It seems these days, everyone is posting photos of their pets, selves and food – but as personal as Instagram and other photo sharing sites or social media networks with photo sharing capabilities are – brands can also “cash in” on the trend with some innovative marketing prowess.
And, brands should be posting more images – considering more than 15 million potential customers are on Instagram alone…and they’ve shared photos into the hundreds of millions at that. Staggering, isn’t it?
What’s so great about Instagram from the brand perspective IS that personal touch – that opportunity to evoke emotions in a way you just can’t manage through mere text alone.
So, how can YOUR BRAND adapt itself to this exciting and interconnected world of visuals? Here are a few tips:
Innovative Marketing With Instagram Idea #1:
Make Photo Announcements. Starbucks is famous for this – offering up glimpses of new products and flavors and even new stores via their Instagram account. They also share lots of great information and updates about the corporate giveback program, “Create Jobs for the USA”, which creates a nice feel-good addition to its followers’ feeds.
Innovative Marketing With Instagram Idea #2:
Tell Your Story With Images. Want to tell your followers who you are? What better way than with visuals? Share candids of employees enjoying their time at work (and even away from work). Post pictures of objects that evoke the sorts of emotions that line up with your brand identity (ie: if yours is an educational brand, photograph and share an inspirational quote about the value of learning). Show how your products are made. If the photos have meaning to you, they’ll likely also have meaning to your customers.
Innovative Marketing With Instagram Idea #3:
Create A Two-Way Narrative. Building on the previous idea, why not ask your customers to show you what your brand means to THEM? Start things off with an image that represents how you feel about and value your customers, add a #hashtag a la #WhyYouChooseBrand and allow the conversation to unfold in a new and exciting ways. This can give you great insights into what your customers truly value about your brand – and offer new avenues for your innovative marketing team to pursue as well.
Innovative Marketing With Instagram Idea #4:
Get Personal. Instagram brand sharing doesn’t necessarily have to be so blatantly commercial – it can also be intensely personal. Remember, if your customers are on Instagram, they’re all about sharing. So, why not take a cue from the Marc Jacobs brand? They asked customers to “join the family” for the holidays in 2011 by sharing favorite family holiday moments with the #MarcFam hashtag. The entries flooded in and gave customers a chance to participate in a more personal and heartfelt activity with the brand.
Innovative Marketing With Instagram Idea #5:
Start A Friendly Competition. Want to really get your customers’ creative juices flowing? Why not hold a photo contest? GE does this regularly with its “Instagrapher” contests and Amtrak does as well with its “picture of the day” weekly submissions. Sometimes you can offer prizes – but oftentimes it can be as simple as winning the prestige of a nod from a favorite brand. And, if yours is a “boring” or dry brand, this is a great way to ramp up the potential for interest and excitement.
**BONUS Visual Social Media Marketing Tip:
Go Beyond Instagram. What’s great about most phones and social networks these days is the way they’ve been built to “over-share”. In the case of Instagram, posting on most other major social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr) can be achieved instantly via the “share” function in the app. Creating a fully-fledged across-the-board social media presence has never been easier for brands. Take full advantage of every opportunity to connect and share!