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DEPARTMENT OF THE FUTURE

A CONTENT AGENCY

Tips On Posting On Instagram For Businesses

Brand’s relationship with Instagram goes further than announcing that you had avocado on toast for your breakfast.

After all, with over 800 million users on this app, Instagram has become the unofficial launching pad for many marketing campaigns. Ranging from small startups to independent retail shops to billion dollar chain companies; the idea of reaching thousands and thousands of people within a short amount of time is a PR dream come true. So, it’s extremely important that your account shows off a sense of identity your company encompasses.

In another sense, your businesses’ Instagram account needs to be an unofficial branding tool.

 

Aesthetic

People are drawn to pretty things so it should be no surprise that Instagram is all about how good your grid looks. No one likes looking at a jumbled collection of mess with no clear direction on colour scheme or quality of photos. Depending on your business, whether it is a brand seeking to build greater recognition, or a small private college seeking to enhance student enrolment, or an upcoming local rugby event wanting to boost ticket sales: your aesthetic needs to reflect your identity.

If you’re an upscale minimalist furniture shop that specialises in avant-garde designs, your photos should reflect that: no bubble gum filters and no oversaturated photos.

If you’re managing a local primary school, don’t be hesitant to post ecstatically happy children hopping around in a playground (with their parent’s permission of course).

If you’re still a bit lost, I suggest that after every photo, you should always ask yourself one question: does it encapsulate my brand? Any doubt should lead your finger to the delete button.

 

Behind the Scenes

It might be weird, thinking that brands would need to show their working process. I bet you’re thinking: But why would people care?

If that’s your line of thinking then you haven’t really encapsulated a true marketing mindset. Your job isn’t only to cater to the interest of your customers, you need to learn to cultivate their attention.

As businesses, whether large or small, private or public, corporate, people are interested in the behind the scenes operations because business accounts are so obviously perfectly fabricated PR and marketing efforts; that by allowing your customers a glimpse into something as mundane as a behind the scene photoshoot, or a business meeting, or a team meeting within an office: it humanises your organisation. It peels away the smokescreen of manufactured targeted advertisement and instead, creates a sense of trust.

People trust what they can understand and by allowing them a glimpse into the inner workings creates a feeling of greater transparency and a more positive brand opinion. But of course, these behind the scenes shots are fabricated in a sense as well: so realism is key.

 

Hashtags

The famous #hashtag trend is also extremely useful for trying to garner attention to the right group of people. Anyone from models to photographers to an everyday uni student uses it, and so should you.

Creating your own hashtag only works if you have a huge following that is also deep in the hashtag game, so if you’re keen on having your own brand identity being explored and tagged as an individual. Utilize it on almost any post you have- from your Instagram stories to your promotions to your comments. Once it gains traction from other people, you’d be surprised how many visits you can get from the Instagram community.

If that sounds too complicated: fear not. Instagram has a trove of existing trending hashtags, just choose the ones that fit well and chuck it here and there.

Remember: the key is to place it in the comment and not as a caption: it gets extremely annoying and might even turn audiences away because of how many words they have to scroll through.

How to Make Content Work For You

Social media has become the most common Internet-based activity, created a new form of social engagement and become a legitimate form of communication and connection, not only person-to-person but brand-to-audience. The core of this connection is sharing by personal referral, with content – and in particular video content – being the key medium to facilitate this connection.  This sharing provides the opportunity for brands to circulate information to wide demographics of potential customers without traditional mass media process or expense.

But how can you create the content that your audience will share, to gain new customers and continue to establish your brand DNA?

Keep Up To Date

Know what’s going on with your target demographic. All content should be interesting, and most importantly, relevant to your audience. This applies not only to the messaging of your content, but to the style and the medium. As video is the most popular form of online content, you should always be aware of new platforms and formats for the best engagement. For example, if you’re not making vertical video content, microcontent and taking advantage of Snap Ads, IGTV and Facebook Canvas, it’s time to do some research.


Get in the habit of staying up to date with trends and news in content creation by following blogs, like this one, and industry news aggregators, like Mumbrella, to ensure your content and strategy stays relevant.

Schedule

Content creation and distribution is not a set-and-forget game anymore. Where once a quarterly campaign with a print, broadcast and outdoor spend might have been sufficient, online content moves as quickly as the Internet does, and that breakneck speed also applies to brand relevance.  A steady schedule of content for online and particularly socials is an absolute necessity for solid brand DNA.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need a new campaign each month, or a 1500 word blog every weekday, but an agile schedule of content split between video, copy, images, audience engagement, themes and news should be the very first step in making content work for your brand.

Going back to that breakneck speed of the internet, if you’ve scheduled a post a fortnight ago, and it’s no longer relevant or the joke has passed, don’t feel obliged to post it. There’s nothing worse than a brand late to the party, awkwardly brandishing a meme.  On the contrary, if there’s breaking relevant news, or a particularly applicable meme of the week, don’t be afraid to spontaneously engage your audience with relevant content.

Curate Content

Content curation is one of social media’s primary functions – sharing a video on Facebook, retweeting, pinning an image, but as I alluded to above, your content messaging must be relevant.

Marketing expert Guy Kawasaki suggests that you must “You must position yourself as an expert and genuinely interact with your communities.” That means reflecting on what works with your audience and what doesn’t, what will add value and what won’t. A well-curated Instagram account that posts three times a week would support your brand messaging and gain a more loyal audience than an Instagram posting any information multiple times a day.


Again, this doesn’t apply just to messaging, but to aesthetic. Your demographic wants to trust your brand, and maintaining an aesthetic through the content you create and curate is reassuring and will keep your audience returning.

A Content Agency

Whilst content marketing can be done inhouse, heading to a content agency is an increasingly popular option. Here at DOTF, we offer a combination of analysis, strategy and content creation in a non-traditional marketing process to allow for a greater efficiency of content through collaboration with our clients. Approaching campaigns with a foresight mindset to challenge the norm, disrupt and innovate, we create powerful content for effective outcomes, bringing brands to life authentically. Not only do we create content, but our strategic expertise through our GENOME MAPPING service will leave you more informed about your brand and your audience, and armed to create content and solid strategy independently of a traditional marketing agency.

Facebook’s New Augmented Reality Advertising Feature

The key to making powerful advertising content is to allow your audience to see themselves in that content. To create a meaningful connection between brand and audience, it is of paramount importance that the person being targeted relates to the content and feels as though it speaks to their world.

Perhaps there is no better way to do this than through augmented reality. A great example of augmented reality working to a brand’s benefit is Dulux’s ‘Paint Colour Visualizer’. With this online application, users can upload photos of their house, and test out different paints from the Dulux catalogue, seeing what rooms in their house would look like with different colours. This allows people to experience a product before actually purchasing it, and it’s a powerful tool. If a colour scheme they try looks perfect in the photos, chances are they will purchase those colours from Dulux.

Facebook is taking this line of thinking one step further. Although using AR to allow customers to see how a product will look on them is not a new concept, this is the first time that a major social media network has brought this technology to their audience. At its F8 developer conference in 2018, Facebook announced that it was working with businesses to use AR as a way of showing off products in Facebook messenger. Now, this experience will be integrated into the Facebook News Feed, with select advertisers trialing AR ads.

Facebook’s Vice President of product marketing Ty Ahmad-Taylor demonstrated ads which allowed shoppers to see how things like sunglasses and makeup would look other own faces, through AR. “People traditionally have to go into stores to do this,” he explains. He notes that people “really love” the notion of testing a product with AR, but that they would “like to try it at home.” Thanks to this development, now they can. Brands such as Sephora, NYX Professional Makeup, Bobbi Brown, Pottery Barn, and Wayfair will be some of the first to test the waters of this new online marketing frontier. The content will appear as normal News Feed ads, however, they will have a ‘tap to try it on’ option, allowing users to access the AR functionality of the ad.

One of the hardest things about the advent of online shopping is that people can’t be certain how a product will look on them. At times, something may look great in an image, but once a consumer receives the product, they could be disappointed by how it looks on them. This new technology could make that problem a thing of the past, allowing users to digitally experience a product before they purchase it, creating greater consumer confidence. In order for content and advertising to grow, it needs to be personalised for an audience, and be experiential – Facebook’s AR advertising initiative is an excellent example of a practical implication of this philosophy. Time will tell if the endeavour will be a success for the social media giant, but this technological development could change the way that consumers purchase products forever.