Instagram marketing is quickly becoming an essential part of business social media plans. With 800 million average monthly users, opting out of Instagram is hardly a choice. In fact, according to SproutSocial, 70.7% of businesses are active on Instagram, and 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business Instagram page. However, being active is only the first step.
Instagram did not succeed by becoming identical to every other existing social media platform, but instead by breaking the mold. So what exactly makes this social platform different from the rest? According to their mission, “Instagram is where visual expression inspires visible action,” Instagram is a place that allows businesses to move beyond the traditional tactics that might work for Facebook or print advertisements and reach their audience in a more authentic, personal way.
What to post?
Given the unique user experience of Instagram, posts should be carefully crafted to keep some semblance of the normal post style, while standing out enough to draw attention. The key element that businesses must recognize when determining their Instagram content is that Instagram is much more personal. Businesses that take on personal approaches to connect people on Instagram will be much more successful than those who simply focus on distributing ads.
For example, if you link your Instagram to your Facebook page, when people click through, this link will not take them to a single post, but instead direct them to your entire page. Even if you have one or two carefully crafted posts, the look of the entire page will determine whether a potential customer stays to discover more, or leaves at the sight of unappealing content.
In order to use social media effectively, businesses should develop a brand, or personality, that is consistent among all platforms; however, this brand should be more apparent on your Instagram page than any other social media platform. The content you post should of course be relevant to what it is that your business does, but it is equally important to establish an Instagram aesthetic that immediately communicates your brand personality, inviting those who connect with that personality to subsequently discover more about your company. This can seem like a pretty simple task if you purely think of your brand as a color scheme and font choices, but the pages that create the most captivating aesthetics are those that go beyond the basics. Ideally, you want to create a certain vibe that is practically trademarked to your business.
In the remainder of this post, we’ll take a look at a few of the most effective company Instagram accounts in terms of page aesthetic and learn tips from them.
How do you begin to decide what content to post for a fast food chain? Most people would probably post pictures of the food, and maybe some shots of their locations. However, Taco Bell created an Instagram aesthetic that features the product as a mere component to their overall appearance, which alludes to their slogan, “live mas.” Taco Bell has a firm grasp on their identity, and their page shows it. This Instagram is full of brightly-colored products and young people, who appear to be living happy, exciting lives. Their color scheme is complemented by their red and orange sauce packets, distinct logo, and actual products, but is not overtaken by these things. Their page has an immediate personality that encourages those within their target market of millennial's to seek further information.
Airbnb is a growing company that provides a very different feel when compared to the last example. Instantly, one can see that their company values travel and experience. Their page features stunning shots of their dreamy locations, accompanied by captions that tell stories of customer’s experiences. This tactic of story-telling gives their Instagram a personal, inviting feel that is on par with their mission. Airbnb believes “in a world where people belong, anywhere.” While traveling can seem daunting to some, Airbnb provides reassurance purely through their Instagram’s aesthetic, which is cozy, comforting, and homey.
On the other side of the travel spectrum, GoPro targets the adventure seeker through their thrilling feed compiled of real pictures that their customers submit. This is an effective tactic as SproutSocial references that user-generated content is more likely to lead to a conversion. In GoPro’s case, any customer that is wary about their technological abilities can immediately see 4,000 examples of how average people have used their GoPro cameras to record and document their experiences. For a company such as GoPro, filling their feed with examples of work from the product they produce is highly effective. GoPro’s aesthetic encourages people to take a chance on the product, get out in the world, and see what they are capable of.
What does this mean for you?
It is easy to simply post pictures of your product, services, and promotions, but it may not be the most effective way to reach your audience. By building an Instagram aesthetic, you can create a genuine connection with your following that in turn, becomes loyalty. Don’t simply post advertisements, but engage your audience in planned ways that not only target them, but make them interested in your business’ personality. Know your brand identity, determine your target market, tell a story, and most of all, portray your core values. Your Instagram should not simply show what you do, but it should show off who you are. Get creative, and get posting!