The reason for Instagram’s success lies in its engaged community. Research shows that Instagrammers are passionate about their platform and have a high level of interaction with content creators who use the network.
According to Instagram’s Business resources, the network currently showcases:
- 300 million active users
- More than 70 million new photos per day
- 5 billion photo likes daily
- More than 30 billion total photos shared
It’s no wonder why so many brands and businesses are turning to Instagram to reach new audiences and engage their followers.
There’s a sense of creativity and inspiration among Instagram users as they utilize the network’s tools to create stunning content and share it with friends, family, followers, colleagues, audience members, and the rest of the world.
Additionally, Instagram uses a visually focused design that allows for quick viewing and processing. Videos and images are displayed large on the screen, eliminating visual clutter, and directing the viewer’s eyes directly to the content you want to be seen. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. Plus, 40% of people respond better to visual information than plain text. Simply put, our brains like it.
When it comes to making the most of Instagram, it pays to have a strong foundation. If you’re new to Instagram as a brand and don’t know where to begin, I really recommend checking out Instagram’s own business portal, where you’ll find blog posts, infographics, and other resources to educate you on how to best use the network to your advantage.
For example, here are some of the getting started tips the network offers to new business users on their website:
This practical approach has made it easy for businesses to adopt the network.
To further engage businesses to use Instagram as a marketing tool, the network has created several case studies to show its success, touting that brands who use Instagram can achieve “results two to three times above Nielsen online averages”.
- Chobani experienced a 7-point lift in people who considered Chobani at any time of day.
- Mercedes-Benz achieved a 580% lift in site visits using Facebook and Instagram ads together.
- Taco Bell gained a 29-point lift in ad recall, nearly four times over the control group.
- Ben & Jerry’s saw 17% more people become aware of a new flavor.
- Levi’s had a 24-point lift in ad recall, nearly three times over the control group.
But what about really succeeding? What can you do to make this truly work as a marketing channel for your business?
Here are five tactics that you can use to make the most of Instagram.
Best Practice 1: Use High Quality Images
The beauty of Instagram is in its accessibility. Download the app onto your mobile device and you can instantly take and share photos on the fly. But, as we all know, smart phone and tablet photos can sometimes be a bit fuzzy, blurry, or just not right. Filters do a lot to save those photos and it’s one of the ways Instagram has become a favorite social network. But, when we look at the accounts that see the greatest success, we see that they go the extra mile to produce high quality, visually-stunning content.
If you are going to import/upload pictures from anything other than your smart phone, then make sure to get the best dimensions for Instagram photos.
You can go about this is in two ways:
- One option would be to use your DSLR, professional camera, or other equipment to create your content as you would normally and then download the photos to a mobile device to upload to Instagram. You could also use an application like Gramblr to upload images from your PC.
- Another option would be to use Instagram photo editing applications.
Instagram photo editors and apps can really make a huge difference in the quality of your images.
I’ve selected a few of my favorites to get you started:
- Afterlight: If you want more filters than Instagram already offers, use this app to take advantage of 59 adjustable filters, 128 frames, and 66 different textures.
- VSCO: Professionals and amateurs alike appreciate the power of this app, which allows for you to adjust and edit your photos with themed filter packs, settings for saturation, warmth, etc.
- Whitagram: This app adds a white letterbox to your landscape and portrait photos which can make your images square. Letterboxed images, while simple, will look great once they are uploaded.
- Pic Stitch: Turn handfuls of photos into collages that you can share on social networks or print out. Tons of layouts to choose from, unlimited possibilities.
- Aviary: Editing tools like frames, filters, and more come together in this popular mobile image app.
- Lumify: For Instagram video, this app is a powerhouse. Not only does it offer free video editing capabilities, but it can also add soundtracks.
- Hyperlapse: Use this app to create time-lapsed videos for Instagram, which can be great for tourism and hospitality businesses, outdoor recreation, event marketing, and other industries that want to capture the changing of a scene.
- Quick: Need to overlay text on top of your images? This app makes it simple.
- Bokehful: If you love the look of bokeh in your photos, use this app to add it in – no additional lighting required.
- Snapseed: Professional photo editing software is available with just a few clicks in this crowd-pleasing favorite.
Best Practice 2: Tell a Story
Storytelling is a powerful tool in all marketing. When it comes to Instagram, you’re presented with the same storytelling opportunities. Using visual content, you can create an experience for your customers, clients, or audience members where they feel engaged and valued. And, you can compel them to listen.
Start by thinking about how you can frame your visual content around a story. If you’re creating content around an event for example, it’s easy – start with the planning and show what happens before, during, and after. Give the audience a sneak peek behind what goes into making your event a success.
Working on a new project? Introducing a new line of products? Looking to create a lifestyle around your brand? All of these things can be accomplished through visual storytelling… For More Click Here.