Yet, Instagram has over 700m active users (that is almost 6 x that of Snapchat) and 400m daily active users (It’s reported to be the second most engaged platform after Facebook). 75% of total Instagram users are outside the US and over 80% are connected to brands and businesses.
Instagram is a noisy space. You have users vying with influencers and the like of Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos (who both joined this August) attracting large followings. It’s taken its time, but it feels like Instagram is the third child of social media that is at last, coming into its own, this year.
So how do you achieve stand-out and deliver results?
Firstly, have a plan, a theme and a message
The biggest challenge for brands on social and Instagram in particular is in being consistent. According to Instagram, users, whilst very active, also miss around 70% of their feed. That means brands need to have a constant presence. You need to stand for something and then say it regularly.
Brands need to challenge themselves when it comes to formats too. Instagram is not just video and stills. Instagram stories are now used daily by more people that Snapchat itself. There are new formats for video alongside video chat, and you can share both landscape and portrait pictures in galleries. For advertisers there is everything from Stories adverts to Carousels.
With so much variety, Instagram needs a plan. A plan that will allow your audiences to understand your brand and what it stands for. A plan that makes clear what you are about.
It also needs to be focused on topic themes and messages whilst including ‘moments’, and ‘Hashtag Projects’ that will drive your creative thinking. It’s not just about the content either. You need to connect with communities and micro-target audiences with relevant content through paid. Take a look at GoPro and you’ll get an idea of a brand that really knows what the message is on Instagram.
Don’t make the mistake of just thinking you can pop your campaign pictures on Instagram. You need a whole lot more than that.
Work harder as engagement rates are dropping
Average engagement rates are now are 1.1% (down from over 4% 3 years ago). Brands need to work hard to grab users’ attention. What we do know is that it isn’t enough to post visuals, you need a ‘shot-list’ and visual themes that marry with the planned context for each post. Tips include:
- Have at least one dominant colour in your images (it will attract 17% more likes compared to ones that have several dominant colours)
- Images with high negative space garner 29% more likes
Tanpa kalian kebahagiaan hanya sebatas angan-angan. #WWIM15❤️ #WWIM15❤️PROBOLINGGO A post shared by Penelisik (@yokisetiawan) on
- Blue is the colour! Apparently, images with blue as the dominant colour receive 24% more likes too
- Finally, we like to look at people. Images with faces get 38% more likes than those without
Think about how your brand can look visually on Instagram and stick to it. Get known for the images that stand out and gain engagement.
It’s simple really. Have a plan and consistently post. Think about your visuals, give them a theme and use stand-out creative (and maybe a bit of blue) to captures attention.