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A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: Why Instagram Marketing Is Necessary

Are you one of Instagram’s 700 million monthly active users? If you aren’t, it’s about time you signed up. Instagram has become an essential platform to be spending your advertising dollars on – if you can make it work for you. As with any social media network, there are tons of best practices out there explaining how you can use Instagram to build your brand, find your tribe, and create the most effective posts and advertisements possible. Let’s start with the basics: why Instagram is so awesome, how it can be beneficial to your business and how to get it to work for your advantage.

Why Instagram is a Necessity

Instagram is a different beast than other social media channels in a few ways. First of all, businesses who have a strong presence on Instagram don’t always have as many followers as they do on Facebook or Twitter – but that’s ok! That’s because engagement on Instagram far surpasses anything you could hope for on other platforms. And engagement is king, amirite? For example, luxury fashion house Burberry recently discovered that even though they have over three times as many followers on Facebook, they were able to generate seven times more Likes and 5 times higher interest in discussion on Instagram with the same post.

The engagement rate on Instagram for that one post was 1.2 percent, versus 0.05 percent on Facebook and even lower on Twitter. This holds true for most posts and businesses: Instagram quite simply takes the cake when it comes to audience engagement, which is vital to promoting your brand’s personality and building customer loyalty.

Making the Most of Your Efforts

Because of the high audience engagement rates, Instagram ads are among the best social media advertising you can spend your hard earned dollars on. Not only do the ads get seen by a highly-engaged audience, they’re also more likely to remember your ads—almost three times more likely, to be exact. Pretty compelling stats, right?

There are a number of reasons for this, and one of the most important is that Instagram was designed to be a mobile platform from the get-go, so it was a natural move for them to create mobile ads that flow rather than interrupting the user experience, making users less likely to ignore them but rather engage. Plus, because Instagram is now owned by Facebook, you don’t even need to have an Instagram account in order to advertise on the platform. So. Awesome. When you’re creating your Facebook ads you and simply check off that you’d like to advertise on Instagram as well. Then, using the audience you’ve already developed for your Facebook ads, you can target the same people as on Facebook! Kill two birds with one ad and double down on your efforts effortlessly! *high five*

Here are some of the areas you can target if you’re not familiar: 

  • Likes
  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Friends
  • Location
  • Device
  • Behaviors

In short, Instagram ads will help you reach an engaged audience, meaning you’ll have a better chance at attracting repeat and loyal customers compared to other social networks, and you’ll gain more influence because of it. The proof, of course, is in the pudding. So what are their results? 30 percent of Instagrammers have bought something after they saw it on the platform, which makes wide-reaching ads even more important.

Crafting The Perfect Post

The tricky part about Instagram is getting yourself noticed and setting yourself apart from the crowd but most importantly, your competitors. As we mentioned, Instagram currently has 700 million active users, and the number is always growing. Getting yourself seen amongst this sea of photos is a challenge, but it is definitely possible. For example, the New York Times created an Instagram ad to promote their Crossword app, and the image was simply a bright pink screen with an empty crossword row and a clue. The ad works because it’s vibrant, minimalist, and it’s extremely appealing to crossword lovers – one of the things the NYT is most famous for. Another reason it works is that it’s different than most of the images on Instagram. While your scrolling past Bethany’s vacation, Tim’s dog, a Kim Kardashian selfie and Natasha’s lunch you’re suddenly hit with a bright block of color that makes you stop and think, “What is this?” That ‘stop and stare’ moment is half the battle with Instagram and for that, we applaud the NYT. 

Where Instagram really shines is that it’s the best platform to express your brand’s tone, vibe, and personality. You don’t solely need to share only product photos or business information. Take for example ‘it girl’ brand Glossier. Their feed doesn’t just showcase their products, it also showcases people who have tagged their product (hey there, great showcase of customer love!) as well as beautiful or even funny imagery that flows with their brand. What this does is create a feed people are interested in and love to look at. They’re not constantly being sold to all the time, something everyone finds irritating. It’s important to create a unique personality and voice for your brand – Instagram is the perfect place to start. This factor can turn a fan of your Instagram into a buyer of your products quickly. 574k followers can’t be wrong! 

In summary, what all this means is that Instagram is a goldmine of potential for businesses, and if you’re not on it, then you’re missing out. Instagram ads are arguably more effective than other paid social advertising because they let you reach more people in a more engaging, intimate and memorable way. Best of all, they’re easy to tack onto your existing Facebook advertising. It’s time you dipped your toe into the Instagram advertising pool! 


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