Instagram has changed a lot in the past year, and has introduced a lot of new features along the way, making it one of the best places to market yourself or your business to date. Whether you’re looking to grow a personal account, start a business or raise brand awareness through a marketing campaign, here’s some tips to keep you on track in 2018…
Tell your story
Whether you think it’s a rip-off of Snapchat or not, nobody can deny that Instagram Stories were a game changer, and is now seen as an essential brand strategy for every business. It just works! A huge part of building your business and staying relevant is by storytelling, and even if your content isn’t good enough for your feed on one day, utilize that content in your story; Show the faces behind the brand, get people involved. It’s not just the story itself, it’s the functions within that story that can optomise your engagement with viewers, such as polls, GIFS, editing, voice, all relatable content that highlights your company culture and value in viewer engagement.
Hashtags are still important
Hashtag strategy is still important and essential for keeping your name bouncing around the Insta-sphere (is that a thing?) As of now, users can follow specific hashtags, as part of it’s ongoing efforts to be a ‘real time’ app (as shown by it’s development of video, live features and stories). So how can you utilise this? Help users find your brand through a niche, by integrating yourself into a specific hashtag. They are literally trying to find you and the content you create, all you have to do is use the function wisely and make yourself relevant. It also encourages accounts to listen to their following and cater to them. For business accounts and analysists, this could mean some serious advantageous ad targeting data. For those who dislike or avoid the chaos of the discover feed, the hashtag follow function can give a personalised and cleverly curated and structured space that may in turn tempt you to spend more and more time on the app itself. Works for you, works for Instagram. Clever, right?
Focus on becoming personal
There is nothing worse than staring at an Instagram account and all you see is catalog-style photography with forced or reused sales-like captions. Your product could be incredible, and you might be a global brand, but if your page is all product and no people, you’re missing out on a huge potential for growth. People like to buy from people, not businesses, so show people. An Instagram with just landscape or product photography alienates your audience a little. Where is the personality? If you are trying to market headphones, leave the studio behind and pick out some models or even your own employees, and sell those products as something that is personal and enjoyable. Unless you are specifically interested in flaunting travel destinations or interior design, for example, try to keep your Instagram as lifestyle friendly as possible. Scatter the promotional product posts. Show people enjoying your product so your followers assume it is a functional and friendly business that people actually use.
Just like the above point, adopting an influencer marketing strategy is going to make your business look super relateable. It’s promotions at it’s cleverest, and shows ‘real’ people enjoying and reviewing and recommending your product. As I said before, people like to buy from people, and for this reason, social media influencers are causing a storm in the marketing and business world. Alongside Instagram’s many new additional features has come a few changes to it’s algorithm, and as usual, we don’t like it. It’s limiting our reach and we’re having to switch our strategies up. With the decline of organic reach, lies the importance of having a social media influencer.
Video is currently the best way to market, so what’s stopping you from taking it that one step further and going live? You can use this to make big announcements, launch a product, show behind the scenes, photography, how-to’s, questions and answers, competitions. Instagram is trying to be ‘in the now’ as they call it, and this is their attempt at it and it’s pretty good. You can collect great data from your interactions with people and even answer real time questions. If you’re confident with a camera, going live is a fantastic way to be real and relatable with your viewers.