In a few short years Instagram has become one of the leading social networks for advertizing, with active monthly users in the US alone expected to reach 104 million in the next 18 months. With almost half of all online shopping carried out on mobile, running a winning Instagram campaign is priceless to your business.
Huge global brands use Instagram to engage customers, build their brand stories, and launch new products. Follow these five killer tips for Instagram success, and you can take a piece of that pie.
1. KEEP TEXT TO A MINIMUM
Too many advertisers make the mistake of packing their advert with text. Instagram is a visual platform, and users expect to see rich, engaging imagery.
Text that works well is short and punchy. Imagine you’re running a deli on the Lower East Side. To create a smart, impactful ad you might use a tantalizing image of a bagel with three simple words, “Welcome to NY.”
Instagram is a feed, and anything in-depth is easily lost. 3–7 words is ideal, because customers will read the snippet effortlessly. You’ve got a fraction of a second to make an impact so rely on attention-grabbing imagery. Leave your text, hashtags, and any promotional details for your caption.
You need users to stop swiping and focus on your advert, and the way to achieve that is a high-quality image.
2. USE HIGH QUALITY IMAGES
It cannot be emphasized enough that the image you use to represent your brand must be the highest quality image you can manage.
In the last six months alone 775,000 Americans have made a purchase on their phone. That means that connecting with them on Instagram could be the only chance you’ll get to make a favorable impression.
Like an elevator pitch, your Instagram advert has to sell your business in seconds; with such a brief opportunity, any flaws will be magnified. When you use a high quality image, you’re telling customers that you’re a high quality business, a business that is worth their time, and money.
Fortunately you don’t need to hire an expert photographer to create your perfect shot, you’ll find something ideal, that tells your story, in Shutterstock’s extensive library.
When Levi’s were looking to grow their brand online, they used photographs of people wearing their products in the great outdoors. They reached 7.4 million Americans in just nine days, all thanks to four carefully selected images.
3. TELL A STORY
Nothing is more powerful than a brand story. Instagram gives you the option of carousel adverts, a series of images in sequence that tell your brand’s story.
The power of Instagram carousels is that once customers are swiping, and interacting with your ad, they’re not only learning about your brand, they’re invested in it. Studies suggest that our short term memory retains a message for a minute, but when we repeat the message—as is the case with Instagram carousels—the memory is retained for up to an hour.
Imagine you’re selling running shoes, you could set up a campaign that starts with a runner warming up and the caption “Get Ready to Run…”; the next slide shows the runner on the street with the caption “…And Run…”; the final slide shows the runner in the wilderness, with the caption “…And Run…”. A simple, effective, and memorable campaign.
4. SKIP THE PHOTO SEARCH WITH SHUTTERSTOCK CUSTOM
Finding the right image can sometimes be tricky. If you are really committed to finding the perfect Instagram shot, why not join corporations like MacDonalds, L’Oréal, Nestlé, Unilever, and more, by taking advantage of the Shutterstock Custom service.
With Shutterstock Custom you define your objectives using moodboards, brand guidelines, and campaign ideas. Next, Shutterstock use their expertise to match you with a supplier from their global community of hand-picked creatives. Then, you brief the creative, and get your Instagram-ready content back in just a few weeks.
By leveraging Shutterstock’s experience in the field, you can grab professional quality shots, unique to your business, for a fraction of the price of engaging your own photographer complete with studio and equipment.
Shutterstock Custom can deliver any kind of content you need, from attention-grabbing photos, to a series of illustrations, to one of the most engaging formats, video.
5. USE VIDEO & SOUND
The human eye is designed to be attracted to motion. With the majority of uploads to Instagram being still images, a professional quality video is one of the best ways of captivating customers on the platform.
Videos on Instagram can be up to a minute long, which is perfect for when you have a complex idea to convey. But videos don’t have to be long, in many cases a few seconds of motion is enough to convey your brand’s key selling points.
Producing a video can take a little more time than a single shot, and will cost slightly more to produce, but the payoff in terms of customer engagement makes the investment worth every cent.
If you want to leverage the power of video, but without the hefty production costs, you’ll find thousands of videos, perfect for Instagram, in Shutterstock’s video library.
You can also use Shutterstock’s Music or Shutterstock’s Premium Beat to add atmosphere to your ad. All Shutterstock music is royalty-free and safe to use in online campaigns on Instagram (or Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and more).
With over 800 million active users every month, developing your brand on Instagram is one of the smartest ways you can spend your advertizing budget, and with Shutterstock you have all the content you need to entice customers.
Limit the amount of text you use, Instagram is a visual medium and never is the old cliché about a picture being worth a thousand words more true. Make a good impression by only using the highest quality images available. Tell a story with memorable content. Consider using Shutterstock Custom to create bespoke content. Embrace video to stand out from the crowd.
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