The world of marketing has been taken by storm by the digital wave, and there’s really no stopping how far this wave will go. What started off as a mere fascination with networking and connecting people all over the world has now transformed into the quickest, most effective tool for marketing anything under the sun. Have a new product to launch? Do it online. Made a new promotional video? Broadcast it online. Online is the way to go now, and there’s one kingpin sitting on top of this empire - Instagram.
Instagram has become, according to surveys, the platform with the most active users in the world, which means that for a potential brand marketing campaign, Instagram is like an open, free market with the most potential clients. Just millions of people waiting to become an audience for exciting, creative content. So, if one has a new brand and needs to make this market boom work in their favor, how would they go about it?
There are three phases to creating stellar Instagram marketing campaigns:
Phase I - Research
The research phase is all about understanding what you’re selling, who you’re selling to, and how you should be selling it to these target groups.
1. Who’s your target audience?
Knowing the demographics of your target audience is crucial, not just because it helps you position your brand the right way, but also helps you use online tools on Instagram to later on target the group to whom your ad will be visible. The age, sex, location, preferred hashtags and much more play a part in this research segment.
2. What do they want to see?
Sometimes the best way to understand what an audience wants to see is by just asking them. This can be done through live polls, online survey forms, one-on-one virtual interactions, and more. The online audience is very clear and specific about what it wants to watch and how it’s going to react to different types of content. For some products, like FMCG for example, people are very sure about what they like and dislike.
3. What is your competition doing?
The competition in a digital market is quite overwhelming, but it also provides more than enough material to perform a proper competitive analysis. Understanding what your competitors are doing will also help you know what you should and shouldn’t be doing in order to differentiate your brand and also stand out at the same time.
4. What will your reach be?
Your reach isn’t just restricted to the number of followers you have on your page. For posts that are public in nature, hashtags help with reaching out to a lot more people. Using “Insight” tools on Instagram, you can understand how many impressions you’re making with what type of post, and what’s essentially working for your audience.
Phase II - Ideation and Planning
Once you have your stage set for you, you need to plan out what exactly you’re going to be projecting out there. This is where your content planning and conceptualization is the most important.
5. Tone of communication
Are you trying to create a campaign that’s serious, fun, or a combination of both? The answer to this question usually also depends on the overall brand image you’ve created/are trying to create. A more fun brand would have to focus on informal communication tone, while a serious brand needs to associate itself with more pressing social topics and tone.
6. Easy to remember
Naming your campaign has to be done very strategically because it has to be something that’s hard to forget. Considering the amount of content that the Instagram audience is receiving on a daily basis, what will help with making your campaign stand out from the rest? For this to happen, it has to be catchy, current and also relatable.
7. Defining the message
What is the ultimate goal of your campaign - building followers? Increasing sales? Improving brand recognition? When you have this goal defined, it helps with creating content that will serve this goal. If you’re looking to increase followers, for example, it’s smarter to create more engagement with the audience through live interactions and contests.
8. Smart budgeting
You can spend thousands on brand promotions and sponsored ads on Instagram, but that doesn’t guarantee a significant rate of return. When you budget your ad spends on Instagram, ensure that you’re doing it at the right time, for the right amount, with the right content, and also just enough - not too much or too less.
Phase III - Execution
This part of creating a campaign works out pretty smoothly if Phase I and II have been dealt with appropriately, but still, there is a lot of thinking and work that goes into the execution as well.
9. Choose your method
You need to be clear about what your primary method of promotion is going to be for this campaign - stories, live videos, promotions by Influencers, sponsored ads, and so on. There’s no restriction on making use of all of them, but you also want to be specific about how your audience will be able to view you the most.
10. Get people talking
Hashtags and mentions are one of the quickest ways to get the word around about anything on Instagram. Even with the digital revolution, the age-old practice of marketing prevails - word of mouth. Of course, now it’s more about clicks than actual spoken words, but the basic idea of getting people to talk to other people is quite effective.
11. Monitor and modify
Real-time monitoring of how a campaign is performing is a huge advantage because it gives you the chance to make modifications then and there and save your brand image as well. If a certain post is doing well, but the other isn’t, you can instantly shift focus and put out more content that you know will work well. What’s more, you even have research ready for your next campaign!
The Instagram market is very dynamic, constantly changing and dabbling in trends, but the end result is exactly what you want it to be. So, how stellar your campaign is has a lot of research and planning going into it. Digital or not, marketing is an exercise you need to put work into!