When it comes to social media, one platform that has dominated the space lately in terms of the number of members present in their community- Instagram. It has taken the world and the social media space by storm.
Across the globe, there are over 800 million Instagrammers in the world, which is speculated to cross a Billion in 2018. This number is almost double of the size of the monthly active users on the platform Twitter, and more than thrice the size of the community on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. More than 250 Million piece of content is seen shared on the platform on an everyday basis.
Given the huge numbers, it thus becomes extremely important to understand as to how marketers can use the platform to successfully connect with audiences around the world. Hence, the question becomes…
- How can you boost your venture on Instagram?
- How to stand out among the other millions of photos and stories and posts that are posted on an everyday basis?
- Is it possible for non-designers and amateur photographers to leverage the potential that Instagram offers by creating powerful and beautiful content for their audiences?
These are all questions we are looking to address in this post.
Thumb rule to Instagram success
There is no one winning strategy for Instagram that a marketer can look to replicate. There are certain considerations and dynamics other than creating nice-looking images that a marketer needs to look at to become successful. These include:
- Having a clear vision and a strategy for your feed
- Having a clear objective as to what you are trying to achieve (Goal Assessment)
- Frequency of posts
- Acquaintances with your audience
One can be assured, if the afore mentioned factors are in place, then you are on the right path to crack the ‘Instagram Code’. They should help you get the desired results and become successful at meeting your Instagram objectives.
Some of the examples of a few brands that have really leveraged the platform well are as follows:
Madewell, an international woman apparel store has successfully managed to reap high rewards from having a successful Instagram story. They present a great example of creative Instagram marketing. The fashion brand boasts of a highly engaged audience. They possess over a Million followers and on an average receive 7,000- 10,000 likes per post. They manage to connect with multiple potential customers everyday.
So, how do such successful brands stand out on the platform? We have managed to create a guide that you can consider while curating your Instagram feed, which has been based on results you can measure.
Understand the Purpose
Whether you’re looking at launching your profile and are putting up your first post or are looking to improve your brand presence on the platform, it is important to set your objective and goals before you start.
A clear outline of goals will help in establishing a strategy, that is in correlation with the goals set and help in creating content that focuses on achieving those particular goals.
Here are some common goals you can consider. These also happen to be the ones that most brands and individuals look to choose from:
- Build your community
- Showcase the products or services you offer
- Increase awareness of your brand
- Showcase the company culture & values
- Increase brand loyalty
- Share company news and updates
- Advertise to potential customers
The following questions can help you address as to which goal happens to be relevant to you:
- Purpose of usage for Instagram
- Assessing how Instagram can help accomplish your brand objective
- The time and effort one can commit to the platform
- What are you looking to extract from the platform that is different from the other social media platforms available?
Here we have examples of two main goals for Instagram marketing strategy.
- Nurture an engaged community of followers, users and supporters.Let’s say you are looking to increase the following on Instagram for your profile and set a target of gaining and connecting with 10-12 people per week, within a span of a year you would have reached out to 520-624 Instagrammers one-on-one.
- The second primary goal for individuals and brands is to increase the engagement for each of the posts uploaded on the platform. You can measure the engagement rate metric by dividing the average engagement per post by the number of followers for a profile. On an average the engagement rate is about 2 percent to 3 percent. Brands deploy various strategies like advertising and promoting their posts with the idea of increasing the engagement rate.
Decrypting the Content Riddle on Instagram
Content is the king. There is a reason that more 250 million pieces of content ranging from Videos, Posts and Stories are shared on Instagram daily. More than 800 million people are exposed to this content on a daily basis, thus, making it essential for marketers to pay more emphasis to the content being created and shared by their brands. And henceforth, content should be at the heart of your marketing strategy on Instagram as well.
But the question to address is: What should you be posting about?
Firstly, figure out a clear vision for the content you’re creating. Certain brands focus on products.
For example, let’s refer to Lego. Lego’s profile boasts of a staggering 2.6 Million follower. Their posts are focussed on the products. What keeps their content strategy on point is the smart and balanced use of videos, memes and essential hacks.
Whereas other brands, such as Innov8, put more focus on the culture that they are looking to build. They are a coworking space operating in India and have become one of the most loved brands in their space in the country. It looks at capturing their community. They look to narrate stories that enrich the experience of their community through their posts.
The feature was released by Instagram in August 2016. It lets the user share content varying from photos to videos. These posts appear for a period of 24 hours before vanishing, until the user opts to add the same to their profile as ‘highlights’. Once added to the category of ‘Highlights’ they are reflected on the feed of the user permanently.
Your community can access your Instagram stories by clicking on your profile picture, and ‘highlights’ by visiting your profile.
It has been used effectively by brands around the world to update their community of any offers, product launches, announcements, engaging with their audiences and making shout-outs.
Here are some numbers to substantiate the claims regarding the effectiveness of the Instagram stories and the emphasis they have been given in recent times.
- Of the most viewed stories on the platform, about thirty five percent come from businesses and brands
- From the stories that were updated, approximately, one out of every five stories receive organic messages.
Brands have started leveraging the capability of Instagram Stories for the potential it has to offer.
Here is an example, on how Foundr which is a publishing house for entrepreneurs, has managed to perform really well, using Instagram Stories:
Take the Campaign to the Audience:
To engage your community of followers, launch contests and engage them in creating the content for you.
This is a time-and-again proven strategy, used and deployed by some of the leading brands like Apple to ace their Instagram Marketing strategy. The result is increase in the credibility of the brand as the posts come directly from the user.
Here is how Apple used this feature effectively:
It compelled the users to click pictures on their iPhone and upload them on the platform using the hashtag #ShotoniPhone, and a selected few were uploaded by Apple on their profiles. Here is how their feed looks like now:
TRIVIA: The hashtag #ShotoniPhone saw more than 3.8 Million posts being uploaded by users!
Prepared to ace the art of storytelling on Instagram now? We look forward to seeing you grow your brands and connect with audiences around the world, with just the perfect message directed for your community of followers.
Remember to connect with the audiences with content relevant to them and compel them to create the content for you, stay true to your brand vision and objectives, experiment with Instagram Advertising and other promotional tools, and last but not the least, remember to monitor the results from your campaigns and track the success of the campaigns.
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