A guest blog post written by Beth Versleys, Account Executive at Nobull
Founded in 2010, the popularity of Instagram has risen steeply. There are now around 25 million business profiles globally and this incredibly powerful social media channel allows businesses to showcase themselves in an aspirational light, whilst promoting strong business growth and a strong, results-driven sales strategy.
Instagram has also allowed ordinary people to create their own communities based on common interests and has catapulted some of them to paid influencer status, as their images, opinions and reviews gain impressively large follower numbers. Instagram has become a place to look at, research and shop some of the best and most cutting-edge ideas and innovation – from the latest nutrition for gym goers, to the coolest clothes, cutest pet accessories and most wanted skin care kit for beauty fiends.
So, how has Instagram become a key marketing tool for large and smaller brands on such a global scale? New stats released by Ad Week tell us that 80% of users follow at least one business on Instagram. Therefore, there can be little doubt that reaching your target demographic in a visual, simplistic yet highly strategic way, can be well worth the investment.
Having said that, from a Nobull point of view, Instagram is not always the most appropriate tool for all clients. For example, medicinal products that are heavily regulated will have a challenge. The brands that see the best results from Instagram, tend to be those that are aspirational. Many heavily brought into brands – both people and products – create an expectation of how we should look, the products we should be buying and the events we should be hanging out at. For the consumer, Instagram interaction can feel rather like being a part of the ‘in’ crowd.
Instagram can be key for brand awareness and many new brands are using it religiously to market themselves. By creating a beautiful feed your brand is personalised and suddenly instantly accessible. Existing and potential customers alike can like and comment in real time, feeling a collaborative part of the lifestyle you’re promoting. Not only are these dedicated followers likely to help extend your brand reach by sharing content with their own friends and followers, the process builds trust.
As consumers, when we trust a brand, we’re more likely to buy directly from them and remain loyal.
Throughout any campaign, user engagement is key, not only for targeting the right followers but also for beating the Instagram algorithms. Content is the key factor. Creating carefully thought out content is engaging and encourages your followers to comment and immerse themselves in your brand. When you respond as a brand to your audience, the system notices your post is doing well and pushes it to the top of your customers’ feeds. When this happens, whether it has been posted two days ago or within the hour, it will reach more people. More potential customers and brand advocates.
Using insights from Instagram and other reporting outlets is integral to any campaign. We build a detailed profile of the audience we are trying to reach on existing client channels. If we are working with a new channel, a testing period will be needed to gain these insights. This testing involves posting a mix of content and boosting it all to the same audience, for the same budget. We then see what followers engage with best. From this, we learn and record what works best for each client and establish a strategy that delivers the best results possible.
Instagram allows us to create a range of different ads to deliver against specific objectives. Visual and creative advertising is an effective way to reach new and existing customers but for it to work effectively you need to keep it simple and outcome focused. Any ad we create, whether it’s for website/profile views or purely for brand awareness, must strike a chord with the audience. That’s essential. We pick an angle that’s relevant to the demographic and include a strong call to action. If you’ve done your research properly and chosen your words carefully, you can then just sit back and watch your ad create magic for your follower numbers, engagement and sales.
About the author:
Beth Versleys, Account Executive at Nobull
As an Account Executive, I work on a lot of Nobull’s digital and social campaigns and advise the team, working across Facebook and Instagram daily. I create campaign strategies and work closely with our clients on budget and spend. I also plan and create visual assets for Nobull’s own social media channels.