After hitting the social media scene in 2010 as a selfie paradise, Instagram has transformed into one of the strongest, full-on marketing channels and, the place to be in 2018. The platform now offers an array of tools for businesses — Instagram stories being one of the coolest ways out there for businesses to connect with potential customers and build relationships.
Regardless of your industry or whether you’re B2B or B2C, being on Instagram is an absolute must! To help you learn the ins and outs of the platform, we’ve pulled together a few tips to help you get the lay of the land and make the most out of your Instagram marketing spend.
Pictures Say 1,000 Words
When it comes to Instagram, what you say isn’t nearly as important as how you say it. As marketers, we’ve known for years that photos and videos outperform any other type of content online…and Instagram is using this knowledge for good! Since the entire platform is visually based, you need to learn to shift your storytelling method from copy to imagery.
A great Instagram page will tell a visual story about who your brand is and what your products are all about. Yes, the copy still matters, but for that first initial opportunity to capture a target customer’s attention, your appearance is what will seal your fate.
Put away your photo light box and staging platform — try to be more expressive with your product images. Take photos outside, of the product in action, or displayed in a real environment — anything to make your product images stand out and tell a story. Just relax and have some fun! A stagnant, traditional image of a product against a white background will look like an ad and most Instagram users will simply scroll right by without engaging.
The goal is two-fold here:
- Create images that tell a story about your products and services
- Create a brand personality via your images
If done correctly, when a user lands on your page, all your posts together will relay an instant feel for your brand, products, and company vibe to a potential customer.
Share Your Stories
Instagram Stories allow you to create mini-videos that captivate your audience, tell a story, and offer you a brief front-and-center opportunity on a someone’s newsfeed as they appear at the top of the feed for a limited time. Stories live forever within the safe walls of your Story Archive and can still serve you well, while they are displayed prominently in the story feed, they are marketing gold!
Stories can be a short little “Hey it’s Wednesday, have a great day” videos from your staff, to something more formal like a product update.
However you decide to spin your story, just make sure you use this feature! Stories are fun, high performing elements on Instagram and something you don’t want to miss out on!
Be Real: Get Verified
To avoid any confusion around whether or not you are the Real Slim Shady, make sure you get your very own verified badge. What is a verified badge? Glad you asked! A verified badge is a check that appears next to an Instagram account’s name in a search and on their profile. It means Instagram has confirmed that an account is the authentic presence of the public figure, celebrity or global brand it represents.
While not every Tom, Dick and Harry can qualify for a verified badge, if you or your brand are a big enough thing, take the time to go through the process and obtain the badge. Having that little blue badge allows people to know they are following “the real deal” and totally builds your street cred.
Tagging is Always Allowed
As with all social media platforms, tagging is a requirement for success! However, unlike some of the other platforms, hashtags seem to have more fun on Instagram. You can search for Popular Instagram Hashtags to get an idea of some of the standard ones you want to consider using like #mondaymusing or #fridayfunday, or you can sniff around on your competitor’s Instagram pages to see what’s performing well for them. Go ahead and snoop, they won’t bite!
Instagram is such a different playground from all the other social platforms, that you can literally start your own hashtag trend (if you post frequently enough). Don’t believe us? Check out Coke, Selena Gomez or any Kardashian (yes, we went there). The hashtags you’ll see on these Instagram pages support the personalities of these brands and celebs and help to foster relationships with their followers.
Still have questions about how to incorporate Instagram into your digital marketing strategy? Contact us and we can help to create a strategy that will make even a Kardashian blush!