Mystified with social media like Instagram?
How to get started with Instagram
Not sure about marketing with Instagram? Most marketing practitioners agree that social media is a core element of the current advertising and marketing landscape, but they also tend to have their favourites. A marketer’s favourite social networking platform in their professional life is often the same as it is in their personal life, simply because they already understand how it works, and how to get results. However, we suggest that whether or not you use Instagram socially, it’s worth familiarising yourself with the app for business purposes and integrating it into your digital marketing strategy.
Mobile first for Instagram
First and foremost, Instagram is a mobile application. It is ideally suited to being used on a smartphone. Start by downloading the free app, which can be found on either the Apple Store or Google Play. You will be prompted to create an account; take your time when doing so, and remember that your profile will represent your brand. Ensure that your brand name on Instagram is consistent with other instances where consumers may interact with your brand. The last thing you want to do is create confusion regarding who you are, or what your business does.
Consistent brand identity
On that note, aim for consistency throughout your Instagram use; choose filters which highlight your brand values, and ensure that the objects of your photos are closely related to either the products and services you sell, or an associated lifestyle. Depending on what you sell, it may be helpful to consider your brand through the lens of Kapferer’s Brand Identity Prism (Kapferer, 1992) when deciding what to post to ensure coherence.
Push on Instagram to maximise engagement
When setting up your profile, make sure that you enable push notifications. Once you have done so, you will receive a notification whenever another user interacts with your profile, allowing you to maximise your engagement with other users. Don’t forget that this is not a traditional advertising channel – engagement is key. Instagram provides an excellent opportunity to interact with consumers and potential customers with regard to specific images.
Start posting and discover what’s new on Instagram
Once your account is set up, there’s still lots to do, aside from starting to post photos. Create a brand hashtag, and start following other users! Hoping that others will miraculously find you simply isn’t an option; find similar brands and influential people in your industry, and follow them. They may even provide a little inspiration!
Which businesses are using Instagram?
For engagement through high quality, three examples of FMCG and fashion brands using Instagram are:
- Innocent (the smoothie people) have developed a highly entertaining and usually non-sales focused voice using images of fruit. They only occasionally mention their product, using the channel more for brand awareness.
- ASOS, the fashion retailer, is another great example. Instead of just one account they have several, each run by one of their stylists. This focuses on their audience’s desire for fashion information while presenting a human face from their company.
- BrewDog, the craft beer brewer, uses highly stylised imagery to maintain their audience’s engagement. Focusing on the ‘craft’ part of their business helps maintain their audience’s perception of the brand.
Who uses Instagram for Advertising?
Brands with larger budgets are using Instagram’s targeting ability (it runs off Facebook’s famously good ad targeting platform) to reach a younger audience on Facebook. Here are two UK brands using Instagram ads:
- British Airways are big on Instagram Ads, usually during a BA Holidays sale. Taking Instagram’s highly visual style, BA use photos of sunsets and holidays to generate desire and wanderlust, with the option of clicking through to the sale pages.
- John Lewis has also adopted Instagram Ads for its fashion lines. Especially around new products, John Lewis uses ads to boost organic reach.
Brand Identify Prism – see: Kapferer, J.-N. (1992) ‘Strategic Brand Management’, Free Press, New York, NY and Kogan Page, London
Also Prof Kapferer’s home page