Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sell It With Pictures

A picture paints a thousand words.

Companies are starting to realize that to sell effectively, consumers must see what a product or service does. Photos also help companies reinforce brands and strengthen market position.

Businesses are now using Instagram in marketing their products and services to consumers; at the same time, this relatively new photo-sharing social networking platform is one of the tools organizations use to strengthen their brand.

Big organizations such as Pepsi, Coach and National Geographic use Instagram to connect to fans and followers all over the world.

Instagram has become popular because of a simple premise. People with a smart-phone that has a camera can just simply point and shoot, add filters and then upload the photos on the Instagram social network.

An average person can instantly edit the photo without having to learn some photo-editing software. The digital filters in Instagram help in making photos look better and more customized. This feature is what most digital cameras lack.

The more than 80 million subscribers is a testament to what Instagram is doing right. The increase of sales of both the iPhone and Android-enabled smart-phones will only help increase the subscriber base even further.

Businesses have learned how to take advantage of Instagram. Organizations realize that people who have the same interests tend to form a group and by adding hashtags (#) to the photos, it would be easier to connect with these people.

By using hashtags and the right keywords, companies are also finding it easier to rank higher in search engines.

Instagram also has a feature that connects to Facebook and Twitter, thus, any update done on the Instagram account is instantly reflected on Facebook and Twitter. This feature easily allows posts to be shared or liked and tweets to be re-tweeted generating more buzz for the company.

Organizations take advantage of Instagram through the following:

1.       Creating a contest
2.       Marketing an event
3.       Increasing presence in social media
4.       Connecting with other customers in Instagram
5.       Adding locations to the image uploaded

Savvy Internet marketers support the use of Instagram to connect to more people. Images being shared in Instagram are more effective than advertising in traditional media, where people now that what will be presented are to the organization’s benefit. However, photos uploaded through Instagram are more personal and evoke more emotional response from the subscribers.

Photos uploaded through the photo-sharing medium also engage more people through ‘likes’ or ‘comments.’ These things either drive interest up on a particular product or service or push prospective consumers to a company’s website. Either way, this only means good news for the company.

Facebook, the social networking giant, has acquired Instagram for U.S. $1 billion.