Social media has been a gamechanger in the marketing industry. Instagram first launched in 2010, and by December of that year, had already acquired a million users. Fast forward to 2021, and a staggering growth rate has the platform boasting over a billion users that spend on average 30 minutes a day on the platform. Advertising agencies can cost thousands, and it is easy to overlook the benefits of platforms like Instagram that have over 130 million users clicking on shopping posts every month. Instagram has accelerated in growth because of its excellent visuals that are offered in both video and images, which have disrupted the marketing game because of its ease of use, massive audience, and huge reach. If you're looking to increase your brand awareness and image, here's why you need to use Instagram in your marketing strategy.
You'll reach a big following
With over a billion users across the platform, stats indicate that at least 50% of users visit a business site after viewing a product or service on Instagram. The audience demographics on Instagram is rather unique, with over 80% of users located outside of the US. Having a good understanding of the platforms creates an opportunity for any business to understand who their target audience is. More than this, users can choose to utilize an Instagram growth service such as Growthsilo to reach even more people and gain followers without searching for an audience themselves. At least 2 out of 3 users say that the network enables better engagement with brands.
Ease of use
From images to short-form videos and live streaming, Instagram has become an extremely popular way for brands to connect with an audience. Although initially designed for use on smartphones, the desktop version is steadily improving, and the ease of use makes this network a favorite. With improved features such as Instagram Live, IGTV, and Stories, the network has constantly evolved to reach users in a way that is interactive and simple. The best part is that it's free, meaning that your brand can avoid the expense of marketing agencies simply by creating a business profile. There is also the option of paid advertising that has its own benefits centered around increasing your reach.
Instagram interaction wouldn't be the same without the hashtag. Hashtags are generally words or phrases that are designed to deliver powerful messages, and allow people to come together under one idea. They are important for several reasons, some of which are highlighted below:
- Hashtags strengthen a brand image
- Help a brand to reach a target audience by creating a niche
- Increase engagement
- Delivers the right content to the right people
Knowing when and how to use a hashtag is key, and too much or too little use can result in the opposite of what you'd hope to achieve. Hashtags enable users to easily find what they're looking for, and it's always good to see what's trending and find ways to incorporate this into your posts.
Influencers do the work for you
Influencer marketing is a unique social media marketing concept that involves the endorsement of products and services by others with a perceived degree of expertise or social influence in a particular field. These individuals or organizations have something that some brands may not - an instant connection with their large audiences that trust them. There are many ways that brands can collaborate with influencers in a mutually beneficial relationship that is focused on growing the brand's awareness and sales by reaching a new or existing target audience. Three of these methods are highlighted below.
- Brand Ambassadors - these are usually people that love a particular brand or product, and are usually vocal about it.
- Product launches - influencer marketing campaigns can be used to create a buzz over the latest product on offer
- Discount codes - influencers can be used to promote a product or service with the use of discount codes that customers can use at checkout.
Instagram is a trendy and very user-friendly network that can and should be used to improve a brand’s footprint in a highly competitive industry. Using powerful tools such as the hashtag and influencers to extend your reach is beneficial, although the key always lies in identifying the right strategies that work best for your brand.