Why Use Instagram?
Why should you choose to advertise your brand on Instagram over the other social media platforms? The answer is simple. I could talk about how Instagram allows you to engage with a massive online audience or the unique nature of its content that will help your brand stand out and be unique.
But the answer is you SHOULDN’T!
By no means should you be only marketing on Instagram, you don’t have to choose. Increase your brands reach and awareness by marketing on multiple platforms.
By June 2018 Instagram had 1,000 million active users, 80% of which follow a brand or businesses.
Not only is that a potentially large audience for your brand to connect with, but the userbase is highly engaging. Instagram users typically follow brands to keep up to date with new products and releases, but users also follow brands to show support to that brand, because they agree with the brands views or the purest reason of all they just like your content.
So even if your brand doesn’t frequently release new products, or if your business relies more on providing a service than a product, Instagram could still be very beneficial for your brands recognition.
The benefits of Instagram are not only its userbase but its ability to develop and help your brand grow because of its unique content type and format. Any other social media platform gives your brand a voice and allows you to communicate freely with the world, but Instagram will give you so much more. Not only will Instagram allow your brand to increase the reach of its voice with a whole new audience base but you can also evolve your brand by giving it a style and presence from the visual nature of the content, heightening your brands recognition.
A few things to know before you get started
Engagement rate is the amount of engagement i.e. likes, comments and shares of each post, or piece of content received from users. A high engagement rate is something every copywriter and content creators desire.
Brands use engagement rates to analyse how well their social media profiles are performing and to influence their social media marketing strategies. If your content has a low engagement rate it might be time to switch things up with your marketing strategy.
High engagement rates are indications of quality content but you have to be aware that the bigger your following the lower your engagement rate.
Wait hold up, that can’t be right?
The more followers your brand has should lead to a higher engagement rate, and that’s true, up to a point. Once you reach over a certain amount of followers your engagement rates will start to drop.
In fact, studies show content from brands with over 100,000 followers only engage with 1% of their audience.
Engagement rates can also be influenced by the frequency of posts as well as time of posts.
If you are posting too frequently you will decrease the life span of each post. Each post has a time frame where they get most of their engagement, and if you post a second post during that time frame you are shortening the life span of the first post as most users will only like and engage with your most recent post.
Alternatively, if you post too infrequently your brand will be missing out on a lot of engagement as your post gets buried under everyone else’s posts in the news feed. So it’s important to experiment with your post schedule to see what frequency works for your brand.
Different types of Instagram marketing
Influencer marketing is where you pay a public figure to use and advertise your products on Instagram. I say public figure because influencers aren’t just limited to celebrities, they could be a popular internet personality or an account with many followers and a strong personal brand.
Influencer’s are incredibly effective because they have already built up their audiences, making it ideal for brands just starting out on Instagram as they can reach a large audience without first having to build up their own audiences and reputation on the platform.
Influencers are called influencers because of their ability to influence their audiences, allowing them to introduce and increase the interest of your products or brand.
There is a risk/ reward element involved with influencer marketing, as your brands reputation will also be influenced by the influencer and their actions. Which is the point, but if the influencer connected to your brand gains a negative reputation because of their actions or opinions this could be damaging to the reputation of your brand.
Contests And Giveaways
The only thing people love more than getting something for free is getting something for free and feeling like a winner.
That is why contest and giveaways are really effective when trying to increase your engagement and brand popularity.
People who participate in the giveaway will not only become aware of your products and brand but their desire for your product will increase. Anyone who took part in the giveaway and didn’t win will be left feeling disappointed that they missed out on your product which will increase the chances they will then purchase your product, even if they didn’t plan on purchasing your product before the contest, because we just all hate to lose don’t we, there is nothing worse than missing out.
More than an image
There is more to Instagram marketing than just taking and uploading a good picture. For one, hashtags can play a massive role in your brands reputation and engagement.
Hashtags are crucial too as they allow users to find your products without being previously aware of your brand. Especially useful when advertising pop culture merchandise as popular hashtags for the products will already exist.
With the right hashtags you can help people discover your brand, but with an amazing hashtag people will create the content for your brand. That’s right folks free brand advertising.
Marketing campaigns that encourage it’s users to post content using a hashtag they created will see a significant increase in the reach and awareness of the brand. Each post created by their audience using their hashtag is essentially advertising. This is known as user generated content.
The posts caption is where you give your content and brand a voice. It shouldn’t be just a simple description of the image.
Your image has captured the user’s attention but it is the caption that needs to relate to and engage with your audience with a call to action, so the user knows what to do upon seeing your content.
Promoting where to buy the content and the use of hashtags all happen within the posts caption so it is important to stay relevant.
One feature that gives Instagram the edge over other social media platforms is the Instagram store function.
Instagram gives brands the ability to turn every story or post into an online store for users to purchase your products right there on the social media platform.
This will increase sales, as this is more convenient for potential customers. No longer will they need to navigate the internet to find your store. No more jumping through link after link to get to your products page. They don’t even need to leave Instagram since everything they need will be right there on the platform.
Before you should be posting or even thinking about posting, you should be optimising your Instagram account.
First things first, you need to make sure you have a verified business account. Having a business account will not only increase your brands recognition and reputations, as your audience will know they can trust you but it will allow you to include a link to your website on your profile page and will also come with free analytical features that will allow you to monitor and track your user engagement.
Instagram is an image sharing platform, so if your profile image isn’t optimised then you’re starting off by sending your audience the wrong message. How can your audience expect great content if you can’t get your profile image right.
Instagram profile images are 110 by 100 pixels. Your image will need to be simple and sized correctly to avoid blurring at small scales.
You must also be aware that the shape of the profile image is circular, so anything in the corners of the image is likely to be cut off.
The character limit for an Instagram bio, even for a business account is 150 characters, so keep it short and sweet.
The easy way to create a relevant bio for your brand is to use your brands tag line or mission statement.
Think about the goals of your brand, consider your audience and write the bio you want the world to see.