Instagram is an awfully pretty place to visit, full of lovely, curated spaces, carefully styled selfies, and tasty looking brunches. But we know it for what it really is: yet another platform to stealthily market a business.
This photo-sharing social medium is growing and getting more user-friendly and marketing savvy all the time. Here are the top trends we are seeing, so that in 2016 you can use Instagram to increase outreach and have a little fun in the process.
You may have noticed, at the top of your feed, an invitation to follow the world celebrating New Year’s Eve as 2015 turned to 2016. Here is where social platforms like Instagram excel. Organized with a hashtag (#), a short phrase that acts as an overarching theme, it is easier than ever to find like-minded individuals, partners, and potential customers. Or simply follow a subject or event as it unfolds. Be a critical bystander, but better yet, be part of a global conversation. Connect with people on the other side of the planet or in the office next door. You can add your content to a stream that is seen by millions, extending your reach beyond anything you could have imagined even a year or two ago.
Get a Takeover
Visual storytelling is the essence of Instagram. It allows us to show, rather than tell, more details about the products we’re selling, which is both powerful and less invasive. There is a beautiful subtlety in this medium that lets others feel intimately acquainted with you. In 2016, try a “crossover episode” in which you collaborate with a like-minded brand, allowing it to take over your feed for a weekend. It’s mutually beneficial for both parties to increase followers, and enhances interest in both, while giving you a slight break from generating content for a day or two (or, most likely, getting ahead of the game for the upcoming week). Search in the app for “takeover” to see what’s been working thus far.
Host a Hashtag Contest
Engage your audience with a contest and start a mini-movement. Now, it’s your turn to get a happening underway. Invite your followers to post to their respective feeds with your at-tag (@) and a hashtag you create. People love to play games, especially if there’s a prize at stake. Put out a call to action on a Monday and give your followers a week to post with your chosen keyword. Generate some chatter and tempt them with a discount. Use an in-app function to layout a spread of best nine snaps when awarding the top prize. Being creative with your crowd is always a boon for business.
Instagram has stepped onto the stage of sponsored content and we’re going to be seeing a lot of more it in 2016. It can seem seamlessly integrated into your feed, because when done well, these images are beautiful lifestyle and product photos that influencers use to inspire awe and envy. This is a trend to keep a close eye on. Do not stray from strong content. Make it beautiful and good. Be authentic. Remind users to follow the link in your profile. Use your hashtags. And, when the time is ripe, post strategic advertising that is in keeping with the context of your feed.
Instagram engagement is up. Capture this fun-loving, fast growing audience for your business right away. Contact The Light Digital to see how we can help showcase your business on Instagram and other social media.