Instagram continues to prove itself as a growing marketing trend for businesses. The focus on community, creativity, and mobile consumption differentiates Instagram from other social media platforms, which is the exact reason that companies should step into this promising platform. So here comes the question: how can brands use Instagram strategically and successfully?
No company wants to fail on its social media marketing campaign. Don’t worry! I will show you four effective strategies that are currently used by some big companies in a bit. Before working on your Instagram strategies, you need to define the Instagram presence for your brand first. There are three elements to keep in mind:
- Brand Identity: Ensure every focus is on brand (e.g., color palette, logo, posts, bio description, profile image, etc.)
- Concept: A good idea stands still on its own. Once you establish the concept, it won’t be hard to create or visualize the content.
- Craft: Be extremely thoughtful about the work you bring to life on the platform. High quality with well execution is always a huge plus.
Now let’s get to the bulk of this article: THE STRATEGIES!
STRATEGY 1: OPTIMIZE YOUR CONTENT
There are broad Instagrammers out there for you to reach, but how to grab their attention and most importantly, how to increase their interest in your brand? What you need to do is to create the content that are relevant and inspiring enough with the values that are perceived by your target audience. Moreover, a consistent theme is one of the key elements for growing followers. National Geographic (@natgeo) is one of the “best of the best” examples:
With 32.9 million followers, you can surely say that National Geographic nails it on Instagram. From my observation so far, the consistent posts of @natgeo are always in super high quality, stick to the current flow (ex: supermoon), exotic and inspiring in a way that intrigues people’s appreciation or reflection. Also, image description is as important as the image itself. People might overlook the captions of the photos because Instagram is a photo-focused platform but if your post contains rich information that can educate people or raise their attention to certain issues, it will be a huge plus to retain your existed and attract potential customers.
Tips: cute animals images are likes guaranteed!
STRATEGY 2: USE HASHTAGS
Choosing the right hashtag wins you more eyeballs and likes. Hashtags are like making categories for your posts and they help you reach the people who are looking for a specific sort of pictures. While choosing the hashtags that speak for your images or videos, you might want to pick the hashtags that are popular so as to get more visibility. My suggestion is to (1) look for the “Trending Tags” and “Explore Posts” on the main page of Instagram (2) use tagboard to find posting and hashtag ideas in order to stay relevant.
As for the number of hashtags in each post, it depends on how famous you are. If your brand is big enough to attract thousands of followers, then 1-3 tags might be sufficient. On the other hand, small business and startup companies might need more than 5 tags to increase their visibilities but no more than 11. The statistics below is for your reference:
STRATEGY 3: LOOK FOR PARTNERSHIP
There’s no doubt that influencers, bloggers, thought leaders have stronger voices on social media platforms than ever before. It works like celebrity endorsement, which is to utilize the popularity of a certain people to drive more impression, engagement, and conversion. In addition, partnering with other brands that share the similar beliefs or ideas can also generate tremendous engagement and exposure. American Express is one of the top-tired brands that uses this strategy to grow impressions and engagement:
These are the photos taken by Patrick Janelle (who won the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Fashion Instagrammer of the Year award last year), one of the Instagram influencers that worked with the American Express. Patrick was given the key to the company’s Instagram account as part of its #myamex campaign. The result of the campaign went very well; It generated 23% more engagement for those posts (comparing to the brand’s previous pictures) and 10 million impressions.
STRATEGY 4: INSTAGRAM SPONSORED AD
Recently, Instagram announces that its sponsored advertisement is available to all businesses around the globe. However, the most exciting part is its new ad formats: 30-second video ads and Landscape dimensions ads, which are beneficial to TV and online advertisers. As for the new function, Instagram introduces a series of call to action buttons in the advertisements (e.g., Shop Now, Install Now, Sign Up, and Learn More). Having a strong call to action is essential because it can motivate and change people’s mind to make a real action.
Having users’ information on Instagram and Facebook as well as the third-party sites and apps, Instagram stores rich data that can filter the target audience for the brands instantly. Thus, if you have the budget, it can be a huge lift to promote your products or services with sponsored ads.
After discussing these strategies, I hope you get a better picture about Instagram marketing and have faith to master it. Wish you luck!