How Brands Can Stand Out on Instagram

Opinion: Want to get noticed? Go where all the cool kids are

Brands can connect with Instagram audiences in compelling and authentic ways
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Instagram appears to be surpassing Facebook in terms of popularity, indicating a significant shift in social media. Who knew that this photo-sharing application would become one of the most popular apps in the world, particularly among younger demographics?

Omnicore has gathered some pretty incredible statistics as to why brands should be engaging with Instagram followers. This includes the fact that it had 800 million active users as of last September.

Maybe you are already there and are seeing the growing crowd of brands vying for the attention of all of these Instagram users. Indeed, Instagram has reported that there are now 25 million businesses on the site, compared with 15 million in July 2017. In addition, Instagram data reveals that “over 80 percent of accounts on Instagram follow a business, while 200 million Instagrammers actively visit the profile of a business every day.”

With so many brands out there, it can be difficult to stand out. However, with careful planning and targeted action, you can connect with your audience on this popular platform. Numerous other brands have found great success with a range of tactics.

Leverage Instagram Stories in more ways

Many companies are still not sure what to do with the Instagram Stories feature, but they’d be well advised to figure it out, since Instagram Stories had 250 million daily users last June, up from 200 million two months earlier. Since rolling out the feature in August 2016, Instagram has enhanced it with video and creative tools such as Location Stories.

This means Instagram Stories can be used for marketing tactics such as offering discounts, which would expire within a certain period, just like the Stories they appear in. This provides a way to inspire audience members to take advantage of the deal quickly rather than assuming that it will be available when they are ready.

Story Highlights, which allows you to archive stories, is another feature to consider using to grab attention. It could help you attract audience members that might have missed a story when it first appeared.

You can also use these video moments to show existing and potential customers something different about your brand and product that they wouldn’t ordinarily get to see. That means taking them into your world to show them how the product was made or the faces behind the innovation.

Develop brand partnerships

Another approach to get attention on Instagram is to band together with other brands that share your audience. You can create a joint campaign that focuses on a social cause, for example, or you can pursue an issue that you can solve together for your audience.

Numerous companies also form affiliate marketing partnerships, sponsoring partnerships or added-value partnerships. Such partnerships could involve celebrity influencers if that fits your demographic, strategy and budget.

Look for opportunities where coming together on Instagram might yield a win for all parties, as well as attract more customers who can benefit from all the brands involved. These could include contests, shared research or special events.

Teach affiliates and influencers how to be transparent and authentic

Your team of affiliates and influencers can get you off to a great start in attracting more attention on Instagram. However, you have to do more than just create an affiliate program or draft an affiliate marketing strategy. Getting and keeping attention on Instagram involves transparency and authenticity, so you will need to show your affiliates and influencers how to take that approach with their product mentions related to your brand.

Laura Casselman, CEO of JVZoo, an online software solution with both sellers of digital products and a massive army of affiliates among its user base, notes the importance of consumer education. She explains that online shoppers are looking to sift through all the brands and products they encounter to find those that are not deceptive but offer an honest campaign. They are learning to identify what unbiased product reviews and testimonials sound and look like.