Instagram: A Beginners Guide to Reaching Adults on this Playful Platform

Recent studies are indicating that mom’s are using Instagram to follow businesses. In fact, more than 1/2 of Instagram mothers are doing so, according to Social Times author, David Cohen and his cited sources.

Dad’s are in the mix, too!

69% of dads have taken action based on content they see on the network and,
78%  of moms do the same.

United States department stores saw a 2.8% conversion from advertisements within the platform – up from 2/1%

Businesses from cosmetics to auto parts, hair products and sports equipment should take a second look at the playful platform, if they haven’t yet considered it for serious advertising and conversions.

As someone who “trolls” to view photos of friends and “famous”, I am intrigued by this and think, how would I use this for our B2C efforts, when previously I thought -“this just doesn’t hit our demographic.”But now I get it.

At a recent Social media mastermind group, a member said this perfectly. Facebook stresses her out because it’s posts about things that upset her friends, or people who want you to support their cause, or updates on friends’ lives that make her wish for more…on Instagram, she feels relaxed-no pressure, just fun photos and videos that make her smile. Since realizing this, she spends more time on Instagram and even scrolls through right before bed.

So, since I am new to advertising on Instagram, let’s explore this together:

What to advertise? How and What Results are we Seeking?

What?

Based on the statistics, it seems obvious that the items one needs for personal use are the items hitting the mark. As we’ve heard before, think of your customer as a “normal human being–transacting their lives via mobile” just like anyone else; including you.

What are you looking for on mobile? I look for addresses for businesses. It would be cool, if I could come across a legitimate coupon for said business. I look for products, while I am waiting for an appointment. If the transaction can be easily completed, I’ll do it.

So, making the leap to Instagram, isn’t much of a stretch.

How?

Since Instagram is now part of the Facebook conglomerate, I found instructions on how to advertise, there.

What Results are you Seeking?

Like any platform, we have to determine our goals for using Instagram as part of our strategy. Here are some results one can expect, choosing a path will help  determine how to build the ad, which content to use, etc:

Instagram Advertising Solutions Support the Following Objectives

 Clicks to Website

  • Send people to important sections of your website

Website Conversions

  • Get people to take specific actions on your website

 Mobile App Installs

  • Get people to install your mobile app

 Mobile App Engagement

  • Get more activity on your mobile app

 Video Views

  • Tell a story using video

One of the businesses I follow on Instagram is MAC cosmetics. When I have time, I review the “looks” they post and it helps me to think more creatively about my makeup.

What story can you tell with a picture?

How can you have fun on this platform?

A picture tells a thousand words – what do you want to say in a photo or a video?

 

 

Some Enchanted Evening

Honey, that evening is, like, now.

 

Integration of platforms, communications, tools and strategies are all geared toward communicating with customers in a way that is convenient for them, right? meeting them where they are at.

So, it would make sense, then, that the idea of Enchanted Objects is the next evolution of this idea and that everyone is “game” and eager to see the evolution.

Nope.

Two things to consider about the Internet of Things and Enchanted Objects – are we robbing the sense of self and #2 Security – how does that get managed?

#1 Self Image or Imposed Beliefs

I read this extract  “From Neuromorphic Sensors to a Chip Under Skin”,where the author, Palese said:

“Today being able to choose means to be responsible for our own individuality with the opportunity to be included – and then – accepted in a global society. This particular form of society sees the market for consumers as the sole holder of sovereign power.”

With the advent of the Internet of Things…

“To the market is delegated – also by the state – the task of establishing wants and needs in addition to the parameters of exclusion and inclusion of the individual. The result is that each individual runs frantically towards the construction of the “self” according to a model, which in turn is generated by the policies of the impersonal market producing a misleading reality.”

I get this. It feels like that’s already happening with the myriad of platforms available for selfies, and the already-ever-present existence of marketing messages that tell us to be better, look better, feel better, etc. As if ones current state is not “enough”

I think enchanted objects are fascinating, but as Integrated Marketing Communications professionals, there are definitely things to consider about our approach and what we want our customers to do.

#2 Security and Who’s Worrying About it?

IoT at Work

Not only are consumers worried about security breeches and hacked debit cards, but corporations are worried, too! With reports in the CIO Journal that CIO’s are stressing about employees wearing their devices to work and with their interconnectivity,the corporate system gets hacked. Loeb writes:

“Related to this risk is that workplaces are becoming more difficult to secure as connected devices like fitness bands and smart watches spread in popularity and make their way to the office on the wrists and in the pockets of employees. If these seemingly harmless devices connect to your company’s networks or servers and share and store information, they create more entry points where such information can be compromised. Cybercriminals realize this. Many of your employees probably don’t.”

Yet, other CIOs are thinking with Integrated tactics in mind, too. Thinking that the convenience should lie in the hands of the consumer – not IT.

“Reports challenging the safety of self-driving cars prompted Deloitte Global’s chief information security officer to question approaches to cyber security that depend on employee vigilance. Instead of relying on fallible employees, he writes, cyber security professionals should build systems that anticipate and prevent human errors.” (CIO Journal)

I get that too.

CIOs and our IT teams need to advance with the times. They do, i know they do – but they, too, just like communications professionals need to keep up with emerging media, IoT and Enchanted Objects –to provide the infrastructure, fire walls and protection that are needed to avoid the hackers. Thinking an employee is going to remove their device is not fail-proof.

Related:

How many people turn off their cell phones when they are on an airplane?
Who had to change?
It wasn’t the passenger.

Big businesses everywhere will need to be responsible for the evolution of communication, marketing, security and the customer’s convenience.

 

 

 

Izzy Dead?

I keep reading that the role of creative director now lies in everyone’s hands. With the advent of apps and the advances in social media, it’s like everyone has become their own publicist and their own creative department.

Creativity, in its simplest form, is the art of contrasting existing ideas in an original combination to generate something new.

On Wednesday, Facebook announced it was buying Masquerade, a super-popular app whose technology lets users virtually swap faces and apply other special effects to their selfies and videos, much like the filters available on Snapchat.

So, what does this mean for marketers and creative directors?

Well, first-of-all, clearly-chances are slim that the Masquerade-pro will trump the creative director who thinks more strategically about your business needs.

Having said that, on the Masquerade blog, the CEO Eugene Nevgen said: At Masquerade, we’ve worked hard to make video more fun and engaging by creating filters that enhance and alter your appearance.

Granted, right now, like me, you’re probably thinking “Our audience (business, followers, etc.) wouldn’t care about this—there really isn’t a tie back to what we do…”

Here are 3 ways that make this emerging media relevant to you:

  1. Real-time video communication is quickly growing in popularity. In 2015, the number of digital video viewers in the United States surpassed 200 million. And that’s not just amongst Millennials. Granted, the age range of 18-34 has consistently watched more video than any other age group, the number of minutes spent watching digital video amongst those aged 50 to 64 years has increased, from just 9 percent in the second quarter of 2012, to 19 percent by the second quarter in 2014. (Statista.com, 2016)

But that’s video – what about Real Time Video – how will that apply?

2. It applies already. Companies like KUIU are using real time video to answer customer questions in real time, and to create events to demonstrate the set-up of one of their products.

3. The technology Masquerade uses, while proprietary, is an accumulation of knowledge that has informed their algorithms which solves the problem of face detection and tracking.

What?!?

It’s genius, really.

Add what they will accumulate to the world of Big Data and just imagine how that might influence customer service applications in the future?

Warby Parker will already know the shape of your face and could recommend glasses that fit your style and your face. Heck, why mail you the glasses, when they’ll already have your face on file?

How much you wanna bet TSA will have your face in a hologram when you check in at the Airport?

Who’s to say what will happen with security anywhere?

 

References:

http://www.statista.com/statistics/271611/digital-video-viewers-in-the-united-states/

 

Is it just me, or does everything look like it’s Integrated and Emerging?

Perhaps this goes without saying, but Emerging Media seems like just one part of the Integrated “puzzle.” Everything related to the Internet is emerging and integrating. From the social media platforms, to the way we do business, to the way we expect our laptops and operating systems to serve us.

Take for example, the latest update to the MAC operating system – El Capitan, which was released on September 30, 2015. In the simplest of explanations, the update allows you to split your screen, so you can conveniently multitask from the same space, easily personalize your toolbar by super-simplifying the way you “pin” your favorite sites to it, and there’s even a platform that helps you take better notes, like Evernote style.

Consumers don’t even realize what we need until our technology tells us, and by-golly “they” seem to have it right!

Amazon is credited with first figuring out what “customers like you also bought”and helping us with our purchasing decisions. But underneath the innovation and code that serves up these options, is CEO Jeff Bezos philosophy that the customer is always first. So much so that he makes sure that customer convenience is at the center of everything they do and that personalization, trust and proactively offering solutions are all integrated in the way they think about servicing their customers.

According to the Forsee Experience Index Report (FXI), in 2013, “Amazon stands at the top of 100 globally-known brands across seven major industries for best customer experience.”  (Parature, 2013)

They clearly got it right.

From an Integrated Marketing and Communications perspective, if we take our queue from MAC and Amazon, strategically thinking about emerging media can help us to serve up content to our customers in a way that is convenient and personalized. Marketing Automation gets us half-way there, Periscope can be posted to Facebook and Snap Chat can be saved for other platforms. If we continue to strive for getting-ahead of even the newest of these tactics, we’ll be providing content on an emerging media platform before our customers even realized they wanted it there.

Then, I think, we, too, will really have it right.