• Marketing

5 Tips for Building Your Brand with Instagram Marketing

by Jaime Netzer | May 17, 2016

Editor's Note: This post was originally created by Spredfast before Spredfast and Lithium merged and became Khoros.

According to a recent Forrester report, Instagram delivers brands 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. Not only does Instagram have the potential to garner brands higher engagement, but it offers a unique opportunity to connect with customers. From visual storytelling with user-generated content to creative 15 second videos or hour-long videos, it's unarguable that Instagram is a serious hot spot for audience engagement.

Whether you are just starting off or looking for ways to enhance your brand’s strategy, here are 5 tips to build your brand using Instagram. 

Let Your Fans Help Tell Your Story

Instagram is all about visual storytelling, people across the world connecting with each other through a shared passion for capturing the world’s moments through photos. Your Instagram strategy should start with your brand’s story, and should revolve as much as possible around storytelling—even, perhaps, asking your fans to tell their stories, too.

Tiffany & Co, the luxury jewelry retailer, used a series of Instagram posts to tell love stories around Valentine's Day in 2015. Their account is traditionally filled with gorgeous, bright photos of their jewelry on a white or tiffany blue background. But for the occasion, they asked readers to submit love stories in just six words, using the hashtag #lovein6words—a stark departure from their bright, shiny jewelry photos. The brilliance of the campaign is that it tells both the specific stories of their fans and the brand's story: One of true love, in all its forms.

Put Emphasis on High-Quality Images

People generally only spend a few minutes scrolling through Instagram at a time, and will only engage with content that captures their attention. Your brand needs to deliver inspiring, brand relevant, quality images to resonate with your target audience and communicate your story.

Quality images can mean a variety of things, from professional photos or those snapped on a camera phone to interesting composition and subject matter. 

Yogurtland creates quality images by displaying a variety of images related to their brand, and not just yogurt. This photo from their Instagram account features their green spoons arranged in an interesting composition against a green background. Voila, interesting subject and composition made out of spoons.

Collect Your Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to get your posts—and brand—noticed in the vast universe that is Instagram. Instagram allows for up to 30 hashtags per post, but that does not mean you should throw up 30 hashtags in hopes that it will get you more likes. Instagram Nikesuggests brands focus on using the right hashtags for their brand.

Start by collecting relevant hashtags that your brand could use. This might include branded hashtags like your brand name or slogan. It could be the name of your brand campaign. You could use a product name as a hashtag or even the location of your store or where the photo was taken.

In this post, Nike used their #justdoit branded hashtag, they included a #nikeplus product hashtag, and then used their partner’s #onestep4red campaign hashtag. All relevant to their brand and the message of the post.

Find Fans and Influencers

A recent study of Millennials reports that they trust information received through UGC 50% more than information from other media sources, including TV, newspapers, and magazines. And in terms of purchase decisions, UGC is 20% more influential on Millennials than other media. 

User Generated Content can be powerful for your target, but it’s also a great way to highlight fans and encourage them to engage with your content and post their own content about your brand. You can host a #hashtag contest in an effort to curate UGC for your brand, but the easiest way to get UGC is to go out and find it. Search for a popular hashtag related to your brand, like #benandjerrys, and find a photo that speaks to your brand and that your audience would enjoy. Reach out to the owner of the photo and ask if you could feature their photo on your account and give them credit in your post.

Yep, it’s that easy. 

Integrate For Impact

With all the great content you are creating and curating from your fans, you can integrate it into your brand’s website as another way to engage your fans when they are interacting with your branPiperlimed. Customers use social and websites at different points in their buying lifecycle, so why not hit them with your message again on your owned channel.

Ubiquitous cozy-shoe brand Ugg has chosen to integrate Instagram photos into their website to show real-life people wearing their clothing. By promoting the hashtag #thisisUgg, the brand can easily highlight photos from their Instagram fans—a great example of integrating user generated content into your brand’s owned channel for greater impact.

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