Instagram for your marketing strategy in 2019

| Platform updates


Instagram has launched and is testing multiple new solutions to help businesses in different industries reach their audience.

Is your target audience on Instagram?

As of 2019, 1 Billion people use IG monthly (monthly active users or MAUs) and 500 million do so daily. Instagram is second only to Facebook and YouTube.
Quick stats:
  • 71% are under 35 years old
  • 34% are millennials
  • They are evenly split between women and men
  • 88% are outside the US

New Instagram Features & Capabilities

Paid media options have exploded over the last 2-3 years, from having to buy media through the app on a cell phone to an integrated Facebook Ad solution with the same targeting capabilities.

  • IG Stories can now be used  to drive traffic to your website or to generate leads
  • Instagram ads can be used for Reach or with specific calls to action
  • Ads can be optimized for multiple objectives, including brand awareness, app installs, e-commerce, etc.
  • IG TV continues to grow and evolve and it's an interesting opportunity for content producers

Developing Audiences & Targeting

The most important factor is the initial research and ongoing developing of audience cohorts.

For example, when reaching travelers, we recently identified 4 frequent traveler subsegments that allowed a client to define their content & paid social strategy with these audiences in mind vs just targeting travelers in general.

For a recipes client, we started by developing subsegments based on their behaviors and identified behaviors and interests that informed our ads, generating 80% ROI.

Instagram for Publishers

Instagram has been growing as an option for traffic generation through IG stories. In our content and digital transformation work for publisher clients, we have seen a big rise in performance, but it requires more ongoing optimization and testing than Facebook, which natively allows sharing articles.

Some Key elements for a successful Instagram Strategy

  • Quality over quantity: Instagram is a visual platform, so good quality pictures and videos are a must.
  • Pacing: If your video is over 15 seconds long, it's probably too slow. We're all for 3-5 minute IG TV storytelling, but video for awareness should be under 30seconds and fast-paced.
  • Content Mix: While video consumption is growing, stills usually work best for driving traffic. You should be testing different types of content types for different objectives at least quarterly.
  • Hashtags:  A Sproutsocial research identified the optimum number of HTs as 9 for Instagram, but this should not be the rule for every post unless you have proven it is working for your discovery efforts.
  • Influencers: Everyone has had mixed results. We have had good results when there's a very organic fit, which usually means the influencer created content will feel natural and not forced.
  • Sell experiences, not products: Don't just post photos of your products. Understand and provide value (education, hacks, entertainment, etc) to your audience.
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