Instagram has become an even more vital marketing tool, with the recent announcement of growth to over 700 million users. With 80% of Instagrammers following a brand, businesses of all types can increase visibility using Instagram. Similar to Facebook, Insta offers various ad options including photos, videos, and carousels while also offering Instagram Stories, similar to the advertising offerings of rival network Snapchat.
As with all social networks, there are unique traits to Instagram which differentiate it from other channels. Here are 5 tricks to marketing your brand on Instagram.
- Brand Profile Page: Your profile page is prime real estate on Instagram. Adding photos, videos and links on a regular basis will help keep users coming back over time. Use seasonal content, polls, contests and giveaways on the profile page. Also, use a voice/tone on the profile page that is consistent with the overall brand tone. Consider using calls-to-action, where appropriate, and posting consistently, at least 3x per week. We also recommend linking your Instagram business profile with your Facebook business account. Your business information will be pulled into Instagram from Facebook as well as a business contact button.
- Advertising: Instagram offers many different ways to connect with more users with paid advertising. Photo ads should be simple, clean and professional. Videos can be up to 60 seconds and can be either portrait or landscape orientation. Use Carousel ads to give users the ability to swipe through several photos within one ad or Stories ads to complement your brand’s feed.
- Location and Hashtag Stories: Instagram recently announced location and hashtag stories which allows users to easily find stories related to their location or their interests. This represents a great opportunity for marketers to target based on locations as well as hashtags. Including a location sticker or a hashtag like #motivationmonday and #onthetable may get your post included on the explore page of users within your location or using a particular hashtag.
- Stickers: Selfie Stickers on Instagram are similar to features used for years on Snapchat. Brands can enhance their posts by using stickers to identify things like location, weather, time or just add comments and info to a post. Many brands are experimenting with use of stickers on Instagram Stories. We recommend trying different creative concepts and seeing what has the highest engagement. We recently saw the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago creatively using stickers. Their upcoming show, beginning on June 6th, features the artist Takashi Murakami. Here the artist promotes his upcoming show in a subtle and fun way using Instagram Stories and stickers. Stickers can also easily be added to videos and Boomerangs.
- Takeovers: Many brands have also been experimenting with takeovers on Instagram. A takeover is the process of taking over someone’s Instagram account temporarily and sharing content with their audience. Typically, a brand will host a takeover with someone who will bring value and a unique perspective / voice to their Instagram audience. Takeovers can be large scale—think artists and celebrities, or smaller scale—customers or employees. Consider a few key components when deciding on a takeover:
- Will the guest engage your Instagram community?
- Will they provide something different and unique to your audience?
- Can users engage with this person, thus building a relationship with the brand?
As social media marketing continues to evolve, brands need to similarly grow their strategy and tactics to align with current and future offerings. Instagram’s continued user and product growth will provide increased value to marketers across all businesses and industries. For more information or a free evaluation of your social media marketing, please contact us today!