GUEST POST from Shep Hyken
Part of what fuels a good customer experience is the content experience. That’s where companies and brands serve up content in numerous ways, which could include (but is not limited to) articles, blogs, text messages, newsletters, YouTube videos, podcasts, TikTok content, Tweets, LinkedIn posts and the subject of this article, Instagram. (Note: Check out this recent article about TikTok for business. TikTok has become the No. 1 visited social platform in the world, even bigger than Google!)
Customer behavior has dramatically changed as technology has allowed us to deliver content in numerous ways. There are plenty of platforms, such as the ones mentioned above, so which one should a brand focus on? The short answer is any platform you know your customers are on. That said, as new platforms evolve, some companies and brands aren’t quick to adopt them, although maybe they should be.
Who would have thought that Facebook would become a marketing machine for some brands? And it’s the same with other platforms. And that brings us to the topic—and platform—that is the focus of this article.
Instagram started out as a photo- and video-sharing social media platform in 2010 when Kevin Systrom (co-founder) uploaded a picture of a dog with the caption “test.” Over the past 12 years, it has evolved into much more, including an opportunity for brands to incorporate the platform into their content and marketing strategies.
A recent Passport-Photo.Online study surveyed more than 1,000 Instagram users to find out how the Instagram content experience is influencing their buying decisions. Here are some stats (followed by my commentary) to get you thinking about the power of Instagram and how this social media platform can work for you and your organization.
- Instagram has 1.4 billion users each month, making it the fourth most popular social network. The potential to be seen is huge! Take advantage of another social media channel that gives you great exposure.
- Ninety-two percent of Americans who use Instagram follow a business, with most following six to ten business accounts. The majority of Instagram users are Millennials and Gen-Z. According to a Hootsuite survey, ages 18-44 make up just under 88% of the Instagram audience. If that’s the age range of your target audience, this is a place for you to be.
- Of those Instagram users who follow businesses, 26% typically visit business profiles every day. Another 27% visit business profiles every week. Daily or weekly visits from customers and potential customers are high. This is genuine marketing gold. Creating content that gets followers to come back again and again—daily or weekly—is something you don’t want to miss.
- Seventy-one percent of Instagram users feel more connected to brands they follow on Instagram. Feeling connected to any company infers there is a sense of loyalty. Furthermore, 93% of people on Instagram are likely or very likely to buy from a business they feel connected to over a competitor. Some presence is better than no presence. Don’t miss the opportunity to engage and create a stronger connection with your customers.
- Replying to the question, “Did Instagram ever inspire you to shop from businesses even when you weren’t looking to do so?,” 79% said, “Yes.” Do you need any more proof? Can you afford not to participate in an Instagram content strategy?
- Eighty-nine percent of Instagrammers prefer short-form content (less than 1,000 words) over long-form content (1,000+) when it comes to text posts from brands specifically. Here is where the content marketing strategy comes into play. A 1,000-word post is still long. Consider experimenting with shorter posts, 400-500 words. Follow some of your favorite brands and notice their content strategy. Look for length, frequency, etc.
Content marketing is a powerful customer experience strategy. While it may cost to produce content, it costs nothing to post. And good content can be repurposed across all social media platforms. A good article on Instagram can work on LinkedIn. A few compelling sentences out of the article can become several tweets. One piece of content can be repurposed in numerous ways.
As you look at the stats and findings from the survey, you can immediately recognize the opportunity that Instagram offers. As the fourth most popular social network, this is a marketing channel you can’t afford to ignore.
Image Credit: Shep Hyken
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