Our favorite social media scheduler is Hootsuite, and up until recently users were not able to schedule their Instagram updates (or have an option for us to manage Instagram on behalf of businesses). This was frustrating for many businesses who would have to manually submit their content via phone, but now with the ability to schedule submissions the floodgates have opened and Instagram has secured its foothold as a major player when it comes to content marketing for business purposes.
Instagram started out five years ago with the dawn of the smart-phone era and quickly made waves with users who could start capturing and sharing their favorite photos and videos. Now, Instagram sits at 300 million active users with over 70 million photos being uploaded per day.
Need help setting it up? View our nifty guide right here: Instagram in an Instant.
One of the best Instagram examples is Whataburger who has thousands of loyal fans submitting their experience every day. Whataburger will share these experiences on their own account which only encourages even more user engagement.
Another great idea that many brands use Instagram for are “user-submitted contests” which are an excellent way to bring buzz to your brand and drive engagements rates. Here are some great examples of user-generated submissions from some big brands to drive the point across. One of the most successful campaigns was Starbucks #WhiteCupContest where customers were prompted to tap into their creativity and design their coffee cups. In three weeks they received over 4,000 submissions and the winner’s cup would be chosen for a limited edition reusable cup.
Instagram also has video recording capability (limited to 15 seconds) which has inspired users and brands to think outside the box so they can make the most of the limited time. Nat Geo used their time to promote Yosemite National Park in this short clip of a reflected mountain in a tranquil stream.
One of our favorite examples is from Oreo, who used stop-motion animation for this Halloween spot.
View more video examples here.
Why is Instagram so popular?
Apart from everything mentioned above, Instagram users are drawn to the visual media where they don’t have to read a lot. The picture tells them everything they need to know. You can write about how delicious your burgers may be but a great looking close-up of a burger fresh from the grill says it all. Seeing really is believing.
Why should you use Instagram?
Chances are your audience is already using Instagram and they crave engagement as well as regular content. You should be updating a few times or at least once a day. When users “like” content (in the form of hearts) their followers can see what they’re liking as well. This can encourage them to also check out your Instagram feed so they can start following you! You can also come up with your own #hashtag and encourage your audience to use that #hashtag whenever they promote something of yours. For example, Headshots Y’all encourages clients to use #IGotShotYall on their Instagram accounts so that their hashtag becomes synonymous with their branding. It makes it easier for others who view the hashtag to see what kind of quality work is being featured.
You can also use Instagram to easily put your photos on your website and have a photo gallery.
Whatever your business may be, an active Instagram account should be a necessity. If you’d like to talk more about bringing your social media to life please get in touch with us today!
Hot Dog Marketing helps expert service providers and tech companies build their brands at the same rate they’re growing their businesses. We have deep expertise in branding and online marketing for both business-to-business service companies and local consumer service businesses.