Laying out the pros and cons of using Instagram to market your business.
It is not hidden from anyone that Instagram is the king of social media when it comes to photo sharing. One major contributor to maintaining its crown was last year’s introduction of Instagram Stories. The 24 hour photo sharing feature was directly borrowed from Snapchat. However, with its already huge fan base Instagram Stories beat the usage levels from Snapchat who only has 161 million daily users whist Instagram has 250 million.
Instagram has over 600 million users around the world and 90% of the ‘Top 100 Global Brands’ now active on the network. With Instagram at its prime, it holds a great marketing appeal for business small and big. Instagram’s demographic is the targetable millennial market. With 59% of its users aged between 18 and 29 this demographic will soon become the ‘primary market’ for marketers. This group will come with some serious purchasing power which will favour brands.Not only the demographic, but Instagram’s engagement rate is higher than both Facebook and Twitter. This in return benefits the marketers as they can see higher ad spend and ad recall using Instagram as the marketing platform.
Amongst all these benefits, there will always be some pitfalls along the way. One major pitfall of Instagram is its restricted app programming interface (API). This prevents the likes of social media management platforms to schedule or post directly to Instagram profiles. Instagram is one of the only social media platforms which has this restriction, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all allow for third part tools such as Hootsuite or Tweet Deck to allow scheduling and posting of content onto profiles.
Sponsored content on Instagram can create massive problems for consumers and brands. An example of this is when many of the paid Instagram influencers forgot to disclose their status as such during the Bahamas Fyre Festival. The list of influencers who were paid to advertise the event included the likes of Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Kanye West, Tyga and many more, who posted about Fyre Festival but forgot to reveal that they were paid to attend and advertise the event.
Brands should keep in mind that the majority of Instagram users are teens who don’t have money to spend and thus the marketing may not be as effective. Additionally, the older users of Instagram tend to have it just as a time pass method to scroll through on their journey home on the train without any intention on buying anything. Marketers need to keep in mind that with the constant growing network of advertising, brands need to constantly maintain the advertising levels and not let them drop as time goes on as this will drive away any potential consumers if the ads are of low quality.