The Best Instagram Content Marketing Examples
Even with increasing number of platforms available for content marketing, Instagram remains one of the unique ones. Like Instagram, Snapchat also boasts of its visual content and maintains its position as one of the leading rivals of the former. Ironically, the app’s USP of a 24-hour shelf life is what decreases its value as a content marketing platform. Although Instagram now provides a similar feature with its stories, the freedom for users to choose between posting content that could remain forever or something that vanishes after a day is what gives it the added advantage and an increase in statistics as compared to Snapchat. With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram has become a social media tool brands can’t and shouldn’t live without. It allows brands to humanise themselves and leave their corporate image behind. The social networking site is no more just for personal use and is taking steps (like launching business profiles in 2016) to actively try and make the consumer-brand relationship more convenient on its platform. As 80% of Instagram users voluntarily connect with a brand on it, the only effort businesses have to put in is increasing their visibility and attractiveness.
Top 12 Instagram Content Marketing Examples
On seeing a brand post, 75% of Instagrammers are inspired to take action, and although Instagram has made content marketing very easy for brands, there are still many of us who try to find the newest or the best ways to succeed in this. What most of us forget or skip over are the basics. We’ve made it even more simple for you to ace your marketing strategy by offering 6 effective ways and 12 of the best Instagram content marketing examples.
1. Create Valuable Content
Your content should hold value for the users. Something that doesn’t interest them is unlikely to be clicked or shared by them. As an image based app, offering something entertaining or inspirational is the easiest way for any business to garner attention on Instagram. It helps them relate to the brand, and changes the brand’s image from a corporate entity out to take their money to something that has real people working in it, that are concerned about real issues.
Playdoh beautifully manages to post content that is not only pleasing to look at, but also entertaining. And the Nike posts are all about inspiration. Most of their content is about social issues that evoke emotions from their users. However, if you are unable to do so, then your content should, at the very least, be educational. But instead of educating your users about who you are, you should focus on presenting a solution to a problem your users are facing. Make sure that the images you use are not just put there because they are pretty, as users are known to ignore purely decorative images that don’t offer any real content. How-to-videos and Infographics prove to be a great tool in that regard. They not only help gain a user’s attention, but are also liked and shared 3 times more than any other type of content.
Ben and Jerry’s post delicious video recipes of treats that could be made from their ice-creams. They are colourfully charged and peppy, making users actually want to see the whole video. Hubspot is an excellent example of a brand that creates impressive infographics to attract users.
2. Ensure Interaction with Users
Merely posting great content is not enough, a brand must also remain in constant connection with its users. Your images or videos may be liked and shared, but if you don’t interact with your users, you will be unable to leave a lasting impression and grow your presence. Many brands create contests to increase user interaction, as these get 3.5 times more likes and 64 times more comments than regular posts. Posting user-generated content is another way to increase engagement and make your users feel special and appreciated. Consumers who see a user-generated photo have a 4.5% higher chance of conversion, which increases to 9.6% once they interact with the photo.
Starbucks is one of the brands that has used user-generated content for marketing perfectly. Their feed is full of beautiful posts from users themselves, which have garnered thousands of likes. One of the most popular Instagram contests was National Geographic’s ‘Untamed Americas’, where they asked users to follow their profile and post pictures from North and South America with #UntamedAmericas. The prize was set as a subscription of Nat Geo magazines and a DLSR Camera, both right up the alley of their usual followers.
3. Flaunt Your Company Culture
The most significant advantage of a brand using Instagram as a marketing tool is that it can change its image very easily here. Instagram helps brands show their human side to the audience. The content you post here can say, “Hey! We don’t just want your money. We also have regular people like you, doing regular things.” You don’t want to seem too corporate here, that’s what other social media platforms are for. So, show your brand’s human side. In-house company games, your employee’s personal achievements, celebrating an employee’s birthday, and some charity or trust your brand supports are some of the things that could be included here.
Marriott and Tripadvisor, leading brands in their respective industries, regularly post content on their Instagram profiles that show their company culture. Their feeds are constantly updated with personal stories of their employees and their life at the office.
4. Maintain Interconnectivity between Platforms
Oftentimes, brands try to use the same content for different social platforms. This is a big no-no in the world of marketing. Your content may be worth sharing, and while replicating it is okay, you need to ensure that appropriate format changes are made before you take it from one social media tool and post it to another. For instance, textual-rich content can be a good strategy for Facebook, but the same doesn’t hold true for Instagram. A user can see only the first few lines of text on their feed, and the rest of your content goes to waste. As a visual app, brands need to focus marketing through images and videos alone, and offer words only to provide context. With that said, many brands have lengthy write-ups to complement their posts. But the photos and videos used by these brands are so overpowering with respect to the text, that the words really act only as sidekicks.
Humansofny back their images with compelling stories from the subjects. These stories give a life to the image and make the users empathise with the person photographed. Buzzfeedtasty post mouthwatering recipe videos, usually accompanied by lengthy captions that are only present to support the videos, not overtake the attention from them. This does not mean that you have to ignore your other social media tools while on Instagram. In fact, 95% of Instagram users also use Facebook, so it’s better to allow your users to reach you on your other social media platforms through your Instagram account itself. Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links as captions to the images or videos. And since brands need to ensure that the users are lead back to their products or services, it is essential to provide these links in your profile bio. These links can be of your Facebook pages, website, or even your contact information as long as they guide the users back to your products or services.
5. Hashtag the Sh**t out of your Posts
Hashtagging your posts is an essential element of Instagram. It makes your story searchable, and easily recognisable. Using at least one hashtag increases engagement by 12.6%. But and I cannot emphasise more on this point do not overdo it. You cannot simply hashtag every single word of the caption. That will only look like a cluttered mess. Instead, focus on the relevant keywords and hashtag them. This will allow the users to find your post if they search for the right thing. Even if the users just happen to stumble upon your post, proper hashtags will help define what your post is about and aid users to differentiate whether it is relevant to them or not. Take this blog post as an example. If I want to hashtag it, I could put #Instagram #Contentmarketing #Simple #WittyPen, instead of #How #to #use #Instagram #for #Content #Marketing #by #WittyPen.
In the former, all the relevant words are tagged, and while the latter provides the same information as well, it looks more cluttered and disorganised, and also makes it harder for the users to determine what is really important. As for the hashtags you do use, make sure that they are not only easy to search for, but are also easy to remember and read. One of the best tricks for a brand is to use branded hashtags. These hashtags are specific to your brand and the users searching for it will know they are searching for you. These have to be memorable and can be about your brand as a whole, a product you offer, or an event you are organising. They also make receiving user generated content easier. Your users could be encouraged to use these hashtags when posting something about your products or services, or when they take part in one of your contests. You can then regram the best content on your own feed.
Airbnb launched a campaign to promote uniqueness and diversity. As a brand whose entire business is based on people from different cultures sharing their space with each other, it was a brilliant idea to create this politically charged campaign. The message they shared was, “We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept,” followed by #weaccept. Maybelline’s #mnybrowndowncontest + #mnybrowns is another great example of a brand using hashtags to allow users to create content for them.
6. Consistency is Key
Consistency is an obvious but often neglected component of Instagram content marketing. A brand needs to ensure that the type of content they share is consistent with the values and image it represents. A certain kind of content will attract a certain kind of audience, and inconsistency with the perception will confuse and distract them. That is why more than half of the top brands on Instagram use the same filter for every post. Steady posting time is also an essential factor. It creates loyalty towards the brands when users think that the brand they follow is going to post at such and such time every day.
Cadbury and Snickers both use their iconic colours in almost all of their posts. This not only makes the feed look pleasing to the eye, but also makes the brand itself look reliable.
To put it simply, these are the main points that your content marketing strategy on Instagram should cover:
1. Create Valuable Content – Post content that is valuable to your audience and that interests them. Only posting promotional images and videos won’t garner the same amount of attention that something that is beneficial to them would.
2. Ensure Interaction with Users – Likes, shares, and reposts are all part of your engagement with the users. Ensure that your content encourages them to interact with it, and offer appropriate responses to make it a two-way communication between you and your users. This tells your users that they are important to you, and creates a more human image of your brand.
3. Flaunt Your Company Culture – You don’t want to seem “too corporate” to your users. Own your company culture and let them see that you’re proud of it. Let your users relate to your brand through your employees.
4. Maintain Interconnectivity between Platforms – Don’t just copy-paste what you did on Facebook or Twitter, understand the Instagram culture and allow interconnectivity between these social media tools so that your brand is easily reachable. Make it possible for the users to find you on different social media platforms through your Instagram profile itself.
5. Hashtag the Sht out of your Posts – However, don’t get so engrossed in following the way of Instagram that you start overdoing it. Use your hashtags smartly and appropriately to become a more discoverable brand. Let the users come to you.
6. Consistency is Key – Maintain all this by creating a dependable image for your users and ensure their loyalty to your brand with the help of a consistent content strategy.
So, understand these 6 basic rules with the help of the best Instagram content marketing examples and ace your content marketing game!