Hey there! In case you haven’t heard the news, I’m Chloé Gee, the newest addition to the Pixel Pusher team at T&S! When I was in college, someone once said to me, “Wouldn’t it be cool if someone just paid us to sit around on Facebook and Instagram all day?” And I thought “Um, yes, yes it would.”
So, I studied hard and versed myself in all the various aspects of communication and marketing strategies with a special focus on today’s most relevant media—social channels. If you’re a frequent reader of our blog (of course you are), then you’re sure to see me writing plenty about my favorite topics, including social media, photography, video, and much more. Today’s overview is all about the visual media giant Instagram.
Businesses everywhere, both small and large, are joining the Insta-craze—and for good reason. Human beings are visual by nature. In fact, we can process images 60,000 times fast than text! Instagram’s focus on image first and text second has driven its success as a social platform, as evident by its 500 million daily active users.
So, should your business be on Instagram? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine if you need to be strategizing on the front lines of this prime marketing frontier.
Can Instagram reach my audience?
Your business has a specific audience for your products or services. But are they waiting to be reached on Instagram?
Instagram leans toward a female audience and is currently used by 31% of American women and 24% of American men. Nearly 60% of internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use the platform, as well as 33% of internet users between the ages of 30 and 49.
If you’re looking to target the next generation of buyers who will soon wield the most spending power of any generation, Instagram is certainly the Millennial’s favorite platform. Even better? Instagram’s user base has slowly grown to include Gen X and the Boomers. In fact, one study has shown that older Instagram users are more likely to be influenced by paid advertising on the platform.
A unique feature of Instagram is the potential to rally and strategically leverage brand ambassadors. These influencers champion your brand and/or products by creating content and tagging your business or simply sharing content from your business. With 23 percent of shoppers influenced by social recommendations and reviews, businesses who can connect and create brand loyalty among key followers will certainly have a leg up.
Does Instagram have what I need to communicate my message?
Every day, users upload 95 million photos on Instagram. But Instagram isn’t limited to just photos. Video clips and animated gifs are frequently seen scrolling through the feed. Instagram even has their own line of stand-alone applications that can be used to create Boomerangs (gif-like loop videos), Hyperlapse videos (time-lapse clips), and Layout collages.
Instagram also has the Story function, which is similar to Snapchat’s capabilities. Photos, video, live streams, and even a plain graphic with text can be added to a story. Before adding, users can edit with everything from filters to interactive polls, clickable hashtags, stickers, and more.
Does your business provide goods or services that can be visually appealing? Even if you don’t, I bet your team looks good working hard at the weekly staff meeting! Think of ways you can make your business’s world relevant to your audience. The best way to do this is to be authentic and encourage your followers to engage with you.
Is it really all Kardashian culture?
Passionate about something? You’re sure to connect with others passionate about the same thing on Instagram by just searching for a relevant hashtag. This presents an exceptional opportunity for marketers to reach their audience with a different kind of conversation.
Instagram is pretty relaxed, and it’s culture can change depending on the type of following you build. Whether you’re trying to appeal to the cool and sophisticated, the faith-based and philanthropic-centered, or the outdoor enthusiasts, you can set the tone for your Instagram feed.
Okay, but is it easy?
Way easier than Facebook! Instagram’s basic functionalities are fairly simple in nature. While there is a website where you can view your feed, Instagram is designed to be mobile-based and provides a clean layout for users to browse their feed, search for specific hashtags, and watch stories.
Posting a photo and choosing a filter is easy enough, but using some of the other features like stories, direct messaging, live video, and some of the interior video editing and photo enhancing tools can be more confusing if you’re new. This guide can help you learn the basics and get comfortable with the capabilities.