Instagram – a Rising Star for Holiday Marketing
The vast array of marketing options any given brand has at its fingertips have never been more diverse – and the winter holiday shopping season can be viewed as a barometer for how well these tools perform. One such example for 2018 is the social media giant, Instagram.
It was recently reported by ClickZ and Kenshoo that 63-percent of brands intend to purchase ads on Instagram during the holiday season. Yes, you read that right. This December, nearly one-third of brands are promoting their products, services, and overall messaging via Instagram. It’s a given, right? With Facebook as Instagram’s parent site, one platform can benefit the other. But there is much more to the growing success of Instagram.
Want to hear some Stories?
Most people are no doubt are familiar with the movie, “A Christmas Story.” Well, Instagram has its own Story – Instagram Stories to be exact. Christine Goos of MarTech Series points out that Instagram Stories is one of the prime benefits to set this platform apart from other social media sites. (It even inspired its parent site to add Facebook Stories to its platform.) Despite being implemented two years ago, marketers have only recently realized the potential of Instagram Stories. Below are some points you should know.
Benefits of utilizing Instagram Stories for marketing
- The ability to promote your brand full screen, front, and center. If you use a carousel format, you can even utilize story cards.
- This format is an especially effective branding method during seasonal campaigns.
- The capability for brands to link to products using the Swipe Up feature paired with animations, arrows, and other calls to action helps increase engagement among users.
Instagram makes shopping easier
Last month, Amy Gesenhues of Marketing Land reported on three shopping features Instagram released to accommodate customers’ browsing and selecting experience. These new features provide added exposure for retailers:
- Shopping Collection – This feature allows customers to save items they are considering for purchase by allowing them to tap correlating product tags (in either an Instagram Story or feed), which prompts the “Save to Shopping Collection” option.
- Video – For specific products that appear in branded videos on Instagram, there is now a shopping icon in the lower left of the content to provide information and prices of these featured products.
- Shop Tab – Businesses that advertise on Instagram are now equipped with a Shop tab, which allows users to view any products available for purchase from a particular merchant, as well as pertinent information related to each product.
How brands can capitalize
If you’re advertising on Instagram, you want to make sure you’re getting the most you can out of your efforts. It’s important to remember, however, that this platform can only do so much. To really succeed, you need to constantly curate content in order to keep advertised products visible and top-of-mind among users. MarTech Advisor released a helpful list of social media marketing practices compiled by Hugh Stevens which you should adhere to:
- Application of hashtags – Hashtags should not be overused or applied haphazardly but with clear and creative direction – otherwise you’re brand runs the risk of appearing as spam. For example, a relevant hashtag should not only pertain to the actual product, but also to its related audience and occasion.
- Interact with audiences – With advanced technology combined with audience demand, the personalized customer experience is the rule of the day. Communication is key. Keep your Instagram page active and up-to-date.
- Keep testing and stay fresh – Every product or offering should receive careful curation. Businesses on Instagram should conduct A/B testing and experiment with different photos and tags for all products. This is especially important for any new items added to the product line.
With user-friendly features that can connect brands to audiences, Instagram may well be on its way to becoming the dream social media site for businesses. And with the newest innovations and add-ons placed in the last month, it is no wonder that 63-percent of brands are posting for the holiday season. In fact, we predict this number will be even higher next year.
Are you utilizing Instagram? Could your social channels use a refreshed look with some strong search engine optimization? EGC can help strengthen the presence for your brand’s Instagram page, as well as other related social media sites. Find out more.