Instagram used to be the millenials’ and Gen Z’s favourite platform after they decided that they didn’t want to be on the same platform as their parents (namely Facebook).

Since Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in 2015, the former has literally become the latter’s parent platform, with Facebook slowly passing down its features to Instagram, such as advertising and social commerce (on-platform shop).

But Instagram isn’t the new Facebook – as of 2020, Instagram still does not allow URLs in posts. Since it is a mobile platform in its core, there are limitations to what you can do in its PC version. We cannot post anything or send messages from a PC.  

Is Instagram worth investing in for your social media marketing?

The limitations of Instagram on PC don’t stop users from using the platform as intended. In fact, the mobile-oriented platform is good news for your business. 

Almost everyone is close to their mobile phones these days, and an emerging market full of young, creative, and driven customers are waiting to be enticed by your products and services.

That means, paid social media marketing geared towards these consumers will most likely reward you with higher web traffic and even direct sales!

Instagram’s #1 law of marketing: Provide content that adds value.

On Instagram, you can pay to promote your new or existing content to reach a wider audience – your followers and those who do not follow you yet. This bypasses the organic way of acquiring new followers – through hashtags, discovery and referrals.

But this does not mean that your promoted posts (i.e. paid advertising) should look anything remotely like an ad!

Instagram

In a world of noise and distractions, users have learned to recognize and ignore blatant hard selling – these are annoying, repetitive, boring, and do not add value to their user experience. 

Instead, they would appreciate content that is entertaining, exciting, intriguing, informative, and fresh. Here are a few content ideas:

1. Promote your best-performing content

According to Karola Karson, a social media consultant, the average cost-per-click for Instagram ads is between Rp 9500 to Rp 13500. The average and standard deviation increases in Q4 (September - December). 

It makes perfect sense to leverage your best-performing content since you already know that the content resonates with your current audience. It is highly likely that your undiscovered look-alike audience (the typical demography that makes up the bulk of your followers) will also become fully engaged with this content.

2. Instructional videos

Nothing looks more engaging, useful and valuable than videos with actionable content. Your audience will want to imagine how your product can benefit their lives. Show them a video of how the product is being used to solve their problems. 

3. Behind-the-scenes

A video showing how the product is being manufactured or perhaps a vlog of the daily office activity can do wonders for your brand. This shows that you are willing to be transparent (and vulnerable) to your audience and to anyone watching who’s not part of your target market. 

This shows honesty in your business, as this kind of storytelling shows the human side of your brand. (Read also: How to Use Storytelling in Business).

What about Instagram Story?

Within Instagram, there are a few possible channels to reach new audiences apart from the regular feed – e.g. the story. 

What’s an Instagram story? It’s either a 15-second video or 7-second still image that disappears after 24 hours. What’s special about it? If users run out of feed updates, they head over to see the Instagram stories.

Another cool advantage is that stories are displayed in full screen, which means greater focus not to mention massive reach for your ads. Like your promoted content, promoted stories can also include a call-to-action, which gives you a small window of opportunity for distraction-free conversion.

A multi-part story is a series of 15-second videos or a series of images. For the former, you can easily record this by pressing the record button for as long as you want. This allows you to: showcase multiple products, create your instructional video, and in essence do what you can normally do in your feed.

Instagram stories have so many unique benefits in their own way. These will be discussed further in future posts, so stay tuned!

If you want to avoid marketing pitfalls by hard selling or unnatural advertising in your social media campaign, we can give you some healthy advice! Island Media Management is a digital marketing agency in Bali and Jakarta, and our branding and marketing experience can quickly set you up for a solid and positive presence on social media.

To get started, ask us anything

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