Instagram business basics

How Instagram can help advance your content marketing strategy

Instagram is big news. Well, to be specific, it�s big money � and anything that is big money is bound to hang around as big news for quite some time.

Yet despite social media being abuzz with hype about Instagram, and in spite of many a post (like, say, this one or even, well, this one) on our Tick Yes sister blog banging on about what a great marketing tool it is, brands and companies, for the most part, seem to be a bit slow on the uptake about how it can work for them in a content marketing sense.

So� Here are a few things you might have missed (but really should know) about Instagram and why it can work for you.

1. It�s not for everyone

Before we go any further, let us be clear: the only thing worse than a brand that doesn�t take advantage of the marketing tools available is a brand that thinks it needs to use every marketing tool available. Believe it or not, people don�t want to see your financial institution�s board meeting in sepia-tone (although they may be interested in seeing your CEO drunk at the Christmas party, but that�s an idea for a different day�).

Instagram is a creative, interesting tool that is at its most powerful when used to share creative, interesting content. Many, many brands have content that would be perfectly suited to Instagram, but if creative and interesting aren�t really your strong suit, don�t demean your efforts by trying to engage with the wrong audience.

2. It�s not just your photos that count � it�s everyone else�s

For some reason, brands are having a little more trouble grasping the viral potential of Instagram than they did with Twitter or Facebook. Perhaps it�s the visual nature of the app that stumps people, but what is vitally important to remember is that hash-tagging capability makes Instagram just as valuable as Twitter when it comes to starting conversations.

Sure, the conversation might be less verbal and more abstract, but if you want proof about how effective it can be, have a gander at the #photoadaychallenge, started by Sydney blogger FatMumSlim. The concept is brilliantly simple: she releases a virtual scavenger hunt, with a topic for each day of the month. People can join in on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or through her blog, simply by using the #photoadaychallenge hashtag.

With up to a million photos being uploaded each month and a bucketload of unique visitors to her blog, one woman has shown the power behind a clever idea and an engaging format.

3. You have to play the game

Like any social media platform, Instagram won�t deliver results if all you do is put photos out into the ether and don�t expect to have to engage with anyone or anything. Instagram is a unique method of connecting with other brands and consumers � so much so that regular ‘Instagram Meetings’ are held (in person) in various cities around the world.

As clich�d as it sounds, if you�re interested in the medium then the medium will be interested in you. So committing to have a presence on Instagram also means committing to exploring, connecting and engaging.


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