Shorthanded, you know it as: Insta

To use it as a verb, you say “to gram.”

This photo-posting outlet has become the “star” as far as social media goes and we can all get in on the action.

Visuals are one of the most important parts of content marketing. Gone are the days of photo-less articles. You need pictures and videos and in some cases, very little else.

Now, some people think you don’t need Instagram as a part of your marketing strategy. In some cases, that is definitely true depending on your company. But let us ask you this—if there were a completely free way to capture the essence of your company and to tell the story YOU want to tell about your company, would you do it? Of course, why wouldn’t you!?

People are often turned off by Instagram based on a few misunderstandings about the picture-sharing outlet. Here is a list of the top misconceptions about using Instagram as a marketing tool.

1. It is only useful for companies who are marketing visual products.

FALSE. Sure they have a lot of obvious things to share, but all companies have something important to put out there.  Businesses who don’t sell a product or are in a niche market can use Instagram to really get creative. Showcase your employees, your workplace culture, etc. Use your posts to give followers an insider’s look at who you are as a whole. Have a little fun with it!

 

2. It is only for posting photos.

NOPE. This is not just a one-way social tool. Enter the #. Hashtag campaigns and photo sharing contests are becoming an extremely popular method for creating audience engagement. By creating a brand specific hashtag and centering a campaign around it,  you could see substantial return from your followers.

Take Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream for example. They are encouraging their followers to upload images representing “euphoria,” a common experience you may have from eating their ice cream. Followers are encouraged to use #captureeuphoria and then Ben & Jerry’s will choose photos to use in their ads. (Click here to read more about it!) http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/ben-jerrys-scoops-euphoria-instagram-145316

3. It can only be used for big name brands.

WRONG AGAIN! Instagram is a free app download and is accessible to anyone who wants to put the time into making it worthwhile.  Small startup companies such as MailChimp (http://mailchimp.com/), Warby Parker (https://www.warbyparker.com/) and Birchbox (https://www.birchbox.com/) all have used Instagram to grow their business while utilizing a low marketing budget.

Now that you know that anyone can and should be using Instagram as a great addition to their content marketing, here are a few tricks of the trade for success in the Insta world:

·      #hashtagit: Create a hashtag that is specific to your company so you and your followers can easily use the Explore feature in the app  to find posts related to trending hashtags.

·      Share the love: Tag your clients or partners in your posts to help spread the Insta-love around. Didn’t your mom ever tell you what goes around comes around? Share love, get love!

·      Think relationships, not dollars: If you only push what you do in your posts, people will quickly lose interest. Instagram should not be used to directly sell anything. You should use it to build relationships between your customers and your brand. If people buy into who you are, they will buy into your product or service too.

·      Schedule posts, but be flexible: To make sure you don’t neglect your account and that your posts are diverse enough create a content calendar…but don’t rely solely on that. Some of the best Instagrams come from a spontaneous grammable moment. Take advantage of those!

Are you feeling INSTA-spired? You should! All that is left is to dive right in. To help you along, follow Revel’s Instagram @revelads and get a feel for how we use the app. Or check out this blog post for a list of companies who are leading the Instagram-game. http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/instagram-best-brands

If you want to start using Instagram or other social media outlets in your marketing efforts, give us a shout at howdy@reveladvertising.com.

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