When it comes to social media, trends change really quick. Marketers should adapt to these changes if they want to stand out in the crowd when promoting the companies and the products they work for.
As Neil Patel says in his step by step guide on how to do social media marketing:
Social media is the fastest growing trend in the history of the world.
It’s not a secret that Instagram is the second most popular social media network in the world. Right after Facebook – which acquired Instagram in 2012.
With a community of more than 600 million users around the world and features that permit both companies and users to be creative when posting content, photos or videos, Instagram is a leader of visual content.
People at Instagram seem to know what users want. Every now and then they release features to help users be more creative when sharing content.
Today I will focus on the new trends rising in 2017 which brands should use to increase revenue, views, and interaction.
Social media is about: interaction. Whether we’re talking about user-to-user interaction, business-to-user or business-to-business interaction.
There are over 400 million active users on Instagram and they talk about brands. There are more than 4.2 million likes given daily.
When talking about marketing, there are several “players” on the scene: the product, the brand, the audience.
In this article, I will talk about each of them. From how to get to know your audience to how to promote your brand on Instagram. This may not be a revelation, but it will help you settle some ideas for your marketing strategy.
So let’s get down to business and talk about your community, aka your audience.
Show your followers they matter
Your audience is the most important part of your social media: get to know them, interact with them and learn what type of content they want to see. This is important if you want to catch their attention.
Check their profiles, see who they follow and what they like, comment on their photos or stories and let them know you’re there. You are there to answer their questions, give tips and tricks and support.
For example, check out what Lay’s did when they launched their new flavors. They encouraged users to vote for their favorite flavor with five-seconds videos. The encouraged fan interaction and showed them their opinion matters. The result of the campaign was a 5% increase in reach and 5% increase in sales.
So letting your audience tell you what they like can increase revenue.
What is the purpose of your campaign?
Before starting a campaign, think about its purpose. Is it to gain followers? Send the users to your website? Generate sales? Raise awareness? This is the most important question you should ask yourself and, find ways to achieve your purpose.
Take McDonald’s example when they wanted to reach millennials they created ads using day-to-day objects paired with McDonald’s dishes. The campaign uses the premise that when you’re hungry you see food everywhere. They saw an 814% increase by the end of the campaign. This proves that being creative with such a simple idea can help grow awareness.
The features Instagram offers today allow you, the marketer, to be as creative as your purpose demands: you can use photos, videos, and stories to tell your story.
Now let’s see how you can use each feature:
The first feature that Instagram offered was photos. The first purpose of the app was to add filters to the snaps and post to the social network. Its main use was to post instantly online. This was the novelty Instagram brought to the market.
After seeing an increase in users, ads were the rational next step.
If you’re a first-time advertiser on Instagram, this article will help you create an ad, step-by-step. Get started and measure the impact it makes.
After ads, the next natural step for Instagram was to launch the video feature. It created an environment for both users and brands to show longer versions of internal processes or products via 15 seconds videos.
Just like for photos, ads were implemented for videos also.
Look at what Lidl Poland did with video ads. They created a series of videos to increase awareness of their Christmas cookbook. They had more than 500,000 video views, with a 17 point lift in brand awareness.
So why not use videos to promote your brand?
3. Multiple Photos and Videos (carousel)
Why not mix photos and videos?
Instagram has another very awesome feature which allows users to use up to 10 photos or videos or a mix between the 2 to show sequences of their story.
Carrera used carousel ads to showcase their products and the lifestyle. After the campaign, they saw an 11% rise in the brand awareness and 41% lift in ad recall.
Pretty cool, huh?
4. Instagram Stories Ads
After launching Instagram Stories, 10-second videos that disappear after 24 hours, Instagram launched Instagram Stories Ads. These can be either photos or videos or both.
Instagram Stories are a great way to raise brand awareness. I bet in the future it will offer more stats and allow objectives like website clicks, web conversions or app installs, depending on what your business offers to users.
Here are some features that’ll help create Instagram Stories Ads:
- You can upload up to 6 images – but they won’t appear like a carousel ad
- Size 1080 x 1920 pixels (Ratio aspect: 9:16)
- Ads are skippable;
- To maximize ad delivery use images that contain little or no text
Instagram Ad Stories Videos features:
- Upload Format: .MOV, .MP4 or .GIF File (File size: 2.3 GB max)
- Max. 15 seconds
- No standalone text like titles, description, messages or captions
- Resolution: 720 pixel
After seeing the features Instagram offers and some examples of campaigns that brands have created, let’s see how you do. Here are some more ideas:
- Show off your team – Show your team and what they do. This will give personality to your business. This gives people an instant intimacy with your team and gives them a bit more credibility.
- Showcase your work – If you’re an artist or a creative agency showcase your latest works using Instagram tools. Or maybe a timelapse of the creation process?
- Present a making process of your product – Most people would like to see a product made from scratch. So why not show highlights from the creative process, or, why not, from offices or factories? Or maybe highlights of how to use your product, like tips and tricks or how a new feature works.
- Talk to influencers – Whether you use photos or video ad campaigns, go and reach out to influencers. They’ll help raise brand awareness and generate sales. Users follow influencers because they trust them or like their choices. Get in touch with both influencers and micro-influencers in order to promote your business. Choose influencers that match your business profile.
- Taggable products – In its attempt to encourage brands to use the app, Instagram now allows you to tag products in your photos, and link to your website to get sales. This feature is great for influencer marketing. Ask the influencer to tag your product and create a special link for them to track conversions.
We’ve seen all the feature that Instagram offers to businesses to promote their brands and some examples of how others use them. Creativity is unlimited. So have some fun.
How will you use Instagram marketing in your 2017 strategy?