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Long gone are the days when Instagram was nothing more than a channel for posting selfies with meaningless captions. Since its launch in 2010, brands both big and small, use the popular networking site as a platform for marketing their goods and services to customers online. Multiple companies who have attained Instagram marketing success come up with the most unique strategies to fit their brand. With the introduction of special features, such as Instagram Live and Instagram Stories, the visual media platform is, without a doubt, an ideal marketing channel for brands of any size and industry.
Is Instagram a good tool for e-commerce?
This is a question that some marketing experts have pondered on. Considering that the network is meant to be a platform for people to socialize, shopping for a new pair of jeans while commenting on your best friend’s travel photos would be the last thing you’d expect people to do.
However, using Instagram as a channel for social media marketing is beneficial in many ways. For one, it allows you to explore the market beyond the standard boundaries. Marketers have been using digital marketing for years but let’s face it, people like to spend most of their free time on social media than on a company’s website. This is because social media is more transparent in nature, as it allows users to create a personal and direct connection to the entities they follow online.
So if you ever plan on using Instagram to launch your brand’s marketing campaign, be sure to take baby steps first. After all, you don’t want to scare off prospects by flogging your goods on the social network all at once. Study, plan, execute, and assess — these are the necessary steps that every marketer must keep in mind. It’s a gradual development process that requires patience and commitment. If you want to reach Instagram marketing success, then you must enter the battle field with the right weapon in hand.
There are over a million Instagram subscribers from around the world who either own a personal profile or a business account. Knowing this, it’s pretty clear that good Instagram marketing is more than just shooting photos to share with the world. Social marketers on this platform generate success by tailoring their content according to the likes and needs of their target market. From hashtags and stories to live videos and ads, let’s explore how these Instagram features are used to complement your content marketing strategy:
When Instagram was first introduced to the public, using hashtags was the ‘in’ thing to do. These days, however, most people only use hashtags for personal trends or for business-related reasons.
Branded hashtags make it easier for prospects to find you and topics related to you on social media. Those who follow the said hashtags can find a variety of posts that relate to your products and services, whether these were posted by your official account or by those who talk about your brand online. The key is to create unique and catchy hashtags that can pique the interest of prospects. This will also help build brand awareness across different social platforms.
Who would’ve thought that investing your resources to create content for a short span of time would change the Instagram marketing world so drastically? It wasn’t too long ago when the social network introduced Instagram Stories to users. The feature allows users to interact more openly with their respective audience through images and videos that are only meant to last for a 24-hour period.
Instagram Stories allows brands to connect with their target audience by uploading several posts at a time, without having to spam anyone’s feed with a variety of posts. This keeps customers engrossed with the latest announcements, product launches, and other business-focused content.
Studies show that about eighty percent of people would rather watch a live video than read a blog post. That’s because videos are a lot easier to grasp compared to a written narrative. Fortunately, Instagram notifies followers whenever a given account starts a live stream to make sure they don’t miss out. The network also allows other users to interact during the live stream by commenting personal insights or requesting for a call. This is great for brands that wish to build a direct connection with individuals from different parts of the globe.
Since more and more companies are using Instagram to market their brand, the network now features business tools for a better business and customer experience.
The great thing about Instagram Ads is how they may be used for multiple purposes. Apart from convenient product or service marketing, the tools may also be used to present calls to action. Listed below are just some of the CTAs that may be utilized:
Instagram Ads look like standard Instagram posts, so you don’t need to worry about appearing too intrusive to other users, especially those who don’t follow your account. Instagram users are likely to encounter these ads through their regular Instagram feed or Instagram Stories.
For anyone looking for some inspiration with their Instagram marketing techniques, you may want to jot down some notes from these social networking pros. We’ve compiled seven killer Instagram marketing campaigns to help you get started with yours:
With over 16 million followers online, Starbucks takes home the crown for having one of the most visually-pleasing Instagram feeds on the social network. Apart from the remarkable aesthetics of each post, Starbucks also features seasonal products in creative settings with every upload. This timely approach evokes a stronger reaction in users compared to what an average cup of coffee could do. From user-created content to the clever use of hashtags, Starbucks sure knows how to gain attention and boost consumer engagement.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a pop culture phenomenon that shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, they could upload a 15-second snippet of a full trailer (even their trailers have trailers!) at this very second and still generate a million views and over a thousand shares within the first few hours of its release.
Nearly everything that Marvel uploads on social media leaves the online community buzzing for days. Who could forget when the hype surrounding everyone’s favorite neighborhood webslinger Spiderman created waves of reactions and comments on Instagram? The movie’s trailer was scheduled to air on Jimmy Kimmel Live, so Marvel made the smart move to make the announcement on their Instagram account first. It instantly drew massive attention to the movie, making it the sixth highest-grossing film of 2017.
If you’re up to date with the latest news in the beauty world, then you may be familiar with the brand Ipsy. Popular beauty gurus like YouTube influencer Kathleen Lights is just one of the many Ipsy bag subscribers who constantly rave about the brand on various social platforms.
The beauty of Instagram is that it remains diverse in terms of content. For example, apart from posting about their products, Ipsy’s Instagram feed is filled with a variety of memes and motivational quotes to keep consumers engaged. Not only can this help build the brand’s personality, but it also gives followers something to smile about every now and then.
We all know that Forever 21 is a clothing brand that’s popular among younger generations, specifically the millennials. Not so long ago, the brand decided to capitalize on the popularity of the new Star Wars film by launching their own line of Star Wars-inspired apparel. To start a timely and relevant campaign, the brand posted a Star Wars-related boomerang on their Instagram account to attract fans of the movie from different countries. They even had a CTA that directed viewers to a link where they may find the products featured on the video.
The brand’s approach to Instagram marketing proves how trending news can lead to a great marketing strategy to draw in followers.
Everyone loves a good giveaway, especially when the latest GoPro camera is at stake.
For their 2016 holiday campaign, GoPro partnered with famous water skier Travis Fisher and dressed him up in a Santa Claus costume to keep the holiday theme alive. They also held a contest where people had to caption the given post, and the one who gains the most number of likes out of everyone who participated would win a GoPro Hero5 Black. This was a genius move from the brand, as the mechanics were so simple yet it left a powerful social impact in the market.
Marketing for music channels like MTV is a lot different than the standard forms of advertising, as the company itself capitalizes on other entities, such as popular artists like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, to survive in the industry.
One good example for this is their Ariana Grande Thanksgiving holiday campaign where followers were asked which album they liked more: My Everything or Dangerous Woman. Naturally, this campaign opened a discussion that encouraged users to comment their thoughts and tag their friends on the post. It’s safe to say that MTV takes full advantage of the popularity of others to boost their reach on social media.
If you’re looking for an indirect approach to promoting your products, then you can probably learn a thing or two from Red Bull. Scrolling through their Instagram account, you’ll find a lot of fun and adventurous images, but hardly anything featuring the actual drink — and that’s the whole point of it.
Red Bull is known for sponsoring major sporting events around the world. They often post exciting and relevant media to interest followers, without mentioning any of their products. After all, it’s not about promoting the actual product, but it’s about increasing consumer engagement to strengthen brand recall.
Know your brand. The only way to obtain marketing success is to understand your brand and the market you serve. With the gradual increase of both users and marketers in the Instagram universe, coming up with the perfect strategy and learning to stick by it will help your brand stand out among competitors. Instagram is one of the best social platforms for brands to deliver interesting visual content that are specially customized for their followers.