Social media has quickly locked itself in as one of the most valuable marketing tools for emerging, existing and evolving brands. Social media holds the space for brands to interact with one another, with customers, with prospective clients and with players in their respective industries.
Social platforms have been amongst the first place where brand identities can thrive as they communicate their authentic personality. While traditional media paints a brand in a particular light to yield transactional sales, social media allows brands to be themselves and present their missions and objectives with the objective of gaining friends and followers with whom to consistently engage. This loyal audience goes on to provide greater brand awareness and heightened conversions into customers and transactions.
Amongst the social media platforms, Instagram has wiggled its way to the top, rising as one of the most active and effective channels for brand-consumer conversation. Over 25 million businesses are already active on the network. Most brands should be on or joining Instagram, curating clever content and profile personalities to stay in the mix and top of mind with consumers and influencers.
As Instagram evolves and more brands join the online conversation, a clear strategy will help keep your company aiming for and in line to reach its objectives for online media.
Here is a glimpse at Instagram Marketing Tips for 2018:
Instagram is continually growing its marketing share in social media, and Stories is its latest feature to win over users’ affection. Instagram Stories works pretty much the same as Snapchat, allowing users to upload video clips of their day that disappear after 24 hours. Although the adoption of the similar feature was met with some initial resistance amongst users, Instagram Stories’ user base now far surpasses that of Snapchat.
Stories are friendly – they allow your brand to break away for your established social aesthetic and let consumers in behind the scenes. They’re a useful way to direct consumers to your page, to your website for a promotion or to new posted content online. Utilizing Stories is a smart tactic to employ in order to remain visible in users’ days, even if posted photos and content are going unseen.
Facebook recently announced a change in its algorithm that has pretty turned businesses’ social marketing strategies upside down. The new algorithm takes the social platform back to its roots, connecting friends, family and sharing content of genuine interest. The change puts social influencers in a light that they’ve slowly been building up toward over the last couple of years. Working with influencers is going to be a key strategy throughout 2018, as the Facebook change is all but certain to trickle into the company’s younger acquired social platform, Instagram.
Video content has been on the rise, and in 2018, it is the prominent asset of any brand’s online content. Where pictures say 1,000 words, moving pictures say more. You can relay an entire brand philosophy in thirty seconds if production is executed well. Videos are easy for consumers to watch, from which to absorb knowledge and best of all, they’re super accessible to share. Getting a video shared is an absolute win for you company every time.
Video quality will remain important and grow more important and search engines favor quality and consumers become accustomed to well-produced, high resolution footage. If video is not yet incorporated as a key recipient of your marketing budget, rework your strategy to dedicate significant resources to video in 2018. If you are without the in-house resources to effectively shoot and produce footage, hire an outside agency.
The jury is still out on the line-crossing of brands using direct messaging, but current trends show the odds are in its favor, with almost half of Instagram’s users using the direct messaging feature. The frequent use of the feature shows that users are willing to use the social platform for personal, texting-like conversations. That said, few people are fans of receiving direct mail from companies. A smooth way to transition into a DM conversation might look like responding to a comment under a photo with instructions to carry the conversation to DM, keeping the momentum of your dialogue calm and its energy non-invasive.
Instagram Live is a feature that allows brands and people to go live during events. Consumers can still watch replays of previously Live footage, but the social engagement during Live stories is what heats up this Instagram feature. As your brand videos live footage of an event – a sporting event, a Q&A with an influencer, behind-the-scenes access, etc. – users join the live stream and are informed of all other users watching, commenting, liking, etc. It’s a little online bubble that makes users feel like they are a part of your brand family with all of your other followers, included.
Hashtags are still useful. They’re a little outdated in the realm of wit and humor, but Instagram users can now follow hashtags, making them essential to gaining traction with followers. Before you hashtag 15 trending hashtags somewhat related to your photo, execute some basic research. Find out which events or topics or people your consumer base and target audience are interested in and incorporate these tags into content. You might consider pushing content related to tags that are popular amongst your target consumer to establish brand awareness with them.
Instagram’s use is no longer capped at showing off your brand. The social platform allows your company to engage with consumers, creating a a genuinely social experience online. Engage as often as you can, participating in comments, liking comments and photos, utilizing all sharing features, re-posting followers’ content, and possibly even getting into direct messages with consumers.
The evolution of social media is constant and fun. At Executive Digital, we keep a close eye all emerging digital trends and adapt our clients’ strategies to fit them. If you are in search of an experienced digital agency who can design a cunning online marketing strategy for your company, reach out to our team to learn more about how our services can help you.