INSTAGRAM: THE BEST PLATFORM FOR MARKETING?
Started as a photo sharing project, Instagram has bloomed into becoming one of the leading platforms for marketeers. Several brands are joining Instagram to reach out to their customers as well as show the human side of their business. According to studies, Instagram boosts 25 million+ business profiles worldwide, 2 million+ advertisers who use Instagram to share stories and drive business results. About 60% of Instagram users say they discovered new products on Instagram, and about 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one business profile daily. Thats a lot of data. Now onto the main point. How can it help businesses?
1. Instagram is a platform for storytelling:
Instagram, of all social media platforms, is known for its visual content. People share about 80 million photos everyday! People share posts about their day, what they like, where they go, what they eat, and basically everything. This makes Instagram one of the best places to showcase your products, people you work with, your customers’ stories, etc. Businesses can share beautifully crafted visual content to let your target audience know what your business is all about! The more visually aesthetic the content, the more you will be able to build a relationship with your potential customers. To reach out to your Target Audience on Instagram, focus on what they would like to see as opposed to what you would like to show. If the audience sees what they are interested in, they are more likely to check your brand out and see what you offer.
2. Instagram is where your audience talks about you:
Everyone is on Instagram, The Millennials, The Gen Zs and even the Baby Boomers! Whether your brand is on Instagram or not, best believe your audience is. And since people share everything on Instagram, they are more likely to share about your brand too. Your audience are already talking about you and your products. They are posting about what they buy from you, how their experience was, and even indirectly promoting your brand by telling others about it. This is another reason why your business needs to be on Instagram. You need to acknowledge every post, story and comment about your brand. It is a very important step of the “selling” process as customers like to know their voices are being heard by the brand. It also gives you insights about how your brand is positioned in your customers’ mind. Not only should you be listening to them but you should also share their stories. People are more likely to trust your brand if they have heard about it form their peers as opposed to the brand itself. Sharing posts that your audience posts, will help you build your creditability. You don’t have to share everything a customer posts, but you can focus on the ones that are more relevant and in different formats like photos, videos, stories or even memes! User generated content makes your product have a sense of personal touch. Customer reviews, testimonials, how to’s posted by customers make other audiences feel the product is genuine. This not only helps your goodwill but indirectly also sorts out bits on your content calendar!
3. All your competitors are on Instagram too:
If you’re worried your competitors are doing better, Instagram is where you need to be. Whether you are on it or not, your competitors probably are, and are using it to reach out to their (and your) potential customers. You can scout what your competitors are posting, the kind of aesthetics they are going with, how often do they post, the kind of language they use, how they engage with their fans and so much more. You can even get some content inspiration from them as their content will be on the same lines of what you post. You can even explore the engagement activities they take on – do they use influencers? Are they running contests? What kind of campaigns do they run? Answering all of these questions will help you gain a better perspective of what you should and should not be doing.
4. The power of #Hashtag:
Instagrammers don’t just take pictures, use a filter and upload them. They “hashtag” that image. Users not only want to share their content but they also want their images to be discovered. They search images through hashtags they like and find content relevant to themselves. This plays a very important role while posting content for brands. Use the right hashtag. Every post can have upto 30 hashtags, but that doesn’t mean you have to utilise all of them. Go through hashtags your audience uses. With Instagram’s new feature, brands can even track the hashtags that users follow. You don’t have to go hashtag crazy, you can use even 15 but stay relevant to your brand and to your audience. Look up the most used hashtag and see if they fit to what your brand is about. Find out what your potential customers are talking about and what they are interested in and what problems of theirs can your brand and products solve. You can even create branded hashtags around your products that customers can use to talk about them. Branded hashtags can be features of your product, a problem it solves or trending terms that can be tied to your brand.
5. The appeal of Videos:
As mentioned earlier, Instagram is all about visually aesthetic content and videos prevail to be the dominant format while sharing content on social media. In the last year, Instagram has seen an 80% increase in time spent watching videos on the platform. Well crafted, short videos can tell a lot about your brand and help your audience know what you provide. With the Introduction of Instagram stories, it has become even easier to share video content. About 1/3 of the most viewed Instagram stories are from businesses. Since Instagram stories are short-lived, you can share raw, uncut videos about the BTS of your working zone.
People discovered new
products on Instagram
Millennials consume stories
on Instagram everyday
Increase in time spent
watching Instagram videos
6. Instagram Stories:
Instagram Stories have become a very popular format amongst Instagrammers. People use Stories to update their followers in their day to day happenings. The best part of stories is that you don’t need a lot of time and effort to make them. You can showcase your workspace, culture, BTS and a lot more without spending any resources. With stories you don’t have to worry about the time you post it on because they show up at the top of your audience’s feed. B2B marketeers can also use stories by creating small episodic content. They can break down how products work, or how some products are formed, the process, etc and showcase it on their stories to give their audience an insight on the inside of the business. Business profiles with sufficient followers can also add links to their stories which helps them, by directing the consumer exactly where they want them to be, like their website. With Instagram stories, you can even highlight some important milestones or customer testimonials so that they stay on your profile forever. With live streaming, polls, stickers, etc, the possibilities of content creation in Instagram stories are endless.
7. Customer Service Touchpoint:
Customer Service is an integral part in building any brand. Since all your customers are on Instagram and are probably posting about your brand and your products, its the best place for your customer service activities to take place. Brands should never ignore the feedback given by their customers. ALWAYS reply to your customers’ queries and remarks. You can even showcase how to use your products and their features through Instagram. It is also the best way to engage with your followers. You can like their pictures and comment on relevant posts and have conversations with your audience in the comment section of your posts. You can even converse through branded hashtags. Replying to customers makes them know that the brand cares about their views and opinions which strengthens the customer relationship with the brand.
8. Highest engagement rate:
Instagram has the highest engagement rate amongst the top social media platforms. Brand engagements on Instagram are 10 times the engagement as compared to Facebook. Creating great content can increase your brand’s visibility immensely. Engagement activities like influencer campaigns, contests. Giveaways can really cause a massive impact on your brand.
9. Reveal Company Culture:
Humanising your brand makes your brand seem more approachable. This can be done by sharing informal images and videos from your company. It can be of people working, new projects or just a simple celebration. Your customers want to buy from/work with people they like. Many brands took over Snapchat to show the human side of the brand. However, the same can be done for Instagram. You can post pictures of employees, new collaborations, retreats and so much more and with Instagram stories it’s even easier to share such content without a lot of effort. Aside from your company, your employees can share such content too, which can then be reposted on your page. A lot of B2B brands even send their employees to small trips and camps to create such content. A good behind the curtains scenario makes people believe in your brand much more.
10. Instagram Ads:
Even though Ads are not an exclusive feature of Instagram, they still have a much greater effect on your brand’s success. Since Instagram uses Facebook’s demographic data, it is much easier to direct your adds to very specific group of people. If you want to target a niche audience, Instagram is one of the best platforms to do so. One can advertise by age, location, gender, habits and much more. With Instagram using the same Ads Manager as Facebook, Instagram is able to track everything from link clicks to leads to conversions. It also allows you to measure how much you spent on ads vs how effective your ads were. Which means according to whichever goal you’re measuring, you can see how much you spent on it as well as what results it fetched you. With Instagram’s shop feature, it has become much easier to sell your products through Instagram.
Now that you know why Instagram is one of the leading platforms to market, get on it and make your brand more visible! If you need some help, you always know who to call!
PS. It’s not ghostbusters.
PPS. It’s us.