Instagram – A Marketing Tool

Instagram! The word immediately rings a bell in your head and directs your thoughts towards the photo-sharing Application released in 2010. Today, photo-sharing application just seems like the description of the premature form of Instagram. It has now incorporated video-sharing and social-networking service in its feature as well. Within 3 months of its release, it had one million registered users. In February 2013, Instagram announced that it had reached 100 million active users.

One would wonder how a photo-sharing application (commonly used by regular people for regular pictures) can play the role of a marketing tool. The answer is through Social Media Management and the top Instagram influencers. Digital marketing has seen more engagement with customers ever since brands have started resorting to Instagram.

Using Instagram will not assist all the industries out there in the market. It is only suitable for digital marketing of a specific kind. The industries that would benefit by adopting a visual digital marketing strategy would prefer to fall back on Instagram. Visual marketing has always been very successful because customers trust more when they see more. The major companies that have already pounced on this opportunity include MTV, Starbucks, Redbull, Nike, etc. Redbull has an Instagram following of more than 7,50,000 with pictures that support their Tagline “Red Bull Gives You Wings!!” Small business owners also do not mind using Instagram over other SEO techniques as it is much more cost-effective.

The fact that Instagram provides the facility of online profiles and web feeds makes it more appealing to marketers. The industries that make the most of Instagram for digital marketing are Fashion, Design, Entertainment and Food & Beverages.  When it comes to online marketing using Instagram and social media influencers, hashtags play the role of keywords. Instagram users create brand-related hash tags to associate their pictures with the brands. At the same time, brand profiles create their own hashtags to open up their doors and welcome inputs from customers. It is an effective strategy to take the engagement with the customers on a whole new level. Presently various tools, to measure brand popularity on Instagram, are making an appearance in the market.

Digital marketing using Instagram benefits in various ways. Brands have to discover ways to increase their user-following on Instagram. This can be done by introducing various contests and events. Customers are generally attracted to brand profiles that offer regular deals. Once the brand following increases, it presents a platform to introduce new products. Maximum exposure to new products is achieved when the brand has taken enough efforts to secure brand following on Instagram.

Instagram also puts forward what we call “social proof”. Trust in the customer’s mind can be gradually built up when he sees the products being used by other people. Instagram also humanizes the brand when brands post ‘behind the scene’ pictures or ‘backstage’ pictures.