It’s no secret that image-sharing social sites are becoming more and more customary in the world of marketing. Pinterest and Instagram have exploded on the social media marketing scene over the past year. This is in part because marketers began to realize that images are great for branding and engagement on social media sites. They won’t get you sales, but they’ll get you shares, comments, and lots of exposure. This is a platform that, just like Pinterest, more and more companies will want to start including in their social media strategies. Below are five engaging examples of how to use Instagram to your online marketing advantage.
1) Use Instagram Profiles to Reach a Wider Audience
Instagram has become yet another channel to promote everything great your brand is doing. Keep in mind that you’re still using this platform for your business, so keep a respectable balance between fun images and business photos. Some examples of pictures to upload to your Instagram are company holiday parties, pictures of employees hard at work at their desks, new product launches, etc. With Instagram’s web profiles finally released, marketers now have the opportunity to market on other devices besides mobile. The new web page layout has a collage feel to it, which gives way for marketers to tell a story with images. These stories can be temporary product promotions or day-to-day services your company provides its customers. This should drive you to think strategically about how your Instagram account looks once all of the pictures are put together on one page.
2) Reward Followers with Promo Codes
Releasing a new product or service? Promote your account by offering consumers a promo code once they follow your Instagram account, or provide codes to those oh-so-loyal users who are already following you. Including these promo codes in your photo descriptions will really get your followers to notice what you’re posting. When deciding what codes to offer and how to go about positioning this tactic, always keep your audience in mind and be aware of what will attract their attention. This will increase engagement and show your fans appreciation for keeping up with you via social!
3) Event Promotion
What better way to market an event than through photos on a platform that is all about visuals? The goal of any event or trade show is to attract people to educate them about your product and service and hopefully turn them into customers. Instagram can aid in that goal by giving event attendees a visual and location for your event. By following the hashtag of the conference, attendees are drawn to your Instagram shot and able to locate your booth quicker. You can even promote the Instagram hashtag via other social channels (Twitter, perhaps?) to make sure all of your social fans are aware! Adding Instagram to your event marketing mix can help you reach more users, get more people to visit your booth and increase engagement with your audience. Marketo had the right idea by promoting a hashtag on their Twitter profile to encourage their followers to submit their own Instagram photos! This strategy can come in handy to stand out from the crowd in any size conference or event.
4) Feature your Customers
You have no better fans than the fans your outstanding services have already acquired! Why not make them feel like celebrities? This is also a perfect way to tell your company’s story from the perspective of someone outside the company. Featuring your customers on Instagram takes customer reviews to a whole other level. Use Instagram to take a photo of your customers and showcase a sneak peek into what the experience with your brand is like. In addition to making your customers happy, this will personalize your brand—something that is valuable for any audience. By engaging with your fans and showcasing satisfied customers who could really be anyone, your company is able to achieve your goals by utilizing Instagram.
5) Create Engagement with Contests
Similar to Pinterest, a strategy marketers are now able to use is photo contests via Instagram. Companies can easily request their customers to use a specific hashtag to tag their photos for the contest. Marketers can then search the specific hashtag, have users vote on their favorite photos, and choose the lucky winner! Choose a theme, similar to how Aerie chose to focus their contest around Valentine’s Day, and have them send in their shots and post them on your social media site. Give the winner (the person with the most likes, etc.) a good reward. This type of engaging content will make your followers want to keep participating with your brand’s social content and be on the lookout for what’s coming next.
Do you have any Instagram strategies I missed? We’d love to hear your opinions and success stories. Comment below and let us know about your experience with Instagram!