Instagram has taken the mobile world by storm. More than 30 million people use the service to share retro-looking images from their mobile devices. A quick perusal of the various images might make you think people only use the service to take sepia-toned images of breakfast, but that’s not the case. Facebook believes in the service so much that it purchased the company for $1 billion (yes, you read that right) earlier this year. Savvy internet and mobile marketers are using Instagram to their advantage, and you can too. Here’s a look at some strategies for making Instagram work for you:
Go behind the scenes
Many companies are using Instagram to give customers a behind-the-scenes view they wouldn’t normally see. For a good example, take a look at the feed from Starbucks. As expected, coffee plays a big role in the images, but you also get images that give an interesting glimpse into the company and its people. You can take inspiration from their images and give your customers and inside look. The results of this kind of campaign likely won’t show up on your sales sheet, but it will give your customers and idea of who you are. The more they like and know you, the more likely they will be to buy from you. Consider starting out with interesting portraits of your staff and expand from there.
Get everyone involved
Another strategy puts users in the drivers seat. Take a look at a campaign from Levi’s jeans to see what that means. As you can see, Levi’s has started a contest of sorts on Instagram. They started the process by asking people who wear their brand to tag their photos with #iamlevis for a chance to become the “new face” of the brand. Obviously, a lot of people would love to be the face of such an iconic company so the contest has really taken off. You can start your own contest in a similar way. Maybe you get people to pose with your product, or put it in interesting places. Then you can specify a hashtag so other people can get involved when they see it in their feeds. This strategy would be perfect for spreading the brand in general or getting a new product out there.
Of course, Instagram can also be used to show off your products or services. You aren’t going to get very far by flooding your timeline with boring product images, however. You need to include a twist that makes the photos more visually or thematically interesting if you want to be successful. For example, NH Hoteles takes photos of the sunrise from its various locations. They could have taken images of the pool, the rooms, and the exterior of the hotels instead, but it wouldn’t have the same impact. They’re showing off their product without even showing it! Your products might not lend themselves to this level of creativity, but you can definitely spice things up so people don’t ignore your images.
If you are not using Instagram for your marketing then now is the time to start!