Is Instagram an effective marketing tool?

Posted by Netmatters
21st September 2015

With the ever evolving social media space that we experience in today’s age, it can be difficult to identify which social networks are the most effective for marketing campaigns. Each social network has a varying demographic in the people that use it, and this combined with the way it allows the management of its advertising campaigns are what dictate how effective it would be for your specific business campaign.

Here are the current (at the time of this articles creation) demographics for Instagram:

How do these demographics allow for better marketing decisions?

Instagram as a social network is very consumer based, and is heavily focused on allowing its users to share pictures of significant, entertaining or compelling things to their followers and anyone else who ends up on their page. Instagram encourages, and focuses on the idea of “real time” interaction, with the idea of trends being one of the core focus points. Instagram is supposed to allow instant interactions between different users, and the comment sections of posts are where this takes place.

Instagram has a lot of younger users, many with an average level of education. Also Instagram’s users generally have quite a low level of income compared with some of the other social networks, for example LinkedIn and Pinterest. This can be advantageous to any businesses, however if you are a business selling £150,000 automobiles then you should expect little success marketing when compared to using a medium such as LinkedIn for example, which excels at such markets.

Instagram is often seen as a marketing tool only for big and glamourous businesses; however this could not be more wrong, you just have to get creative with what you post and about the ways you go about posting. It is often thought that if a business sells a particularly usual, unglamorous product then it will not be able to build up a following on social networks like Instagram due to its young user base however this is wrong. In cases like this, you can post things that are not related to the products, but are related to your business. This could take form in, for example, a celebration, a special event, photos from around the workplace and more.

Overall however, as a social network this is not the best one to go and get sales, as most of its users do not have a huge amount of buying power . Instagram is more about the brand exposure aspect to marketing, and where you may not get many sales from direct referrals, you should get more brand visibility than you can off of other social media websites. Also due to the fact that most Instagram users live in an urban area, if you are a retail outlet for example you can be sure that most users who see your posts may well be close to one of your brick and mortar stores.

What does Instagram do better than other social networks?

Instagram does a few things better than other social networks, and it is better compared to Pinterest than it is to the other social networks. Instagram is a great way to branch out brand visibility, and it is a cheap way to get a lot of visibility. Instagram does not require the same amount of maintenance as Facebook or Twitter, so it is easier to run from a business perspective. Also with Instagram you can represent your brands overall image and personality easily. Keeping your posts on a theme that is regular with your brand is easier due to the nature of the network being almost 100% image based. Instagram is good at projecting a message by showing your audience, rather than by telling them.

Instagram also in general experiences a lot more interaction on a 1 to 1 scale than other social networks, and if you post the same photo for example across multiple platforms it would be logical to presume that Instagram would be the one with the most likes. This level of engagement is useful, and in general Instagram users are more active than the users of other social networking sites. Also another thing with Instagram is that it drives more valuable, quality traffic to your site due to the fact that your audience have to go on your Bio to find your link. This ensures that you are sending people actually interested in your brand through to your site.

Is Instagram worth it?

Instagram is one of the best social networks out there for marketing, and there isn’t a single business that cannot use Instagram to their advantage. Instagram marketing does take time, and to reap the array of benefits you have to dedicate yourself and your campaign into it. That said however, when you do focus on it as a social medium you will find that the high quality traffic and highly engaging audience will become a regular, high quality reward.

With Instagram the success strategy is simple; be authentic, be interesting, and be social. When used correctly, by anyone, Instagram can be a highly targeted and visual advertising medium for your brand. Instagram can become a source of reliable, healthy revenue for your business, you just have to master its use and understand your audience.

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