What is Instagram & Do I Need It?

why is instagram important for business

Be About The Philosophy, Not The Product

Make your brand about what it stands for and represents, not about the actual product. I marketed at product called OM Cocktails and they plant a tree for every bottle sold. OM were the world’s first 100% organic premixed cocktail but they don’t focus on the drink, although it is delicious. What sells it is that organic influencers, including whole foods USA have embraced it as an organic and “good” product. It’s about be good for the planet. Feel good about your night out.

I cannot emphasise the “philosophy over product” enough. Appliance companies don’t sell ovens, they sell amazing food, a great life, glamour and status. They can also sell a beautiful home-life and family joy. Instagram is great for this. Posting images of stoves for example is boring, but posting different coloured retro stoves is fun, posting images of a beautiful party in the sun is about being happy because your appliances enabled you to create this. Revlon once said “we aren’t selling lipstick, we are selling hope”.

Posting images that reinforce the philosophy of the brand rather than product images or “hurry now” sales messages won’t work in the long term. Instagram is about creating and posting the “dream” in a visually aesthetic story telling manner.

Promote Influencer Partnerships

Make “friends” with important people on Instagram. It is important that these influencers share the same aesthetics and values and you can align with them without controversy (unless that is what you are trying to achieve).

If you are a beauty line, look for highly followed beauty bloggers, youtubers, vloggers or “it” girls and get together to discuss a mutually beneficial partnership. If you are a food company, contact stylists, photographers or chefs to see who you can work together socially and visually. It can help you both for minimal effort.

Open Up

Mark Schaeffer writes from businessesgrow.com:

“I’m not sure of the psychology behind this other than since other people are opening up, maybe it feels safer for me too.”

Instagram is about being “authentic” and being honest and open makes that happen.

We all like working with people we know, understand and like and the more open you are the more trusted you will be.

Tell Your Story With Pictures

Photos tell people where you are and what you are doing and frankly can make your life way more exciting that it actually is, not me of course, my life is amazingly exciting all the time (I jest). Photos are timeless and can spark ideas and allow you to add content later.

Be Tactical About Instagram

It is easy as a visual person to be obsessive about instagram, I have been and come back again to balanced social media. Use Instagram as part of your strategy, not just the strategy and it can be the missing piece to the digital marketing puzzle.

Retailers use Instagram to create stylistic mood boards and through hashtags for user-created aesthetic content that reflects the target markets’ views and the brands look and feel.

It is claimed that Instagram has the highest engagement rate of all the social networks. It’s free and 99% visual, all you need is a smart phone and you get more than your 15 minutes of fame.

Brandy Melville is considered by Bloomberg.com to be “hottest teen retailer you’ve never heard of.” The company has 45 stores in the US, Canada, and Europe, and just opened a new 8,000 square foot NYC flagship store this year.

So how can Instagram be a successful channel for you according to Melville:

1. Pick the right username

You might need to get creative to get your “own” username as many are taken.

2. Have a complete profile.

People want to know about the people they interact with, and if you have a website, (which you should) post the URL.

3. Be strategic with your posts.

Use quality images, be professional. Determine the visual aesthetics of your brand. Try to keep it consistent and reinforce that consistency.

4. Use hashtags strategically

Hashtags are how you find content on Instagram. Research and make sure your hash tags yield high returns. If you have an even, have a hashtag for the event so you can collated the images. If you have a launch do the same thing.

5. Make sure everyone knows you are on Instagram

Make public your Instagram link, using your company hashtag, follow companies and influencers strategically. Make alliances with like minded businesses and people.

All that said, Instagram is not just for kids.

Instagram has more that 300 million users. Get to know the who the influencers are in your arena, the modern day social media celebrities. With over 40K influencers on Instagram, covering fashion, beauty, health and wellness, decor, food and a many more areas of interest, influencers are worth identifying and checking out.

Finally – Word of Mouth

20% of all women on social media are motivated to purchase by blogger. Word of mouth advertising has twice the success as paid advertising.

Instagram statisitics Infographic
Instagram statisitics Infographic

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