500 Million Monthly Users
Instagram is boasting a huge growth in monthly users and Millennials ages 18-35 are dominating the platform at 55%. This is a marketing medium that can’t be ignored. Though the reach looks amazing, Instagram’s algorithm can be very limiting. Instagram wants to create a user experience that is very tailored and individualized. The old feed of new-to-old posts is now replaced with content they believe you will like best. I actually believe this to be better for us marketers. A very individualized, tailored experience reaps far more benefits than blasting content to tens of thousands of people. Almost like a spray and pray of pictures just hoping to get a few likes, maybe a comment, and no sales. Maybe Instagram’s algorithm limits reach, but it sure doesn’t limit meaningful engagement. I’m going to break down a few tips to optimize your Instagram Marketing.
According to many experts in the field, video is going to be the king of content in 2017. Many are upping their marketing budgets to keep pace with this steadily growing content. A picture is worth a thousand words but video is unlimited. Instagram gives you 60 seconds to get your point across, but those 60 seconds can be wasted in the first 3-7 seconds when most users decide whether to continue watching or drop-off. Make sure your videos are engaging right from the get-go. Start with a stunning visual or pose a question that creates curiosity to keep the user engaged. The Boomerang feature has people going crazy. Find ways to incorporate it into your strategy to stay up on trends.
Social influencers are huge right now. Millennials listen to their peers far more than they listen to companies. Through traditional advertisements and a lack of transparency, brands have struggled to gain trust from the 18-35 year olds. 92% of consumers say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations from an influencer far more than an advertisement or celebrity endorsement. This is HUGE! Take the time to find some influencers around your area that you could invite to your store. Give them a discount on some goods and in return have them post and share about your store. These don’t have to be influencers with 6 digit followers. Find someone with a few thousand, passionate followers that trust them and take their word. Build that relationship and bring them on board every now and then for your marketing efforts. It can be a small price to pay for a big turnout.
Way, way easier said than done. Getting your target audience to engage with your posts can take trial and error. Instagram’s new business accounts can help you measure what post perform the best and how to engage consumers more effectively. Research why your better posts received so many likes or comments. Was it the time of day you posted? Did the caption provoke a response? Instagram’s algorithm notices engagement and will boost your posts in the future to those consumers who engaged and then also recommend you to others that are liking the same content. Utilize hashtags to reach consumers that may be interested in your posts. #Prom for prom season or #MensStyle for your clothing.
Most social platforms, like Facebook and LinkedIn, are becoming pay-to-play. Facebook’s algorithm almost completely destroys your posts without paying to boost. Instagram marketing still has that organic reach available. Their new algorithm may limit that reach but it also builds a more engaging and meaningful conversation with loyal, or soon to be, loyal customers. If you haven’t started your Instagram marketing yet, I would jump on board before working with their algorithm gets any harder.