Instagram is one of the largest and most popular social media platforms today. Not only that, but it’s still growing enormously. Currently, there are 800 million monthly active users. The introduction of the popular and engaging ‘stories’ feature has increased the amount of time each user spends on Instagram. They’re also differentiating from Snapchat by allowing users to post old content over and over again. It’s such a popular social media platform that many teenagers are making multiple profiles, carefully curating content based on their audiences.
Recognizing the incredible opportunity they have, Instagram is working hard to release useful new features for marketers. An update in January, for example, introduced the ability to schedule photo posts, see posts that your company has been tagged in, and even view the profiles of your competition.
If you’re not already taking advantage of Instagram, there’s never been a better opportunity to do so. And even if you’re dipping your toe into it, it’s time to take a head-first dive into it. To help you get started, here are three key components of Instagram marketing:
Advertising on Instagram
Your campaign goals for an Instagram marketing campaign should be different than your goals for other campaigns. Instagram is a highly visual platform. Users aren’t usually looking for anything specific like they are when entering a Google search term. They just want to check out some cool new picture and videos. In short, they’re looking to discover new things.
Ideally, that’s the best place to slide Instagram marketing into your overall marketing strategy – finding users in the discovery stage. You want to grab attention quickly and boost your brand’s reputation. Target users and ads for that goal and you should find success. If you’re looking for people who are ready to buy immediately, however, you might be better off focusing on paid search.
Creating an Instagram Page
One of the easiest ways to leverage Instagram’s platforms is by creating a company Instagram page. Some industries have it easy. Restaurants use Instagram to share pictures and information about their daily and weekly specials. Microbreweries use it to share information about their latest beer releases. Even if your industry isn’t particularly glamorous or visual, however, there are plenty of ways to reach your audience.
Many companies are using their Instagram page to share industry news and information. All you have to do is find an appealing photograph and use the caption to give a bit more context. This is a great way to share blog posts or news about your own company, too. You could also use Instagram as a platform to just engage with your audience. If a local sports team is doing well, post a picture of your staff in their jerseys. Share a picture of a local restaurant your team likes to have lunch at. All you have to do is find something that will pique your audience’s attention and share it in a way that’s visually appealing.
Leveraging Instagram Influencers
Influencer marketing is here to stay. The bottom-line is that there are people that matter to your target audience. If you’re able to leverage that popularity, it will boost your brand’s influence and reputation. One obvious key is finding the right people. Unless you have a massive marketing budget, your best bet is finding niche influencers with an engaged, but not massive, audience. Then you need to make sure that they are relevant to the message you’re trying to send and, most importantly, the people you’re trying to reach.
Next, you need to determine exactly what type of campaign they’ll handle for you. Do you want them to use your product and include it in their posts? Ideally, they can provide an honest, full review. Even a simple brand mention can help. However in-depth they go, it’s critical to remain transparent. Have them tag you with a ‘Paid Partnership’ tag to comply with endorsement guidelines and avoid any potential negative backlash.
Even if you aren’t actually using influencers to boost your Instagram marketing, you can use them to help improve your ads or products. Beauty companies are looking at trending posts and influencers to determine what popular trends they need to focus on. If you want to quickly gauge where a market is headed, studying the influencers is a great way to do so.