If you think that having an Instagram account is all about posting “selfies”, and food porn, or stalking your favorite celebrities (be it local or international), then it means that you have not realized the full potential of this social networking website with exponentially-rising popularity.
Most likely, you already know about the fact that Instagram was conceptualized as an application that allows users to capture photographs, instantly apply image filters for added effect, and share the resulting image right away. The good thing about this application is that it is readily connected with other popular social media like Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and Flickr.
Very catchy, isn’t it? No wonder, the application has gained 15 million worth of followers within a year’s time since it was introduced. Originally offered for Apple devices, now, the Instagram craze has officially transcended barriers since it is now offered through PC and Android.
Relevant Statistics and the Benefits of Marketing with Instagram
With new social networking sites being introduced every now and then, you, as a marketer should be wise enough to choose the ones that is worth your attention. Remember, managing social media is already quite an effort on its own, so you should look into statistics. Here, you will be brushed up with some relevant statistics regarding Instagram:
- Barely two years and 6 months after its launch, Instagram proudly announced last February 2013 that it already has a whopping 100 million active users. According to their studies, the potential grows consistently – they gain 2 million new users every month.
- Foursquare used to be the largest social networking website offered through mobile. Well, that’s a thing of a past. With Instagram, this is no longer the case.
- According to abs-cbnnews.com, by 2016, the number of mobile users in the Philippines is projected to be at or around 117 million. This enhances the potential of mobile marketing on this corner of the earth. With its consistently growing economy and increased domestic purchasing, mobile is not surprisingly set to be truly huge with a growth rate which is at unpredictable levels.
- If you think that social networking is only “in” for teenagers and yuppies, then you are wrong. Perhaps, that’s true a decade ago. But now, with the average age of users of social media computed at 38 as of 2010, it is safe to assume that age is no longer a barrier. Social media’s reach and grip continues to grow at an unbelievable rate.
With these figures at hand, what are the benefits of using Instagram? At this point, you already have a clear picture of what’s in store if you market with this application. For one, it has an amazing reach due to its increasing number of followers. In terms of effectiveness, it is quite noteworthy to point out that:
- Instagram is all about visuals. A popular song pointed out a long time ago that pictures are capable of painting a thousand words. People love to “see” information because
we are creatures who appreciate visuals more. Photos can do what ordinary language cannot.
- Story-telling is less of a challenge with pictures. With the help of Instagram, the total reach of your marketing stories can be magnified by a thousand folds. With the proper content and well-played emotional implications, a photo (used for marketing) can generate sales. The level of engagement among users of Instagram may stun you.
Indeed, Instagram is truly “supercharged”. Take advantage of this fact. More and more Filipinos in the country and across the globe have already caught the Instagram fever. Perhaps, it is already time to tap its potentials.
In the next section, you will find out how this can be done.
8 strategies of using Instagram as an effective marketing tool
The following are some of the most pragmatic means on how to transform your Instagram account into a KILLER tool for marketing:
- Make your customer the center of your message. In short, learn how to showcase and engage your customers and even your potential market. Make it about them – tell their story and use their voice. Most Instagram marketers have already mastered the art of making content that plucks the customers’ heartstrings. In effect, this makes their Instagram contents worth sharing. When this is achieved, your customers will do the marketing for you.
- Allow customers to do the story-telling for you. What would be better than making your customers your official marketers? The answer is: Making your customers craft the message for you. With this, you no longer have to think of new content. Allow your users to upload their pictures based on the theme that you will give. Offer great prizes to winners in exchange of letting you use their pictures for future marketing efforts. That’s one great deal.
- Tell your customers how you do it for them. Many customers are curious about the “behind the scenes” part. Whenever possible, share tidbits and trivia about the manufacturing part of your production. It will not only capture their interest – it will also make your customers feel that they are part of it every single step of the way. This can be a start of more intimate bonds with your followers.
- Post something about the people and places significant to the product. This completes the story. You tell them how it’s done and then you share to them where it is done and how it is done for them. Posting pictures of your main office is probably a great idea, too. In addition, do not miss out on featuring the team responsible for conceptualizing your wonderful products.
- Introduce offers that are launched only through Instagram. Use promo codes or start online competitions. Believe it or not, such online promotional tactics make customers feel that they are special. They feel that you are putting more effort this way. In order for the customers to easily find out about your promos, use appropriate hashtags.
- Maximize social networking integration. Whatever you share via Instagram will be better heard of if you will Tweet about it or share it via Facebook, Tumblr, and Flickr. Yes, Instagram already has a lot of followers but that does not mean that you should no longer do any efforts to penetrate the other social media market as well.
- Show off your great products! This is traditional marketing made supercharged via Instagram. With the help of this application, your great products, services, and other offers will go straight to your user’s mobile phones.
- Ask your users’ opinions. This way, you make them feel that they are truly loved. They get to share their thoughts about your products and at the same time, you have the rare opportunity to take note of possible improvements that you can employ in your subsequent releases.
Paul’s Last Words: InstaSummary
Right now, using Instagram for marketing might just be the best decision that you’ll ever make. Looking into the 8 strategies, you will realize that these are truly simple and practical. Try them and be surprised on how these simple steps will translate to additional earnings on your part as an entrepreneur in the Philippines.