Advertisers introduced the old adage, “a picture’s worth a thousand words”, to the American lexicon in the early twentieth century. But, at that time, there were no consumer cameras and photographs were taken with silver halide film. Is a picture still worth that much today, say on Instagram, where users upload sixty million photos a day?
Instagram users constantly upload images and pictures. To users inundated with these images, they seem like they’re a dime a dozen, rather than a thousand words apiece. Despite how an outsider might feel about all these images, visual content is in greater demand today than ever before – with 70% of Instagram users checking their accounts at least once a day. Such heavy use provides companies a visual platform through which they can establish brand identity and showcase new products. Perhaps the adage, a hundred pictures is worth a hundred thousand words is more accurate with current usage.
The Instagram “Instaguru” infographic below contains some great tips on how to tell your company’s story and raise product awareness on Instagram,. The infographic covers basic features of the social platform, such as how to set up a visually stunning profile, but also provides advice on how to gain followers and take photos that appeal to users. Here are some of the key findings:
Setting up a successful profile
- Instagram now has 200 million active users and most of them access the site through the app (Instagram is the most mobile social platform). This characterizes the way in which many users view and interact with content.
- Instagram is very useful for establishing brand identity. Successful profiles are minimal, utilizing high resolution, visually stunning images. Few words must go a long way.
- Although posting images is easy, it is important to be selective and make sure that your pictures tell a cohesive story about your brand.
- Do research on hashtags. This will help you identify the types of hashtags your consumers use or have used in the past. You can also find users who are already posting in your niche, which may give you ideas for engaging their followers.
- If you find a user in your niche, follow them and like/comment on their posts. This will improve your visibility and likely result in them following you.
- Instagram also helps you connect to users who may share common interests using a built-in search function.
- Users respond more to pictures that have been filtered (“Mayfair” filtering sees the most interactions) and oddly, the most successful photos have the subject (think being photograph) in only two-thirds of the image.
- Instagram recently implemented a video feature that can be a great way to get users to share your content.
The infographic also suggests ways to promote products and interact with customers on Instagram. For example, you can promote ongoing sales or posts should (if they’re product related) include links to your product page. It is also productive to send content to individual customers, such as coupons or thank you notes after purchases.
Instagram allows you to narrate to your audience, telling them why and how you do what you do in a fun and creative way. This is great for establishing brand awareness and promoting new products without customers feeling as if they’re being pressured to buy.
It was once expensive and time consuming to run a photographic campaign, but the end result was worth the effort because pictures make a huge impact. It’s now much easier to produce content with resources like Instagram, but advertisers have to compete with a vast number of people for the attention of their customers. To do that, images must be provocative and engaging, but consumers first need to be provoked and engaged — they have to see the images! This is why navigating Instagram (hashtag usage, establishing followers, etc.) is such a big deal and is separating successful from unsuccessful campaigns.
Ivan Serrano is a social media and global business journalist from San Jose, California. You can connect with him on Twitter: @IvanSerrano55