In 2016, there is now an overwhelming choice of social media channels readily available to your business; from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Youtube to name a few, choosing the right platform to showcase your brand and company culture can be a daunting task. For this reason, we have put together a beginner’s guide to highlight one particular platform, Instagram, which we believe to be an important marketing tool for all businesses. Instagram currently has 300 million active monthly users and these users have shared over 30 billion photos to date, and now share an average of 70 million photos per day. From these figures making Instagram part of your marketing strategy is an obvious choice; it gives millions of users across the globe the opportunity to discover your business, explore your visual identity and is an ideal platform to build your brand.
1. Research and Strategy
Before launching into creating an Instagram account, it’s essential you take time to research the platform, plan your strategy and think about key goals you would like to achieve as a result of being online. First and foremost, we recommend getting to grips with Instagram by researching how other businesses and your competitors use the channel. This will both inspire and educate how to get the best from your account. It is also advisable to create a personal Instagram account to practice uploading photos, writing copy and using the category hashtags and @mentions. After having explored the platform thoroughly and once you’re confident with how it works you should plan your Instagram strategy and make sure it aligns with your broader social media and marketing strategy. It is key to establish aims which you’d like to achieve – this can be anything from giving your business a more personable feel and allowing users a better insight to your company values and culture to driving product sales and increasing traffic to your website. It is also important to carefully consider your content strategy and choose how often to post, what time to post and the content of your posts to support your business and marketing plan. There are several tools available to help you with your posting schedule, which release your posts at predefined times to free up more of your time or post on a weekend or late at night.
2. Style and Cohesion
Instagram is the perfect platform for emerging and established businesses to display and build a recognisable brand identity. Therefore the photos which you post should reflect the brand image you want to portray to your customers. With this in mind, its important to be consistent with your posts and your tone of voice when writing captions. Choose a filter which reflects your visual style and stick with this rather than employing a confusing mix. The same can be said of your content – pick a focus and try to always post relevant images. For some companies such as fashion brands or restaurants the content is obvious, however for others it can be more of a challenge. Products were the top content types for the top 200 global brands in terms of engagement, at 60%. However for companies which offer a service rather than a product we’d recommend posting lifestyle photos which show off your company in a fun and entertaining manner – images of staff in the office or celebrations of achievement to represent the character of your business.
3. Engaging with Your Audience
Although it is the images you post which will make users stop and look at your brand, it is essential to write interesting captions to keep users engaged and wanting more. If your captions tell a story this is more likely to generate likes and follows. Use branded hashtags for your business such as #CreativeEmporiumLife for lifestyle images and category hashtags for product images such as #fashion, #retail, which will drop your images into the relevant category and therefore make them more easily found, creating more likes and more follows. Instagram is a great way to create a buzz around your brand and competitions, promotions and discount codes are a perfect way to keep your followers hooked and excited to see your next post.
4. Insta Analytics
Don’t forget to monitor the success of your Instagram account by using Instagram analytics – there are several options available which can measure a variety of key indicators such as your top followers, photo lifespan and follower growth.
– Photos and stills generate 36% more likes than videos
– Photos tagged with a location receive 79% higher engagement rate for top brands is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter
– The most popular Insta account is @kimkardashian with over 25m fans
We hope you found this masterclass useful – look out for our next masterclass next month!
PS If you’re wondering where our Instagram feed is, our marketing team are working on a strategy as we speak and we’ll be going live shortly! We’ll keep you updated…