Instagram keeps on growing: is Instagram good for marketing my business?
Instagram, the photo, video and GIF sharing application most prevalent on mobile was first founded in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Their big break came when Facebook acquired the application for $1 billion in stock and cash. With 800 million active users and climbing, it’s no surprise that this widely used application will be used for marketing for many years to come.
Instagram, like many social media applications, comes with its own trends and that can be seen mainly in hashtags, the application’s primary feature of sorting. With tags like #ootd (outfit of the day) and more specific tags like #ManCrushMonday, it is no surprise that hashtags comprise of Instagram’s major trends.
Here is a list of the top 5 major trends of 2017, both good and ugly:
Trend #1: “Tapping Text” in Instagram Stories
No, it’s not wire-tapping texts. Tapping Text in this context involves using Instagram Stories (borrowed from Snapchat’s Stories)’ “tap to skip” function, which can animate a couple of still photos. Think of it as a move-at-your-own-pace GIF. This can also be used to show your own “story”.
Trend #2: Slideshow Posts with 2 Photos
These are great for showing people a transition, from before to after or animating a simple GIF-like image.
Trend #3: Adding “New Post” to Instagram Stories (not encouraged)
The bane of Story viewers everywhere is that lots of people who post their stories, encourage others to like or comment on their new post, which to the former party, defeats the purpose of having an Instagram feed.
Trend #4: Adding Instagram Posts to Email Marketing (UGC – user-generated content)
Using user-generated content is a little bit tricky when it comes to advertising your products, but many shops now do it by putting Instagram UGC into their marketing emails. This is better than using models and instead shows their real customers that have benefitted from their product/service.
Trend #5: Shop in Stories
This is only possible should you have 10k followers or more plus an Instagram Business account. Here, you can add links and digital shopfronts for users to purchase your products. By tapping on say, a watch that a model is wearing, it will take you to the digital shopfront to purchase the watch.
Social media as a marketing tool is no longer optional for most businesses and Instagram as such a tool is no different. Instagram’s hashtag search system makes it easy for users to find relevant content by searching the tags. By marketing your product/service with the appropriate hashtags, you’ll be on your way to success! Not only that, Instagram’s character limit is short and as such, you’ll need to be punchy and precise in order to get your message across. By virtue of it being an audio-visual content sharing platform, your possibilities are endless because not only can you mix and match the content you would like presented but also you can add appropriate effects and text to further enhance the experience.
Instagram also has two additional externally linked applications – Boomerang and Layout, each with its own set of features to enhance the user’s experience of Instagram further. Boomerang’s name is pretty self explanatory, in that it records a looping GIF of about 4-5 seconds. This is pretty useful when you want to demonstrate a cool feature of your service or product without having to take a long video.
The layout is another interesting feature that can benefit businesses. The layout is also self-explanatory, in that it creates a layout out of several images to form a collage. This is good for featuring multiple products in a single image. Whilst all businesses can benefit from social media marketing, specific types of businesses that can benefit from Instagram marketing in particular include jewellery makers, art sellers, videographers, writers and the like.
Instagram, like all other social media platforms, can be used to market just about anything but certain types of products/services work better with its platform. If you are wondering how to use Instagram to market your product/service, do contact Ooze Studios as we would be more than happy to assist you.