Working online — or working anywhere, actually — means getting distracted. Some distractions take place when employees linger at each other's desks, others take place on a screen. We admit if you quickly scanned the Take Flight (virtual) office, you might find several of us scanning Instagram during a morning coffee break. Out of all the social media platforms we frequent, Instagram might be our default favorite. 

  photo credit: Pixabay

photo credit: Pixabay

Debunking Instagram as solely a photo-sharing platform

Instagram launched in 2010 and gained traction as a way for friends to share photos. Without Facebook's pesky habit of asking your mood or Twitter's insistence on keeping conversation moving at the speed of light, Instagram offered users a visual way to share vacations, cute kids, cuter daily outfits, and all sorts of food and cocktails. Fast forward 7 years, and Instagram sits comfortably as a powerhouse marketing and branding platform. Users still share personal feeds, but brands and businesses appreciate the immediate impact of a strong feed. 

Instagram shapes a brand's image

Instagram micro-blogging allows brands and users to share their thoughts in their Instagram captions, but image still reigns on the platform. The visual focus helps brands pinpoint the aesthetic they want to convey to their followers and potential customers. We help brands pinpoint the aesthetic and message they want to convey with their Instagram feed. We know how tempting it can be to post images of things that catch your eye daily, but that sort of candid posting can dilute the brand image you're building. 

If you’re unsure whether a brand can shape perception based on photos, check out the feeds of a few brands you love and feel like you know. Your reaction to the images should reinforce your impressions of the brand. It wouldn’t make sense for a brand known for fitness apparel to fill its feed with decadent desserts. Don’t miss the opportunity to strategize how you want your brand perceived aesthetically. Done correctly, images grab attention and reinforce your branding.

Don’t miss the landmine of Instagram marketing

Potential customers can relate personally to your brand on Instagram. Showcase new products or share customer testimonials to give followers a glimpse into why they should buy into your brand or business.

When you feel comfortable — or at least not terrified — add the marketing juggernaut of Instagram Stories to your marketing toolbox. Short, succint videos act in a two-fold manner: you can showcase the human side of your brand, and you can show products or services in action. Chat directly to the camera or take viewers on a virtual tour of how you run your business.

Drive traffic to your site directly from Instagram

Gain site traffic by directing visitors to specific parts of your site directly from Instagram. You can change your profile link to reflect new product links or keep it steadily pointing to the FAQs about your brand. Use Instagram Stories to, again, point potential and current customers to your blog or website. We can help determine how often to use Instagram to drive traffic and how often you should concentrate on engagement. Appealing images invoke curiosity, and Instagram lets users quickly jump through the Internet to learn more about your products or brand at another location.

Caution: Be honest about your needs

Though we recognize the value a powerful Instagram feed can add to a brand, we know it's not the right fit for every client. Audiences vary between social media platforms, with engagement ruling Facebook and conversation at a premium on Twitter. We've had several clients whose goals and products thrived by focusing on one or two social media platforms — and those platforms ended up not including Instagram.

Many brands need Instagram — and Instagram is constantly evolving

Using a platform built for visual sharing isn’t a luxury for many brands — it’s a necessity. Visual marketing continues to impact businesses and brands. Truthfully, aesthetics have mattered since marketing materials could be printed. Don’t miss out on the marketing potential found there — or the chance to shape the perception of your brand. Don't discount Instagram as a place to share product shots or random images. As Instagram evolves and the sharing algorithm becomes more complicated, brands can miss out on valuable views from and interaction with their followers. We've watch Instagram closely from the beginning, and we're happy to share that insight with you.

Contact the Take Flight Team to see how to take your Instagram feed to the next, more marketable level. 

Interested in working with Instagram influencers? See our 5 Tips for finding the right influencers for your campaign