Instagram is a rapidly-growing Image-based social media platform, designed specifically for mobile users… But how can Marketers use it to promote their brand?
How useful is Instagram as a Marketing Platform?
Ever wanted to share a picture or video on something that wasn’t entirely Facebook or Twitter? Well then Instagram is for you!
Designed purely as a mobile photo-sharing app, Instagram was created in 2010 and now plays host to in excess of 130 million active users every month! With the regular use of hashtags and no infuriating character limit, the platform has gained an enormous amount of attention from both individuals and businesses in an impressively short time span. Yet from a marketing perspective, there appears to be a large degree of hit or miss.
Many have reported upon how Instagram could be, and is being, used for marketing, with particular emphasis upon the success fashion firms are managing to achieve. With fashion, the product is the focal point, hence depicting this in regular image updates is highly appealing to audiences; but for other industries cracking the platform is not simple.
The site encourages its users to explore, to follow others who are outside of their initial social group, something made particular easier through both the hashtag and generic search bar. Yet for brands, especially B2B ones, they may find this a difficult thing to break into.
It is suggested regularity is one of the key ways to increase one’s reach via Instagram, with either 2-3 times a day or 2-3 times a week being the most recommended posting frequency. Yet even with regularity and the promise of a greater reach, the content displayed must be both appropriate and noteworthy.
This is where significant differences between industries appear. As suggested, fashion firms are likely to share images of particular clothing as a form of advertisement, with the potential to connect image to a promotion as to entice customers. Regularity doesn’t necessarily require posting new content however, as engaging with fans can further amplify reach.
Liking, sharing and posing questions for followers are all good ways to interact with them, with the chance that their followers will also see this and the reach extends even further.
Yet for a B2B industry, such as recruitment, gaining an initial follower base is difficult when there is no tangible product to promote. For this circumstance the best reported practice is to give users a behind the scenes look, allowing them a full VIP access to the ins and outs of the business.
This could be done a number of ways; photographs of the office during a working day, videoing the fun and games the staff may get up to, or instant access to any physical changes to the business. By ensuring what is shared is something that will both make you stand out among crowded markets, yet also makes you seem approachable, it can help you to appear, in want for a better word, normal.
The potential reach is huge. A reported 1 billion photos are liked every month. With the nearest competitor being Pinterest, gaining over 53 million unique users every month, the demand for image sharing platforms is continuing to grow.
Reported as platforms for “social shopping”, they are difficult to break into for non-commercial brands; yet Instagram’s acquisition by Facebook in 2012 has made it significantly easier for smaller firms to be able to breach the divide between the social and the image. Posting an image/video through Instagram and having it simultaneously post to Facebook only amplifies its reach, promoting the fact the brand has an Instagram account to the Facebook audience and visa-versa.
Instagram As A Marketing Tool
Thus, it is indeed possible to use Instagram as a marketing tool. It is significantly more purposeful if the business in question is marketing a tangible product, especially fashion (this may also have something to do with the 16-35 target market of the platform).
Yet using it to become ‘humanized’ could play a vital role for many B2B brands, such as those in recruitment. Instagram and the likes are tools that should not be ignored by marketers; with the potential of reaching a huge audience, an audience which otherwise may not be reachable by other social media.
We at clockworkTalent have begun to adopt Instagram as a marketing tool, focusing upon the humanization process of our brand; uploading relatable pictures about what shenanigans we may be getting up to. Follow us to see how we do it!
Our handle is: clockworktalent