From photo stories to brand influencers to promotional campaigns, Instagram has come a long way from its roots as a photo-sharing community. Today, it is a leading content platform which brands can leverage for branding and marketing. Started in 2010, Instagram has over the years amassed a massive user base – at 800 million users and growing – cementing itself as a networking and marketing engine. With 60 percent of users discovering new brands and campaigns on Instagram, it’s no wonder more than two million advertisers have converged upon Instagram for visibility.
Even as the Facebook-owned app makes ripples around the marketing world, many are still unaware of the potential the application holds. The scope for growth that the photo-sharing application provides for brands is extensive. From audience engagement to creating brand awareness to tapping into a potential market base, the sky’s the limit when it comes to marketing possibilities on Instagram.
If you are still unsure about where to start, here are five tried-and-tested tips to create brand awareness for entrepreneurs on Instagram.
A clear profile
Creating a clean and clutter-free profile is the key to cracking Instagram. The three factors one should keep in mind while starting out is to take care of the profile picture, URL, and a proper description. All these three elements in unison tell visitors who you are and what you do. Ensure that the profile picture is in sync with that of the website or the brand to prevent confusion among users.
While being crisp is the keyword, having a quirky and brisk description does lure visitors in. Always be aware that you are pitching to not just millennials but also the Generation X (35-49 years old). Take a look at Starbucks Coffee’s Instagram handle to understand what I am talking about.
Create your own style
A quick glance at various brand handles on Instagram will tell you that every one of them has a style that is distinct. While taking influences is okay, it’s always advisable that you create your own individual mood boards for your Instagram layout. Maintaining the same theme or colour scheme is the easiest way to achieve uniformity.
For example, Adidas (@adidasoriginals) uses a monochrome background to feature their products, while a quick look at the Maybelline handle will tell you that it tries to maintain a very neutral colour scheme.
It’s all about the hashtags
Hashtag, hashtag, hashtag! If you’re trying to get noticed on Instagram, hashtags are an absolute must. Even though the app only allows up to 30 hashtags, it is generally recommended to add anywhere between 11-15. Before you go bonkers with hashtags though, look for the relevant ones on Instagram and use them accordingly.
Live videos pull in more eyes
Nothing is better than having your potential customers see you in-the-flesh. According to data from NewsWhip, engagement numbers for videos increased by 53 percent year-on-year in May, surpassing the 46 percent growth rate seen for photos in the same timeframe.
Live videos by nature are unique and real-time, since every time you go live there will be new content which is bound to engage users. With Instagram’s new video saving feature, users who missed the live sessions can even watch them later. It’s just like an advert, but for free.
Maintaining regular activity
Maintaining regularity on any social media website is a must, in the sense that it will accelerate your online presence and ensure your relevance among potential customers. Also keep track of high engagement hours in a day, since traffic is totally dependent on users being online. Other than that, one should keep posting regularly.
Open up dialogues and interact with users
What is social media if you aren’t socialising? Interacting will only help make your brand presence felt. Spend some time replying to comments on your posts and make sure you leave comments on other brand’s posts for possible future collaborations. Addressing direct messages also helps to initiate one-on-one conversations, something many brands on Instagram neglect.
With digital marketing catching on like wildfire, Instagram’s organic reach and appeal is an evident boost for your brand’s online presence. It can be the harness that ropes in potential customers from the smartphone-savvy generations. If used properly, it can do wonders for your brand, especially when it comes to entrepreneurs who want a broader reach.