Since its acquisition by Facebook, Instagram has grown to become one of the most loved social media platform with a total of 200 million users, and has become one of the highest engagement social media platform with an engagement rate 15X that of Facebook’s! Source: L2 Think Tank’s Report.
Amassing 1000 followers on any social media network is likely to be a feat for numerous start-ups vying to be recognised by consumers in the digital world. However, the advent of Instagram and its legion of new sign-ups per day (300 million accounts and counting) is one of the most promising recent developments for new companies to get heard and be known.
Despite having the highest engagement among all social media platforms, few companies have truly been able to tap into the full reach of the Instagram platform to create successful campaigns.
There are a few reasons why this is the case:
Trying to create ads on Instagram might be confusing, especially if you have no experience with Power Editor at all. But that statement will cease to be true once you are done with this guide. Read on!
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But what does that mean in the day and age of Instagram?
With over 200 million active users and 1.6 billion likes added each day, Instagram is paving ways for brands to carve up creative and gripping content to interact with their fans. Many brands, both big and small are using Instagram as a marketing tool as they deem it fit.
While most brands only stop at encourage their fans to share pictures of them using the products in their everyday lives on Instagram, Chobani does something more; it imitates its fans.
Much before the yogurt brand’s advent into Instagram in 2011, they were tracking the mentions of their product across various social media platforms. Chobani’s social media team discovered a huge collection of photos (photogenically shot breakfasts, original smoothie libations and everything in between) by their Instagram users. Consumers were already engaging the brand in direct conversation and with other yogurt aficionados across the world by using hashtags like #creationday and #chobani.
Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder, once said, “We knew we had a great tasting, good-for-you product, now we just needed to get people to try it. Sampling and word-of-mouth was huge for us…”
Needless to say, Chobani saw Instagram as a natural fit for its brand campaigns.
Hilary DuPont, content manager @ Chobani’s Brand Communications said, “We’re on the platform every day so we know what’s trending.
If our consumers are posting about smoothies, we are, too. We want to be doing what they’re doing.” duPont emphasised that it was all about presenting the content.
“We use Instagram for inspirational and aspirational content that’s still relatable. We’re a leading and innovative brand and we let that show through our content,” she said.
What was the result, you may ask. Chobani used existing creative visual content from their users to create new purposes for their product. They took the ordinary yogurt that was just considered as a breakfast must-have in USA to a healthy alternative to many different foods and as a main ingredient.
Eventually today, Chobani is an amazing example of how you could succeed by piggybacking on the creativity of your fans.
So Why Imitation is a Good Thing - Key Takeaways
1. Imitation makes you smart spender.
Carol Roth, the author of The Entrepreneur Equation says, "Being the first to do something in a market sucks. And you know why? Because you have to educate consumers and that is expensive.
Educating consumers about a new product or service takes, effort, time and a boatload of cash. In fact, sometimes the better strategy is to be a second or third mover in a space–let someone else spend the Benjamins to educate the public. Then, you can figure out how to do it smarter, faster or better."
In the case of Chobani, they observed their fans first, figured out what they want and how they want; then presented themselves as a consumer oriented product by mimicking them on Instagram. Money spent on bad advertising = 0.
2. Make 2 mistakes or less.
This advice is particularly good for the companies that don’t have the big bucks to spend on innovative advertising.
John White of BestEssayHelp declares, "Imitation helps 'fix the bugs' of the initial business idea. Research and case study can identify major problems and weaknesses of any business. Imitation helps avoid those mistakes and what's more important–upgrade and bring something new to the already existing product or service."
If your marketing idea is based on an existing idea (in Chobani’s case, it is the fans’ ideas), you can soon come to know what will and will not work for your consumers. You don’t even have to create a new marketing plan. It would just be enough if the unmet needs of your users are met through an innovative product. Fine tuning is easier.
3. Same …same but different.
It's a proven fact that customers do not always respond well to big changes. They appreciate products that are the same but with tiny differences. Imitating your fans to sell your product with slight changes might just be the best Instagram marketing idea. New and improved, hello!
4. Let your fans teach you.
Who can be better teachers than your fans, right? They will teach you all the marketing do’s and don’ts. Watch and examine the style and language of your fans that are already talking about you. Pay attention to what they are saying. Then, present your product in the exact tone and voice of your fans.
If this article made you hungry for more, then we have plenty of other tasty articles for you on our blog.
Instagram has changed the way people see the world
- Kevin Systrom, Co-founder, Instagram
Instagram’s connectivity enables anyone to share pictures, up to 60 million visuals on a daily average, with an international audience. This helps individuals to weave a special kind of storytelling and bonding with others over shared online experiences.
Early bird catches the worm. Ringing true to the adage, Starbucks was one of the earliest adapters (since 2011) of Instagram and today, it is on the No.2 spot of the Top 50 Brands on Instagram in terms of the number of account followers and [branded] hashtags according to Totems. They have a staggering 2.8 million followers.
What's new in Instagram 6.0?
Things are getting interesting with Instagram announcing its jump onto the social media marketing bandwagon late last year. Traditional social media powerhouses like Facebook and Twitter have been the all-time favoured platforms for marketers with many companies devoting large budgets to pages of paid advertisements online. Previously unheard of, sponsored posts will now be made available on Instagram.