Instagram is a free photo and video sharing app for iPhone, Android, and other mobile devices. With 150 million active users, and growing, it’s one of the most popular social networks out there. It’s that growing popularity that led Facebook to purchase Instagram for $1 billion.
But how can a photo and video sharing app help with inbound marketing? I’m glad you asked.
The short answer is; it allows you to quickly and easily engage your ideal customer in a fun, nonthreatening way. The long answer is a bit more indepth.
There are two major trends that are effecting your business right now.
- Mobile Usage
- Visual Media
Let’s very briefly explore both.
Mobile device usage is definitely on the rise. Internet researchers predict that in 2014 the number of people using mobile devices to access information online will exceed the number using a desktop device. That makes mobile marketing a very effective tool. Yet companies are spending less than one percent of their marketing budget on mobile marketing. That fact represents an open door for early movers to benefit greatly by incorporating Instagram into their online marketing strategy.
You’ve undoubtedly heard the expression; “a picture is worth a thousand words”. This is especially true in mobile marketing. Sharing visual images in the form of photos or videos is a great way to engage your target market. Using Instagram is a very effective way to reach that target market.
Now let’s explore using Instagram
After you download the Instagram app, you should spend some time setting up your account and profile. This is where you get to place a link to your company website. You should also spend some time exploring its functionality. It’s fairly straightforward. As you explore Instagram’s functionality, you’ll probably begin to wonder…
What photos or videos could you post?
If you’re like most people, you’ll wonder what pictures or videos (hereafter referred to as “images”) you could post that would engage visitors. Well, that really depends on you and your business. However, there are some general concepts that you can apply to your unique situation.
An obvious idea is to post product images. Many people do this, and it’s not a completely bad idea. But for maximum effect, you really should go beyond the obvious. What will really engage people is posting images that depict your company’s personality and culture – behind-the-scenes kinds of images.
For example, a custom children’s clothing maker posted behind-the-scenes images of a photo session with the models, photographers, clothes, etc. This can be very engaging because it gives people the opportunity to see some of the clothes without the precise staging of a catalog photo or TV commercial. Another thing they did was show images of the sewing room where the clothes are made.
Of course, there are other creative ideas for coming up with images to post. I recommend investing a little time browsing Instagram for additional ideas. You’ll be surprised at how browsing the site will get your own creative juices flowing.
How do you attract visitors to your Instagram page?
Of course, if people don’t see your Instagram page, they won’t see your webpage link and images… and if they don’t see your images, they won’t be able to “like” them or “comment” on them. In other words; no interaction.
Attracting visitors to your Instagram page is as simple as adding applicable hashtags to your image captions. The good news is, in spite of conventional hashtag wisdom, you can add more than one or two hashtags and still achieve great results in terms of interactions. The only caveat I would add is that you should blend your hashtags in as part of the caption rather than jam them all in at the bottom of the caption.
Takeaway: Instagram is an up and coming tool for effective online marketing. Now’s the time to catch that wave.
If you have any questions about online marketing, or need help growing your online business, contact us online or call 205-451-3376. We’re here to help.