you can relate to how obsessed I am with Instagram. There is no better feeling than getting a lot of likes on an Instagram photo (side note: I will admit that I have taken down a photo if it didn’t get enough likes, don’t judge me).
Eighty million images are uploaded to Instagram daily, and just last fall the social network hit 400 million monthly users, surpassing the reach of both Twitter and LinkedIn — and most of this growth has been fueled by the younger generation. In fact, 63 percent of millennials use the social network to learn about products and services, and 74 percent of them take action after liking a post.
Many companies are trying to capture the attention of this demographic — and Instagram is a great way to do that. Companies can use the platform to reach their target audiences, sell products or services, and grow their following. It’s one of the best marketing tools out there because companies essentially get free brand ambassadors, like myself, posting photos of their products or services constantly throughout the day. Check out my Instagram photo of Momofuku Milk Bar’s famous cereal milk ice cream, which got me a personal all-time record of 83 likes (I was ecstatic, by the way).
How can your brand leverage the power of Instagram to tell your story and increase your bottom line? Let’s go over a few tactics.
Show off a new product — Instagram is a great platform to use to showcase a new product or service. You can show your followers what it does or how it works by posting photos of it in action. For example, a lot of cosmetic companies utilize Instagram to promote new beauty product lines. Bluemercury does a great job of posting a mix of dynamic videos and visually appealing photos to showcase their beauty products.
Relative to our industry, technology companies have also seen success in using Instagram as a marketing tool to promote products and services. Intel for instance is leveraging the social network to raise awareness about its 3D XPoint technology.
Run a contest — Instagram contests are an easy way to grow your following, increase engagement, and get to know your customers. Contests are also a great way to drive customers to buy your products. All you have to do is ask your followers to post photos with your product or service using a specific hashtag, and the Instagrammer who gets the most likes will win the contest.
You can also leverage influencers to expand your contest’s reach. For instance, BIOSSANCE, a beauty brand, partnered with an influential fashion blogger, Corey Golden, who has more than 13,000 followers, to promote a Mother’s Day contest they are running. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love free stuff?
Put a face to your brand — Instagram is also valuable platform to illustrate your company’s culture and values. Humanize your brand by posting photos of your staff at events or during community service activities. Again, Bluemercury does an excellent job of sharing images of their team members as well as their CEO, Marla Beck attending events such as award ceremonies and galas.
Inspire your followers — a picture can say a thousand words. There are so many ways to connect with your followers other than trying to sell your product. One of them is through sharing motivational images or quotes that can brighten up their day. Take a look at SoulCycle. That company’s Instagram feed is filled with images of inspirational quotes to promote wellness and happiness to their followers. Inspiring your followers sheds a positive light on your brand and creates a more engaging customer experience.
These are just a few tactics that your company can use to leverage Instagram as a storytelling tool. There are many more ways to implement the platform you’re your marketing strategy, such as Instagram’s advertising features, but I’ll save those nuggets of information for another blog post.
Feel free to drop us a line and tell us about your own experience with Instagram! Leave a comment below or follow us on Instagram.
Originally published at www.speakerboxpr.com on April 27, 2016.