Retailers, restaurants and fashion brands have discovered the secrets of using Instagram as a marketing tool. Whether selling food or fashion, the format is perfect for sharing pictures of products, and the interactive nature of this social media channel helps build communities around brands.
It’s easy to see why Instagram works for restaurants, retailers, the hospitality industry and other “picturesque” businesses. But is Instagram appropriate for organizations or businesses that don’t necessarily have a snapshot-worthy product? Yes. Instagram is an important part of a content marketing strategy for all businesses and here’s why: Instagram users are 58 times more likely to like, comment or share your post than Facebook users or Twitter users.
You may think your business isn’t “photogenic” enough to market on Instagram. But Instagram is where your audience is, so you should be there too. Think about your brand’s attributes, and then apply those attributes to visual representations through photos and short videos. The key: Publish photos and videos that show the public what makes your business or institution different, unique and social.
INSTAGRAM FOR HIGHER ED
For colleges and universities, Instagram is where students and alumni are, and they want to see (and post) photos and videos that show a personal perspective about the campus. Consider taking photos from behind the scenes in a classroom, at a sports event or commencement. Ask specific audiences to share brand-centric photos (like newly accepted students with their acceptance letters). To gain follower participation, be sure to promote event-specific hashtags. That hashtag helps create a community, which drives deeper engagement.
INSTAGRAM FOR HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS
Healthcare systems have much the same opportunity as universities to use Instagram to connect with their audiences. Any community event you host is a perfect way to share photos on Instagram (remember to have that event-specific hashtag publicized). You can also put those good comments from patients about employees to great use on Instagram: Combine compliments with employee photos.
INSTAGRAM FOR FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
Banks and credit unions have a great opportunity to market their culture using Instagram. Think how your brand could be visually represented, then get started snapping and posting photos. Are you the “business-friendly” lender? Then post photos of local businesses you support. Are you the “home town” bank or credit union? Then post photos of your employees as they participate in community events. And remember that an Instagram 15-second video gives you a great opportunity to demonstrate technology like remote deposit capture.
As you engage in content marketing on Instagram, remember that while you are limited to photos and videos, the goal is the same as when you write a blog: Foster a relationship with your audience, don’t sell them a product. Publish photos that show the public what makes your business or institution different, unique and special. Speak to a specific audience, and provide them with information that they value.
Instagram is an important part of an effective content marketing strategy. To learn more about creating your content marketing strategy, read these Simple Truths.