Instagram’s marketing influence has seen a rapid increase in the past year, and more brands are beginning to implement the photo-sharing app in their visual content marketing strategies. In fact, a study done by L2 Inc. explains that over three million U.S. teens abandoned the use of Facebook between the years 2011 and 2014, only to adopt Instagram as their primary means of social networking.
Furthermore, nearly 93% of brands that are on Facebook have also established a presence on Instagram.
Let’s consider another important statistic: the average Instagram user spends approximately 20 minutes a day using the app. Now this is a lot of time for a simple photo-sharing app, especially considering that on average, people spend no more than 3 seconds looking at a photograph before liking it. That’s about 400 photographs a day per avid Instagram user. Furthermore, on a given day, users of the app post a combined 70 Million photos a day, and like about 2.5 Billion photos in one day. That’s a lot of content sharing and liking.
So what does this mean for the small business owner? Well it certainly means that if you’re not working on developing an Instagram following, you’re missing out on a lot of potential consumer engagement. The majority of individuals who use the app are between the ages of 13-24. This is the age group that considers a digital presence to be very important. The majority of the products they purchase are done so online, and primarily through their phones. Just in the last year, post frequency for Instagram has grown over 23%, and businesses are really starting to capitalize on the fact that the mobile network has a 100% organic reach.
If you are not on Instagram, and working towards developing a following, you might want to consider some of these tactics that could strongly help your brand’s presence on the platform:
1) Post Frequently:
33% of brands that post more than 20 times a week have above-average engagement.
2) Test and Learn, Natively:
The ability to create native advertising, or advertising that is exclusive to the platform that you are using, is becoming a necessity among successful brands. An example would be using Instagraphics on Instagram as a primary means to display important information about your business. Venngage has just created an entire series of Instagraphic templates so that you can quickly generate infographics for Instagram.
3) Focus on Product:
You need to be able to tell stories about your product through imagery in the context of lifestyle. Here are some businesses that have extremely high engagement rates on Instagram. You can follow them to get an understanding of how they utilize the social network to promote their brands.
4) Leverage Celebrity:
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to hire George Clooney to take a picture with your product, but rather try to reach out to those small time Instagram celebrities- people with a lot of followers who you can offer your product to for free. These are people who have gained a large following organically because of their posting-prowess.
5) Capitalize on UGC:
User-generated-content is an excellent way to not only acquire more content for your brand, but consumers are also far more likely to produce aspirational and authentic imagery. The Herschel brand had an excellent campaign called Wander The World, or #Welltravelled. They got people to post pictures of their travels, and with their Herschel bags, from all around the world. This supplied Herschel with an abundance of inspiring global photographs that were generated by consumers.
6) Avoid Commerce Gimmicks:
Some brands like to link engagement to purchase, but that shouldn’t be the goal of your social media campaigns- at least not directly. Social Media E-commerce strategies like “Like2Buy” create a lot of friction. Rather focus on just providing interesting content so that you build brand followers and advocates.
7) Assume the Worst:
Even though Instagram currently has 100% organic reach, you should assume that eventually, you will need to pay to see more engagement. After all, Instagram is now owned by Facebook. So take advantage while you can!