With the number of users of social media in excess of 3.5 billion, there is no way that brands will want to ignore the tremendous potential to reach target audiences and engage them with brand communication.
In the last couple of years, Instagram has grown, both in innovation, as well as in user experience. Both these have made it the fastest growing social media platform in the world. With Instagram Stories and Instagram TV, the platform is reaching out to millions of new users, who are looking to consume more and more content on the platform.
In the next couple of months, Instagram looks to start an e-commerce platform integration. This will help users purchase directly from a brand’s page on Instagram, without ever leaving the platform. Instagram is already trying out this feature with brands in the United States and hopes to implement it soon across the world.
Even though brands have a very wide choice available in the matter of social media networks, it is quite clear that they prefer Instagram to the rest. A quick look at why brands find it profitable to engage audiences on Instagram:
Outstanding User Statistics and Performance Metrics
With the number of monthly active users of Instagram crossing one billion, the photo-centric social media platform is now even more attractive to brands for the sheer size of its audience and the diversity within that allows brands to target niches.
What is also very heartening is that around 80% of these users follow at least one business profile making it very clear that the users use Instagram as a platform for discovering new product and services.
Instagram boasts of the highest rate of engagement compared to the rest of the social media platforms – this means that brands can expect more conversions for every dollar they allocate to building a brand presence on the platform.
Allows Brands to Tap the Smartphone Audience
In recent years, not only has the internet become more pervasive but also today, more than half of the traffic is being generated from mobile devices rather than conventional desktops.
Instagram was among the first social media app that was built ground-up for the smartphone generation and even though every other social media network has scrambled to become mobile compatible, Instagram stays comfortably ahead of the pack.
With users spending more time on their mobile devices, brands are able to address the mobile generation more easily through Instagram.
No other social media platform has captured the attention of Generation Z as Instagram has. Gen Z is a target audience that is born between 1997 and 2005. They consume quality content, want brands to be authentic and are heavily into e-commerce shopping. According to experts, 98% of Gen Z owns a smartphone, making it truly the smartphone generation.
Better Brand Reach
It may seem strange for brands to prefer Instagram to Facebook, which has double the number of users; however, the six million advertisers on Facebook are finding it difficult to negotiate its new update that has changed the way posts appear on the news feed.
Instagram, on the other hand, is forging ahead with more than 25 million advertisers, with around 2 million of them advertising monthly. Compared to Facebook, there is less of a clutter and advertisers have a better chance of getting noticed on Instagram.
This is also because brands find Instagram to have more Organic Reach. If you compare the same with Facebook, Instagram still maintains the correlation between quality content and organic reach. For brands, this means that spending on quality content will help guarantee better ROIs on the platform, rather than outright marketing spends.
Better Showcasing of Content through Visuals
Everyone knows that photos speak far better than words and therefore, Instagram, with its photo-centric nature score heavily over all other social media channels. The focus on engaging visuals is a primary reason why Instagram has a far superior rate of engagement.
The support of an increasing number of advertisers is also a good reason why Instagram continues to grow at such a fast clip. The only area where Instagram was lacking as compared to Facebook was live streaming. Videos on Instagram have helped it reach out to a new audience, directly cutting into YouTube’s TG.
With long format videos, Instagram Live, Instagram Stories, and Posts, brands have the option of working with different content types. This helps impart a freshness to the content and helps in boosting engagement rates for brands.
Users, however, need to keep in mind that good quality visuals are not enough, you need to have top-class captions with relevant hashtags for the content to be displayed in the feeds of users.
Hashtag research is critical if you want to make that extra reach. Like pages, users have the option of following hashtags on Instagram as well. This means that every post that you publish on Instagram can be amplified through great hashtag research. If you pay importance to hashtag research, you can expect your organic reach to rise by up to 1.5x times.
For brand markets, Instagram is one of the most useful social media platforms to generate organic traffic and spread brand awareness. Today virtually all the top brands of the world already have a presence on Instagram and most of the smaller brands are joining in too. Experts say that Instagram has created more business opportunities for individual influencers than any other platform.
If you are an individual who wants to make your own brand, I would suggest that you approach Instagram aggressively. An active Instagram presence can help smaller brands to fight competitors that are much larger by boosting local conversions.