5 Questions On Instagram Marketing Explained
By Julia Koh & Syira Junaidi
What does a home baking business, corporations like Unilever and Valiram, and Siti Nurhaliza have in common? They probably have an Instagram page. More than a social media app, Instagram is used by businesses of all types and sizes as a branding and marketing tool. Instagram marketing is used by solopreneurs, SMEs to big-named celebrities and MNCs. Even B2B brands can join in the fun.
If you have some burning questions about Instagram marketing, this article might be able to help you answer them. Let’s look at 5 basic questions about what Instagram is and how it can help your brand:
- What Is Instagram?
As a lot of young people will tell you, Instagram or Insta or IG is their go-to social media site to share pictures and videos they created. The app often introduces new filters and features that keep the app interesting, which contributes to their popularity and success. Take a brief look at their history:
Instagram was founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in 2010 as a way to share photos at a fixed 1:1 ratio. Users can choose from several filter options that manipulate their photos to look nostalgic, retro or anything creative.
Facebook Inc. bought by trending app for USD 1 billion and integrated it to their Facebook social media platform. Instagram users quickly grew in numbers.
Instagram started to generate income through advertising. Sponsored ads will appear as users scroll their feeds.
‘Instagram Stories’ was introduced as a way for users to share temporary photos and add stickers, texts, and filters. It became so successful that it surpassed Snapchat, an app that started the concept. Instagram also changed its logo, swapping the oldies/retro camera logo to an outlined logo on a bright gradient background.
IGTV (Instagram TV) was launched to allow longer and in-depth videos published. It aims to rival Youtube as a video-sharing platform. Sponsored ads had also started to appear in ‘Stories’. By now there are more than 2 million advertisers on Instagram.
- Who Are Instagram Users?
A huge portion of pie belongs to millennials and Gen Z at 60%. They are 18-34 years old, some of them are already in the workforce and the older ones have families of their own. Around 30% of users are 35-54 years old, and the rest belongs to young teens and seniors.
In Malaysia and most ASEAN countries, a slight majority of Instagram users are women. IG is the only major social media in these regions to have more women than men. Good news for many B2C and consumer product brands.
And good news for B2B companies as well. Many of these users are decision-influencers where they work – being young, junior-level execs. They might not be C-level decision-makers yet, but being in their scope of attention helps your B2B brand into the company’s decision-making process.
- Isn’t It The Same As Facebook?
Though both Facebook (FB) and Instagram (IG) are owned by Facebook Inc., they are made for different purposes. FB is suitable for long posts such as news and opinions, while IG is more visual-centric with minimal captions. Many times, IG users don’t read the captions at all!
Take a look at these two posts from AIA Malaysia. Can you spot the difference?
It’s the same design with the same content. But on IG, all 3 steps are stated in one picture. While on FB, the content is further expanded into 3 additional pictures. IG users tend to scroll faster, thus posts have to be concise and direct. On the other hand, FB users would enjoy extra graphics and elaboration.
There are other differences as well but essentially, the same person using these two apps would experience and digest information differently.
- How Does Instagram Helps With My Sales & Marketing?
First as advertisers, you can use IG to drive more traffic to your website or e-commerce site. This would be a direct way to promote more sales. Second is through organic reach, where you create brand awareness and build your audience with posts and Stories. Think of Instagram as an additional marketing channel that helps you reach your customers.
IG also practically begs for engagement from users, generating 4 times more engagement than Facebook. There’s a lot of features on ‘Stories’ that ask for feedback, approvals, and many more that brands can use to engage their audience in a fun and creative way.
This example shows how Hubspot engages their audience using an IG Stories feature called ‘Polls’. User can tap on either option learn something new about the company.
- How Would My Brand Stands Out on Instagram?
There are as many as 2 million advertisers on the app right now, with more than 100 million ads posted! How would you even try to get your customer’s attention in this crowd?
As with other marketing strategies, your Instagram marketing needs a plan, a target and a campaign goal. From your audience’s interests to the timing when posts are published, everything needs to be finely tuned on IG.
And don’t worry too much about saturation. IG has an excellent algorithm that suggests posts and ads to users according to their recent interests and behaviours. Your IG ads will very likely be seen by the right eyeballs once everything is correctly set. Usually, this is what a marketing agency is hired to do. You’ll get quality IG posts/ads and save your company’s time figuring out and tinkering around the app.
Like other social marketing channels, Instagram can be a helpful tool to amplify your brand’s messages. But unlike Facebook or other social channels, IG drives more engagement, fits better to younger audiences, and allows you to advertise with more creativity and versatility.
IG has a lot of potential showcasing your brand to the world. Unless your customers are niche, you should look into how Instagram marketing can reach your customers, get their attention and start the conversation.