Using Social Media to Boost Brand Engagement: Instamarketing
In my last blog post I talked about Snapchat and how brands should be using the social media platform to build a network of fans and create engagement through interesting and relevant content. If you haven’t read it yet, you can read it here to find out how powerful it can be if you use it correctly.
In this blog post I wanted to talk to you about Instamarketing (marketing on Instagram) and why it’s set to become the next big thing when it comes to sponsored branded content.
Just three months ago, Instagram gave brands the opportunity to use their platform to advertise and promote posts. Initially, I didn’t like it. My first thought was I don’t want more adverts and unnecessary information that would inevitably destroy my wall; which is currently a curation of beautiful images from people I’ve personally selected to follow. But I have changed my point of view quite quickly and am actually quite impressed with how effortlessly brands have subtly infiltrated my feed.
We knew at some point that Instagram would give brands the opportunity to sponsor content, especially since Facebook, who have already been letting brands advertise for some years now, bought Instagram back in April 2012. Facebook was already a major player in the picture sharing on social, but you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand Mark Zuckerberg’s long-term strategy in acquiring Instagram; he basically wanted to get Instagram before the competition, Google, took over their positon in the market. This is why Facebook bought Instagram ($1bn) and WhatsApp ($19bn) with over 750 million active users. Now Facebook has control over a majority share of the social media platforms where real users spend their time.
Now, back to why I think Instagram will be useful for brands in the future. Wherever we go, we consume an incredible amount of information, whether you’re are on the move, watching television, reading the news, and if you are like me, you never pay to much attention to adverts – even less so since you can now fast forward past them on TV! In this increasingly-connected world, where we are just a couple of clicks away from all the information we could ever need – we have more choice in what we view, and how we want to view it. This means that brands have to be smarter, less obvious and use a wider-range of channels than ever before to reach out to us and get our attention. When brands are able to connect with us in a similarly to the way we connect with our friends, then they are on to a winner. It’s about creating tailored customer-centric content, rather than pushing out sales-focused content.
This is an example form Volvo Norway that I found very interesting. They created a campaign called “The Worlds Most Beautiful Detour”.
As a consumer, Volvo got my attention straight away because they featured a location on my Instagram feed that happened to be where I grew up. I started to search for more information about the campaign and other places they had featured. The campaign felt perfectly tailored to me, like they know me personally. It was almost as if they were one of my friends; sharing information with me that they know I would enjoy, instead of simply posting a picture of their latest product. I felt totally connected to the campaign.
Brands like Volvo are ahead of the curve with their Instamarketing, but the hope is, for consumers as well as for Instagram, that we will see more personalised campaigns. It’s not always necessary to have big budget campaigns, but in today’s world it is always essential to have content that users feel connected too.
I will be honest – there are many campaigns on Instagram that have no relevance to me whatsoever. Similarly, to many Facebook and Twitter ads; it’s not an easy game to step into. However, Instagram have potential to get to know me better in the future and I am confident that as it becomes more of an established marketing tool, marketers will embrace the exciting challenge of creating a better, more tailored and relevant strategies for their brands.