Ways Instagram Has Changed Marketing
When Instagram was first released in 2010, none of us could have expected a massive impact on the world. In the beginning, it was only used by individuals, and there was no such thing as a professional profile. It was primarily used by young people, and functionality was limited. Images had to be square, there were only a few filters to choose from, and the most exciting addition you could add to your photos were frames. Features we have now hadn’t even been dreamed of yet.
Flash forward to today – over 500 million people are using the platform daily worldwide. Functionality has gone from being able to post one picture, to multiple images (carousels), to videos, and we now have all kinds of features that no one imagined – for example, being able to sell products directly from within the Instagram platform.
But what has all this meant for how businesses market their products?
Let’s talk about 5 of the ways that Instagram has changed marketing forever.
Brick and Mortar stores are no longer needed to sell a product – neither are websites
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could travel back in time ten years and tell a business owner that they could shut their doors, cancel their lease, stop paying overhead costs, and simply list their products on Instagram and market them there? I have a feeling they’d give you a big hug and ask how.
Shops are an incredible feature Instagram offers that more businesses should be taking advantage of. With the proper marketing and paid advertising, entrepreneurs can start thriving businesses from nothing without hiring a website designer or signing a lease. Even for businesses with physical storefronts, setting up shops on their Facebook and Instagram accounts is a smart way to bring in additional sales and satisfy their existing customers who would love to have the option to order online.
The term “engagement” no longer has anything to do with diamond rings
Ask a small business owner in the early 2000s how they have such great engagement on their posts, and they would either give you a bizarre look or refer you to the nearest nuthouse. Ask one today, and they might refer you to diamond-views.com to buy IG views to help you hack the algorithm and skyrocket your Instagram account.
And while mentioning the word engagement to your lonely thirty-something bestie in the ’90s could have sent her spoon deep into a bucket of Neapolitan ice cream (because why choose one?). Now mentioning “engagement” to your ambitious single girlfriend will have her eyes light up as she excitedly tells you how her engagement on Instagram videos has recently gone through the roof.
Having good engagement on Instagram is vital because the more engagement your content receives, the higher you will rank in the Instagram algorithm. Therefore, the more your content will be seen, allowing you to gain even more activity and increase your following.
Businesses have had to become more creative in how they market themselves
Think of all the things you have to consider in your Instagram strategy.
You can produce at least 6 forms of content, including a single image or carousel posts for likes, stories, short videos for, live video, IGTV for views, and the newest kid on the block: Reels. It is also recommended to utilize as many of them as you can to appeal to as many people as possible. Whenever a new content type is released, they push that one higher in their algorithm than the other types, as they have most recently done with Reels. This makes it challenging for businesses and entrepreneurs to learn to create new types of content. Many find themselves turning to professional social media marketers to do the heavy lifting for them.
Once upon a time, branding didn’t mean much more than using the same fonts, colors, and messaging in print advertising. Now it applies to every possible way a business can present itself in its online marketing. On Instagram, this means not only having a unified Instagram feed, but how you present yourself on video, what you talk about, how you respond to comments and messages, and the list goes on. Brands are no longer only a visual representation of their company but an entire personality.
Algorithm. Who’d have thought we’d have to think so much about this nine-letter word that provides a singular source of constant confusion? For Instagram, focus on the content type, quality and originality of post, day and time posted, how much engagement received in the first hour of posting, and several other factors. A good resource for learning about optimization is in this article by Hootsuite.
We don’t have to be so severe anymore (it’s okay to have fun and be yourself!)
One of the best ways that Instagram has changed marketing forever is that it has given us permission to be ourselves. No longer do we have to be so rigid. So professional. So serious. This is why brands that have embraced the idea of authenticity have more success on social media.
By way of its interactive and visual platform, Instagram has given brands permission (and encouragement) to lighten up! No one will have any interest in your content if you are making posts that look like yellow page advertisements. We want to see brands that are interesting, down-to-earth, and authentic. Only such kinds of content will get organic likes and views.
Brands who take themselves off a pedestal and portray a humanized personality create a sense that we can trust them because they are honest and relatable. And when they make a mistake, we can forgive them because, after all, nobody is perfect.
It’s not about you anymore
Aren’t we all so glad to have said goodbye to stale suit-wearing businesses that use phrases like “one-stop-shop”, “world-famous”, or “best in class”?
Think about it – would you rather view a boring advertisement of some guy droning on about how superior his product is, or find out about it through an entertaining Reel while scrolling through your feed? The latter, right?
And this applies to all of the messaging used on Instagram, including your bio, captions, stories, and videos. Make it about who you’re talking to. Keep any posts that are promotional to a bare minimum, at most 1 out of 5.
In conclusion, Instagram has made a massive impact on marketing forever.
- Businesses no longer need a storefront, physical or virtual
- Engagement is a new concept for how well content performs
- More creativity is required than ever before
- We don’t have to be so serious anymore
- It’s not about you. It’s about your audience.
Let’s all embrace the remarkable impact Instagram has made on marketing.
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