While Instagram is a new social media platform, the concept is not. Instagram is the best of a Polaroid camera and the best of a telegram. Like a Polaroid, Instagram is instant. Like a telegram, Instagram photos are “wired” to others. Instagram works by taking an instant image, adding filters and sharing it.
Reaching audiences through visual storytelling
Like other types of content marketing strategies, especially direct response tv advertising, good storytelling is key. People are so caught up in the Rat Race that it becomes harder everyday to listen to a good story. Fortunately, a picture is still worth a thousand words. Brands can tell their story through instant images.
Easy to set up
Unlike other social media platforms, most brands will not have to invest a lot of time setting up Instagram. Companies can pull the images that they have already posted on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. After some optional light editing, a brand is Instagram ready.
Many fans of brands are constantly taking pictures of their favorite products and new purchases. Instead of limiting these images to a user’s personal social media platform, Instagram facilitates easy sharing that a brand can track. Instagram streamlines the entire process. By streamlining it, Instagram gives brands the best kind of social proof.
Brands can harness this social proof by asking their fans to add hashtags to their images. In many respects, hashtags allow a customer to tell a visual story of their experience with a brand. For instance, Starbucks asked its users to use a hashtag. The company then went on to add a feed of the images on the company’s website. Instagram leverages a unique sharing potential that can make fans feel invested in the community.
Contests, giveaways and event marketing
Brands can use the power of hashtags to conduct contests, giveaways and promote events. Using a hashtag is an easy way for non-participants to engage in a contest, giveaway or event. For instance, if a brand hosts a hashtag-based contest, then they can enable a voting feature for everyone in the community to vote for their favorite image. At events, the hashtag of an event provides real time images of the event.
Brands like ABC World News, CNN, MTV, Burberry and Gucci are using Instagram as part of their social media campaigns. Instagram does the work of a direct response marketing company. Facebook recently purchased Instagram; this integration could lead to even better social media capabilities and features.