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Top three things your business needs to know about Instagram

Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms, with over one billion active users each and every month. Every marketing manager looking to enhance their company’s outreach can use the photo and video application to reach clients using perhaps their most influential sense – our sight. But don’t let the simplicity of Instagram’s application fool you; there’s a lot that everyone can still learn about the platform, especially as it continues to evolve to better share video and ads.

Firstly, Instagram isn’t just the Facebook of photo and video. There are distinct advantages to IG being a part of Facebook’s suite of social media platforms. For starters, you have the ability to run the same ads across those platforms. If you have a brand trying to make a name for themselves online, no matter which way you slice it, it would be a lost opportunity to not link your branding across these platforms, and make sure that you’re using both to the best of your ability.

You might think, though, that your brand is not a visual one. But no matter what your company’s products or services are, there’s something visual that you can show your potential customers. Even if your company does accounting or business consulting, you can document the processes of your company, or share tidbits of insight to potential clients using infographics or photos. And (though it might seem counterintuitive) a good caption can go a long way, even if it’s longer than you think is okay. All of this is especially true when the things you share on Instagram share across to Facebook. That doesn’t mean you always should – sometimes you want to maintain a different tone across some of your platforms – but it’s certainly a great way to make sure your consumers see your brand at all angles.

Next thing to keep in mind is that Instagram Stories are called ‘stories’ for a reason. The temporary video-sharing function on Instagram is not just an accessible video platform, it’s an incredibly powerful resource to connect to your key consumers and let them know your brand on an intimate level. There are millions of ways to do it, even if you’re a large company or working on big projects – giving employees control of the brand’s account to share tidbits of the company’s corporate culture, sharing works in progress of high-profile projects, or even documenting the experiences of happy customers are all fair game, and you should certainly think about all of that and more.

That also means IG Stories shouldn’t be your go to spot to run posters for new products and services. Of course, if you realize that your brand’s stories are getting tremendous engagement, you might want to talk about upcoming events or big launches there, but make sure to keep the personal touch. Stories don’t do well for ad space, but they’re the best place to bring folks in and create personal connections between consumers and your brand.

If you haven’t heard of it yet, IGTV might be the new YouTube. There are very few platforms where anyone can create video content for an almost dedicated viewership. Before, IGTV was its own separate application without the best numbers to back it up. But, now that Instagram is directing more traffic to their users’ videos through their original platform, you can make sure that your core followers are more likely to see what you create. That means, especially for growing brands, there’s a chance for huge impact if you’re consistent, creative, and clear about the message you want to send in video.

Whether you were already using Instagram, or thinking to introduce more visual storytelling into your marketing campaign, these are just a small handful of the things that you should keep in mind when using the application to market your brand. But the most important thing to do, with any social media platform, is to discover how its features help you tell your brand’s story, and telling it well.

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