Singapore boasts of superb internet connectivity, not just by regional standards, but also globally. We boast of a young, and tech savvy middle class, increasingly reliant on the internet for their day to day activities; a whopping 74% of Singaporeans regularly use social media platforms to interact and share information with friends, colleagues, and family members. Instagram is one of the newest platforms that have garnered massive traction in Singapore. More than 1.4 million people in the country have downloaded the app on their mobile devices and use it on a daily basis.
Instagram is considered one of the fastest growing social media platforms, with more than 400 million active users worldwide. On average, Instagram users share up to 80 million images and other forms of visual content per day. Instagram also has the highest level of engagement per post, compared to Facebook and Twitter. For example, Twitter has an average of 1% engagement while Instagram scores 4% engagement per visual content posted on the platform. All these statistics make Instagram an ideal tool for all marketers and entrepreneurs here in Singapore
Some of the companies that are reaping huge profits by marketing their products on this platform globally include:
- Nasty Gal Fashion Line
- Warby Parker
- FIJI Water and the list continues
Here are expert tips on how you can use Instagram to market your business in Singapore.
1# Use Actionable Hashtags to Build a Community
Actionable hashtags are instrumental in helping companies to build a community of prospective customers on other social media platforms such as Pinterest and Twitter. Successful companies that use Instagram as one of their marketing channels such as GoPro, have proved that it is possible to use the same hashtags to attract more followers. For example, Nike’s hashtag #chooseyourwinter has enabled this leading shoe company to gain a huge number of followers on Instagram to the extent that Instagram management team do recognize Nike as one of the brands with an inherent ability to start a movement and achieve their set goals.
Your company can also reach the same success by using actionable hashtags. Ideally, the hashtag should be related to the products or services that you are offering. They should also relate to the target customers and motivate them to take action.
You should also use general hashtags in your posts to increase the chances of your products appearing in search results. For example, if you have a coffee shop in Novena, tags such as #coffee and #latte can make an image of your brand delicious latte visible to a larger audience.
2# Monitor your Brand Hashtags
Ideally, the consumers will be using the hashtags to connect and interact with your brand. Therefore, it is imperative to monitor them just like you track Twitter Mentions and Facebook Page tags. Also, respond to concerns and comments posted by the audience quickly to enhance your credibility and build good relationships with customers.
3# Partner with People/ Organization that Root for your Brand’s Values
Some brands have come up with an ingenious way of popularizing their products by not directly marketing their products to their customers. Instead, they partner and support people and organizations that root for their brand’s values. A good example is SweetGreen, an international company that serves healthy salads, fro-yo, and soups that are made using organic ingredients from local their trusted partners and farmers. They recently partnered with FoodCorps, a non-profit organization whose principal objective to empower children with information about healthy living.
This ingenious marketing tactic has helped both partners to gain massive popularity from the ever increasing number of Instagram users. Go ahead and support an organization that supports your company’s values and objectives. Make sure that you mention the partner when writing a photo caption.
Note that unlike Twitter which is strict on character limit, you have all the freedom to make the photo caption interesting; however, always keep your caption short and to the point. The caption should be catchy, entertaining, and relevant to the audience and post.
4# Find the Beauty in your Brand
One of the main reasons why most B2B companies in Clementi are reluctant to use Instagram as one of their digital marketing channels is because they find the platform unusable for their business. They are of the idea that since they do not sell food, clothing, beer, or other common products, a photo-sharing application will not do their business any good. For instance, a company that sells software finds it hard to come up with photos that are attractive to the Instagram audience.
Nonetheless, there are countless other ways that you can use Instagram to market your software. You do not have to directly post photos of your products on the platform to get sales. For example, with the new Instagram Go-Live feature, you can show the audience a sneak peak view of how you create and monitor the software. You can also set up and post animated videos on the platform indicating the benefits of the products you are offering.
5# Make Use of All Tools Instagram Offers
There is a broad range of filters, editing tools, and special effects that you can use to beautify your photos. Your creative team can help you perfect the photos before they are posted to ensure that they garner the most visually compelling results. Other the top rated and popular filters used by companies to improve their photos are X-Pro II, Low-Fi, and Valencia.
Instagram just released a new suite of tools that are tailored to help business analyze the performance of their posts. These tools are ideal for all types of businesses. Now, you can get account insights such as engagement, reach, and impressions. Two other premium tools that are only available for paid advertisements are ad insights and ad staging. Ad Insights is a tool that is designed to give advertisers more details about brand analytics to ensure that each campaign is a success. On the other hand, Ad Staging allows multiple businesses to collaborate to preview, save, and work together on their ad creative.
6# Showcase Beautiful Experiences that are Related/Relevant to your Brand
Showing the beautiful audience experiences that are relevant to your company will create a buzz that will, in turn, result in more sales. If you thought wind turbines are photogenic, think again. General Electric has mastered the art of showing how their products impact the world positively by taking fantastic photos of their wind turbines. It is this kind of photos that elicits positive reactions from target customers by showing that the company is not only focused on making money, but also impacting the lives of people positively.
7# Make Use of Instagram Sponsored Ads
Visual content communicates and relates to the audience better than verbiage. They express ideas, sentiments, emotions, and even thoughts. Instagram sponsored ads will help you win over more customers by painting a professional image of your brand. One of the benefits of a sponsored ad is that you can laser target it to a particular segment of customers. All Facebook targeting tools are at your disposal, and so you can identify your clientele base using parameters such as interests, tastes, behaviors, and preferences. Once you do the segmentation, you will be able to come up with visual content that best resonates with the audience. This will, in turn, result in more responses and sales in the long run.
How Instagram Algorithm Works and How to Beat It
Veteran marketers believe that Instagram will continue being one of the powerful platforms for promoting businesses. According to recent research, Instagram is ranked 5th of all social media networks globally, with over 1 billion users every month. Although Instagram is ranked behind WeChat and Facebook, it has a strong challenger and TikTok, which stimulated them to adjust some features last year.
With lots of competitions – 75% of businesses are marketing on Instagram, and 90% of user accounts follow a business to be in the known zone.
How Does Instagram Algorithm work?
You may be wondering why each time there is always a new feed on your Instagram. This is because the algorithm uses machine learning to modify what appears in every individual’s Instagram feed. The same concept applies to the Instagram Explore page – it checks the accounts you have interacted with before and uses the interactions to suggest content that it thinks you may enjoy.
However, Instagram algorithms go past that. Instagram exposed that six features control what appears in your Instagram feed: relationship, following, timeliness, frequency, interest and usage.
1. Relationship: The Accounts You Interact with Frequently
Instagram always ensures you don’t miss significant posts from your family and friends. Such an update may be about a friend’s date, party, or achievement. So, what does this mean? Your best friends’ contents are likely to rank higher on your feed.
To find out who your best friends are, Instagram’s algorithm reads your previous communications to determine which accounts you frequently engage with. When ranking posts in your feed, Instagram looks at profile searches.
2. Interest: Just how Instagram Expects You’ll Be Concerned about a Post
Whenever the algorithmic timeline is proclaimed, Instagram displays the content that you are likely interested in. The videos and photos in your feed are arranged according to your preference, connection with the person posting and the post timeliness.
Instagram checks your previous activity to determine your potential interest. Therefore, if there’s a specific category of content that you are frequently engaged with, Instagram may rank contents within that category higher on your feed.
According to an Instagram spokesperson, the ranking of Instagram posts is not just a status challenge. Post with few actions but are more relevant to you can still be displayed on top of your feeds.
3. Frequency: How Often You Access Instagram
Each time you open up the app, the Instagram algorithm attempts to display the top posts from your last visit. If you open the app once a day, you’ll see posts that the algorithm believes are the most useful for the day. But if you visit Instagram often in a day, the app will show you the actual content you haven’t noticed.
Note that 43% of Instagram users check the app many times a day.
4. Timeliness: How Current the Post Are
Timeliness is the other key element in the Instagram Algorithm. Instagram wants you to see posts that are fresh and, subsequently, more critical. This implies that posting when your audience is active is very important.
This algorithm will bring back posts from your feed and previous feed. For instance, if you navigate your Instagram timeline at 8 am and then recheck at 1 pm, Instagram will only sort the posts created between your check-ins.
5. Following: All Contents from the Accounts You Follow
If you are following numerous accounts on Instagram, the algorithm must go through several contents to resolve what to show you every time you open your app Instagram. What does this mean? Users who follow many people may see less from every person’s account, while those who follow just a few selected accounts are expected to get more feed from their preferred accounts.
6. Usage: Time the User Spends on Instagram
The user’s tendency to visit Instagram can as well affect the results from the algorithm. If you prefer short visits on the app, the algorithm ensures it displays the most important posts first, while if your sessions are longer, it may offer a wide range of fresh content to browse.
Tips for Working with the Instagram Algorithm
Below are some of the best practices for applying these perceptions to your Instagram approach.
1. Consistent Posting
To get a grip on the Instagram algorithm, you must first create connections with your audience. And because quality can be measured and achieved than quality, the primary order of business is to create a social media content calendar to maintain your agenda.
How does consistency relate to Instagram? It’s distinctive to your brand. If you are a newbie, start as you intend to proceed. Consider what is good for your team to deliver.
If you can attract audiences with something like five stories, four posts, and why not, two IGTV video every day?
Generally, any brand’s posting regularity and format of selection depend on the available resources. The most important thing is to focus on posting content you enjoy on a consistent schedule.
2. Keep Watching Your Analytics
Watching your Instagram analytics is one of the best ways to understand how your audience feels and how the algorithm considers your brand.
Which posts drive your audience away? Do they like photos or videos better? How much traffic do you gain from hashtags? Analytics will help you discover what you’ve done right, although it’s upon you to find out how to operate with success.
If you have a business account, check on the native analytics. You’ll also help you find out when your audience is online and their specific locations through this.
3. Remix, Recycle And Repost Your Most Performing Content
When you have a polished content timetable and much analytical evidence detailing precisely what your audience wants, creating or sourcing enough content to feed the machine is hustle.
Remixing and upcycling your top performing content will save you time since you already know the algorithm likes it.
Here are some elementary methods of maximizing your visual assets:
- Reformat images and feature them as stories
- Use many images from one photoshoot for different resolutions.
- Convert a video into stills or gifs
The trick here is to be as creative as possible.
4. Reward Your Audience for Spreading the Word through UGC
User-generated content is frequent unpaid people posting about your brand on Instagram out of pure interest. At the time, it can come with a little encouragement, although it’s not necessary.
This has shown benefits to an algorithm. It’s not by any chance that the more your audience communicates (replying to you, tagging you etc.), the more the algorithm will notice the content and the more it will top your posts.
Here, the idea is to create loyalty and interest, motivating people to champion and promote you. If you have a remarkable B2C product, the product may perform the role on your behalf. Otherwise, you may require other means of inspiring people directly.
There are many ways of rewarding loyal fans. In most cases, just reframing their content to your audience will win their hearts. You can also run an Instagram contest with specific prizes for spreading the word.
Source: Social Media Examiner
Do not repost everything you get from your audience. Make the best and incorporate the content into your brand’s visual identity where possible. Remember that just reposting other people’s stories has been noted, so try something more creative.
5. Partner with Likeminded People
Finding a relevant association with a matching audience is one of the best methods to naturally increase your reach to new eyes while also getting your audience’s attention.
If the association is exciting to your audience the way it is to you, it may include an extra boost from the algorithm. For example, Squarespace continuously collaborates with its clients.
6. Make Quality Connections the Traditional Way
Likes don’t count on Instagram. Since Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri is concerned with the “problematic use of loneliness” on the app is legit, it’s safe to assume that the algorithm also wants legit connections.
For brands, it’s always advisable to behave like anything that people care about is all the algorithm cares about.
What are some of these traditional means? Below are some of the best practises.
- Respond to comments quickly
- Embrace DMs
- Ask questions
- Like and comment on other people’s posts.
Do not but likes or followers, and always go for the traditional engagement pod methods. The algorithm watches you together with all your real followers.
7. Ensure the Hashtags Are Properly Used
Hashtags are an essential tool for taking your content to the right audience – those who most likely engage with it. On Instagram, hashtags can help create a good circle where the algorithm ensures your post gets more attention.
Abusing or misuse of your hashtags is one of the simplest ways to get to the wrong side of the Instagram algorithm. The trick here is honesty. Use the relevant hashtags to your brand, audience and industry.
Otherwise, you might find yourself being flagged for using the wrong hashtags if you annoy people. Flagged to who? The algorithm.
8. Ensure Your Post Timely
Actually, this is the easiest tip. The Instagram algorithm favours current posts, therefore post when your audience is active. That’s simple, right?
Source: Social Media Examiner
The best thing is to check on your audience’s specific habits and use an Instagram scheduler to ensure your posts go online when your audience is active.
Instagram’s Algorithm Offers the Best Experience
If you concentrate on creating connections with your audience and making great content, you should not worry about Instagram algorithm modifications and Instagram updates.
How to Create Attractive Videos for Instagram
Having attractive Instagram videos is among the most current marketing strategies on Instagram. Instagram videos can range from 3 to 60 seconds in length, and you can directly upload them from your phone. You can also transfer files from another source into your phone. This makes it more flexible for you to use video content to improve your Instagram marketing policy.
Currently, videos are becoming the most shared content on Instagram, specifically, since they provide a simple and attractive way to promote and display their products. Instagram Live is also gaining popularity. However, achieving Instagram success is never that easy, like just uploading a video.
- Set Clear Objectives
Telling a compelling story in one minute can be challenging. Therefore, you must take time to plan and stage your video. Before starting, ask yourself your main objective of sharing the video. Do you intend to gain new followers? Are you trying to get more personal with your followers? Are you after driving traffic to your website?
Be precise. The tone and feel of your video will depend on what you intend to gain by posting it.
- Tell a Story
If you intend to grasp attention with your video, then create one that tells a story. It shouldn’t bother you to make a storyboard but plan out your video to make sure you utilize every second correctly. To manage your time, split your story into three segments – introduction, middle and conclusion – and understand how long each segment should last.
Instagram videos automatically start playing as users scroll their feeds, so begin your video with an attractive scene. Starting your video in this manner will make it stand out and will attract people into your story. Ensure you add the middle and the conclusion of your story.
In the last segment of your video, include a call to action to ask your audience to engage with your content.
Finally, it is essential to note that Instagram videos play silently, lest the viewer turns on the sound. Therefore, using screen options is very useful.
- Light Up Your Video
You don’t require a fully- specialized lighting kit to make your video look appealing on the screen. There are some simple strategies you can follow to improve your video quality. These practices are normally appropriate for portrait style or talking head videos, where one object in a stationed location talks directly to the camera.
Go for normal light. Does your office or workshop have large windows? Stand next to these sources of ordinary light and keep the light in front of you.
Don’t do a video under the above lights. Overhead lighting can cause some unpleasant visual effects. Consider other sources of light and make your subject move around until you get a satisfactory light.
Be creative! If your existing lighting arrangement is not pleasant, create better conditions. You can use a paper or white poster board as a reflector to soften the light. You can also block unwanted sources of light using black plastic.
- Shooting Your Video
The primary step in shooting a video is choosing the camera to shoot with. Using a DSLR camera or your smartphone’s camera is recommended since Instagram’s camera limits your shooting abilities. Now you’ve chosen the camera, and it’s time to do the shooting. Here are some of the indicators to guide you through as you start shooting your Instagram videos. Instagram best practices are beneficial when shooting using your phone.
Ensure your video is in landscape or portrait mode. Instagram don’t crop videos into a square; therefore, in either direction, you decide to position your video, you can be sure that the whole shot will fit into the frame.
Maintain the focus on your subject. You can tap the part of the screen you want your phone camera to focus on. For instance, tap on your subject’s faces keeping a focus on his face. If you want your subject’s face out of focus,
Maintain a steady shot. You’ll always want to avoid having a shaky shot to get the best results. To maintain steady hands, ensure your elbows are rested on a flat surface, or bend down and plant them on your knees. But when using a DSLR camera, then mount it on a tripod.
Instagram Video Examples: Deciding on Your Content
The best method to choose the type of content you should create is understanding your brand products, aesthetic, image and the story you want to talk about in your video. Note down as many ideas as you can in relation to the subject and format that you feel will tell your story most persuasively. Lastly, ensure the video content you create equals the tone and feel of your brand.
Here are some of the types of video content. Scrutinise the list and see which types will best communicate your brand’s values and enable you to attain your marketing objectives.
Display your products to your followers and tell them what’s unique about those products.
Sharing some product videos in a week is an excellent supplement to sharing lifestyle posts. Product videos provide your audience with a window into the products that represent your brand.
These are a great way to attract your fans’ as well as break the boredom of staged images that show your products on a showroom or shelf. Imagine the variance between seeing a leather jacket’s stock photo and a video of someone wearing it.
When coming up with the topic of a product in action videos, you should always put your audience and their dreams and inspirations into considerations. Who is your real customer, and what are their real pictures? Try creating that feeling in your video.
Do you intend to release a new product? If yes, declare the news with a brain teaser video that offers your followers a sneak peek at the product to be launched. By raising the hype and excitement around your new release, you’ll make your followers wonder, think and dream about the product before it even availed.
BTS content is an excellent way to create a more personal connection with your audience. By presenting your followers to your team and offering them backdoor access to your services, you’ll be able to talk about your brand values in a trustworthy manner and build more mutual connection with your followers.
Incentivise your followers’ purchase by shooting a video that explains the essentials of using your product. Be inventive! Keep your viewers engaged by making funny and entertaining tutorials.
For content that needs more screen-time, create a video series that you later divide into one-minute episodes or segments. While they come to expect some more videos, they will keep coming back to your Instagram account and view your unfolding story.
Videos on Loop
Just like Vine, Instagram currently has a video looping feature, which enables the video to start automatically from the beginning when the clip is finished. Think of using looping videos to display a versatile or funny product feature.
These videos are mainly popular when shooting a scene where there’s continuous movement. With the iPhone, you can record time-lapse videos directly. Android users can download Time-lapse or Lapse It to record time-lapse videos.
Time-lapse videos summarise long videos, therefore, filming a time lapse video will also need much time. It is recommended you use a tripod to fix your camera and lock settings for focus and exposure. When using a phone to shoot, place it in an airplane mode to avoid interruptions that may interfere with the video.
Hyper Lapse Videos
These videos are great for some reasons: one, they make you squeeze several minutes of film into a maximum of 60 seconds. Secondly, they effortlessly provide to Instagram’s users progressively short attention lengths.
You can’t record a hyper-lapse video using your phone’s camera setting. However, you can download the free hyper lapse app for Instagram to help you condense your footage into sizable and engaging videos.
Undoubtedly, Instagram is one of the best social media networks that you can use to market your products to a larger audience without spending a fortune. When focusing on building connections with your audience and creating great content, you should not worry about Instagram algorithm changes and Instagram updates. Go an extra mile and support your campaign with professional SEO services as well as SEM consultancy. These two services will help your website rank high on search engines and increase the popularity of your products online. For example, SEM will make sure that your ads are shown on SERPs. Since most SEM is hinged on a Pay-Per-Click model, you will only pay when someone clicks on your ads or takes the specified desired action. If they don’t, you will still benefit from the free exposure without having spent a penny.
MediaOne Marketing is best known for offering the best social media marketing services. We focus on all social media platforms including Instagram and Twitter. Call us today on +65 6789 9852 for more information.