Weekly Column: 2017-05-05

Let’s consider one of the most popular social media networks these days.

In the past, nine out of ten people would have chosen Facebook, but more recently, you hear this more often: “Do you have an insta?” Since its start in 2010, the number of users worldwide has increased astronomically, especially with young people in their 20s and 30s, making it the most popular social media network in recent years. Why has Instagram grown so dramatically within the last couple of years?

It is due to Instagram’s simplicity. You can simply upload images or short videos, and it’s more visual than text. I believe this is an innovative way to approach users who are tired of the many advertisements and written text.

People who were tired of the information they received through written words over time made the Instagram trend more and more popular. Because of this, many companies started using Instagram as a means of online marketing and have seen huge benefits. However, marketing via Instagram should be approached in a different way than the existing online marketing methods. As mentioned earlier, Instagram’s greatest feature is that the visual representation is the image itself, and as you cannot add a link to the image, it can be very effective for branding purposes.

The hashtag function is also a feature that can’t be separated from Instagram. Through hashtags, you can follow the current trends, find out which audience is interested in which brands, and figure out what these people have in common. If you are able to get ahead of the curve by following the trends and create effective targeting, you will be able to generate contents that create deeper empathy with consumers. The most attractive point of Instagram is that it allows you to find out the latest trends in advance and approach consumers with effective target marketing.

So how should you use Instagram as a means of online marketing?

First, you must determine whether online marketing through Instagram is appropriate for the product or service you are trying to sell. If you can convince customers to purchase your products merely with images, Instagram would be a great online marketing instrument. In categories such as food, fashion, or travel, the images themselves may be a very compatible way to put out content.  However, it would be hard-pressed to make a big ripple effect with a product or service that requires significant explanation.

Second, you must ascertain whether the number of Instagram users and your target audience match. As mentioned before, the majority of Instagram users are in the 20-30 age range and are usually women.  If your target audience is young and in their 20s-30s, you may want to consider doing your online marketing through Instagram. Recently, it has been reported that many women are searching Google more and more after seeing something on Instagram due to the lack of sufficient information.  So, if you preemptively provide this information through hashtags, there should be a large effect. However, if the target audience is male or elderly, it would be difficult to expect a large turnout.

Realistically, even though Instagram is quite popular if you do not approach this in an appropriate manner, there is no guarantee of any sales or boosted performance with such online marketing. Only when you establish a follower base regarding your business by drawing attention through target marketing and communicating with the customers regularly will you be able to reap the benefits from online marketing through Instagram. In this way, if you make persistent efforts to communicate with them and build their trust, you will be able to secure a fan base and also enjoy the promotional effects of viral marketing.

In conclusion, the most important element in marketing online via Instagram is to find a clear concept that matches your business.  Find consistent content that matches a concept that is creative and engaging, then regularly and consistently communicate with your followers. If I have convinced you on the benefits of marketing through Instagram, create an account and try it out today. Through Instagram, you should be able to follow the recent trends and learn about the attractive and fresh aspects of marketing.