According to Statista, Instagram currently has over a billion monthly active users on the app, with over 120 million of those users located in the US. If you want to reach your audience where they’re spending their time online, Instagram is definitely a channel you should consider. But, fleshing out a plan (and creating content) for this highly visual platform can take a lot of resources.
Working with an agency to supplement your Instagram strategy can be a lifesaver for companies who don’t have the time, manpower or capabilities to get the results they want to see. When you bring in outside help, you’re able to take advantage of what they can offer while freeing up your team’s time to focus on other things.
Regardless if your brand’s social media strategy is carried out by a whole team (lucky ducks!) or added to the task list of a single marketer, it might feel a little more than risky to pass the posting reins to someone else. Gen Z or not, all internet users can quickly sniff out a company who is out of touch on social. So why would you be ok with an outside agency creating extra content for you?
#1. You can take advantage of an agency’s established distribution networks
When you post organically on your Instagram feed, you can tell the story of your brand in an engaging way. By inspiring the customer, sharing case studies of happy clients, or giving an inside peek to your company culture, you’re promoting authenticity and connecting with your fans in a genuine way.
But, by pushing out strategic posts on a high-quality distribution network, your reach will no longer be bound just by your follower count and hashtag luck. Your thumb-stopping image or video will be shown to the fans and followers of a top-tier publisher instead of on your own feed, increasing the audience potential by quite a bit.
Targeting options are often available
If you want to get really specific about who sees your Instagram ads, many distribution opportunities include robust targeting capabilities through the social media platforms. Casting a wide net is a great way to gain traction, but adding a few demographic qualifiers to your post can make sure that your ad gets to exactly the right audience. Some geotargeting options to consider:
- Work Industry
#2. You can still control the look and feel of your content without having to spend time creating it
One of the common reasons people are unsure about partnering with an agency on creating content is that they’re worried the assets created won’t fit in with established brand guidelines.
Keep that in mind when you start researching agencies to work with! It’s a valid concern, but as long as you’re aware of the creative process before you sign a contract, you’ll be happy with your choice. Most design and writing teams prefer when a company offers up branding guidelines and standards — having a set of fonts, colors, and do’s and don’ts for copywriting makes their life a lot easier and will cut down on revisions and edits along the way.
Like we mentioned above, it can be off-putting for a user to see content published by your brand that doesn’t quite hit the mark. Another thing to keep in mind when talking with agencies is the workflow process — you want to be able to review projects before they’re set to publish.
#3. Your brand’s credibility will be boosted thanks to publisher partners
With Brandpoint’s Premium MAT Release, we offer a social amplification option — and while posts that feature your MAT release aren’t promoted directly on news and media publishers’ feeds, the content IS shown to their fans and followers as a post made by that publisher.
This social advocacy can help your brand’s reputation and credibility two-fold:
- It acts as implied endorsement of your brand by a known entity, e.g., the LA Times or San Francisco Gate
- It helps generate exciting buzz around your brand or product through shared media
What is social advocacy exactly? In this case, it’s when an external website or media publisher advocates for your brand on their page, with the intent of driving awareness and promoting engagement. Everyone’s dream is for a post on social to go viral, but instead, your goal should be for the maximum percentage of your target audience to see your post and interact with it.
Brandpoint’s social amplification program does in fact drive social engagement, with an average of 5,000 to 8,000 engagements for each post. That could mean likes, shares, comments, reactions, clicks or views.
#4. You can drive traffic back to your brand’s website
Another great part of our social amplification offering is that brands have the option to decide where they’d like traffic to be directed — either back to the publisher’s landing page featuring the original MAT release or to a page on their own website of their choice. Keep in mind: while site traffic isn’t always a main goal in social media marketing, it’s one more way to keep engagement going and to drum up interest in what your brand’s message is.
As stated, every social amplification program is part of our Premium MAT Release service, and the Instagram post that goes along with it features the same topic of the MAT that’s distributed.
What is a MAT release?
A MAT release is “a branded, consumer-facing article that is distributed to a network of print and online news publishers.” In a traditional MAT package, your brand will be able to distribute a piece of content (for example, an article, listicle, infographic or video) with various targeting options for guaranteed placements.
Social amplification can drive traffic
By including social amplification in your media plans, you’re basically supercharging this content tactic. If you choose to have the “Learn More” link on your Instagram post go back to your own brand’s site, here are a few ideas of how to keep the engagement going:
- A deeper dive into the information provided in the initial MAT release
- A case study or examples of customers using your products
- A video series featuring thought leaders of your company offering their insights
- A sweepstakes or giveaway
Where Instagram and business meet
At this point, it’s become cliché to say that we’re all online more than ever — but the fact remains true if you stop and think about your own habits. Even just ordering food looks different now, and many people are finding themselves registering for a Zoom class or window shopping on vintage clothing sites from the comfort of their own couch instead of getting in the car to visit the mall on a Friday night.
How many times have you laid in bed and come across an ad for that perfect item on Instagram and actually clicked through and bought it? If you’re anything like me, the chance of that happening is a lot higher now than it was in years past.
We used to think of social media as just for posting pictures of your cheese board or keeping tabs on your friends states away, but as marketers and PR professionals, we need to realize that the desire to shop through these platforms is there now, too. Has your business caught up? Take advantage of where your consumers are and showcase your product to them in a way that fits on this channel.
For more information on Premium MAT releases, click here. And if you’d like to connect with a marketing professional to figure out the best way to use social media in your PR campaigns, we’d love to hear from you.