Is Instagram an Effective Tool to Grow Your Brand?

Mackenzie | June 05, 2018 | Content Marketing

Instagram is a sort of brave new world when it comes to marketing, and when used properly, for the right business, it can be an extremely powerful tool. If you're looking to grow your brand, and you can showcase your product or service in a visual way, Instagram might be right for you. But to help you decide more definitively whether Instagram is a good direction for your company to steer, here's a bit more information about what Instagram does, and how it can work for you:


Instagram 101


Instagram is a powerful social media platform, now with more than 800 million active monthly users regularly scrolling through feeds and tapping through stories. More curated than Facebook, Instagram is a space for people to capture the beauty they see around them day to day, and to check in with lifestyle influencers on new products, methods, and items of interest. Instagram is highly visual, and the majority of users do curate their instagram feeds more specifically to their tastes, choosing to follow brands and users who post content they genuinely like to see. This works to set Instagram up perfectly for businesses with something to showcase. No matter what you sell, produce, or provide, if you can create a way to display that good or service beautifully, you're likely to do well on Instagram.


Instagram for Brand Awareness


Instagram is well known as the key platform for brand awareness, because it's one of the only social media platforms that's image forward. While other social media platforms value multi-media content, text captions are still important, and often lengthy. Instagram instead favors images first, providing a calmer, more aesthetic user experience that does not mesh well with a hard sell or in-your-face ad experience.


Instagram is a great place for a brand to grow a following by posting engaging content that's interesting and that people want to know more about. If you're looking to boost brand awareness, check out these tips below. If you're interested in learning a bit about Instagram advertising, stick with me or jump down a few paragraphs for more on that!


High-Quality Photos


If you want to see any kind of success on Instagram, you absolutely have to have beautiful, high quality photos. Even if you don't feel like your product is that cool or interesting, a high quality photo can still stop an instagram viewer, and make them read a little bit more about you. If you sell a service, a video of what you do is equally engaging. The first step in growing your brand is getting eyes on your instagram account, and that means quality content.


Lifestyle Posts


It's easy for businesses to fall into the trap of only posting about themselves. Whether it's promos, a new product, or exciting news about your company, that's all great content to put out, but you need to balance it with something else. If you're only posting about your company, your followers are likely to become tired of what you're putting out. Add in posts that are engaging, beautiful, and relevant to their lives too. For example, if you sell camping gear, post some pics of your staff's favorite camping sites, or ask your followers to send in photos from their favorite trips with your gear. That's a great way to change up what you're posting about, while still staying true to your brand.


Engage With Your Audience


If you're looking to grow your brand on Instagram, you need to get active. Instagram users are very responsive, and will comment and like posts they feel speak to them. Reach out to other industry influencers on Instagram, comment on photos tagged with hashtags your company often uses, and don't be afraid to DM influencers and accounts you'd consider partnering with. Another great way to boost engagement is to ask questions. Create content that's interesting, and ask your followers to share their own stories. The more you engage with your followers, the more likely they are to engage with you, which will help grow your brand awareness.


Instagram for Leads


If you're not as concerned about growing your brand, and have heard about Instagram's ad potential, then you might consider Instagram as a new avenue to generate leads. Instagram features the same powerful ad targeting tools as Facebook, because it's run through the Facebook ad portal. What's more, Instagram ads are typically more effective, as 67% of consumers value detailed images when making a purchase, rather than product information or even customer ratings. This makes Instagram advertising a powerful tool for businesses with quality visuals. If you've been thinking about Instagram Ads, here are a few things to know.


Instagram Ads are Scheduled Through Facebook Ads


If  you've already dabbled in Facebook Advertising, you're in luck! Instagram ads are run through the same platform. You simply go through the Facebook Ad portal, and when asked about "Placements" you can specify that you'd like your ad to go to Instagram. This makes it easy to manage multiple ad campaigns, and keep your budget under control. You're able to choose how much you'd like to spend on a daily or weekly basis, and you can choose when the post will start and stop. Instagram Ads are fairly easy to put out, but it's deciding on the content to go in those ads that's the difficult part.


Throw out Promos


People love free stuff, and they love great deals. If you can offer a discount or a free item with their first purchase, you're well on your way to boosting those leads. Offer a high-quality video or image of what they'll be getting for making a purchase, heading to your website, or signing up for your email newsletter, and you're likely to capture a few leads.


Know Your Audience


Like Facebook, Instagram Ads can be set to go out to only a very slim, targeted group of users. This can save you money and boost your potential of gathering legitimate, qualified leads, but you have to know your audience to do so. Do some research before you start buying ad space: What are your key demographics? Who is buying your product or service, and who needs it most? What do they do in their free time, and when are they most likely to be on social media? Answers to these questions will help you develop an ad that's highly targeted, and that will successfully reach your target buyer.


Scheduling Ad Time


Another benefit of the Instagram Ad platform is that you can specify what times you'd like your ads to go out. While there are tons of studies that show when Instagram users are most active you'll also want to take into account your target buyer. If you're targeting stay-at-home moms, you might consider putting ads out around 10 a.m. on weekdays. Even though that's not a high engagement time for Instagram, maybe your research shows that 10 a.m. is right after your target buyer has dropped the kids at school, and might be sitting down for a second cup of coffee. No matter who your target buyer is, it's important to think about their lifestyle, and what a day in their life might look like. Then compare that against the high engagement times for Instagram to make an informed decision about when your ads should go out.


If you're looking to kick your social media marketing strategy up a level, Instagram is a great go-to platform. It features all the targeting tools of Facebook, but many ads tend to see more engagement on Instagram, because of their visual nature. If you've got more questions on growing your brand awareness, social media following, or boosting your lead generation potential, don't hesitate to get in touch! And if you're looking for more info on Inbound Marketing check out the case study below:

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