Instagram Ads: What you need to know?

instagram-ads-1024x535

Instagram Ads seem to be all people can talk about lately in the social media space.  Larger brands have been experimenting with it for some time now and we are sure you have seen an increase in Ads targeted at you in your feed lately.  The network is about to fully roll out their platform to companies of all sizes by October 2015 and brands have been anxiously awaiting its arrival.

As Gary Varynerchuk always says,”marketers ruin everything” and the hope is that this will not be the case on ‘The Insta” too.  MANY eyeballs are on the platform and Ad dollars will always go where the people are – this is nothing new.  This platform has been able to remain pure for a long time and thus has been a safe haven for people from all walks of life, to engage without brands and businesses bugging them.  Now we are embarking on a new chapter and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

From a marketer’s POV (since that is what we do) we are (at least for the now) buyers.  We love the idea of advertising here, since you have access to attention from a lot of people.  We also love that Facebook (Instagram’s Owner) will be driving the functionality and targeting foundation making it a smart and intuitive interface.  We plan to experiment with reach and pricing and then report back after we have some experience under our belt. Stay tuned…

The piece on AdEspresso serves up a nice, simple breakdown of what you need to know for now.  Give it a read.

Add a comment

Tags: , ,

Growing Instagram Engagement

03-06-15-Instagram

Once you’ve mastered taking the perfect square picture, picking just the right filter, and adjusting the warmth and saturation of a photo on Instagram, it’s time to figure out who’s going to see your masterpiece. Engagement and visibility is everything in social media marketing, so Social Media Examiner made a list of some tips to generate more engagement and increase your content’s visibility.

#Hashtag
Make sure to use relevant hashtags on all of your posts, and the more you use, the more people are likely to see your post. And don’t forget to keep an eye open for any popular hashtags that you could use to drive more traffic to your page.

Talk About It
Don’t forget that above all, Instagram is a social media platform, so it’s important to be social. Comment and like other page’s posts, and reply to comments from fans on your page, and don’t be afraid to visit your target demographics’ pages and leave comments too.

Have a Contest
Launching a contest on your Instagram page is a fun and easy way to get people liking, sharing, and commenting on your photos. It also gets people excited and talking about your brand.

Get the Word Out
It’s important to make sure fans of your brand know you have an Instagram. Promote your username on other social media platforms and link to your page from your website.

Link Your Accounts
One of the biggest draws of Instagram is the visual content; so don’t let it go to waste. Link your Instagram page with your Facebook and Twitter pages so you can share your photos and videos with fans on all different platforms.

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in use, and it provides a unique opportunity to convey your brand visually. Use these tips to grow your audience, increase your engagement, and help your brand.

Add a comment

Tags: , ,

Up Your Instagram Game

2015-07-10-1436563527-9728557-InstaImage

In an increasingly visual world, Instagram has become a great way to promote your business and products on social media. Social Media Examiner compiled a list of tips from the experts on how to make the most out of Instagram, and we summed it up for you here.

1) Photo quality. When it comes down to it, Instagram is a place to share pictures, and if the quality of your photos isn’t great, people won’t want to look at them.
2) Monitor traffic. To keep on top of how well your Instagram page is doing, try using a customized short link to see how many people are coming to your website directly from Instagram.
3) Plan ahead. Be strategic with your posts and plan them ahead of time, and give every post a purpose.
4) Collaboration. Promote and tag your partners in posts, and they’ll do the same for you, which will increase your audience.
5) Be trendy. When hashtags that are relevant to your brand are trending, tag your posts with them. Users will be able to find your posts through the “Explore” feature that Instagram offers.
6) Use it as part of the bigger picture. Use Instagram as part of your bigger marketing plan, and get your followers involved by prompting them for action through posts by asking for their emails or to download something relevant to your brand.
7) Mix it up. Post a combination of photos and videos to keep your page interesting and fresh.
8) Watch for new opportunities. Instagram recently introduced sponsored posts, so make sure your brand has a variety of posts ready should you get the opportunity to use them.
9) Use your bio. Make sure to keep the link in your page’s bio section updated to your most current content.
10) Sponsor your posts. Find an Instagram page that caters to your demographic and has a large following, and pay them for a sponsored post.
11) Make it share-worthy. When you post graphics on your page, pair it with an inspirational quote or caption to make people want to share it.
12) Make a schedule. Use a calendar to specifically map out the dates and times that you want to put posts out on Instagram.
13) Partner with influencers. Find an Instagram influencer who is right for your brand, and reach out. Their opinions are often very trusted by their large number of followers, and it opens you up to a new audience.

These tactics will help you and your business step up your Instagram game in a major way. Try some of them out, and make the most out of this social media platform.

Add a comment

Tags: ,

Hyperlapse: What’s The Hype?

Hyperlapse 2

Due to the massive trend of photo-focused standalone apps, Instagram decided to release their version in order to start another social media buzz. Instagram’s latest app, which is called Hyperlapse, is simple, elegant and extremely useful.

The app, which was released last week, allows users to quickly and easily create on-the-go-time-lapse videos, something that has not been effectively accomplished on mobile devices, until now. Members of Instagram released a statement saying, “we designed Hyperlapse to be as simple as possible.”

But wait, how easy are we talking about?

Well, it has only been a week, and so far based on reviews it seems that they accomplished the goal of making it user friendly. So here is how you use the app; record a video, select a playback speed, save and share. No additional editing, tweaking or user account required. Yeah, it really is that easy!

So do you have a passion for making cool videos and sharing them with your friends, but you are not a professional photographer? Well you are in luck, because regardless of how long or expertly-crafted your videos are, having a super simple app like Hyperlapse is a game changer for amateurs.

If you would like to read more about Hyperlapse, and a detailed breakdown of the features click here.

Add a comment

Tags: , , , , ,

Rolling in the Deep: Instagram Analytics

Instagram_Analytics

This week Instagram launched deeper analytics for advertisers. With these analytics they offer greater visibility into how their campaigns are performing on the network.

The new metrics, similar to impressions, reach and engagement will be great tools to provide data to advertisers and marketers. According to Mashable, the Facebook-owned photo social platform plans to start the program to all potential advertisers in the coming months. For now, instagram has rolled out to their ad partners. Their ad partners range from Levi’s to Taco Bell.

These analytics will allow advertisers and marketers see an age and sex breakdown of users who are interacting with the brands. Moreover, there will be visibility to how an ad on Instagram will look like on a mobile phone. Advertisers can also get a detailed view of the posts and ads they have previously done. They can sort it out by chronology, impressions and likes. Instragram also created a raw data feed, which advertisers and marketers can use to sort data.

With these deeper analytics it will be easier to see which creative outlet works the best for various brands.

Add a comment

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Instagram 6.0- Becoming a Pro Photographer the Easy Way

reScreen-Shot-2014-06-03-at-17-1.14.27

Instagram 6.0 is the new way for users to rethink the way they post their photos. Instagram is no longer a photo app for over-edited photos, but now with the addition of nine new effects and adjustable filters, Instagram 6.0 will make you a better photographer with just the click of a button.  We, here at Sircle Media have tested it out and done some research on how it can be utilized to increase the “realness” of your grams.  Some quick notes:

  • The control button can be used to maximize or minimize the original strength of the filter
  • The 9 new effects include: adjust, brightness, contrast, warmth, highlights, shadows, saturation, vignette, and sharpen
  • Optional boarders for picture and video posts

Co-founder, Kevin Systrom confirms, “There’s an appetite for more advanced tools to let people be more creative on top of their photos.”  Instagram 6.0 will allow its network to reduce third-party editing app usage by focusing solely on the new adjustable effects to create professional-looking photos.  This revamp will change opportunities for posting and will generate a larger Instagram network.

Sircle’s POV for brands:

  • Gives brands more options to enhance their photos and videos
  • Allows brands to magnify their brand story-telling
  • Gives brands the power of simple, eye-catching imagery

To find out more about the new Instagram 6.0, click here.

 

Add a comment

Tags: , , , ,

Instagram Explore- Now More Relevant

Instagram-3

The Instagram Explore tab has just gotten cooler. The explore tab is no longer a sampling of photos from highly influential, random people. Now, based on your social representation, it is a relevant collection of photos that you will most likely love and engage with. We, here at Sircle Media have tested it out and done some research on how it can be utilized to increase the reach of your grams. Some quick notes:

  • The photos in your “explore” were posted in the last 0-5 days so everything is very recent
  • Each photo has been engaged with by one of the last 21 people you engaged with
  • You will find 21 photos in the Explore tab

Instagram confirmed the change saying “We’re always looking to update the types of posts you see in Explore to better tailor it to you. We’ll show you a variety of photos and videos that people you follow have liked, as well as content that is trending in the Instagram community.” This revamp will change the dynamic of growing an audience on Instagram.

A notification will appear in your own News Tab if your post appears on Explore because it’s trending in the Instagram community.

To find out more about the new Explore tab, click here.

Add a comment

Tags: , , ,

Pinterest Advertising? Yes Indeed…

pinterest-hed-2013

Pinterest, the four-year old social network that functions as a digital scrapbook will soon allow marketers to advertise to the site’s almost 50 million users.

Pinterest began testing promoted pins on both its web and mobile apps about six months ago with a set of undisclosed businesses. Ben Silbermann, Pinterest’s CEO, was very clear that the intention was to test the ad product, not make money. “Nobody’s paying for anything yet—we want to see how things go and, more than anything, hear what you think,” he wrote in a blog post.

By summer, a select number of advertisers will be able to place promoted posts in category feeds and user searches. Pinterest wants these visual ads to be viewed more like magazine ads than typical online ad units.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Pinterest ad chief Joanne Bradford equates them to “works of art.” It’s a smart strategy aimed at siphoning more ad dollars away from legacy media formats like print and television, but it will place Pinterest in direct competition with photo-sharing app Instagram, which has the exact same plan.

Because of their highly visual attributes, both Pinterest and Instagram offer a very intriguing medium for advertisers online.  Pinterest launched it’s 6 month experiment using brands like Four Seasons and TRESemme to test out the ad units. There is no word yet on who it’s first paid marketers will be.

To read more about Pinterest ads and how they are selling them to agencies, click here.

Add a comment

Tags: , , , ,

Big Brand Theory: Deepa Gurnani

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.40.02 AM

Instagram, as we have talked about before is a great platform for brands, even if it is not a big driver of e-commerce. While it does not directly drive sales, it does allow a brand to tell a story and reach fans in an engaging way. One of our clients, Deepa Gurnani-a jewelry and accessories designer, has been very successful on Instagram since they signed with us in February of this year. We are very proud of the progress we have made on their account!

When they began with us, they had a little over 1000 followers on the platform and their numbers have grown steadily and continue to do so every day. Even more important that follower count is that they have found their voice on Instagram, which is not always easy to do. They employ a nice balance of product and lifestyle shots in their rotation. They also take advantage of filters to spice up their photos and make them attractive and fun to their audience, rather than just using a plain white background. The jewelry images show their product(s) in a clever and attractive way allowing them to really tell their story in the process.

We are also committed to being timely and keeping up with what is going on in popular culture- i.e. “Ellen’s selfie” from the Oscars.  We are also using NYC as a backdrop as this is where the brand is primarily based. There is a real connection to the city and it is therefore a must that we weave it into our conversation. By posting these types of lifestyle posts we are able to share more about who the brand is, without directly “selling” the consumer. This is all about brand building, and it is going really well thus far!

To see more of how Deepa Gurnani is owning Instagram here!

Add a comment

Tags: , , ,

How to Drive E-Commerce (Indirectly) from Instagram

We at Sircle Media provide an in-depth audit and social media plan for each client and the question that always comes up is “are we on the right platforms?”, “are there platforms we are not on we should be on?” “which platforms drive sales?”. The biggest platform that drives e-commerce is Facebook, as well as Pinterest. Twitter can be included as well. Instagram, however, which you might have recently read is bypassing Facebook with it’s popularity and user base, does not drive sales. There is no link back to the website, but it is a very good platform for branding and engagement. If your number one goal as a brand is to drive e-commerce, Instagram is not where you want to put your time, although it is very important. Although Instagram has yet to come out with a way to drive sales, some retailers have figured out  a way to drive sales indirectly from the app.

Retailers like West Elm and Bauble Bar are using widgets to drive conversion from user photos. The widgets will pull in Instagram photos that are tagged with a determined hashtag to the retailer’s site, where it can be linked with a product for sale.

Screen-Shot-2014-02-18-at-3.19.04-PM

For example, BaubleBar uses the widget on it’s front page to show customers Instagram selfles displaying their products. As you click on the photo, a pop-up window shows the jewelry within the photo and links to a page where online shoppers can buy.

“Thirty to 35 percent of our online traffic engages with that widget on the homepage or on the product page,” said Daniella Yacobovsky, co-founder of BaubleBar. “We see conversion about four to four-and-a-half times higher with these people than from people who don’t engage.”

West Elm uses the widget to organize pictures on a subpage, called #MyWestElm. Consumers can sift through, room by room to see how other West Elm customers arrange their homes with West Elm merchandise.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 8.30.38 AM

Pau Sabria, the co-founder of Olapic, which provides Instagram widgets, recently told the New York Times that brands using the widget on average see visitors that turned into buyers increased by 5 to 7 percent and the average order value rose by 2 percent.

So, is Instagram creeping up on other social platforms in regards to e-commerce? We wouldn’t jump to yes, but there is potential. Instagram will grow and continue to be a driving force in branding and e-commerce in the future.

Add a comment

Tags: , , , ,