Since the advent of social media, many have assumed that email is dead. However, this has been proven untrue time and again. Email is still alive and well, and is one of the best ways to market your business.
However, that isn’t to say that there’s no place for social media marketing. It’s a very effective way for your brand to get exposure and to eventually grow not only your social media following, but also your email subscriber list.
Instagram is an especially effective platform for businesses. Regardless of what some people think, Instagram isn’t just for seeing the latest photos of your nieces and nephews—it’s a powerful marketing tool.
Why is Instagram such a powerful marketing platform?
If you want to get your brand in front of people, you should consider investing some time, money, and energy into Instagram marketing.
Here are some stats that will probably blow your mind.
- There are 1 billion monthly users on Instagram.
- Over 120 million people in the U.S. log onto Instagram regularly.
- 71 million people in India are Instagram users.
- 64 million Brazilians use Instagram.
- 90% of Instagram users are under age 35.
This is a social media platform with worldwide appeal. Use this platform wisely and you’ll be able to build an audience for your brand not just in the U.S., but around the globe.
Why are so many people on Instagram?
These are just a few of the reasons why this is one of the most popular social media platforms around.
- It’s easy to use
- It’s mobile friendly
- It has a fresh, young energy
- It’s visually appealing
- You don’t have to worry about as much spam
- It’s not a limited social platform, meaning you can put your brand or message in front of more people and a wide variety of people—something you can’t really get from a platform like LinkedIn.
All of this can be used in your favor when it comes to social media marketing. With a smart Instagram branding strategy, it won’t be long before you build awareness around your brand.
Five steps toward an effective Instagram branding strategy
Are you ready to incorporate Instagram into your digital marketing campaigns? Here are five ways to employ Instagram for brand awareness.
1. Always be consistent with your brand personality.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it can be easy to get carried away on social media. You may find yourself tempted to post images that you find interesting, funny, or beautiful. This is something you can do on your personal account. However, it’s not the best course of action for your business account.
Consistency is key on social media. You need to have a direction and post images that are linked to your goal and to your brand’s personality.
This doesn’t mean that you should come across as cold or robotic—be as human as possible. You’re trying to attract people, after all. When posting images for your business, remember to include imagery that will further your brand’s goals.
Tiffany’s is a great example of staying on brand without getting boring. They could just post images of their diamonds day after day, but that would get old fast. The result: loss of interest and eventually followers.
Instead, this company mixes the old with the new—and the blue.
Tiffany blue is a staple. Show someone a little blue box and they automatically think about Tiffany’s. They’ve used this to their advantage on Instagram. In most of their images, you’ll see at least a little hint of Tiffany blue.
Another example of consistency is what they post. They post information about their jewelry, the arts, pop culture, and fashion. This is completely in line with their brand. You won’t see them posting crazy GIFs or silly kid photos. Tiffany is all about classy jewelry with a modern edge—and that’s exactly what you’ll see in their Instagram posts.
To learn more about expanding your fan following, read the article from Replug, “How to Increase Followers on Instagram: Share Custom links”
2. Use hashtags strategically.
Hashtags are a great tool for building exposure and engagement with your audience. Be careful not to abuse this too, though.
The key word to think of when utilizing hashtags is: strategic.
Or, according to Social Media Today, the keyword is: strict.
- S = Specific
- T = Targeted
- R = Relevant
- I = Innovative
- C = Concise
- T = Thoughtful.
The hashtag #likeagirl went viral. Always brand took the term, which had been used in the past as a way to label someone as weak, and turned it into something powerful.
They put together a campaign of female empowerment, with images and videos of girls and women who were unaffected by societal expectations or limitations. Women around the world responded, which boosted brand awareness and loyalty.
3. Choose images wisely.
Instagram is an image-centric platform. The copy you write to go along with your post is important, but if you’re wondering how to build brand awareness—it’s in the photos.
According to Neil Patel, Instagram is great for businesses because they can promote their products without appearing overly salesy. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. You don’t have to oversell your product because the image is doing so much work for you.
This is about as salesy as it gets for luggage brand Away. Their message is simple and straightforward. They don’t go on and on about how they’re the best luggage brand or list all of the features of their luggage pieces. They let the photo do the talking.
Most of the images on Away’s Instagram account are of their luggage in exotic locales, or with a cute dog and a fun little quip. Again, they let the image draw their audience’s attention. They don’t give too much away. Their goal is to attract, intrigue, and engage. If their followers want to know more, they can go to the company’s website.
4. Create a posting schedule and do your best to stick with it
We’ve already mentioned consistency, but it bears repeating. Not only do you want your images to have a consistent feel in accord with your brand—you also want to post consistently. Otherwise, it’s out of sight, out of mind.
Instagram influencers (those who have large followings because of their brand and the authority content) post anywhere from a few times a week to a few times a day.
It’s really up to you how often you post. The main thing to remember is that you need to stick to your schedule. Your followers will start to expect content from you on certain days and you want to keep them engaged by delivering.
Be careful with scheduling, as you don’t want to over-promise and under-deliver. A lot of people make this mistake at first. They have ambitious goals but aren’t able to carry them out because of a lack of time, ideas, or energy.
Create a schedule that is realistic and that will let you achieve your goals. Social media management tools, like Buffer, can help you stay consistent by planning ahead.
5. Use Instagram Stories to your advantage.
Source: Instagram (Warby Parker) via Buffer
Instagram Stories are probably the most popular thing on Instagram now, and it’s something that a lot of brands are leveraging.
Instagram is utilizing two things people love: gorgeous images and engaging videos. If you want to reach out to your audience, humanize your brand, and boost your overall engagement, then Instagram Stories should be a big part of your social media branding strategy.
If you’ve been wondering about utilizing Instagram for brand awareness, now’s the time.
With a billion people using this platform worldwide, it’s a great tool to use to get your brand in front of your target audience.
With a good schedule and Instagram strategy in place, you’ll be able to see a good return on your investment—and fast.
In fact, used wisely (with the tips in our guide), you can use this platform to boost awareness of your brand and build your email subscription list. In time, your Instagram efforts will help convert fans and followers into loyal, long-term customers.
Are you interested in learning how to make your Instagram and email marketing efforts work hand-in-hand? We can show you how you can use your Instagram photos effectively in your email campaigns.