It’s always more interesting to me when I see brands giving a nod to the latest trend or successfully managing to relate their products/services with our lifestyles. Instagram is one of the finest examples of social media platforms that have sway in people’s lifestyles in such a way. It’s been around for almost a decade now and is still growing popular by the day.
When Instagram was launched in 2010, people began by updating anything and everything happening in their lives on the platform. It was all very casual and fun, with people posting about their day-to-day lives; a shot of their daily dose of caffeine from the perfect angle, their pets learning a new trick, or photos from a fun night out.
But no longer are these posts some grainy, over-edited selfie taken in your perfectly-lit washroom. Nowadays, photography skills, picture quality, and even the captions have a huge impact on how your followers perceive your content. Interestingly, brands have slowly started to make use of Instagram to grab the attention of customers. Features like Instagram story further enable brands to really get the ball rolling with an attractive creative and a smart copy. For example, a crisp picture of an espresso shot, such as the ones Tabaq posts, or a cute outfit from Noir can trick me into stop scrolling down and grab one myself.
I believe the line between our reality and the Internet is getting blurred day by day. I mean this in the most positive way, of course. We’re taking inspirations off our screens to live it up in life. This can be anything from planning a picnic in the park after stumbling upon a lovely Instagram story or hitting the gym again after getting a glimpse of Roger Federer’s training routine. This is where brands can get into the middle and leverage Instagram or other social media platforms to their benefits.
For example, the rise of the “influencers” on Instagram, which I briefly touched upon in my last blog on marketing to Millennials. They are basically individuals on social media platforms who have gained credibility and are relied on by their followers to post authentic and trustworthy content on their profile. Nas Daily, Zoella, and Superwoman are just some that I can name from the top of my head. Their audience is likely to have similar tastes, hence are inclined to put their faith in these influencers’ opinions. Brands team up with these neo-celebrities, if I may, to showcase their products because they’re more reliable than paid advertisements.
That’s how Instagram creates the perfect bridge between a brand and its target group. While it’s still growing popular every day, it still does not have anyone or everyone using the platform, unlike Facebook. It still has a curated audience and is one of the reasons why Instagram is so effective when it comes to niche marketing.
While Instagram makes it easier for brands to slip in promotional content, I believe brands need to be a bit cautious about the content itself. The content should always be interesting and relevant, the promotions shouldn’t feel like force feeding. I’m sure most of us wouldn’t mind if we come across a cool visual just like this Lego Star Wars Ship, while going through Instagram.
That’s exactly what Instagram allow the brands to do. To really get me hooked, the content should have an intrinsic value and it should look nice. It should be relevant, meaningful and inspiring to me. For instance, take Instagram’s own posts; they’re eye-catching enough to make us do a double take, or one of my personal favourites, Casey Neistat; his feed attracts not only travellers and tech-enthusiasts but also anyone who’s seeking adventure through the phone screen.
From a boutique dessert shop to an up-and-coming wearable tech brand, Instagram is the way to go. The content can blend effortlessly with our daily news feed and makes it easy for companies to become part of our lifestyle. So you better catch the Insta-train!