Research-backed ways to get your brand more 'likes.'Ryan McGonagill
This year, it’s projected that Instagram will surpass Twitter as the most used social media platform for companies to promote their products and services behind behemoth Facebook. In fact, nearly 71 percent of brands already use Instagram to engage with their customers – and some are doing so more successfully than others.
A recent study by Influence.co found that particular photo compositions, filters, and product categories intrigue followers the most. However, the research reveals that sponsored posts should cater to consumers of all ages, not just the typical 20-somethings.
The following strategies can bring your Instagram marketing to the next level, all with minimal additional effort.
Consider Photo Composition
"From models to brand ambassadors, it’s always a good idea to showcase your product in action."
The most notable trend is to post portrait-style sponsored images on Instagram – nearly 70 percent of marketers use this technique. Showcasing a product in action is also eye-catching, while product-only shots, selfies, and landscape-style images are far less popular.
Still, 27 percent of food- and drink-related sponsored posts focus on the product, while 33 percent of television and movie brands prefer landscape images. Again, study the trend in your niche and follow it.
Choose Your Filter Wisely
"Of the many in-house editing options offered by Instagram, filters are perhaps one of the easiest and most obvious ways to gain product attention."
To rack up ‘likes’ and stand out among other brands, keep filters minimal and consistent throughout posts, so your profile is eye-catching and recognizable. Clarendon, Aden, and Gingham filters are the top three filters, each accumulating an average of more than 2 million likes per image, proving these filtered photos attract the most users.
"Fashion seems to own Instagram feeds for advertising influence."
Sponsored fashion, department store, and electronics posts appeared to be the most appealing to Instagram users in the study, proving these brands are already catering to their audience in a meaningful way. Beauty, automotive, and health and wellness marketers can adjust their Instagram presence to allure customers with more meaningful content, eye-catching posts, and action shots. Lifestyle bloggers also have an opportunity to reach out to these audiences with influencer-sponsored posts.
"Baby boomers make up the smallest percentage of Instagram users, but their influence level is higher than any other age group."
Two of the most compelling findings from the study showed men are more inclined than women to be attracted to sponsored posts, and Instagram users aged 65 to 74 were the most active age group regarding sponsored content.
Specifically, men were persuaded more often than women in all ad categories (fashion, in particular), a finding that suggests we need to market toward men more often and with more passion.
As for age, baby boomers are often the most overlooked on social media – at a price. Brands are missing a large market by only targeting millennials and Gen Xers on Instagram when those aged 65 to 74 were found to be the most persuaded by sponsored content. Therefore, use your willingness to learn more about a product via social media to your advantage.
Mindfulness while posting a sponsored photo on Instagram is the key to creating a lasting campaign for your brand and increasing product recognition through one of the most popular platforms available. You have access to 400 million daily active users – entice them.