VIVIAN YUEN | 22 October 2020
While going online has often given businesses an edge in securing sales, projects and increased engagement with their customers, digital and social media marketing has become a vital part of any industry amid Covid-19 if one wants to be seen and heard.
One of the many social media platforms to amplify your brand is Instagram. If you’re not familiar with Instagram, it is essentially a mobile-first application that allows you to take, edit and share photos with your network of friends, family and even strangers!
Dig deep. How you define your brand and what it stands for builds the foundation for a business that goes beyond meeting its KPIs. In a world of carefully curated and heavily filtered content, it’s easy to focus on and put out only what looks or sounds good.
However, for a few years now, social media experts and scholars have been discussing the importance of authenticity.
Consumers are more discerning than ever, and often hold brands accountable for what they do or say, even on social media. Consumers are not just buying a product or service, they are buying into the brand – its values, its mission, its practices; they are looking to invest in a brand that they feel represents them, hears them, and understands them.
In building a strong brand, consistency is key – consumers want to know that they’re supporting a brand that won’t change its mind or attitudes towards a quality, environmental or social issue because of what’s trending. After all, trust and loyalty is earned over time, not bought.
As much as it’s important to ensure that you have a quality product and/or service, appealing and creative images and videos help you get your foot in the door, especially when you’re reaching out to new, potential customers.
This is particularly so if you’re looking to include sponsored/paid posts in your marketing plan. As a rule-of-thumb, you only have 3 seconds to impress and reel your audience in. It sounds like a tall order, but it’s not impossible.
Think of the times when you were scrolling through a website, another networking platform, a magazine and what caught your attention – if you’re not enticed by your own product, it might be difficult for anyone else to be.
With that said, how you curate and create content will also depend on your understanding of your audience and what speaks to them. A pretty picture is only part of the equation! This leads us to the next tip…
For instance, if you’re a hotel, don’t just highlight your snazzy facilities – give your staff a shout-out! After all, it’s all about the human touch and experience.
Then, if you’re a food and beverage business, your customers will probably want to see the actual picture of your culinary creation.
If you’re a beauty salon, show off your skills in action – whether it’s a make-up transformation for a client or a demonstration of your manicure service.
Putting out relevant, useful and entertaining content will keep your audience engaged.
Here are some interesting, creative images/videos from brands that made us stop scrolling:
We’re talking about increasing and maintaining engagement with your online audience, and that’s anyone who visits your page and may potentially interact with your posts. In developing your online presence and community, it helps to regularly respond to the comments and direct messages that you receive as it lets your audience know that you care and you’re listening.
Research has shown that the responsiveness of a brand significantly increases customer loyalty, and the chances of customers making a purchase when they’re in the consideration stage.
Also, one quick note: Don’t be caught in a numbers chase. It is not always accurate to attribute high engagement to a large following. While it may be one indicator, one should pay attention to the quality of the conversations on your posts, while identifying the individuals who frequently like, comment and share your content – they may even become your brand advocates!
Instagram has come a long way since its inception in 2010, and they’ve added many creative and cool features along the way.
Image Cr: Techcrunch
You don’t have to limit yourself to one photo. The carousel feature allows you to post up to 10 images. Use this feature to your advantage, particularly if you have a slightly lengthier story to tell but don’t want to make your captions too chunky.
The layout feature allows you to easily create fun and classy collages.
Great for moments when you want to showcase a process or group a few images together.
Image Cr: Buffer.com
Stories are a form of ephemeral content – which means that they’re temporary and are removed after a certain period of time. In the case of Instagram Stories, that’s 24 hours.
Stories give you another way to reach your audience, especially if they miss or don’t see your posts in their feeds due to the algorithm (that’s a whole other topic, so we won’t get into that).
In Stories, you’ll find that you could add text, stickers, filters, and even draw on your images. This feature is great when you want to engage your audience with fun and light-hearted content but don’t want it permanently on your feed.
However, Instagram has recently also introduced the function where you can add your Stories to a highlight reel that will appear permanently on your profile, if you like.
This is especially handy if you’re a small business and have your hands in everything from logistics, sales, marketing… We adore Creator Studio for its ability to schedule posts.
That means you’ll be able to prepare your posts ahead of time — just upload your photo/video and caption and schedule for the time and date you want it to go live on your profile.
Reach out to us and we’ll be happy to chat and offer targeted solutions based on your business needs and goals. For examples of what we are currently doing and have done in the past, take a look at our case studies here.
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