10 tips for Instagram success
Right, Instagram, where to begin…
…Well, it’s full of beautiful, arty types and narcissistic selfie-lovers, but the truth is there are businesses making Instagram a key communications channel for their brand, and there’s no reason why every business shouldn’t have at least some form of presence on Instagram.
But first, lets set some ground rules; consumers are lovely, and they are the lifeblood of your business, but the truth is when a consumer of your brand (or content in general) hit the web on their phones, tablets or laptops, they become inherently lazy, and demand immediate satisfaction in their content consumption before they lose interest and move on.
An article like this is perhaps not for those people (though I’ve done my best to summarise with bullet points, of course).
However, a beautiful image embodying a brand can be consumed instantly, and conveys an emotive love like no other.
This is where Instagram truly shines, and any brand can easily embrace and exploit this before it too becomes an intrinsically commercialised advertising commodity.
There are 10 key points to consider – as extolled by Instagram themselves, and I’ve detailed them below:
All of these tips are actually courtesy of Instagram – so I can’t claim the glory – but they are a good yardstick to plan your Instagram strategy.
And always remember, Instagram is just one of a myriad moments in a consumer’s daily engagement online – so don’t look at it in isolation, look at it as a valuable visual weapon in your brand communication arsenal.
This week saw the latest version of AdWords editor released (11.1), bringing further improvements to version 11 which was released late last year.
For those who aren’t aware of the tool, AdWords editor allows advertisers to make bulk edits and quickly change particular elements of their Google AdWords account.
The revamped version 11 brought with it a completely new layout, making it one of Google’s most comprehensive makeovers to date (see below). The navigation is distinctly fresher and admittedly took me a few days to become fully accustomed to. Version 11 did however come with some flaws and minor bugs, which seem to have been rectified with this latest 11.1 release.
In terms of the main new functions, Labels integration is probably the key one. Labels have been integral in the grouping of our campaigns, and having the functionality to edit and manage within the editor interface is of huge benefit from a time saving, organisational perspective. The vast array of colours also spice up the screen.
Another benefit of the upgrade is the ability to build call-only ads. Although we have only built these out on a small minority of accounts, the bulk creation and management of the feature has been still been adopted.
Other benefits such as upgraded URL support and spell checking in other languages can only further enhance account performance in other areas.
With the growing emphasis on Google shopping through online ecommerce, I’d be interested to see how this area evolves to become compatible with editor, perhaps it will be seen in 11.2!
When it comes to marketing and communications, tech talk reigns supreme.
Over here at Boutique, it’s near impossible to hold a conversation without the odd acronym or buzzword making an appearance – it’s part of the parcel when you position yourselves as experts. Of course, not everyone can be expected to know their UIs from their UXs, which is why we’re always quick to translate the technical jargon into something more straightforward and digestible (link juice is a much nicer way to describe the equity collected by a site via links from external sources, after all).
But what if you’re caught off-guard by a marketing acronym, a PR catchphrase or strange SEO gobbledygook? For those less familiar, we’ve put together the first in our series of jargon busters; this time around, digital takes centre stage, with every expression that could ever puzzle you, from 301 and 302 errors through to Webmaster Tools and XML sitemaps.
Dominic Mills (Ex Publisher of Haymarket and Editor of Campaign) wrote recently about the cover lines of magazines being detrimental to sales, and I’d have to agree that the salacious, personal ‘bullying’ and hyperbole of headlines is often off-putting. The societal need for self-loathing and desperation for self-improvement in equal measures is well represented on many mainstream magazine front covers- it’s a damming statement for society that the biggest selling titles tend to cover horror stories you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemies!
However, the need to shout is a consequence of cluttered and declining market. Who wants ordinary?
In April the Advertising Association and WARC released a report showing the advertising industry, as a whole, was in rude health with UK spend up 5.8% to £18.6bn.
National News brands and magazines were the only losers with print ad spend in steep decline, rescued only by the increase in digital income.
The problem newspapers and magazines face is the perception that they remain platforms that their names allude to; paper and print. In reality, consumption of those platforms are evenly spread across print and digital, and the platforms must work hard to be seen as news brands and content platforms.
In the news brand market the Sun and Times have limited their shift to digital due to the paywalls, but the likes of the Telegraph, Mail, Mirror, Guardian and Independent have seen huge shifts of reach from print to digital and, as such, their commercial structure has shifted also.
However there’s still a place for print. The recent UK elections demonstrated the power of press and the importance of the platforms as outlets for news, opinion….and bias!
Whilst the newspaper still saw a mixed bag of declining circulation or a period of stabilisation (probably worse than expected results?) their role in a democratic society should not be underestimated.
Daily Mirror, May 8th 2015. Staying true to its core!
For news brands, we should never underestimate the importance of these platforms for news distribution, opinion and information. In a content rich world, newspapers often remain the key platform to which society turns for knowledge.
In terms of magazines, several titles still return healthy circulation and readership figures. From TV Choice, to Glamour, Radio Times and Good Housekeeping, circulations for several titles are still in the hundreds of thousands.
We have several clients in the magazine market and we continue to give the channel due consideration for all clients. The change we have instigated is a shift of budget away from print to digital, but also from generic display advertising to more creative, more integrated ideas around content, native, inserts and competitions. Ultimately, using the titles to their strengths.
Magazines are a highly trusted medium and referred to for inspiration and ideas. Integrating with content and being part of that inspiration is one common tactic whether that’s online or in print.
They offer significant dwell time in a relatively uncluttered environment which means greater engagement.
The declining circulations also mean titles have become introspective, focusing on their customers, understanding their desires, needs and motivation and providing better content and better opportunities for advertisers. That makes them a compelling partner for us and our clients.
Magazine circulations will continue to decline and more consumers will shift to digital platforms but with more engaging and connecting content, magazines should remain on every client’s eye line.
As Sue Todd, Chief Executive of Magnetic, the magazine marketing agency stated, ‘Magazine media is growing in power and influence as consumers demand more compelling content which inspires ideas and helps them make choices in an ever more cluttered world’.
I watch TED all the time. If you don’t, you should. It’s wonderful for the daily commute as the presentations tend to be around 10 minutes long, so it’s a better use of time than trawling Facebook or playing games, which most people seem to do on the 30 minute commute between Leeds and Harrogate!
TED, for those that don’t know it, is a platform for people to share knowledge. I’m not sure that’s how they position themselves but that’s how I see it. They cover all sorts, from business strategy to data on mountain ranges, from people talking about sexualisation of media to those who grew up in war torn regions (all of which I have watched in the last week).
When I watch them I try to relate the topic to me but because the subjects are so varied I tend to look for one nugget of thought I can share in the business, hold in my head for the next pitch or use to educate my children.
Often you find that subject matter is inadvertently related to you or your business. I watched one by a professor from Michigan who was talking about how great creative businesses are creative. It seems somewhat obvious to me because I’m in a ‘creative’ sector and, as a strategically led agency, creativity is a core asset to our business. Clearly in other industries creativity rarely exists so whilst it wasn’t really focused on helping me, it did provide me with enough ammunition to create a Venn Diagram about creative thinking:
When we deliver creativity, we have three core elements: Creative Abrasion, Creative Agility and Creative Resolution.
Underpinning the above points is the core statement that ‘the expert isn’t always right’. Sometimes, human behaviour and gut instinct should be considered (though I am not sure I would say that to a creative director).
Keep in mind that this isn’t about ‘creativity’ as an agency in terms of producing creative; pictures, adverts, packaging, branding et al. It is creativity in your approach to challenges, identifying problems, finding solutions.
Creative abrasion is about when people think differently. Fortunately, we do, and varied opinion leads to a variety of ideas. Allowing for creativity to flow will always result in creative abrasion. When you don’t have it, you have a problem because people are probably scared to offer an opinion.
Creative agility is about trying things and learning. This is a common practise for the paid search team who will test ad copy, measure, learn and respond accordingly. If it doesn’t work, bin it. If it does, roll it out. We have to create a culture that allows for the creative thinking but always be mindful that evidence (and most often ROI in our business) will ensure agility.
Creative resolution is about how we find an ultimate answer in a position of conflict. It isn’t about a ‘middle ground’, it’s about deciding on a path and everyone engaging. We’ve recently gone through a rebrand. Our full team was part of creating an internal brand story and there were conflicts in opinion. Mostly we went with my decision obviously (I think I’m half joking!) but a middle ground is not always feasible. You need clarity of mind and leadership to make decisions and everybody must join you in agreement. The best creative minds will not sulk or hold on to a ‘mine was better’ mentality but agree to commit to the decision for the greater good.
What really strikes me in all of this is that culture is critical. If you create a culture of creativity (Pixar and Apple being probably the best examples) you will create outstanding results. It’s not just the end creative ideas that should be applauded, but the internal culture and commitment from every person involved to ensure that creativity is living and breathing in a business.