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Marketing & Sales
Feb 18, 2015

Instagram: An Integral Piece Of Your Social Media Strategy

Sponsored Content provided by Mike Duncan - CEO and Creative Director, Sage Island

With over 300 million accounts, Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most popular social media platforms. And since Instagram doesn’t [currently] require you to pay for advertising to ensure your followers see your content, it’s definitely a worthwhile use of your company’s time.
 
An Overview
 
In case you aren’t familiar with the platform, Instagram is a visual content-creation platform with still photograph and short video capability. It’s commonly used in conjunction with Facebook and Twitter, and has style filters and image editing capabilities. Instagram is a fantastic tool to give a behind-the-scenes look at your organization, reach a growing audience and creatively engage with customers.
 
Research has shown that users are more likely to engage with brands’ content on Instagram versus other social media platforms. Perhaps it’s the simplicity of the like and comment functions, or it could be that visual content is just more appealing in general. With such an emphasis on aesthetics alone, brands are forced to bring their creativity to the forefront of their Instagram strategies.
 
Content Development
 
The content you share on Instagram should be tailored to your targeted audience. You are encouraged to post photos promoting the products or services that you sell, but it’s important to share content that depicts your company’s personality on a regular basis. Examples may include your staff, physical location (if it’s pretty to look at), special events and more.
 
To help you determine what other kinds of content you should share, put yourself in the shoes of your customers. What types of careers are your audience members in? Are they primarily sitting at a desk, or on the go? What kinds of foods and beverages do they regularly consume? What kinds of activities do they engage in? Do they live a healthy lifestyle? This brainstorm activity will help you develop a go-to list of visuals that will resonate with your audience. Perhaps it’s a photo of your morning coffee from a local roaster, or a photo of the sunset on your evening run. It could even be an inspirational quote related to getting through the workday. Whatever it is – make sure it’s aesthetically appealing and optimized. Grainy photos are not enjoyable to look at. And if you’re adding any sort of text element to a photo or solid background, use image editing programs and tools that offer a variety of nice fonts and colors.
 
Tips for Success
 
An important factor to consider is the quality of visuals over quantity. Nothing will make a user unfollow a brand quicker than too many posts. And unlike Facebook, where audience members may not be seeing all of your posts, rest assured your Instagram content is showing up in your followers’ feeds. Choose only your strongest photos to share with your audience, and make sure you’re using appropriate methods to spread the reach of your content.
 
The use of hashtags on Instagram is key when it comes to increasing your content’s reach as well as your overall number of followers. Strategically placing the “#” in front of keywords that relate to your brand allows people to discover your business. You can also share links to your Instagram account on your other social media accounts, embed Instagram photos and feeds within your website, and run creative promotions to help build your following.
 
It’s also important to follow other individuals and brands on Instagram; if you’re having trouble coming up with a list, refer back to your brainstorm activity used for content development. In addition to following other users, engage with them – like their photos, comment on them and tag other users often. If a user posts a photo you’d like to share as well, tag them and give them credit.
 
If you’re struggling to develop an Instagram or overall social strategy, a marketing agency like Sage Island can help. Our team of account managers, social media specialists and graphic designers can bring life to your brand’s personality on the web.
 
Mike Duncan co-founded Sage Island in 1997, and since then has evolved the agency’s scope to include marketing strategy, creative design, technical development and a wide range of digital marketing services. With an integrated approach that leverages the power and measurability of the internet, the savvy Sage Island team develops strategies, builds brands, writes killer copy and delivers to clients all over the world. And they have an awesome time doing it. Sage’s collaborative working environment keeps creativity and innovation at the heart of the concept. With a 17-year history in Wilmington and beyond, Sage Island shows no signs of slowing down. To learn how Sage Island can grow your business, check us out at www.sageisland.com. To stay updated on the latest in digital marketing, follow Sage Island on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SageIsland, and on Twitter at twitter.com/SageIsland.

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