Why Instagram Is Becoming The Best Channel For Organic Marketing
For many years, SME marketers have relied on Facebook as their major advertising channel. However, Instagram marketing is quickly taking over. Instagram has been reported as the highest engaged social media platform regarding audience percentage delivering 7X the engagement of Twitter or Facebook. According to the Business Insider by Pulse, the number of Instagram monthly active users has steadily increased to 700 million from 1 million in 2010.
This indicates the potential of Instagram as compared to other social channels.
The writing is on the wall: Instagram is the future of social media marketing. Despite having started small before its acquisition by Facebook in 2012, Instagram has become a major advertising channel over the past six years. It started offering brand advertising in 2013 but officially opened up the advertising options in 2015. It is for this slow and careful rollout that has ensured a balance between user preferences and the need to increase ROI making Instagram safe in the midst of the ever-changing technology and practices.
Instagram’s audience behavior speaks a lot about the potential of this channel as an effective marketing strategy for e-commerce. The increased use of hashtags and trending topics has enabled users to discover new ideas and products from across the globe. There is observed more user engagement with content on their feeds on Instagram than there is on Facebook feeds making Instagram better for your brand.
Another good thing about Instagram is the fact that it does not force things into your feed but rather allow users to curate their feeds. This means that users will easily find whatever they are looking for by scrolling or directly going to the specific brand’s page. Attaching a brand narrative to a post, on the other hand, opens opportunities for users to learn something new. This makes Instagram users more open-minded as compared to users of other platforms experiencing banner blindness on other platforms’ news feed.
Instagram is providing an authentic and discoverable environment which is essential for brands to tell their stories to their target audience. All brands including beauty, fashion, home, garden, and entertainment are experiencing the most success by using Instagram. The automotive industry is not left behind either. The insurance industry has also received a lot of success.
Enough has been said about how far Instagram has come to be the best social media marketing channel; it is clear that this platform is useful to everyone.
Instagram is where young folks converge; brands build engagements with their target audiences for the better good of their businesses. To build their following on Instagram, a brand has to put a lot into considering.
As a marketer, you will have to figure out what will work out, the frequency of posting, what to hashtag, what to say and how to go about everything to generate the intended results. As a brand, you are not interested in just the likes and comments. You need to build relationships and brand loyalty with your customers, drive more traffic to your websites and convert them. Most importantly, you need to generate as much ROI as you can from investing in this channel.
There are indeed many online brands killing it with Instagram marketing right now.
To jump-start your Instagram marketing campaign, follow these crucial strategies:
- Making customer interactions actionable
The best way to keep conversations going is not only by creating high-quality content but also putting in place a community management strategy. Instagram users are likely to like or comment on your beautiful content. It is then upon you to use the interactions to your advantage to know more about your customers. You, therefore, need to keep a close eye on such interactions for valuable feedback or simply to know more about your customers.
According to Woolley LeSueur, co-founder and CEO, Shabby Apple, a vintage style Women’s collection company, “Instagram marketing is not just about getting the highest number of followers but rather being able to create a close relationship with them by getting them to talk to you.” She believes Instagram is the most effective and profitable social media marketing channel, provided the right strategies are put in place. In her clothing brand, she has observed that her community of 87,000 Instagram fans is more engaging than her 167,000 Facebook fans. She is, therefore, able to build better customer relationships with her Instagram fans leading to sales as opposed to her Facebook platform.
As a marketer, always respond to your followers when they talk to you in their comments on your posts. This way, you will be able to encourage more interactions and eventually get a chance to learn more about them.
- Use influencer marketing and contests to build brand awareness
Many people are likely to listen to or follow what famous personalities and celebrities they admire have to say. This is the same case with Instagram; competition is increasing each day crowding this social channel. To stay ahead of the competition, you need brand ambassadors who will share your brand with their relevant and passionate followers to increase your conversion rates.
You can do this by either contacting your brand followers with a massive but relevant following or hire top-rated influencers in your industry to undertake this course. The internet offers endless options when it comes to influencer marketing so you can take advantage of them to help you in sharing your brand message.
To attract the best and relevant influencers to help you in promoting your brand, you may consider organizing contests where they will participate with the hope of winning gifts in the form of cash or brand products. A recent survey indicated that around 84% of marketers have at least one influencer marketing campaign. Therefore, you may not lay behind. You must always stay up to date with the latest social media marketing trends to be able to select the right influencers that will help drive your brand message to the larger market segment.
- Test for engagement and ROI using available apps and measurement tools
While engaging your brand on Instagram, it is important to get insights into what your target market likes including posting time or the effectiveness of your content. Some tools will also help you to find the popular hashtags which are relevant to your brand to use in your posts. A good example of such tools for starters is icon square. Consider using other tools that help you drive more website traffic and conversions. A good example is have2haveit which allows the Instagram user to view more details of the product before purchasing.
- Use Instagram Ads
Instagram was recently rolled out as an ad platform using the Facebook dashboard where businesses have an opportunity to add clickable images, videos, and other ads. This is quite effective in driving traffic directly to a product on your website, controlled from your Facebook power editor. This has allowed many brands to have maximum impact with all viewers. According to Kyle Bunch, “this has allowed marketers to connect with much greater levels of sophistication.” There is a significant demand for ads on Instagram, and this option presents a good opportunity for brands to start using Instagram advertising for better engagement with prospects and driving more traffic.
You can do this by following a simple process by following these steps;
- Create a video or photo with a caption
- Log in to Facebook and access the power editor section in the “manage ”
- Create a campaign stating the goal of the campaign and how you wish to pay
- Name your ad
- Set up a spending limit for your campaign (this is optional)
- Complete the details of the ad setting preferences for the campaign schedule, placement, audience, optimization, pricing and tracking pixels
- Upload to complete your ad
- Report on results to avoid more charges by tweaking an ad if it is not performing well
- Always follow the best practices by observing the rules outlined on Instagram customer care center.
Instagram is growing to become the powerhouse of engagement with the target audience. With Instagram ads, it is projected to become even better. Nevertheless, you need to observe the best practices to attract your audience. Remember, the biggest problem with building a following on any social marketing channel is consistency. Various social platforms may boast of great user experience but often becomes hard to learn. For this reason, it is important to stick with few platforms that you can easily master. Simply pick a channel of your choice and become an expert in it.
Many marketers today are going with Instagram marketing. Make your choice.