Once launched as an image service, Instagram is increasingly preparing itself to become attractive for companies as well. Most recently with the new “Shoppable Posts” feature. Retailers can link products in their Instagram Posts, which can then be purchased directly on the platform by the user. A drastic step, so the expert judgement: The introduction of the Shopping function of Instagram in Europe is a wake-up call to the traditional trade. Now, for the first time, there is the possibility that cards will be fundamentally redistributed in online trading,” said Moritz Hagenmüller, trading expert at Accenture.
The new opportunities are relevant for fashion and furniture brands, for example, but also for electronics and design. “First and foremost, it is necessary to optimize our own products for this channel and play them out automatically via data feeds,” explains Jan Bechler, founder and CEO of Finc3 Commerce, Hamburg. “In addition to the technical basics and permanent analysis and optimization, creation is also relevant. Only if postings and advertisements are optimally tailored to the Instagram channel can the best possible result be achieved”.
Here are her 6 creative tips for brands on Instagram:
Tip 1: Captions for the right context
As much as Instagram is about fascinating visual content, brands should not neglect captions. They offer them the chance to tell a story. Captions can be up to 2,200 characters long to buy Instagram story views, including Emoji and up to 30 hashtags. When used correctly, brands with Instagram captions can deepen an image, contextualize it, and even make followers laugh when the appropriate emojis are used.
In addition, image captions can be used to create the link between the photo and the company, making the content more understandable to the target audience. In general, a good caption adds context, shows the personality of the brand, entertains the audience and encourages followers to act.
Tip 2: Photo and video albums tell stories
Instagram now offers more than just uploading individual images. Up to ten photos and videos can be placed in one Instagram post. Followers can then wipe their way through the post and view each individual image. With the albums, a company can also combine photos and videos to tell stories and convey information in a highly stimulating way.
A popular tactic for combining multiple elements into a single post is to create instructions, for example for a new product. Instructions are commented under each photo or explained in a video. Photo series that document an event also work particularly well. Followers thus get an impression of the event atmosphere without being filled up with mass mailings.
Tip 3: Brand hash tags increase visibility
Non-visual elements also round off Instagram’s brand identity: for example, a uniform language or a uniform style for the captions. Your own brand hash tags are also among the measures that make an Instagram account better known.
However, companies should not simply use their company name as a hash tag, but develop a hash tag that embodies the brand and encourages followers to share photos. For example, the sports goods manufacturer Lululemon Athletica has asked followers to mark their own training photos with the #thesweatlife hash tag, thus initiating tens of thousands of posts within their own community, as many users identified themselves with the hash tag.
Tip 4: Instagram Stories offer scope for creative interaction
In addition to photo streams, Instagram offers the ability to share content in real time. Instagram Stories have quickly attracted an average of 250 million users every day. Features such as disappearing content and live broadcasts make Instagram Stories the perfect medium for brands who want to be creative.
For example, when it comes to User Generated Content (UGC): brands can ask their followers to post their favorite product as a screenshot and then use it for a survey. They ask the followers to vote on which UGC should appear in the brand feed or what they think of the latest product launch. This increases the interaction and companies get to know the interests of their target group better.
Sweepstakes are another tactic for follower retention: Instagram Stories allow companies to offer their followers a special offer or voucher. In this way, they reward their most loyal followers and give them an additional incentive to share content. Follower feel so preferred and will recommend the brand to others.
Tip 5: Cooperation with influencers increases brand awareness
To increase awareness, companies should also use Instagram to search for influencers that are relevant to the brand or industry. It’s not enough to just follow these accounts. As in real life, relationship management is the be-all and end-all and brands should give influencers a sense of appreciation.