Skip to main content

Should Instagram be part of your digital marketing strategy

More than just a platform for millennials’ pictures of their avocado-on-toast, Instagram is a social network with over a billion users, perhaps allowing your business to reach an untapped market.  



by
Business development, social media & strategy
 

If you’ve already implemented a digital marketing strategy, it’s likely you have created business accounts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But have you forgotten Instagram? If used correctly, Instagram can allow you to explore and promote the more visual side of your goods, services and brand to reach new prospective clients. Here’s our advice for employing it successfully within your business.

The power of Instagram

Instagram boasts over a billion active worldwide users and is the second most popular social media platform in the UK, being only beaten by Facebook, according to the latest YouGov data. Instagram’s own research has highlighted that 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business account, demonstrating the power it can provide for businesses. Ensuring that your brand creates positive online engagement has become increasingly important during the coronavirus pandemic, with screen time rose 36% during the pandemic, with Instagram enjoying an uptake of 25%.

Its ability to produce B2C business has been recently amplified, as its latest feature ‘Instagram Shop’ has been rolled out across the platform. This software allows brands to link their products in posts, enabling the user to follow the link to the item they’re interested in, add it to their shopping basket and checkout, all without ever leaving the Instagram App.

It’s not just B2Cs who can benefit from the network though; research by Track Mavenfound that Instagram was the ‘B2B powerhouse’, holding the highest average engagement ratio with B2B brands in comparison to other social media accounts.

Instagram marketing success stories

One example of an engaging and successful Instagram account is National Geographic, who share their mesmerising pictures on their feed, accumulating a following of 142 million. Part of their success stems from the custom-made content that features on their stories, providing viewers with high-quality videos supported by interesting information.

Another successful Instagram account – on a smaller scale – can be seen in Apprentice-winning company Dough Artisan Bakehouse, who have accumulated a following of 21,000 – impressive, considering they only hold two premises, both in London. Their on-brand photography and messaging highlight that Instagram marketing doesn’t need to be expensive or complex; simply portraying what you do in an aesthetically pleasing way will be enough!

IBM is a brilliant example of good B2B Instagram marketing. With 351,000 followers, their content makes the latest technological advances accessible to technophobes in an interesting and compelling way. Although many of the accounts that they are interacting with are probably not – and never will be – customers, their online presence helps to preserve their status as a household name, ensuring that they are seen as the leaders within their field.

Is Instagram the right social media platform for your business?

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Is Instagram appropriate for your brand? B2B businesses are proving that Instagram can be beneficial to almost every industry, although clearly there are some that are off limits. Funeral directors or quantity surveyors – it might be best to sit this one out, although we’re willing to be proven wrong!
  • Can you generate Instagram-friendly content? You won’t get very far without engaging content that lends itself nicely to Instagram’s picture-grid format. If you don’t have the resources or ability to do this, then focus on other platforms instead.
  • Do you have a clear plan for boosting engagement? Building a following can take time; is this something you’re willing to invest? If not, perhaps look at using an influencer to boost your following.
  • Is your target market on Instagram? Despite its popularity, there are still some demographics who won’t generally be on the platform.

How to create a successful Instagram social media marketing strategy

  1. Create continuity with other channels: Although the content you put on Instagram will be different to your other channels, your overall messaging will need to be part of the same, wider picture.
  2. Use hashtags: These are a great way to build your following and engagement; learn which hashtags are relevant for your business before using them.
  3. Interact with other brands and your customers: This will build up your engagement organically and increase your brand currency with your followers (who – if you get it right – should also be your target customers).
  4. Consider using an influencer: An influencer will have the ability to reach a large number of people quickly and this can be great if you want to boost your following quickly. Also consider using a micro-influencer who has a smaller following, but more densely concentrated within your specific field.

As the second most popular social media network in the UK, Instagram has the power to unlock new business for your company and better your brand recognition.

If you are looking to optimise your sccial media marketing,  call on Eonic for advice.