One of the best aspects of marketing in 2017 is that there are so many channels where you can find the exact combination that connects you to your audience. One of the most challenging aspects of marketing is that there are so many channels that you have to figure out the exact combination so you can best connect with your audience.
As you’re mapping out your marketing strategy for 2017, it’s natural to turn your attention to online social channels. After all, consumers spend 20 percent of their online time on social channels. Most of you probably already have a Facebook strategy, and for some of you, Twitter may also be a staple. But where do you go from there?
As you’re considering your options, don’t forget to check out Instagram. Instagram is a mobile-only photo and video app. Not familiar with it? Facebook bought it in 2012 for a billion dollars. Yes, with a B. So it’s reasonable to expect it to be around for a while and to experience growth as Facebook continues to evolve and promote it.
Wondering what you can do on Instagram, especially if you are a B2B company?
Show us who you are: The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” comes into play here. Instagram is a fantastic brand-building tool. Don’t just show us your doughnuts, show us how the doughnuts are being made. Show us your team testing new flavors or shapes of doughnuts. Or your Doughnut Delivery crew out surprising people with free samples. Give us a sense of who you are and how you do what you do.
Show us who you serve: Whether you use still photos or short videos, introduce us to your clients and how they work with you. Let us see you in action with the people who love what you do. You can also feature brief testimonials (up to 15 seconds of video) that spotlight why your clients keep coming back.
Show us how you help: Demo videos, photos of the results you deliver, samples of your work or before and after photos are all smart ways to leverage the social tool. Think about the picture books you loved as a child. What aspect of your work could you capture in that same type of format? Obviously, you can overlay a word or two over the photos, but the visual should always be the focal point.
As you’re thinking through your Instagram strategy, there are some best practices you should keep in mind.
Make every word in your bio count: With every Instagram account, you get a bio to tell the world who you are. Use a URL to lead people to a landing page where you can tell them more about how you can help them. It’s an easy way to collect email addresses and share some of your more coveted content.
Be consistent: This is not a new message from me, but it’s a critical one when it comes to social. You have to be there on a regular basis if you want to create meaningful connections. Because Instagram can only be updated through your mobile device, it’s easy to get out of synch if you don’t calendar the activity and set up reminders for yourself.
Connect and share: One of the best ways to build a community on any social channel is to help other people connect. Find other brands or people who align with your company’s values and deliverables.
Not an Instagram user yourself? Don’t let your own social habits dictate your marketing decisions. If you know that your audience is there (nearly 50 percent of Instagram users follow at least one business), you should be too.