5 Reasons to Market on Instagram
Since launching in 2010, Instagram has rapidly evolved into the most popular photo sharing network.
With more than 300 million active users, Instagram is an excellent platform sharing a visual story about your business. Through high quality photos and six-second videos, Instagram is a great way to interact with customers and build an online community for your brand.
Marketers are also starting to realize how powerful images can be for a marketing strategy. In 2015, 42 percent of marketers plan to increase their budgets for Instagram marketing. Clearly, Instagram will be a platform businesses will want to use if they want to compete with other businesses in 2015.
If you’re thinking about integrating Instagram into your marketing strategy for 2015, here are five tips you should follow:
1. Use Instagram to boost engagement.
Want to boost engagement with your customers in 2015? Then Instagram is your best option seeing as it creates 58 times more engagement than Facebook!
There are a number of ways to use Instagram to boost engagement. In addition to sharing high quality photos, it’s important to include engaging captions with each photo. It’s also important to use relevant hashtags to your industry and interact with your followers.
2. Take advantage of social video.
Think YouTube and Vine are the only options for social video? You might want to think again. Instagram is changing the way brands create video content and interact with their customers.
Instagram is a great way to share videos of new products, quick interviews with employees, or short tutorials. By using Instagram videos, you’ll be able to tell a visual story about your business and create more relationships with your customers.
3. Create a community for your customers.
Instagram is a powerful tool for creating an online community. When using Instagram to cultivate a following, make sure to spark conversations with your followers and build relationships with your customers.
There are a number of ways to build a community through Instagram. For example, share your followers’ photos or embed their photos on your company blog. It’s also important to respond to your followers’ comments and like their photos. Finally, make sure you mention your customers whenever you respond to a comment. This is an important way to show appreciation for your customers.
4. Highlight your products.
Creative photos and videos are the best way to reach your customers on Instagram. Make sure to share high quality images and use external video editing apps to make amazing photos that tell a story about your business.
MORE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: FEATURE: The Dos and Don'ts of Marketing on Twitter
It’s also a good idea to share photos of your products in action. For example, share photos of your customers or employees using your products. You can also share behind the scenes images of your products to tell a story about your business.
5. Develop consistent messaging.
Although Instagram is driven by photos and videos, brand messaging is key to the success for Instagram marketing. The messaging you use for photo captions, hashtags, and interaction with customers should align with the overall brand. For example, Nike uses #justdoit with every photo and only talks about inspiration for athletes. By creating consistent messaging, businesses are able to create a stronger visual brand through Instagram.
Instagram is a very popular platform for consumers. As visuals continue to reign as the top marketing tactic in 2015, Instagram will be the king of visual content. By following these tips when developing your Instagram strategy, you’ll be able to build more awareness of your business and create a strong following of customers.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”