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Growing Instagram—new changes boost marketer capabilities

by | Apr 19, 2021 | Public Relations

As it enters adolescence, Instagram can point to the more than one billion users it captured over the past ten years since it first launched as a huge success. With 80 percent of them following one or more brands on the platform, competing for followers can be quite a marketing challenge. With more than 95 million photos and videos being shared daily, what does a brand have to do to stand out from the crowd?

A recent change in Instagram allows English-speaking users to search using keywords. This is important because until recently, only keywords found in hashtags or usernames would be found. This change opens up a wider world or possibilities, but marketers would still be wise to place a keyword or two in their hashtag, username, bio, and name fields. Doing all this optimizes the brand profile in searches.

There are other recent tools to help

Be sure to take advantage of Instagram Reels, the platform’s newest video feature. Not only will the 30 second videos excite and attract consumers, but they also have a chance to spread the word even further by going viral. Get involved sooner rather than later as many brands were slow to capitalize on it. This may be attributed to the mixed reviews Instagram Reels received when it was unveiled with some critics even calling it a “dud.”

However, a growing number of marketers and influencers are beginning to hail their success on Instagram Reels. Lissette Calveiro, a New York digital strategist and influencer, told Yahoo! News this January that her outreach increased 555 percent and her following went up 3.5 percent within a month of posting videos on the platform for a month.

Here are some other glowing possibilities

To lure viewers to the platform and ensure return visits, create an IGTV channel and launch a series of longer videos there. IGTV’s profile tab makes it easier to align content with the brand’s audience. Doing so not only makes the brand more appealing to customers but can also attract new ones.

Identify and partner with influencers whose audiences are aligned with the industry or brand. A recent study by Markerly, an influencer marketing firm, determined that micro-influencers are the best to partner with for brands on Instagram Reels These are influencers who have a following between 2,000 and 50,000 on a social media channel.

Another important thing that arose and was magnified last year was heightened consumer interest in diversity and inclusion (D&I). If this is an area the brand embraces, be sure to foster and demonstrate more. This doesn’t only include people of color and other minorities on the videos, but also such things like subtitles for the hearing impaired. Brands in Motion, a global survey conducted by WE Communications before the deaths of George Floyd and others, showed that 74 percent of those polled expect brands to take a stand on important issues. However, if D&I is not part of the company culture, don’t do this as consumers as well as employees will see right through it and discredit the brand.

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Mike Paffmann
Mike Paffmann is CEO of Virgo-PR.

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