Marketing on Instagram is pivotal for the modern day organisation, owing to its popular usage but also due to its practicality, specifically, the ease at which Instagram can be included as part of your wider digital marketing strategy.
Smartphone ownership is increasing at an exponential rate as are those spending their time on Instagram. The fact that last year Instagram had more active users than Twitter is testament to this fact.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a totally unique and quirky picture based social media application. It’s an app, where users upload and share photos with each other with very little usage of text, contrary to Twitter’s concept of Tweets and Facebooks’ posts.
On average, there are 70 million photos uploaded daily on the platform and it has 300 million registered users. As a result, many brands are heavily marketing on Instagram, in order to reach their target audiences. Clearly, it is an opportunity not to be missed. If you’re not on Instagram, here are 5 reasons why you should be…
1. Engagement rates on Instagram are higher
Research conducted by the Pew Research Centre showed that Instagram users, despite being fewer in number than Facebook users, are more likely to engage with a post compared to their Facebook counterpart. In a nutshell, your content is 58 times more likely to be shared by users on Instagram over Facebook, which is an engagement rate of 4.21% per follower. That is a statistic that cannot be ignored and is a key reason to start marketing on Instagram.
2. Prospective customers can easily find you through hashtags
The predominant way for a user to search for pictures is through a hashtag. For example, if somebody wanted to find images related to health and fitness, they may search through hashtags such as #fitness #workout #gym and so forth.
The wonderful thing about Instagram is that it is not essential for users to know the name of your business. As long as you use the correct hashtags in your picture caption, you’ll automatically attract relevant users who are searching along those hashtags. Thus, you’re not forcing content to users, you’re letting them find you through these hashtags.
This is great news for start-up businesses. Let’s say you’ve recently opened a new café in Islington, you can use hashtags to become visible to those in and around Islington, searching for a great cup of coffee!
3. Instagram’s new ad platform
Recently, Instagram have introduced their own ad platform. In summary, the ad platform allows organisations to build their own static, video or carousel advertisement and can choose to place the ad specifically in front of the audiences they wish to target.
The more engagement an ad receives, the more often Instagram will display the ad, thus your ad will not get lost down the newsfeed as time passes on. Moreover, the addition of call to action buttons, means an organisation can measure success and engagement beyond “likes”. Read more about the new ad platform here.
These changes have shifted the dynamics of marketing on Instagram. Now you can tangibly measure your success.
4. Smartphone usage is increasing
Instagram is the first social media application that can only be used via smartphone. Users can view pictures on laptops and desktops but only post through their smartphones. According to Ofcom, two thirds of people now own a smartphone and use it 2 hours a day for activities such as online shopping and social media.
Combining increasing smartphone usage with ever-growing Instagram users’ means only one thing – the majority of the people you want to target are likely to be on there! Resultantly, it is important to focus marketing activities on Instagram.
5. Go beyond selling
Use Instagram to not only market your business but also your personality! What we mean by this is to give your audiences a glimpse of the character of your business. Go behind the scenes at the office/restaurant/headquarters and share with users your holiday decorations, birthday celebrations and other shenanigans. This will really let the personality of your organisation shine and will warm you to your followers.