When to Sponsor your Content on Instagram

When to Sponsor your Content on Instagram

When to Sponsor your Content on Instagram

When to Sponsor your Content on Instagram

When Facebook put Instagram under their umbrella, they acknowledged the considerable advertising potential of this platform. Sponsored content was already huge on social media due to Facebook’s excellent niche segmentation. The big mistake is to treat Instagram ads just like Facebook ads. Many marketers fall for this trap due to the easiness of sharing the same content on both platforms. Savvy advertising people acknowledge the differences and recognize that people interact on these platforms in very different ways. In fact, Instagram posts get far more (up to 10 times) interaction compared to other platforms.  

Does it Make Financial Sense?

The higher engagement rate is motivated by the visual content and the user experience of the platform. This drives down the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) to about half to what we see on Facebook. As time passes and users become more used to the feed the rates will converge. Right now, Instagram is still almost half as cheap as Facebook.

It’s worth noticing that, similar to Facebook videos outperform images and carousels are the cheaper. Single photos are the most expensive choice. So, if you decide to sponsor content bet on videos, if possible.

If you are using influencers, be sure to assess their fees by using a calculator and evaluate if the offer is right. Look for engagement rates, not only the total number of followers.

The Right Mix for Sponsored Content

Sponsored posts shouldn’t be perfect, but a good mix of brand awareness, innovation, graphics, and humor. Since Instagram is based on the idea of freshness and authenticity, even if your post is part of a campaign it should feel user-generated. Don’t overdo your placing or composition. Try to capture a bit of life or a feeling instead of creating an elaborate post.

Since you can choose your demographics, always segments your sponsored ads. Eliminate the costliest segment and focus on the middle. The marketer’s skill is to reduce costs and redirect the budget where the highest engagement is.

Final Decision

You don’t need to sponsor every post to get engagement. Select those posts which are the most vibrant and communicate your brand from an innovative angle. Always use metrics to assess relevance. Every time you sponsor content, create a dedicated landing page and put in in the bio. Even if this is temporary, it means using Instagram as the top of your marketing funnel.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with sponsored content. You might be very pleasantly surprised. Do you need help in creating a strategy in selecting the posts you intend to sponsor? Just drop us a line.

Selecting Ambassadors and Collaborations on Instagram

Selecting Ambassadors and Collaborations on Instagram

Selecting Ambassadors and Collaborations on Instagram

Selecting Ambassadors and Collaborations on Instagram

Sometimes beating your own drum on Instagram won’t get you too far. The best advertising is when other people endorse you. Extra points if these people are knowledgeable in the industry, trustworthy and have enough followers to make a difference for your baseline.

First, you need to get straight some terminology. In this game, you have bloggers, influencers, and ambassadors. The first can range from a very local influence to national, household names. Usually, the number of followers dictates the status, and most influencers have at least 10K fans. Ambassadors are selected from influencers and develop a closer relationship with the brand.

Initial research

When selecting your ambassador or just a collaboration you need to start by researching their profiles. Look at the hashtags they use, the reactions they get per post and even the color scheme. All these elements need to be in tune with your communication.

Research their endorsement terms and check if these match your projected budget. Inquire if they only take cash or would be happy with a product exchange. Usually, the higher the rank of the influencer, the less likely they will work just in exchange for products. It never hurts to ask. Create a list of “most wanted,” “highly preferred,” and “ok.”

Look at the Numbers

Speaking of numbers, fill in the previous list with relevant metrics. These include the total number of followers, the average number of reactions per post (engagement rate) and demographics.

Don’t be afraid to ask the potential collaborators for relevant statistics from their back-end. It is not intrusive; it’s just due diligence. If they refuse to offer their engagement rates or other statistics that is a major red flag.

The key is to go for the sweet spot which balances the reach, engagement, and budget.

Picking the Wrong Ambassador

Selecting the right ambassador is a delicate matter, and sometimes even big brands fail. For example, using Oprah (14.8M followers) for Windows 8 was not the smartest move. The key to social media marketing is authenticity. Although people know sponsored posts exist, and ambassadors make money, they still want to feel a connection.  

Another mistake not being on the same page with your ambassador, either the message or even as tone. They already are a brand on their own, don’t try to change them to match yours. Just select wisely from the available pool.

Do you think you know how to select a brand ambassador or you feel overwhelmed by the number of possible choices? Give us a message if you think you could use some guidance in choosing the Instagram face of your company.

How to Create a Winning Hashtag Strategy

How to Create a Winning Hashtag Strategy

How to Create a Winning Hashtag Strategy

How to Create a Winning Hashtag Strategy

Instagram is the most hashtag-centered social media platform so far. While on Twitter adding a hashtag makes your content more retweeted, put just one more and suddenly you are not popular. On Instagram, however, you can make the whole caption of a post only from hashtags. The recent changes even encourage this practice and allow users to follow hashtags like they follow accounts. As a business, you should take advantage of this opportunity and craft your hashtag strategy to attract followers and serve their interests.  Here are a few tips to get your hashtag game started.

Be Relevant

Create a list of the most relevant hashtags. Include General Feeling, Industry, Geography, Local Relevance, Business Specific, Unique Selling Proposition. Aim to have at least ten hashtags for each so you can combine them for each post. Instagram even gives a penalty to accounts that abuse (use over and over again) the same hashtags.  

In your selection look at how popular is each hashtag you select and try to create a mix of the most popular (500K-+1M) and medium popularity (10K-500K). Of course, your hashtags can have only a few hits.

Jump on Trends

You can upgrade your hashtag strategy by incorporating some trendy tags that are short-lived but could boost you in the attention of new clients. For example, if you sell cakes, flowers or dresses and you didn’t brand your content with #RoyalWedding lately, you just missed o good wave.

Use a calendar of upcoming events and upgrade your posts with those unique identifiers for the days. Don’t overdo it or have very high hopes but use this as a way to branch out and potentially get some more exposure.

Be Consistent Without Boredom

Starting from the list you created before, play with the hashtags defining your brand starting from the image you promote. It’s advisable to use 3-4 new hashtags for every post, but the bulk should stay within your brand guidelines to ensure that your followers get what they hope for.

Along with your “signature” hashtags, you can always include more interesting ones. Cross-tag with partners and others in your industry.

When it comes to Instagram, the best advice you can get for your hashtag strategy is to take it with a grain of salt. Consider it an experiment, don’t get attached to hashtags. The preference for specific words or expressions can last for years if these become catch-phrases. On the opposite end, you could have other for just a few days until the next trend emerges. Do you feel like you need some help?  Lost in the hashtag world? We’re here to help.

The Latest Trends in Instagram Bios for Businesses

The Latest Trends in Instagram Bios for Businesses

The Latest Trends in Instagram Bios for Businesses

The Latest Trends in Instagram Bios for Businesses

Instagram is all about being visual, fun and showing off your true colors. But what if you represent a business? How does an Instagram bio for business work? Do you go all corporate or use emojis instead? The answer lies in making the statements fun enough to catch a potential customer’s eye and serious enough to get their trust. Due to space constraints using symbols is ok as long as they make sense and you don’t abuse them. Let’s take the elements one by one and identify best practices to become an influencer.

Hashtags

Instagram has introduced the option to follow hashtags as you follow accounts. You might take advantage of this option and make your feed more discoverable by adding just the right amount of the “#” power in the mix. Keep it light, maximum two or three hashtags are sufficient. You (or your social media manager) could even create your own and use it as a watermark for your posts to prevent theft.

Emojis

We’ve come a long way since the humble smiley (☺️), we now have a whole emojipedia to choose from. Go through the categories and pick the best ones for your business. Don’t get too sophisticated or try to make cryptic messages. Your clients are not trying to solve the mystery of the pyramids again.

The unwritten rule is that you don’t double words with emojis but enhance. For example, you can say “?? Studio” or “? Gym,” but it’s less advisable to say “??Dance Studio”.

Taglines

If you have a recognizable slogan for your brand (“Just do it”), you can use this in your bio as a way to bring coherence to the communication and help your clients recognize your message across platforms. A great example of this comes from the account of TED Talks.

Policy

Some activity sectors have strict requirements. If you have a business dealing with tobacco, alcohol or plastic surgery you need to display some age requirements in your Instagram bio to comply with international laws. It takes up a bit of space and maybe some of the fun, but better safe than sorry. You can compensate for this by using some of the other elements described here and be just as convincing and even entertaining.

Do you have a bio you are proud of? Let us know what you like most about it. Do you feel stuck in creating the perfect one? Let’s do this together.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram Stories

The Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram Stories

The Do's and Don'ts of Instagram Stories

The Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram Stories

Oh, the ephemeral world of Instagram stories. You could ask yourself why you would even bother to create something that automatically disappears after 24 hours. It creates engagement and studies show that people are more likely to interact with a story than with a regular posting and a quarter of users prefer stories to the feed. All the big brands are doing it and staying out of the loop gives more leads to competitors.

The Definite Do’s

1. Get in the Game

Instagram’s algorithm pushes stories to the forefront due to their short lifespan. By creating stories every day, you maximize your account’s chance of being on top of the newsfeed. You can even post several times a day, as long as you keep the content interesting and appropriate.

2. Use the Provided Tools

Stories are supposed to be fun and a little silly. Use the available items like stickers, text, highlighters, and filters. Geo-tagging the post can make it more useful by providing context. Draw, put some frames and enjoy the reactions. Polls are a tried and trusted tool for further engagement.

3. Get Social

To increase your chances of getting on top of the feed, it’s a great idea to tag others in your post, as long as it makes sense. It could be ambassadors, partners or followers. Just make sure the people or companies you tag are OK with this practice and are in tune with your values.

The Clear Don’ts

1. Refrain From Over Posting

The biggest mistake you can make with stories is to flood the feed with mindless posting. You need to keep things exciting and only talk about ideas worth sharing. Keep it engaging and a bit teasing.

2. Don’t Repost From Other Channels

It might be tempting to repurpose some content from other channels, like Snapchat, especially if the public has already validated it. Restrain from such practices since most followers could be your fans in both places, and this would only appear as lazy.

3. Be too Promotional

Even if you are looking to close a deal, people use Instagram for fun. You don’t want your story to turn into the online equivalent of the TV commercial in the middle of a good movie. In fact, it has to be worth talking about and sharing.

What are you waiting for? Get out that smartphone and jump in the “now” game. Don’t be afraid to experiment Instagram stories and fail fast. If you need a bit of advice about what is appropriate reach out to us and we’ll be happy to provide examples and help.

How to Create a Visually Coherent Instagram Account

How to Create a Visually Coherent Instagram Account

How to Create a Visually Coherent Instagram Account

How to Create a Visually Coherent Instagram Account

The rise of social media gave both users and companies the ability to become content creators. Some have perfected visual coherence for Instagram to an art, while others still struggle with finding the right balance, vibe, and defining their voice.

Instagram as a highly visual platform, requires some artistic taste and know-how about good design rules. The human brain thrives on predictability and coherence, therefore having an appealing feed requires coordinating a few elements.

Theme and Colors

Start with market research of your industry and define best practices. Either go with the flow or take a completely different approach to set yourself apart. For example, most fitness trainers dress in bright and vibrant colors to inspire joy and energy. You could define yourself as the all black, sleek trainer.

Once you decide on the theme and vibe of your account, it’s time to select the colors that best define that mood. Look for inspiration in the pictures you want to use and create a color palette. Try to stick to three main colors and at most three accents of color in all your posts. It’s an essential step of your branding. Coordinate these with your logo or make it complimentary.

Filters & Fonts

Not only the colors in the pictures can transmit a certain message, but the Instagram filters you use in your postings. Different hues correspond to different moods, from highly optimistic to nostalgic or mysterious.  You might think that it is too monotonous to use the same filter for every posting, but in fact, that is what makes a feed look professional, neat and ordered.

The same consistency rule also applies to fonts if you use quotes in your postings. You should select at most two fonts and use them for every occasion. There is the tendency to abuse script fonts for quotes, and it could look just one of the many trying to fit in. On the other hand, using special fonts for your bio can help you stand out.

Planning

Don’t just rely on the spur of the moment for inspiration, think of an editorial calendar and schedule your posts ahead. This practice helps you stay true to your theme and prevents repetition. Seeing the pictures in the right order before publishing them on the feed can help you rearrange and tell a story with every nine blocks.

If you think that keeping visual coherence for a top Instagram account is hard work, don’t be afraid to ask for a little help. We can get you started, or we can offer you full maintenance packages to check this task off your busy entrepreneur list. Let’s connect.