Is Instagram Your Visual Content Marketing Superpower?

4 Types of Instagram Visual Content Marketing

Instagram Visual COntent Marketing Superpower“Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound… It’s Superman!” NO—it’s Instagram, your visual content marketing secret superpower.

The reason?

Photography is becoming a social medium! Anyone with a smartphone or tablet has a powerful camera at their fingertips with the ability to instantly share their images.

Instagram’s visual information superpower is more than comic book logic. It’s based on research by Mary C. Potter, Carl Erick Hagmann and Emily S. McCourt of MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Specifically, the MIT team found that a single forward sweep as short as 13 milliseconds enables the viewer to extract a photo’s conceptual meaning without advance knowledge.

Further, the researchers found that the images’ conceptual identities could be maintained briefly so that the viewer can match the photo to a name presented after the sequence of images.

Other research from Georgia Tech and Yahoo Labs conducted by Saeideh Bakhshi, David A. Shamma and Eric Gilbert specifically focused on Instagram in their paper, Faces Engage Us: Photos with Faces Attract More Likes and Comments on Instagram.

Since the human face is powerful form of non-verbal communication, that appears in early infancy, the Georgia Tech-Yahoo team sought to determine how the presence of a face, its age and gender effects the image’s social engagement using 1 million Instagram images and 2 social engagement feedback factors.Instagram Visual Content Marketing

Georgia Tech and Yahoo Labs researchers found Instagram photos containing faces were 38% more likely to receive likes and 32% more likely to receive comments, even after controlling for social network reach and activity. However, the number of faces, their ages and gender in the photo didn’t have an effect.

Need more convincing? Check this Instagram research.

4 Key types of Instagram visual content marketing

Just sharing photographs on Instagram by itself won’t build your brand or drive sales.

Instagram Visual COntent Marketing SuperpowerYour goal is to get viewers to like images involving your product or brand and to see themselves using them. Instagram achieves this better than professional photographs!!!

1. Create a virtual photogenic storefront.

Sex up your products. This doesn’t mean showing them with scantily clad models (unless you’re Victoria’s Secret). Instead think look book.

Showcase your products by putting them into context for your potential buyers. Help them to visualize owning your stuff in its natural habitat, not your store or showroom.

Make your prospects and customers drool over your products by making them look so good that they have to have them.Instagram Visual Content Marketing - Adidas

2. Give your audience with a backstage pass to your company, product and/or brand.

What raving fan doesn’t want to get a behind the scenes peak at their favorite products? Don’t just snap shots of anything. Get inside your audience’s mind and understand what they think is special about your brand that they want to see.

Borrow a page from Hollywood. Go beyond your basic product shot. Use special hero shots and outtakes. Let them see how your team works its magic.

Where appropriate, shine the spotlight on your owner, designer or model.Instagram Visual Content Marketing - Oscar de La Renta

3. Show your prospects and customers how to use or style your offering.

Give them helpful hints to maximize your product’s utility. This works particularly well for clothing and beauty products.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. It’s not about you but about making them look good!!! Understanding this will help your photos to make them want your product.Instagram Visual Content Marketing – Forever 21

4. Encourage your prospects and customers to strut your stuff.

Get your target market to snap, filter and share selfies and photos of your product in action.

Skip the professional models that could represent any brand. Show real people modeling your products. Even if they don’t purchase they’re giving your product an implied endorsement because they’re either wearing or using your stuff.

This is the visual equivalent of a customer review. Encourage and make them easy to use. (BTW–here’s how user content rocks Instagram.)Instagram Visual Content Markteting – J. Crew

In today’s world, marketers need a superpower to beat the competition. Great content marketing by itself isn’t sufficient to do the job. You need to find your special superpower to reach your audience and motivate them to action. Instagram visual content marketing provides that edge you need.

How have you used Instagram to supercharge your visual content marketing?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen



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