Use these Instagram strategies and turbocharge your business in the new year!
Anthony Bianchi, who runs his own recruiting/search agency in New York City, understands the tech space more than most. When e-commerce first became a thing 20 years ago, he was a pioneer in recruiting talented individuals to fill key roles in the digital marketing sector. Today, he focuses his professional search firm on finding and placing talent in the creative space, with plenty of retail, fashion and beauty companies on his client roster.
When asked about what kind of talent his clients are looking for today, Bianchi doesn’t hesitate: Instagram.
“The move toward social media is greatly changing the way my clients engage with their customers,” he says in an interview. “Instagram, especially, is especially where we’re seeing the biggest growth right now. Thus, many of my clients are specifically looking for talent who lean heavily toward social media skills.”
The recent numbers fully back Mr. Bianchi’s claim. Insta’s regularly monthly users surpassed 1 billion people this year, and at least half of those people use the platform on any given day. While these numbers still represent less than half of those of Facebook (Instagram’s parent company), people on Instagram tend to be more active and more committed to engaging their followers. For that reason, many companies now devote huge chunks of their advertising budgets toward wooing “influencers,” people on Instagram with large followings—not to mention hiring full-time staff just to run the company Instagram accounts.
You might not have the interest or the budget to recruit and hire full-time Instagrammers, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore this powerful platform as a marketing tool. Taking our cue from current trends, let’s explore five possible strategies you can leverage for Instagram success in 2019.
Get Influencers’ Attention by Inviting them to “Instagrammable” Outings
Instagram influencers can reach as many potential customers with a single post as running a TV ad in a major market—but that doesn’t mean they or their followers just want to peddle your product. Make the experience more palpable by inviting influencers to a special offline event like a launch party, or even to a local restaurant or nearby resort for some down time. Give them something to Instagram about besides just trying on/trying out your product or service. It’s a great way to generate buzz and build your brand in a non-intrusive, soft-sell way that plays well in the social media space.
Augment Their Reality
Customized filters are another hot trend in the Insta world. We’re not talking about those pre-designed color filters that come standard with the platform, but rather a filter associated with your account that superimposes images using augmented reality technology. Imagine if you could instantly show your Instagram followers through their camera phone what they would look like wearing your product! Cosmetic line owner Kylie Jenner recently did just that by creating a special filter that allows her 118 million followers to see themselves wearing one of seven shades of her lip colors. This strategy not only works remotely to build your brand (not to mention more followers), but it’s also a great way to generate interest locally at special events or expo booths.
Earlier this year, Instagram announced the release of IGTV, a new app that allows Instagram users to make and post long-form videos up to an hour in length. (Instagram previously only allowed videos one minute or less.) This release has helped to popularize the vertical video format since most users are taking videos using their smartphones. (Think of IGTV as the YouTube of the smartphone.) IGTV opens up a whole world of instant content and engagement possibilities for your company, from making short how-to videos on the fly to live-streaming a local promotional event you might be hosting and encouraging followers to turn out. Creating an IGTV channel is pretty much as easy as creating one on YouTube. And you’re not limited to the IGTV app, either; just this month, Instagram announced it is now allowing users to share IGTV videos to their Instagram stories.
Leverage Instagram Shopping
As more businesses launch Instagram accounts to acquaint people with their products and services, the process of converting followers into buyers is evolving into an instant process. Instagram Shopping now allows you to tag your own products in Instagram posts and stories with an invitation to users to tap the product for more info. When the user taps your product, they’re taken to that product page on your mobile website, where they can make a purchase. Never has impulse shopping been so easy! We expect this trend to take off much more rapidly in the upcoming year. As more and more people get involved with this on-the-fly shopping, make sure your products are front and center.
Create Your Own “Greatest Hits” Moments with Instagram Stories Highlights
Instagram stories are popular because they are so immediate—they disappear after a day. But if certain Instagram stories have more traction than others, you now have a way to preserve them for your followers. Instagram Stories Highlights allows you to curate your favorite clips and keep them on your profile indefinitely. So for example, if you posted a story from a recent promotion or local event you want your followers to remember, you can include it in your highlights. If you used stories to run a set of mini-tutorials, you can collect them and save them for future visitors.
With all these different tools you can use to maximize your Instagram presence in 2019, you don’t want to go about the process randomly. You’ll have better results by working with a social media strategy firm, like 316 Strategy Group, who can help you create a campaign targeted to your potential customers. Is your business Instagram worthy? If so, give us a call!