The Digital Collide: Instagram Integration: Why, How and Who to Watch

Posted on July 23, 2014 | Karen Moores | 0 Comments

Instagram Storytelling: Inspiration Meets Aspiration 

Less invasive, easy and built to use on your mobile with a strong, simple visual impact: a marketers dream, yes?

Although the ease, style and lifestyle branding potential of Instagram is being used by many brands, especially big names and independent aspiring labels, the cost effectiveness (free!) and the return on investment (the conversion to sales is higher for some brands like Facebook or Twitter), is so impressive it is surprising more brands aren’t using Instagram more often, more regularly and in a more curated way.

Instagram users claim the first ‘selfie’ originated on the visual social tool and with selfies, filtered pictures and food images populating many Facebook and Twitter feeds, the impact of Instagram is being noted big brands. (A little Instagram 101: this medium is a collection of curated photos, is a way of telling your brand message in a powerful, less blantant and controlled way.) Although there is never a substitute for good photography, Instagram also lets all users play photographer with the built in filter options – a plus for small businesses with limited budgets. Many aspiring and known brands are Instagramming, including just big names and those indie spirited, growing we’ll-soon-know-their names kind of brands are using Instagram as part of their overall digital marketing and customer retention tool.

The beauty, luxury goods and hospitality industry are especially well versed in Instagram with the added benefit that there is less back and forth with customers than Twitter and a more positively infused spirit (hey, it’s pictures!) than Facebook complaints.

The Rise of Instagram

  • Instagram and the selfie is a must for politicians: Obama, Biden and even Kathleen Wynne have had all kinds of selfie moments. When a social media tool makes its way to politics, take note!
  • Contests with hashtags are becoming more common all the day, especially in packaged goods and hospitality industry. Consider an Instagram contest to introduce your visual story to fans, friends and customers.
  • Hospitality industry players like the visual aspect, especially the higher end brands like The Four Seasons. Their digital team regularly uses Instagram as a way to show off their properties, and creates an air of luxury.
  • The tourism industry overall has loved integration Instagram, including airlines and bus companies. (A bonus for these players: the back and forth between customers is typically more engaged positive than negative.) an
  • Go aspiration versus blantancy: present the curated lifestyle of your brand whetehr that is molasses, Mercedes or a sweet sleep in a luxury hotel.

What do the Most Successful Users Have in Common:

  • They use it regularly – that simple!
  • Like other social media, the message is consistent and the brand voice and story is told. (In this format, the storytelling focus is on the picture with a small insertion for powerful content: a sentence or two. Tops!)
  • The pictures look natural and not forced: don’t use a posed headshot on Instagram. Keep it natural with an element of organic and the story tells itself – forced doesn’t work for a social visual tool.
  • Engaging your customers, your audience or your demographic is easy through Instagram: they can join in an share in your inspiration, aspiration or create their own branded content.
  • Get started by setting up your account and actively using for 10-15 minutes a day: a simple introduction before you introduce regular usage to your audience.
  • For users already active, add Instagram to your editorial calendar and find new ways to engage your customers.

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