With 600 million users in 2016, Instagram seems to be what Facebook was a few years ago: a promising social networking that users started to use with curiosity, resulting in one of the most powerful tool to promote a brand and its products.
Why does the future of Instagram appear so promising? We all know the saying ‘a picture says a thousand words’. Well this makes sense when you consider that 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual and that 40% of people respond better to an image than to 1,000 words. Images are interesting and instantaneous and are more easily digestible in our busy lives.
When you start your Instagram strategy you first need to establish your goals and marketing objectives, identify your ideal target market and analyse your competitors. Then you can start thinking about the content and its calendar, the style choices and the timeline.
The main goals are to increase your brand awareness, expand your reach and engage your audience around the idea of a “community”. Here the 8 aspects you need to think about for an effective Instagram strategy:
- Be real: show the real essence of your brand through every aspect of your profile, from the bio and images to the captions and style choices. Show the human side of your brand posting behind the scenes moments of your team and come up with the right caption. Taking inspiration from your brand value propositions can be a good way to start.
- Be present: you are certainly not on Instagram just to post images, so do not hesitate to follow, share, like and comment on a post that you like. Start conversations to engage your followers and be the follower of a brand or person that inspires you and from whom you can learn.
- Be different: Instagram is not the place where to be rigorous and monotonous: diversify your content! Mix professional and formal posts to inform your customer with informal and funny ones that will make him/her laugh and feel closer to you.
- Be original: choose a style coherent with your business personality and try to stick to it in order to maintain the balance of your page. Don’t play to much with filters and fonts but definitely create something original from time to time to surprise the follower’s eyes.
- Be dynamic: Instagram is not only about pictures. Upload videos showing your product or special events, create Instagram Stories and Carousels. Not only you will have a more dynamic profile but you will also enjoy doing that.
- Be attractive: you just need to follow some tricks to take some nice shots. Think about a nice background, the perfect light, location and subject. Consider the quality and design of your post and use the right size of the image for Instagram.
- Be engaging: create a post series in order to turn your follower into a loyal visitor of your page and run contests that are aligned with the interest and behaviour of your target audience. Hashtag user-generated content contests are the way to encourage your customers to create content using your branded hashtags.
- Be hashtag (#) wise: the right use of hashtags puts your content in front of people searching for keywords and phrases associated with your brand or business. Choose them carefully and mix branded and community hashtags. Participate to both trendy and low competition hashtags and match them with the right photo. Definitely employ keywords that you use for SEO and paid advertising.
In conclusion, measure your results, like the increase in the number of followers, likes and comments and remember that the Instagram activities have to be coherent with your ongoing marketing actions.
It’s now time to unleash your creativity: get your camera and start enjoying!