Instagram is a powerful marketing giant – if you know how to get rid of some of its hidden features and highlights.
For brands interested in marketing to people between the ages of 13 and 34, a social network can be a very effective place to increase awareness of the brand, audience, leads, and sales.
Let’s take a look at the ways brands use Instagram for marketing, best practices, and challenges of Instagram marketing.
Why should Instagram be your social media?
A study in August 2022 entitled Scrolling in social media for dopamine He revealed that 70% of the respondents are Instagram users, more than any other social media platform.
a July 2022 Report By Statista noted that 27.3% of Instagram’s audience in the US are between the ages of 25 and 34, and nearly 6% are between the ages of 13 and 17.
For brands whose customer base is largely made up of Generation Z, Instagram provides a great opportunity to reach and engage their audience.
But there’s more to Instagram than just Gen Z. CouponFollow recently released its 2022 edition Millennial Shopping Habits Trends Reportwhich revealed that 78% of millennials in the US follow brands on social media, and 54% indicated that their shopping habits are more influenced by Facebook (28%) and Instagram (27%).
Joe Sinkowitz, CEO of swellingHe told CMSWire, a warm-connected influencer marketing network, that brands seeking to appeal to Millennials and Generation Z consumers have moved away from using mega-celebrity influencers and are now more inclined to work with niche micro influencers who have built trust and expertise in a market.
“Getting direct sales on Instagram is easier than it used to be with profile links that lead the user to a list of current offers, but when paired with an influencer that offers limited-width coupon codes to their audience, it works really well,” he said.
Instagram is a very visual medium, so videos, photos, and illustrations work very well on the platform, especially for brands who want to showcase their products or services. The way brands use Instagram should dictate their brand strategies and goals.
Kat Koehler, Senior Director of Social Media at Horse Power Brands LLCCMSWire, a portfolio company for franchisees in the service industry, said the visual nature of Instagram has made it extremely beneficial for its franchisee brands. “Because it’s so visual, we really are using Instagram to build our awareness and demonstrate the power of what our brands bring to franchisees and their customers.”
Since Instagram users have short interest spans, Koehler said to keep your presence engaging and direct. “Having a great photo or video with a simple text overlay – there’s not much question about what it is. It’s clear and identifiable as branding.”
Related Article: How Influencers Help Build a Better Customer Experience
If you’ve got it, flaunt it
Many brands are already using Instagram for marketing purposes, and some, like nikehas very large numbers of followers (237 million).
Many influencers who primarily use other social platforms like YouTube or TikTok also have an Instagram presence that they use to allow their followers to see more of their personality and personal life.
Sam Guy Cookinga YouTube influencer, does this on his Instagram page:
As with other social media platforms, Instagram is a great place for brands to let their customers learn about their personality and sense of humor.
Not every post has to be a marketing or advertising statement – by regularly presenting beautiful images, funny or entertaining images, or informational content, customers will be more receptive when brands post actual marketing content.
In addition, Instagram is a great place for brands to showcase their products and services in action. Chandler Redding, Publicist and Brand Strategist at Otter PRan Orlando-based PR agency, told CMSWire that Instagram is where brands curate a library of moments where their product or service can be seen in use, whether it’s through a professionally captured photo or video, or in a review by an influencer. .
Redding suggested: “Brands should view Instagram as a stage to showcase their products and services and educate, entertain and inspire viewers.”
Insights and highlights are essential tools
Cassaundra Kalba, publicist at Otter PR, told CMSWire that the most powerful tool available to brands through Instagram is the Insights tab, but said the feature is only available to business accounts.
“Insights allows the organization to see when their followers are most active, by the hour, each day of the week. This is key to publishing content that will reach the largest audience,” Kalba explained.
“Access is also very important, which indicates how many accounts have viewed or interacted with your content,” Kalba said. “The higher the reach, the more likely your brand is to grow and attract potential customers. To increase a post’s reach, brands should always enable their location (to headquarters, or related places elsewhere), and complete the “alt text” section with keywords related to content, and include all relevant hashtags.”
Kalba recommended that brands respond to all comments and interactions with at least four-word responses, which will help build meaningful relationships with customers and tell Instagram that they are creating meaningful and thoughtful content, which also enhances the content.
Vicki Wu, Chief Marketing Strategist and Owner at Vicki Wu Marketingspoke with CMSWire about using Highlights, an Instagram feature she said many brands miss — even some well-known profiles.
“When someone visits an Instagram profile, like when they want to learn more about your business or find your links, those bubbles are the first things that appear right after the profile information,” said Wu, who explained that it’s really easy to make huge use of This area of the brand profile, if you examine most companies – perhaps other than huge companies with a large marketing team – these highlights are sporadic and random.
“Some of the ways you can do this is to have separate highlight bubbles for your services, or maybe break them up into different audiences.”
Wu suggested that most companies already have content on Instagram that can be categorized into some of the highlights of interest to their audience.
“If they don’t, it’s easy to quickly create some stories and reels that can be used here,” Wu said, adding that brands will likely spend an hour on this and prepare their divisions with branded covers and add some strategic content to each one, “and there will be a full hour.”
Related article: Understanding the relationship between social media and great customer experience
Achieving Hashtag Heaven and Other Challenges
HubSpot’s 2022 Instagram engagement report He noted that many brands are confused about what kind of hashtags to use in their posts and how many to use. Although avoiding popular hashtags may seem against marketing logic, it is more effective to target niche communities, which usually have more dedicated followers.
The report indicated that there are five main categories of hashtags used on Instagram:
Location (#Orlando, #NYC)
Branded (#Nike, #Kellogg’s, #RedCross)
Descriptive (#makeup, #DIYsolar)
Although one might think #travel would do well, it’s a broad category that tends to get lost like this among the thousands of posts using the same hashtag. A narrower niche, such as #glamping, #hiking, or #bikes, tends to attract a more personalized community.
“When brands understand the type of content and the specific niche to target, it really helps to simplify the creation process,” Redding said.
While brands need to ensure that their hashtags are relevant to their niche, the HubSpot report noted that the more tags used in a post, the better – using too many tags doesn’t hurt the post’s performance.
Kohler told CMSWire that although there are plenty of challenges, many of them are due to the constant evolution of the platform itself. “I feel like Instagram is still really trying to figure out who they are as a platform. We are excited that they are testing the repost feature, which has been frustrating for many brands for a long time.”
Platform limitations also pose a challenge to brands that want to get their message across. “It is important to us that our audience share our content, which they cannot do.
“It’s frustrating for the brand as well as the users,” Koehler said, adding that there’s always been a lot of change with Instagram, and keeping up with those changes can be frustrating.
Redding explained that above all, brands must keep in mind Instagram and similar social platforms, it takes a lot of time to plan, prepare, and execute to succeed – what they put in it is what they get out of.
“A lot of people make it look easy, but creating a 15-30 second video that is timely, captivating, niche specific, and posted during the right time of day, with the right features and hashtags, takes a few hours and a lot of proactive thinking. “.
Redding added that Instagram is one of the most demanding social media platforms for marketing as it is not a platform for posting photos anymore.
“Its engine is more complex, which offers the potential for better results. Brands that want to see their Instagram channel succeed should dedicate a team to that goal, not one person,” Redding said.
Bottom line: target niche markets, stay committed to the brand
Instagram is a valuable platform for brands trying to reach millennials and millennials, and most brands already have a presence on the social platform.
By targeting a niche market while staying true to their values and goals, brands can increase brand awareness, provide interesting, informative and entertaining content to their customers and potential customers and showcase their products and services in a visually appealing way.