While content marketing has been around for ages, the recent revolutionary transformation of marketing techniques has seen brands employing a potent combination of print media and digital marketing in lieu of solely focusing on the traditional publications. This metamorphosis has promoted a new wave of innovative ideas and creative advertisements that ensures wider content reach and impact.
Brands, big and small alike, have joined the social media bandwagon and are routinely experimenting with out-of-the box concepts to promote their products and attract a larger populace.
One of the key elements to maintaining a successful social media presence is to keep your audience appropriately engaged with regular blog posts that do not necessarily have to revolve around your product or service, all the time. The idea is to keep your target demographic interested and loyal to your account without force feeding them relentless information about your product, which can soon get annoying and lose you potential subscribers.
The other is being active on all social media platforms, instead of just a couple of popular ones, to reach out to different age brackets that favor varying social media sites; one of these is the mobile based photo-sharing app Instagram.
Instagram is a newfangled approach to promoting your blog post since it effectively combines a captivating image or video with a short description which immediately grabs attention and effortlessly directs the user to the original post. This automatically translates into higher post engagements and more likes, and ultimately more publicity for your blog.
However, if you need more convincing for owning an Instagram account as an aspiring blogger, following are a few reasons why it’s advantageous to promote your new blog post on the picture-sharing app;
- Rising popularity
Facebook and YouTube are undoubtedly the social media dominators with more than 3 billion active monthly users combined. However, Instagram too is fast approaching the ranks of these market giants coming in at a close third in terms of active users.
Despite being relatively new to the social media scene, Instagram has seen an exponential rise in its popularity and has managed to garner almost 700 million active monthly users. Moreover, it is now under the helm of Facebook and serves as its extension in a photo-sharing network, which is basically the major influencer, if not the pioneer, of social media.
At the time of Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in 2012, the app had 30 million followers. A year after its acquisition, the active monthly users reached to over 100 million; and 67 of the world’s top 100 brands flocked to create an Instagram account, including Coca Cola, McDonald’s and Disney, cementing its position as one of the forerunners on the digital platform.
According to a report published in International Business Times, in terms of global mobile ad revenue, Instagram has managed to rake in 1.53 billion dollars in 2016 alone and makes up 8.4% of Facebook’s global ad revenue. This year’s prediction for global mobile ad revenue is approximately 2.81 billion dollars which amounts to 10% of Facebook’s global mobile ad revenue.
Instagram also enjoys relatively more user engagement when compared to other social media fronts; Instagrammers are 15 times more engaging than Facebook users and 20 times more engaging than the Twitterati.
Finally, this year, almost 70.7% of U.S. companies are expected to use Instagram for marketing purposes, alluding to the fact that Instagram has taken precedence over Twitter for the first time.
- A picture is worth a thousand words
The old saying might have been the inspiration for Instagram’s creators as it adheres to the true essence of the app. While well-crafted blog posts can convey an in-depth analysis of the topic at hand; a powerful illustration grabs immediate attention and can have a greater and lasting impact on the viewer. This is further proven by research that states that a human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text and 90% of the total information transmitted to the brain is visual.
Furthermore, a captivating picture can be utilized as a persuasive tactic to guide the audience towards the desired content by piquing their interest which compels them to click on the “link in bio”.
Instagram account of @Enthrallinggumption is an inspiring utilization of the photo-sharing app. A quick glance on her newsfeed entraps you with the vibrant color schemes of the photos and astute use of the negative space. The captivating images reach out to the users and persuade them to visit her DIY website.
Another blogger, @the.entrepreneuress, has created her Instragram feed in a checkered-fashion enhanced by an almost pastel shade of turquoise, which makes every post pop-out without being too overbearing. One is immediately drawn to this tranquility and consequently to her website. Her posts are mostly images of short phrases, instead of actual photos, which give an insight into her blogs’ content; an unconventional yet highly effective use of this medium.
- The charm of a good video
Instagram introduced a 15-second video sharing feature in June 2013 with 13 filters and multiple editing options which turned out to be a value-adding decision on the company’s part. When Instagram’s co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom was asked about the preferred duration of 15 seconds as compared to Twitter’s video-sharing app Vine which offers 6 second videos, he referred to the duration as the “Goldilocks moment” which feels just right.
Consequently, Instagram videos enjoy twofold engagements as compared to photos since their duration is short enough to hold onto the viewers’ attention but long enough to convey the message effectively. Other variants of videos, namely Stories and Live Streaming, were also introduced later which provided the bloggers with a range of techniques to market themselves using only a single platform.
Instagram Stories, launched in 2016, is quite similar to Snapchat Stories, as it allows a group of photos to be presented as a transitory slideshow which disappears after 24-hours. But, it has been dubbed as a Snapchat for adults since brands can post a bevy of informational photos in an orderly fashion without crowding your newsfeed. In addition, the Stories bar appears at the top of the page to be perused at will hence it is not an in-your-face kind of a feature.
A few fun facts of Instagram videos include:
- An astonishing number of 1.5 million videos were uploaded on the photo-sharing giant, within 24 hours of its launch.
- Instagram stories enjoy three times more search interest as compared to Snapchat stories.
- On an average, a sponsored video on Instagram receives three times more comments as compared to a sponsored photo.
- Instagram Stories had 100 million active users everyday within 2 months of its launch
- The power of hashtags
Even though hashtags were the brain child of Twitter, which used them to organize massive amounts of information categorically under a common hashtag, its Instagram variant seems to be more popular and more widely used. Clever use of descriptive hashtags under your posts can make you visible to a wider audience thus extending your content’s reach. On average, posts with at least one hashtag enjoy 12.6% more engagements as compared to posts without any hashtags.
Use inventive hashtags related to your blog post along with a compulsory hashtag with your blog’s name under every featured image. If even one of the images manages to enthrall the audience, becomes a hit, and is repeatedly shared, the hashtagged brand name will provide you with free publicity and direct traffic to your blog.
You can also tap into the success of a trending hashtag, courtesy of big brands, by using them in the caption of your posts. Of course, it is necessary to have some sort of semblance between the trending hashtags and your blog post.
According to research, tweets accompanied by more than two hashtags noticed a visible decline in post engagements. On the other hand, photos on Instagram can have up to ten hashtags, where the number of hashtags is directly proportional to post engagements.
A comprehensive list of the most popular hashtags used by bloggers of various genres by Bloguettes can be found.
- Subtle yet creative promotion
One major advantage of choosing Instagram to promote your blog post is that you can upload multiple photos all abiding to the core purpose of your post without overwhelming the audience. As mentioned above, too many posts can cross the fine line between interesting and spamming, however, this isn’t the case on Instagram as each photo posted there tells a different story.
Multiple pictorial uploads depicting different sections of your post can keep your audience justifiably engaged without annoying them. You can publish behind-the-scenes photos of the brainstorming phase and images of your source of inspiration to generate anticipation for your next blog post. This can be followed by pictorial representation of your published post and then “throwbacks” and “from the archives” pictures to resurface the old posts that might have been missed by some of your followers.
Occasional candid photos of yourself will allow your followers to connect with you on a personal level and help them humanize the person behind their favorite blog; Instagram’s less formal frontage is ideal for such exchanges.
Finally, there are periods in your life when you aren’t creating enough content due to lack of inspiration or simply because you are too busy. A quick picture upload on your Instagram account only takes a few taps on your phone. It can be done from literally anywhere and keep your social media alter-ego visible enough to keep your followers occupied until inspiration for a new blog post strikes.
The Shop Files is an online blog, run by Kate, which provides guidance and assistance on improving your shop from a simple idea to a profitable business. Kate wrote an article about “ways to promote a business on a budget” on her website a while back. She used 14 of the points mentioned in the blog to run 14-days series on her Instagram page, where everyday a new point was highlighted. This ingenious strategy ensured her two weeks’ worth of illustrative content all stemming from a single post.
- Instagram demographics
As mentioned previously, Instagram has grown into a family of 700 million active monthly users. The interesting fact about this rapidly increasing Instagram population is that 90% of them are under the age of 35 (hold on to this thought).
Moving on, blogging is a considerably newfangled approach to cataloguing your thoughts about a particular topic as well as an innovative marketing technique. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that a wide proportion of active bloggers are young people who grew up during the blogging revolution. To be precise, 73.5% of active bloggers are under the age of 35.
Combining the two aforementioned points; Instagram is the perfect place to promote your blog post and reach out to your target audience since as a blogger you write about your experiences that are unique to your age bracket. A target audience of a similar age demographic means that they can relate to your blogs at a personal level and can become avid followers.
Furthermore, Instagram, as a mobile-based app, has a perfect algorithm for effortless photo and video editing and uploading; a quintessential requirement for millennials with their fast-paced lives and little to no downtime.
To conclude, the launch of Instagram has opened a range of creative possibilities to promote your product, service or blog in an inspired fashion. High quality, stimulating images that speak to the audience accompanied by a beguiling description of your blog can be a compelling, persuasive mix for
the spectators that can elevate tractions on your blog.