In today’s day and age, it goes without saying that it is indispensable for brands to have an active social media presence. Each social media platform offers its own features and perks. It is a good practice to be present and active on more than one platform.
While Facebook allows your brand to post long format videos, Instagram offers an array of stickers and filters with which to engage with your customers, and Twitter gives you the avenue to post your own brand content as well as the content your brand is tagged in.
But how do you know which features you should pick for your next social media campaign? Here is a low down on some features on Instagram that are often overlooked by brands.
Stickers in Stories
Instagram Stories come with a plethora of stickers such as ‘Ask Me Anything’, ‘Type Something’, Polls and so on. All these are ways in which to initiate a conversation with consumers. By answering questions or re-posting relevant responses or simply tagging a consumer in their Stories, brands can go a long way in nurturing positive brand equity.
Swipe Up Links
Swipe Up links in Stories offer a simple and efficient solution to directing your users to a particular landing page. Be it registrations for an event, sale on an e-commerce site, a new blog post on your website, or an ad campaign you want to highlight, Swipe Up links are here to save the day. Instagram also now offers a variety of GIFs to animate Swipe Up links and make it all the more appealing.
As a format that allows users to upload videos longer than a minute, IGTV is ideal for your brand if the objective is to promote a launch, share a trailer to an upcoming major event, or post video ads. Many musicians have taken to IGTV during the lockdown to release new songs. Users who tune in to watch IGTV videos are the ones with more time and hence relatively longer attention spans.
Every Story that is posted on Instagram through your brand handle can be saved in ‘Highlights’. While a Story typically lasts for only 24 hours, when saved in Highlights, Stories are available on your profile for as long as they are manually deleted. Saving important brand stories, customer testimonials, launches and product reviews in Highlights is a great way to engage with customers who visit your brand page even after the Story is no longer available. Louis Philippe does a great job at saving its newest clothing range on its Instagram handle.
The newest addition to the plethora of options that Instagram offers, Reels is short, fun and highly engaging. Launched coincidentally at a time when a major short-format video app was banned in the country, Reels quickly assumed immense popularity. Content creators have taken to Reels like fish to water and Instagram was flooded with creative 15-second videos trending with the hashtag #FeelKaroReelKaro. Krutika, a young content creator going by the name Mermaid Scales, has emerged as the unanimous favourite with her quirky and relatable content on Reels.
An excellent surface for your brand to host live events and engage with your audience on Instagram. When the coronavirus-induced lockdown was put in place in India and all on-ground events coming to a screeching halt, Instagram Live was quickly adopted by content creators across the country. Music concerts, dance shows, Q/A sessions were some content formats that became ubiquitous on Instagram.
What brand managers should look for
Every brand now acknowledges that they need to have a solid social media marketing strategy in place, but what most brands don’t realize is how to do this. With so many surfaces and features available within a single platform like Instagram, brands must be clear on their marketing objectives so they can pick the right surface and use the right features for effective customer interactions.
If the objective is to create awareness about a new product launch in the market, a good approach would be to inform the consumers of this through a detailed IGTV video, and draw attention to the IGTV video through a couple of Stories.
Or perhaps if the marketing objective is to drive sales, then the tactic could be to include links in bio, Story Swipe Up links, partner with influencers to encourage consumers to buy and so on.
Instagram in likely to bring in more interesting features in the months to come, and if brands want to stay on top of their game, they need to keep themselves abreast of the latest trends and platform features. This way, working with partner agencies can become a lot smoother and key marketing objectives will be effectively met.
Let us know in the comments what Instagram feature helped you the most and how!