To tell your brand’s unique story, you need a unique platform.
Choosing which platforms you want to invest time, money, and effort into for your brand can be a difficult decision. Late last year, I highlighted the platforms worth investing in for 2017 and Instagram ranked #2 behind Facebook. People are hardwired to connect with photos and Instagram is a highly engaging canvas built around visuals.
Here are 6 reasons on what makes Instagram stand out among other platforms:
1. There’s no better place to tell your brand’s story
Unlike other social media channels (I’m looking at you Facebook and Twitter), people primarily come to Instagram for entertainment or inspiration, not information. This means you’re free to tell your brand’s story visually and without the need to interject with day-to-day details like a change in business hours.
So you should use Instagram to share how your product comes to be, highlight your employees at work, or plan an editorial series that visually conveys your brand. Plus, in this age of video, Instagram provides great mediums such as video posts, Live, and Stories that really bring your brand to life. Eyes are waiting!
2. Organic discovery is still a thing
Yes, Instagram began using an algorithm to curate feeds in 2016, but brands are still getting their fair share of distribution. Organic discovery is still alive and well thanks to hashtags.
Users actively seek out hashtags and content tied to them on the platform. In fact, traditional SEO tactics can be applied to hashtags for search and discovery on the platform. Understanding how to locate and use the right hashtags, not just popular ones, is key to maximizing your reach.
3. Your advertising can be truly native
Native ads (ads that closely match a publication’s or platform’s content) are taking over digital marketing thanks to the proliferation of ad blockers and increasing consumer discrimination. On Instagram ads are displayed in a user’s feed just like everything else. By focusing on real photos of your product and avoiding overt branding, you can make just about any ad on Instagram feel native.
Brands like Levi’s have used Instagram ads to show off their product in a way that’s not only authentic, but also sells. You don’t have to stage magazine quality photoshoots or hire expensive models to be successful. Just focus on lifestyle photography style that best represents your brand and be open to experimentation.
4. It’s the easiest platform to solicit user-generated content
If engagement is a key pillar of your social strategy, Instagram is natively built to let you solicit user-generated content because people are continuously publishing their own photos. Simply choose a unique hashtag and craft a campaign around it. The friction to participate is low since you’re just asking for a hashtag to be added.
5. Instagram can bring your website or blog to life
If your website or blog runs on a popular platform like WordPress, there are dozens of one-click plugins that allow you to quickly and easily embed your Instagram feed. This can immediately make your static website feel more alive and dynamic and give people a new reason to come back more often. Plus, you instantly double the value of your social media marketing investment by extending its reach to channels you own.
Some brands even bring their Instagram feeds to live events, including high fashion runways!
6. It’s easy to team up with influencers
Influencer marketing, when used well, can earn you exposure to audiences you wouldn’t have access to otherwise. At S2, we’re a member of the Fohr Card network and have access to thousands of influential people across all every interest imaginable.
Common tactics include regramming on Instagram (reposting another person’s photo with credit), letting an influencer “take over” your brand’s Instagram feed for a set period of time, incorporating product placements in the influencer’s social feed, giveaways conducted via the influencer’s channels, and simply having an influencer promote your brand in their feeds.
Bonus tip: Create a custom filter to help your brand stand out
This one comes straight from our Creative Director, Beth Amann: Apply the same filter to every single image you post on Instagram whether it’s a stock photo, from a fan, or something you take yourself. This will help you achieve a more professional look and feel and can make just about anything suddenly feel on brand. Note: You’ll have to apply this custom filter that you create in your favorite photo editing program, or use a default option that Instagram provides. The key here is consistency.
If you need help with mastering Instagram, Sociality Squared offers highly competitive rates for monthly managed services that cover everything from setup to strategy to content production and daily monitoring. We’ve worked with over 60 clients in our 7 year history and would love to work with you to take your brand’s Instagram presence and impact to the next level.
Reach out if you want to learn more about working together. If you’re a professional photographer, sign-up for our S2xAccess: Instagram 101 Online Bootcamp for Photographers.