Often dominated by the likes of Facebook and Twitter, Social Media is fast becoming a powerful marketing tool; but is Instagram marketing valuable for brands?
It’s no secret that Social Media is a really powerful tool, and something every business - large or small, new or long-established - should be utilising.
Great for awareness-building, content marketing, increasing sales & enquiries, and monitoring brand reputation online, platforms such as Facebook have enabled businesses to get closer to your clients, understand their movements, and tailor your content accordingly, all for a comparatively small cost.
Yes, Social Media is pretty wonderful! However, where Facebook often dominates any business’ Social Media plans, there is merit in using other platforms to reach out to new customers, whilst fostering relationships with your existing ones.
With 300 million users worldwide, sharing over 70 million photos and videos every day, Instagram is fast overtaking its much older counterpart, Twitter, in the global popularity stats, whilst slowly catching up with its owner - the patriarchal Facebook.
Just 7 years old, what started as 2 friends’ small project to share their photos quickly evolved into something bigger; leading to arguably one of the biggest online communities available today.
Instagram sees individuals lovingly tap the ‘like’ button over 2.5 million times every day which, by anyone’s standards, is a lot of love to give.
These stats alone should give you a fairly concise idea of where we’re going in our answer to the question: is Instagram marketing valuable for brands? But, let’s keep going and exploring the ‘why’ in this question…
Whilst Instagram appeals mostly to people aged 18 - 34, and is largely targeted at urban, trendy young women, Instagram is much bigger than just this one audience; everyone loves taking pictures and, just like Facebook, it’s becoming increasingly common for anyone of any age or interest to join Instagram, if only to participate in the phenomenon #CatsofInstagram (everyone loves pictures of cats, right!?). Essentially, whether you’re looking for young women or older men, you’re more than likely find them on Instagram.
Instagram is all about photography; stunning pictures shared in the moment - it’s creative, quirky, timely, inspirational, and aspirational. Instagram gives audiences an almost tangible insight into an individual’s life, and therefore provides the perfect platform for any business, not only to exercise your creative side, and present your product or service as aspirational, but show audience how your product or service could benefit them. Particularly if you have a really photogenic, off-the-wall product.
Like Facebook, Instagram now gives businesses the ability to sponsor posts and create adverts that target specific audiences. And the great thing about it all? Well, not only can you carefully target really specific groups of people, but you don’t even need an Instagram account to do it. It’s also interesting to note that Instagram advertising uses the same data as Facebook to seek out the right people to display to.
The wonders of #hashtags
Hashtags. Let’s just consider hashtags for a moment… Although they may seem a little superficial and something only millennials truly understand, hashtags are a really powerful way to raise awareness for your brand on Instagram. A bit like Twitter, hashtags on Instagram serve to group related posts together and, used by businesses in the right way, can create passionate online groups or communities. #CatsofInstagram being a perfect example of this. Or #ThrowBackThursday (#tbt). #breakfast, for instance, has 56,365,078 occurences. Creating a unique hashtag, or pigging-backing on an existing one, is a really good way of getting your brand in front of the right people, for free.
Being a Social Media platform, Instagram is all about being social, and promoting discussions, conversations, and sharing content. Instagram allows you to communicate with your customers on an individual level and, like Facebook or Twitter, foster an engaged audience; Instagram allows you to hear what your customers are saying about you or asking of you, and respond in a timely, personal way. This will, of course, make your customers feel valued, which can only be a good thing.
Yes, Instagram marketing is valuable for brands; it allows you to show the beauty in your product or service, talk to your customers, create online communities, and reach thousands - if not millions - of people.
What’s not to love?
If you’d like to start using Instagram, or any Social Media platforms, to reach new and existing customers, talk to us today.
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