Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media channels available today. There are 400 million users uploading over 80 million photos each day on Instagram giving it potential as a valuable marketing tool. Despite its parent company being Facebook, Instagram has been slow to adopt paid advertising. They only began offering this option in the fall of 2015.
As new as this feature is, it’s expected that Instagram mobile Ad revenue will reach $2.81 Billion by 2017, according to eMarketer. Even with paid advertising options on Instagram, you’ll have to rely on your creativity and authenticity to attract followers and convert customers.
Here are 6 ways to use Instagram to tell your brand’s story:
Decide who you are as a brand. Finding your brand’s personality is the first step to successfully conveying that image on Instagram. It can also help determine the best strategies and styles to make your visual voice resonate with your audience. You can experiment with different photo and video styles to promote special offers, new products, or upcoming events.
Create a unique, engaging visual experience to inspire a positive response. Social sharing is about conversation, not sales. Instead of just promoting your product or service, try to discover common ground between what’s meaningful to your brand and interesting to your followers. Instagram’s visual nature opens up a world of opportunity for online interaction. Photo- and video-based contests and polls, for example, can help drive traffic and provide a wealth of user-generated content.
Give your Instagram followers every chance to contribute. User-generated content creates images and testimonies that you can reuse, and also strengthens follower relationships by making each person an active, valuable part of your brand. So, ask questions, respond to questions and comments, hold contests, create a unique hashtag that you and your followers can use, and be sure to recognize your best and most loyal followers.
Showcase your best work. Create a portfolio of everything your business has to offer. You can also feature employees, clients, or partners to display the skills and expertise that make your business great. Most of all, have fun and try not to make your posts look like advertising. Instagram is all about photography and being #Artsy, so have fun and be original with your posts.
Measure your success. Find out if your Instagram activities are successfully engaging your target audiences by looking at your metrics. You can also check out some great tools like IconoSquare, and SimplyMeasured which offer Instagram User Reports.
Don’t forget about video! With a 30 second format, Instagram’s video features provide a fresh, creative way to visually redefine your brand – something essential to staying visible in today’s mobile market. You can capture high-quality time-lapse videos which you can use to show behind the scenes shots, products in the making, your amazing employees, and more.
Instagram’s focus on purely visual content may pose a challenge for some businesses, but with the right balance of relevance, style, and creative expression, you can take advantage of this unique opportunity to tell your brand’s story and humanize your business.