The Basics – Instagram Marketing Introduction Video
In this I give you the basics of Instagram marketing. This is a good place to start if you have never used the website for marketing purposes.
To every Internet Marketer, there’s simply no doubt that social media presents a wealth of opportunity to build brand awareness, advertise promotions, and create an online persona that resonates with the public. Instagram is no exception to that rule.
The fact of the matter is that Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most popular social media marketing options used in digital campaigns. That’s not only because of its popularity, but because its overall format lends itself well to quick, brand-building impressions that, over time, only serve to create good will and generate sales.
If you’re not using Instagram to promote your business, now is the time to begin.
Chapter 1. Getting Started with Instagram
Every great journey must begin with a first step. Your Internet Marketing adventure with Instagram starts right here.
In this chapter, we’ll answer the very important question: “What is Instagram?” Next, we’ll take a look at how brands are using Instagram for digital marketing. Finally, we’ll explain how you can set up your own Instagram account and optimize it.
What is Instagram?
Instagram derives its name as a combination of the words “instant photograph” and “telegram.” It’s a mobile photo- and video-sharing social networking platform. Instagram also complements other social media channels by allowing people to share their updates on other social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Flickr.
Once upon a time, Instagram confined users to square photos, reminiscent of the old Polaroid days. That constraint, however, has since been lifted and now users can share photos in either landscape or portrait orientation.
The key focus on Instagram, like Pinterest, is imagery. It’s not the best place to post a lengthy blog post. It’s probably best to leave those types of excessively verbal thoughts to some other social media venue, such as Facebook. People who flip through their feeds on Instagram are predominantly looking for great pictures.
Instagram is old, by app standards. It launched in October of 2010 as the brain child of Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom. Since then, it’s gained widespread acceptance and now boasts of a user community that includes more than 300 million people.
In other words, there are markets on Instagram.
In 2012, Instagram was purchased by another social media giant: Facebook. As a result, there is some level of cross-promotion between the two platforms, which further benefits marketers who are using both social media channels.
Instagram is available for almost any mobile device known to man. It’s on Google Play, the Apple App Store, and the Windows Phone Store.
How Brands are Using Instagram
With 300 million people on Instagram, every good Internet Marketer knows that willing buyers abound in that space. As a result, many of them use the social media site to promote their products and services.
If you’re interested in adding Instagram marketing to your portfolio of Internet Marketing activities, the smartest approach you can take is to follow the example of others who’ve already successfully done so. Fortunately, numerous brands have already demonstrated creative, effective ways to use Instagram for marketing purposes.
- Ben and Jerry’s
There are few people in the United States who have never heard of Ben and Jerry’s, the famous ice cream company named after its founders. However, you might be surprised to learn that the company has an outstanding presence on Instagram.
With more than half a million followers as of this writing, it’s clear that Ben and Jerry’s is doing something right on the social media site. Indeed, arguing with the company’s marketing strategy in that space is nearly impossible. Who can take issue with pictures of delicious ice cream?
Be advised that if you browse through the company’s history of pictures on Instagram, you’re going to end up with a craving of Spectacular Spectaculoos Cookie Core ice cream, or one of the other creatively named flavors offered by Ben and Jerry’s. That’s because the company does a great job of offering up professional photos of its delicious fare in such a way that they’re guaranteed to whet your appetite.
Ben and Jerry’s was also clever enough to run ads on Instagram that, unlike other ads, didn’t result in a backlash of negative comments. The company also saw a 20% increase in followers as a result of its advertising campaign.
When it comes to producing an effective corporate presence on Instagram, Nike just did it.
The company has more than 21 million followers as of this writing. Clearly, its Instagram strategy is worth emulating.
One of the most creative and ingeniously effective Nike campaigns on Instagram was called PHOTOiD. That campaign enabled other Instagram users to submit photos that would be used as the basis for Nike Air Max designs. It was a marketing strategy that created engagement, generated buzz, and built even more brand name awareness for the company. In short, Nike won the Internet with that effort.
It probably won’t surprise you that a company like Starbucks, known for its appeal to trendy hipsters and millennials, has a noticeable presence on Instagram. In fact, the company has almost six million followers on the social media channel.
The success for Starbucks on Instagram seems not to stem so much from self-promotion as it does from image marketing. Again, this makes sense given Starbucks’ target market.
If you browse through the photos that Starbucks posted on Instagram, you’ll find the logo placements are almost an afterthought against the backdrop of a setting that’s meant to appeal to people who frequent gourmet coffee shops. In one picture, a woman is shown wearing ripped boyfriend jeans while leaning against a pier railing and holding her branded Starbucks coffee cup in such a way that the logo is barely visible. In other pictures, a cup of coffee is depicted alongside an attractively photographed, elegant meal.
Starbucks uses a “soft close” approach with its Instagram marketing. That’s opposed to an “in your face” campaign effort that’s known to backfire on some companies.
Fashion company Burberry has an Instagram account with more than four million followers as of this writing. The company has marketed on Instagram the same way that fashion companies market all the time: with high quality photos that showcase the company’s product line.
Instagram is well-suited to brands that rely on eye candy for marketing purposes. Businesses that are in the fashion industry already have a history of marketing by offering up images of attractive models wearing their latest apparel.
The lesson learned from Burberry is simple: Marketing tactics that work elsewhere might work just as well on Instagram.
Creating and Optimizing an Account on Instagram
Now that you’re sold on the idea of using Instagram for marketing purposes, it’s time to create an account that you’ll use to build your brand.
Creating the Account
Start by downloading the Instagram app on your favorite mobile device. It won’t matter which device you select, because your account will be the same no matter which one you use. In other words, your account isn’t linked to your hardware.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, tap the icon to open it and touch the “Sign Up” button. You’ll be given two options: log in with an email address or log in with Facebook. It’s probably best to use an email address if you’re setting it up for business purposes.
Next, you’ll have the option to create a user name. This should be a name that properly reflects the brand that you’re trying to build online. Ideally, it should be your company name, but you might find that your company name is already taken if it’s common.
Pro tip: Try to use the same user name across all of your social media networks. That makes it easier for people in your target market to find you.
Click “Done” and you’re finished creating your Instagram account. You might have an email with a link that you’ll need to click just to validate your account, though. Be sure to do that quickly because sometimes those links expire after 24 hours.
Optimizing the Account
Now that you have an account, it’s time to optimize it for maximum impact on Instagram.
For starters, be sure that you create a tagline. It should be a simple, one-sentence expression of your brand. Avoid the temptation to make it something that sounds like a sales pitch (“We’re the #1 SEO company in the world!”). Instead, opt for something that’s relatable and almost human (“We’re SEO junkies with no social life.”).
Another pro-tip: Add your website link to your tagline. That will give you an easy backlink and allow people who view your profile to quickly visit your site.
Next, you’ll need an appropriate profile picture. As with any other social media site, you should never use the default image. Instead, upload something that’s reflective of your brand. Obviously, your logo is a great first choice. However, there might be another image that’s more expressive of your mission. Pick the option that will have the most appeal.
Also, use the Share settings to decide if you want to be prompted to share images to Facebook and Twitter once you’ve shared them to Instagram. Sharing images to multiple sites at once is a great time-saver.
Finally, above all else, make sure that you do not have a private profile. Check the privacy settings to ensure that your images and videos will be available to the general public. Otherwise, you’re defeating the purpose of using Instagram for online marketing.
Wrapping it up
We’ve covered the basics of Instagram, how brands are using Instagram, and how you can create and optimize your own account on Instagram. In the next chapter, we’ll look at how you can create an Instagram content strategy that effectively highlights your brand online.