Social networks abounding on virtual market today offer huge variety of options, they maybe based purely on pictures’ sending or video editing, anonymous flirting or professional interests, yet first network dedicated to a particular activity except simple keeping in touch was Instagram. Creation of a photo-sharing service with supporting options of comments tweets and photo-editing was a truly genial idea, and it makes no surprise that today it is one of the most sought-after platforms with millions of active users. It may not yet hit the popularity notch Facebook has made, however, the chances are high it will. Thus more and more marketing people try to get a piece of this audience pie for their business promotion purposes.
Yet Instagram is indeed a very specific platform. It was supposed to work on the go and was developed to comply with functions of mobile devices, and not for PCs. All important activities are to be conducted through mobile apps, and marketing requires tools usually available on desktops. To register and upload images, one has to operate from a smartphone, and it is a very limiting condition for those who keep their marketing toolbox on PC – and running campaigns from PCs is normal working practice (marketing expert working from a tablet is not generating lots of trust, actually).
Hence, in order to make marketing gurus and the world of Instagram compatible, enthusiastic people have conceived three general approaches to harnessing Instagram from PC – or at least doing the necessary part of work on PC and then delivering finishing touches from mobile devices.
In this approach you half use your good old desktop, and half resort to a mobile device. There are two options to do it.
First way is to use Instagram as usually, just with help of a PC as an interchange facility. That is, you take a shot, download it to your desktop and edit it as necessary, because definitely desktop software and technical features do win over limited options of filters and shades of Instagram itself
When you achieve the desired results – colors, scale, text etc., you bring edited pictures back to your mobile device either right via synchronization (Google Drive, Dropbox or any other cloud storage will do), or manually through USB cable or SD card. Now find the edited photos and post them on Instagram from your gadget, as it is prescribed by Instagram’s philosophy. Add description and hashtags to your taste.
The second way is to employ the service called Latergram.me. This service provides you with opportunity to complete all tasks you need to perform about posting your picture right on your PC – but to post it you still have to take you smartphone and press a button to submit it. However, on your PC you edit, apply filters, add tags and what-s not, even plan the post to be added later. Then Latergram.metransfers your picture through their interface to youe phone, you see already prepared publication and press “submit”. This way is faster than previous, yet they both are conditioned by obligatory usage of your smartphone for one reason. Instagram allows creating numerous supporting apps related to the service through its API. Yet this API does not have the function of submitting a post, so third party services cannot post your picture instead of you. That’s it.
Circumvent approach, or Make-believe game
Manual transfer of pictures and API limitations are still annoying, especially when one looks for one-size-fits-all solution and aims to make the process as fast and smoothly flowing as possible. In this case it is worth looking at services in which everything is done through the service interface on your desktop. You prepare the photos to the best possible degree, and then log in to this service, and then the real fun begins.
You can select the service to your taste from the following list: Gramblr, Postso or ScheduGram.
The functions of these services are generally similar (interface and smaller features make difference, though). You have to access your Instagram account through the interface of a selected service, and the service will do everything instead of you, or rather on your behalf, as you empower it to do so. Convenient way, undoubtedly, however, due to this convenience you may face significant risks.
Point one – you disclose your account information to a third party you know nothing about except its trade name and website. If you value your account, it may stop you right at the beginning. If you opt for total security, then use more conservative methods of Instagram marketing.
Point two – strict rules of Instagram which get even stricter. The service has recently launched the whole campaign against such services asking for users’ data. Users, who were found to use Gramblr at least once, which belongs to the same class of tools, could not use hashtags on Instagram anymore. This kind of punishment was imposed on all users without exemptions, so think twice before venturing into the affaire of this kind. Sometimes slower procedure of uploading does not mean worse procedure. Thus be careful while reviewing these services.
Full Emulation or Keep-it-safe Method
Third way supposes that you will create full mobile device environment on your desktop and will simply switch between application and windows while editing your pictures and unloading them to Instagram. You will not share your account data with anyone and at the same time will show Instagram that you are working right from your smartphone. To emulate Android on PC as a virtual machine one can employ rather wide set of tools, for example Genymotion or Bluestacks.
Bluestacks is popular with mobile gamers and users who want to continue enjoying favorite apps on their desktops. Game testers and reviewers use emulation tools not for fun but for work, and marketing gurus do the same. All you have to do is install the emulation program and run it. Then from inside of the emulated Android find Instagram app and install it to this virtual Smartphone. Now you can log in and do everything you need right on your desktop safely and in full scale. Drawbacks of Bluestacks? Well, perhaps it lacks the feature of scheduling posts, yet this fact fades away in the light of opportunities and safety the program offers.
Endless artistic quest: Free Mobile Tools for Glorifying Instagram Photos
Instagram’s main advantage and at the same time disadvantage is its orientation towards mobile devices. Definitely, taking pictures on the run and posting them to the web right where the inspiration has struck you – in the café, during a leisured walk or on a picnic in some lovely forest – is the bright side. However, Smartphone cameras are not that perfect to produce professionally looking images, and Instagram’s filters are a very weak remedy, because they are few and limit your creative impulses. So where is the golden mean? Here is the hint: go try some mobile apps which might be of use in pictures editing and which offer a significantly wider set of dedicated tools.
- Basic Editing Features Applying fine changes to pictures right on the screen of a Smartphone may be a tricky task, and there are no guarantees that you will get the desired result. Tablets offer bigger screens and larges space for convenient manipulation, yet taking shots with your tablet is real drudge work. So mobile apps with efficient editing tools are perhaps the best way out in this case.Aviary goes well with Android and iOS and costs nothing. User-friendly application provides for basic adjustments to the original picture, yet its functionality allows polishing the image up to your taste. Take cropping, color manipulations, angle adjustments, dynamic painting, and what’s not, mix it together with a pinch of creativity and Adobe’s product quality assurance, and you will get Aviary in your hands.Snapseed is also free of charge, and besides, it is the oldest third party developed addition to Instagram. The functionality of the app is equal to capabilities of other mobile picture editors of good functionality, including basic crop-turn-black’n’white to fine-tuning, however it features a magic ‘enhance’ feature with the help of which you will turn your picture into an absolute hit without extra efforts. It also offers complementary set of filters.Photo Editor – looks like a generic noun, however it is a distinctive brand of mobile picture-editing app. It is simple in use, made for Android, just as dozens of other apps, yet its ace in the hole is function of very easy background adjustments or swaps – from full ‘green screen’ replacement in one tap to careful manual color blending or blurring.
- A Touch of an Artist
Editing photo is a first step to perfection and sometimes it is enough to achieve the necessary business goals. However, Instagram is also about art. Many people start their way to artistic circles right from here, and if you want to repeat their success, you will need a set of artistic tools a usual camera does not offer.LE Cam Free – free app specifically designed for Android gadgets. LE stands for long exposure, and the app offers you precisely this feature. You can take shots in low light and preserve high resolution, or capture the moving light, do things with lightwriting etc. if you want even more functions, then it is reasonable to buy LE Cam Pro for one dollar only.Bokehful – the app designed purposefully for iOS, for Android users similar apps are Insta Bokeh Effect, Bokeh Effects, and Background Defocus, and even more. What it is all about: bokeh is a visual effect when defocused lens produces small blurry light points on the image; it looks so magic-like that this effect is often used purposefully. Smarthpone cameras are good, but so much to produce this effect, so Bokehful is the app which will apply it to the image afterwards.Planet Camera – it is not about environment or animals. This app is about creating cute warped panoramas (instead of flat ones, in which bits of image are stitched together) so that when you look at the picture you feel the shape and the space of a ‘small planet’. These panoramic pictures were popular some years ago, and today the app for Android can restore this particular experience with warped panoramas for your viewers.TiltShift Generator Free – one more greeting card from the past. Photo effect of shooting from a remote point, which makes everything in the image look like it is a toy or a model, even people who look similar to plastic figures, also appeared a few years ago. TiltShift brings this trend back. Sometimes it may be real fun.Pixelot – a very useful app for censoring images. Selective pixilation (increasing the size of pixels so that image looks blurred) is a must have for business-aimed photos, because sometimes the pictures you gave to post contain the information which cannot be disclosed. Then it is high time to use Pixelot.
- Applying Effects and InscriptionsUsing images for business will mean that you need to add text, tags, prices, details and what’s not directly to the picture you post. Standard tools do help to some extent, yet their abilities are limited. Here is the list of apps which will do the trick for you.Overgram – a good app for quick application of text to any part of the picture. Features a wide range of fonts, different in sizes, color and positioning. It works well, is easy to use, but it may seem a bit limited in functions. So if you have mastered it and want to get more, purchase the full app Over for two bucks only.Retro Photo Camera – the app creates a perfect feeling of old-school photography, when capturing images without paint and canvass was still similar to casting spells. It carefully applies different tones of sepia to your images and makes them look in general as if they were taken a century ago, fragile and exquisite.Everlapse – last year’s innovation to Instagram was introduction of short videos, plus Vine is here to stay, and you can use this opportunity, too. If you have images which you want to put together in order to make a movie, than have a look at this app. It sews together separate pictures which you select, mixes them into a video clip and you just upload it to Instagram.Double Photo – double exposition can create very curious and striking effects, yet digital cameras by default cannot create it by accident. They do not use old-fashioned film, on which two separate images would be captured one over another. To create such pictures you will have to use the named app. It will let you superimpose pictures and blend them in different manner. Try and see what results you may achieve.For sure it is only a brief outline of available apps and miracles they can work for your benefit. So decide what effect you need and go search for an appropriate app – most probably you will find it, free of charge.
Instagram’s users make definitely smaller audience compared to Facebook, yet they are highly engaged in the platform opportunities and rate of their engagement is about 120 times higher than the same rate for Facebook. Now it is high time to think about converting this engaged Instagram audience into dedicated fans of your business.
Yet it may turn out to be harder than it seems, as Instagram has its particularities. Instagram is about beautiful pictures (service developers like to remind of this quest for beauty). Thus to succeed, one has to select the best images – best in quality, best in marketing message delivery, best in everything – and then share them. Direct branding is not welcomed, thus, results are achieved through very careful selection of images and not through persistent posting logos and advertizing pics. Then, Instagram by default was designed for mobile OS and gadgets of different kinds, thus it is very inconvenient to operate PC marketing tools and then try to transfer the prepared material to a mobile device.
All this may present Instagram as a scarecrow for marketers, however, there are very elegant and functional ways out. Instead of messing with Instagram accounts on mobile and watching the clock for the next post, devote a bit of time and master the art of posting on schedule, or ratherof scheduling posts and letting the system do the rest. Instagram does not offer in-built posting timer, yet this obstacle is easily removed with a couple of maneuvers and a special program tool.
Show What You Sell: Use Instagram Properly
Instagram’s audience is still growing, yet its enthusiasm is overwhelming, and these people know a good deal about interesting images and a striking photo will catch their attention very fast. Business owners feel this trend and try to get inside this community in order to establish its promotional channels while the niche is still free. Posting pictures is possible only on mobile, yet pictures browsing is available from desktops too, so audience is several times bigger actually.
Instagram is a very favored platform for picture contests. Your target audience may be posting their own pics on given topic or selecting the picture according to the task, yet all you need is rules, winner selection guide, proper hashtag and the prize, of course. Your contest will hit the bull’s eye. Another incentive is placing some baitfish in the picture description, like promo codes for some small gifts or discounts. Then people will eagerly browse the stacks of images and engage in marketing process on the way.
You can announce some business events on Instagram, it also works very well, yet it is necessary to present these news when users are actively browsing the service, and to achieve the precise timing, the scheduling services are vitally important.
Postso, otherwise called simply Post, is a powerful tool which allows scheduling posts for many social channels, like Twitter or Pinterest, Instagram being included. Yet the full functionality of the service is available upon subscription, in trial version you gain access to the site for two weeks only. Monthly plan of $15 allows you to employ one channel – Instagram. Monthly plan of 25$ allows you using 10 different social media channels, and the most costly subscription plan of $50 opens you access to 20 channels and allows teaming up with other 10 users.
Keeping in mind that free version of Post is very limited in instruments – it allows only 5 posts per month and they are watermarked, – the described monthly plans are not at all bad if you are going to develop your business on Instagram extensively. What is not so good about Postis that you have to provide the service with your login and password from Instagram account. If you do not like this option (for fear of possible data leaks and disclosures), then you cannot make use of this service. Instagram does notencourage third-party services topost content on your behalf, and this feature is not integrated into its API, so Post has to pretend to be ‘you’ in order to post in your name.
Option of adding hashtags is not integrated into Instagram’s API either, because Instagram does not allow other services browse its internal databases. If hashtag is very necessary, it is possible to attach it as a plain text description, and then convert to hashtag after entering your official Instagram account on your mobile device.
The tool Later does not try to keep everything under one roof and works with Instagram only. Its advantage in opposition to Postso is that this service does not ask for your account data because it does not have to incorporate the images into its database in order to post instead of you. Rather, it prepares everything for you to open the picture on your Smartphone and simply press ‘Upload’ button. You enter description and edit photo on your PC, and afterwards the service simply sends it to your phone for you to post on Instagram in time. You keep your password safe and you are accurately reminded of the time to post, so everything should go well. However, in different time zones the schedule may go wrong, and it will be very annoying experience. However, one more advantage of the service is its free distribution, you do not have to pay at all.
Skedsocial decided to attract attention of users even through the unusual domain name looking like schedugr.am, and this outstanding tool definitely justifies its ambitious promos. It is truly efficient and multifunctional instrument for Instargam management, including opportunities for cropping pictures and basic editing, uploading them through web interface, adding text and of course scheduling posts, and even more.
On the bad side, ScheduGramrequires subscriptionand selecting a monthly payment plan.One can choose from 4 plans, all coming with a free week of trial. The most affordable monthly plan of $13 allows you to work with one Instagram account to which not more than 10,000 followers are connected. The higher the monthly payment, the more followers your account may have.
One more drawback of ScheduGramis that you also have to provide the service with your password and login in Instagram because of the mentioned issues with API. However, ScheduGram employsmobile devices in their workand uploading of posts takes place without your participation. In other aspects ScheduGram is more or less similar to Latergramme service.
HootSuite is a highly acclaimed tool into which you would directly integrate your Instagram account and from now on will do everything you need right from one window (almost one, at least). Yes, you will have to provide the service with login and password of Instagram account, yet afterwards you will enjoy using instagram as you typically do with all options and benefits of HootSuite included (scheduling is only one of the bonuses the service offers).
Why #1. It still has prospects of growth. A couple of last years in the media of social media marketers were full of one and the same advice: penetrate Instagram promotion market and find your niche. This mobile app which relies exclusively on pictures and short videos, is growing actively, and its audience beats any other community of network users by their engagement rates. The reason is valid enough to start campaigning, yet if it is not convincing enough, here a lot more.
Instagram has accumulated more than 200 million active users already at the beginning of 2014, and it happened only in 3 and half years of the platform foundation. Twitter and Facebook needed the double time to reach at least similar results. Only Google+ has beaten this achievement and it happened mostly because users of YouTube suddenly found themselves happy owners of Google+ accounts, frequently without any wish or intention on their part. So is does not count, as kids say. While it is growing and the audience of potential customers expands, and Instagram does everything to impress users with innovative features, be sure to reserve for yourself a segment of this audience for your business purposes. Active users may well become active purchasers, that’s true.
Why #2. Hundreds of great apps for picture editing and related activities.
The platform working primarily on mobile devices has its specific features. Namely, it has attracted hordes of developers who devised lots of very useful apps which allow various pictures manipulations right on your phone, and it is not about pictures editing only. During 4 years of the platform functioning there have appeared tool for search and integration, apps for scheduling and interface alterations, apps for collecting and processing web analytics and many more. These tools aim to make using Instagram on mobile devices as convenient as possible, and judging by results, they have succeeded.
Why #3. Instagram loves people who love Instagram, and businessmen are not a exception.
Instagram never pushes away people who want to engage a portion of its audience, as long as engagement takes place within Instagram itself. The platform is open to marketers as long as they operate within the rules set by Instagram (and these rules are similar to basic rules of every platform) and provides the marketing people with every tool necessary to measure level of engagement, views, visits, get analytics, etc. and even runs a topical blog. Instagram cannot be used on PC, yet it can be fixed through certain workaround methods.
Why #4. Engagement of Instagram users is actually hard to believe.
We are used to believing in dry figures. So here are some data just to give you the impression of how active Instagram users are. Service Forrester kindly provided us with numbers for average engagement showed by users of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Engagement is actions taken within the service, like commenting, liking, following hashtag trends etc. So, on Facebook only 7 out of 10,000 were engaged with the service (.07%), on Twitter only 3 out of 10,000 (.03%), but on Instagram 421 users of 10,000 were ready to interact actively with the service (4.21%). Impressive results.
When Red Bull was promoting its short video on Instagram and Facebook, the data were also striking. Out of 43 million Facebook users only 2,600 liked it, and on Instagram, 36,000 likes were collected among 1.2 million users. Correspondingly, it is .006% vs. 3% engagement. Need more math?
Why #5. Instagram gives your business a human face
Running promotional campaigns in social networks aims both at reaching out to larger audience and showing people that you are humans and can interact with others just on the par and not through the lens of targeted ads. Facebook and Twitter polished the advertising tools up to perfection, yet today this advertising looks as soulless as a promo ad on TV, although social networks are about getting closer and reaching to individual people rather than to crowds. Instagram did not reach this level of dehumanization, and you can demonstrate here the human casual face of an otherwise reserved glossy company. Instagram audience is comparatively small, it still feels like a ‘graduates reunited’ community, and no group of the Board of Directors type will succeed here. Show your ‘company backstage’ moments, ordinary people in ordinary settings, and Instagram users will be here to interact.
Why #6. Instagram is integrated with every available social network.
Instagram is linked either directly or through some apps to almost every social network. Post on Instagram and display it on Facebook, embed Instagram image into your blog, cut your commercial video to 15 seconds length and embed into Instagram. Instagram is everywhere. Literally everywhere.
Why #7. Instagram gives a sense of space through geotagging. Geotagging is good in all senses. Tagging a shop in the district where users live makes this shop look local and homey, for remote users it will look exotic and unusual. So geotag your images and use hashtags related to local geography, it will make people browse more pictures and discuss the familiar places, which is a good way to conversion.
Why #8. Instagram is good for every kind of business.
Advertising on Instagram will allow everyone to succeed in their own niches. Whether it is another Coca Cola promo campaign or a small vendor ad, or a freelance specialist looking for customers, Instagram suits everyone. High level of engagement means that through networking and ‘chain reaction’ the promo images will definitely reach the people who are interested precisely in this service. In this case smaller count of people on Instagram is better, as it means shorter ties and easier way to get to target audience.
Why #9. Visual means are always successful. We assess with our eyes, whether we want it or not, and Instagram has hit the point. Pictures-based network may look childish to some people, others appreciate the opportunities it offers. So start right now and your promo pics from Instagram may end up on the cover of Time or Forbes someday.
Perhaps the advice may sound a bit stale, yet it is true nevertheless: Instagram is getting hotter and hotter in sense of users engagement, and anyone wishing to build a promo campaign there has to start immediately, before this specific market will get oversaturated with tasteless ads and businesses offering what’s not on every step. So rush forward while it is not too late and people are still interested in new picture uploads, go ahead and impress them with skillful but unobtrusive marketing.
The prospects sound very optimistic, yet in order to get your market share, be sure to use innovative promotional approach, otherwise your product will land up in a ditch. So investigate, read about this service, and try to understand how this website breathes and lives. Here are some ideas for a starter.
Read the Blog for Businessmen on Instagram
Yes, you’ve got it right – Instagram runs the special blog dedicated to users who chose to advertise here, and it shows that the service has nothing against it. On the contrary, such tender care indicates that advertising (smart, of source) is a welcomed affair on Instagram, so read the blog carefully and adopt ideas which are applicable in your particular case.
Make your Images Different
Select a variety of pictures reflecting official and informal sides of your company’s life and post them at certain time intervals. Say, take a shot of your stuff drinking coffee from cozy mugs, add internal tag about its meaning and upload it. Then wait to see the engagement. Post a picture of a customer selecting the goods, or talking to a manager. Tag it as described and upload.
Every time you upload a picture, be sure to check the engagement, and decide, what images are received especially well.
Yes, Definitely – Hashtags
They are a must, just like on Twitter. Add a few hashtags to every image you post. Include the brand hashtag obligatory, so that users could make a tread dedicated to your company/brand. Search Webstagram to learn what hashtags are in trend. Hashtags differ, some apply to other regions, some do not fit your enterprise, and some are tailored for you.
Apply a classic SMM method: research keywords in your area of interest and correlate them with popular hashtags. If there are coincidences, then it is profit. Select keywords-like (15-20) and branded hashtags, add some local ones, make a list and put to use. Just every time employ two or three of them, and change the combinations.
Beautify the Pictures You Post
Very few people can boast of making great photos every time they press the ‘Shot’ button. most photographers take great pains to create a masterpiece through careful arrangement, light, colors and then make it look natural. So the same applies to you, most shots you are going to post definitely need some editing. So crop, play with colors and effects, apply filters and frames. Go to Etsy to see what can be done to an average picture to make it a success.
Instagram is first of all a social network, where people communicate and share the most interesting or unusual visual items they have. Facebook is supposed to be a platform for uniting people and running communication treads, yet it looks like stack-water in comparison to buzz taking place on Instagram. So together with picture sharing be sure to provide some attention to your followers – like and comment on their uploads, post pictures they may like without any connection to brands. In general, play by the rules and participate in this social life.
Show the Human Face of What You Do
Instagram and pictures are about humans. About their perception of the world and things they deem important. You can use this phenomenon successfully to create a truly human face of your venture. It does not mean that you have to post images of all your staff, just let the users peep inside your business like through a key hole, into its daily work, show backstage of the brand, how you produce goods or service customers. The god is in the details, so let these details show up.
Filters are Another Name for Instagra
So use them. Instagram has specifically created this feature to allow everyone feel like an artist or designer without special skills and extensive use of Photoshop. Picture with filter effects are supposed to get higher engagement from users. If you choose to believe TrackMaven, then opt for three most popular filters – Inkwell, Mayfair and Walden. Yet filters are not that decisive factor. Sometimes no filter is a better option, as only Mayfair truly increases interest to your picture.
However, never rely on what is said if you can check it yourself. Apply various filters and check the feedback. Maybe your audience will appreciate Amaro, Rise or Willow, and you will employ it far and wide with your pictures. Watch the engagement and adjust your strategy.
Take the Challenge
Competitors and rivals are not that bad. On the contrary, you can borrow ideas from them and learn from their mistakes without making your own. For example, research their accounts, see what they post and what pictures are accepted well, and finally list all their followers. Then methodically pay a visit to their accounts and like/comments some pictures. And follow them, too. A certain group of users will start following you in exchange, and thus your competitors will present you with targeted audience. It works on Twitter as well.
Do not Skip Video Option
Micro-videos are stalking the market, Vine being the pathfinder. 6 seconds are fit for funny clips and brief stories, yet Instagram decided to show who is the master here and introduced 15-seconds videos with options of editing, filter applying and stabilization against shaky hands. If you train a little and learn to make nice clips, you will win the hearts of your followers.
Apps are Good
Instagram is a sophisticated app itself, and it is complicated enough to require the use of other apps to enhance your experience or add functions which should be there but which are not. Scheduling, photo editing, making patterns and prints, bringing Instagram to PCs, investigating analytics – just think of a need you might have and there’s an app to cater for it.
Instagram loves you, so pay your debt of politeness to it. It integrates easily with other social networks, and if you face a choice, whether to upload a photo to some destination directly from Gallery or reach it through Instagram, be sure to select Instagram. Its gratefulness will not make you wait.
Instagram is not changing its strategies or mission, so no major shifts in approaches to this platform are to be expected. However, one new feature is obvious: marketing is developing there with ever increasing speed and sophistication. The reason is the highly engaged and active audience of the service (chances of your post to be noticed are 50 times higher than, say, on Facebook).
Instagram now counts about two hundred millions of monthly users (a very high rate for a comparatively small audience) and its popularity may be partially explained by absence of mass advertising. The difficulties with registration, mobile-only use and specific attention to images make this service a hard nut to crack for a standard marketer, yet the need for new platforms and enviable audience are too good a prize to give up on the halfway.
So, with regard to this, some new trends may surface the next year.
The data about Instagramusers engagement made it a sweet bit for business of all scales and advertisers with all kinds of tools. The trend will continue in 2014 as long as the service develops, or until lots of ads will scare away the users and Instagram will lose its appeal. Now Instagram holds four aces in this sense.
Besides, Instagram intrinsically was not aiming at heavy advertising, like Google+ or Facebook, but it cared about users first of all. So marketers have to device ways to win the hearts of target audience, because paid promotion on Instagram does not look much different from unpaid one.
More Branded Hashtags
When the advertising mania began, brands flooded into the realm of hashtags and immediately adopted the classic variant #companyname, which proved to be predictably and highly inefficient. Now companies tend to employ more fine solutions, like hashtags connecting brand name and brand idea. See Hootsuite to learn more about that.
The recipe of creating such tricky and efficient hashtags is the following: choose a word or a phrase which are not too banal and to be used as hashtags by multiple brandmakers, yet simple and unsophisticated enough to make users feel comfortable while they search it (and not think of promoting a particular brand). A good hashtag will evoke the idea about the brand in a user’s mind, so advertising will go in natural way through socializing and searching for pics.
More trust in Instagram Influencers
Instagram does have its authorities and icons, however, they are not related to brands, rather, they are people of excellent taste who select and upload images of real artistic or educational value and their accounts are regarded as a place of pilgrimage. Brands which can make friends with such influencers may well expect increase of traffic on the part of followers of these influencers. Hence, brands will allure such influencers to cooperate.
Of course, not all influencers will want to advertise, others will ask for a huge fee, some of them will agree gladly in exchange for some affordable service or discount. However, influencers have their own informal brands, and the owner of vegan-focused account will not pair with an advertisement of a steak house.
Catch the Tide
Instagram is still brewing and growing, so join the fun now, when opportunities are available and niches for businesses are yet to be occupied. Some vendors have already moved in, yet the language of pictures is s rich, that every company will find a unique way to present itself. Just define what is the zest of your business and present it to the world.
Instagram is a virtual place where young users go. The Millennial generation is a very particular group, so not every business or offer should go in search of customers there. B2B services or bank promoting pension plans should definitely go elsewhere. Millennials live in different rhythm and by different rules, and they will discard everything that is not catchy or interesting enough. If demographics of Instagram changes, then perhaps ads of goods for more mature audience will find their way to the service, who knows.
Tell a Tale
As Ross Simmons said in his manual on Instagram marketing, this service with its focus on pictures is a perfect place to try reactive storytelling, based on cultural stereotypes, intuition and a bit of news-jacking. A recognizable brand existing in cultural context, will spark off the whole chain of associations if presented in a carefully crafted image. Oreo Sandwich’s stories put into one minimalistic picture are the art of its own kind. Take it as a sample and try to devise a similarly great idea, but without coping directly.
Instagram as visual means is a humanizing network. Instead of telling in dry words it shows, and users see faces of people who maintain your business, so show the backstage of your business informally, just as an ordinary person, not as a marketer would do. This humanization of business helps a lot in bringing your company closer to customers.
Some Hints to Rely On
It is OK to say that to advertise on Instagram one has to use it on a daily basis and feel it. However, if time if pressing or you just cannot make any conclusions from what you see, read these tips.
- Select your username if you are not going to use brand name. Рeople will remember your account under this name.
- Select cover picture carefully, choose a good image of your brand logo or goods you sell. Change the cover from time to time, but remember to keep it close to your business.
- Biography; actually it is a couple of lines into which you are supposed to fit most important thing about you. Naturally, invent a catchy and compelling motto for your business and type it in.
- Link to your website. It is only one. So link the account to your blog or to the official company page, if you do not want to lose traffic.
So, here it is. Be human and act like a human while running your Instagramaccount, and your advertising here will perfectly complement or even upbeat the campaigns you run in real world.