PR Expert Maha Abouelenein: Startup founders should leverage the power of storytelling
Maha Abouelenein is a PR expert and an accomplished senior-level communications executive and entrepreneur with more than 27 years of experience.
As the Head of Communications MENA at Google for three years, Maha developed the corporate communications, brand and reputation strategy for the Internet leader.
She is now the Managing Director of OC “Organizational Consultants”, where she advises and manages global companies and startups on marketing communications by adding value to deliver measurable results. In this role, Maha worked on Gary Vaynerchuk’s global outreach and strategy (Gary will be speaking at BRAND MINDS 2020) and launched big brands like Netflix, Udacity and Deezer in the Middle East.
Check out Maha’s YouTube channel, Digital and Savvy where she shares her knowledge about industry trends, how to set up PR for your business and how to make the most of communications in a rapidly evolving landscape.
I am always looking to connect with experts to ask them relevant questions to our audience. So when the opportunity of talking to Maha presented itself, I grabbed it with both hands.
Below you can find Maha’s expert insights on PR and social media, why startup founders should leverage the power of storytelling, three trends in PR that she believes will go big in 2020 and tips and tricks for startup founders looking to earn media attention.
1. In our day and age, customers are shifting their attention from traditional mediums like TV and print to digital and social media. How has this change affected PR?
There is no question the way we consume information has changed dramatically thanks to the internet and mobile technology.
Everyone wants to have information in real-time so companies and brands have to communicate in real-time. The impact on PR means that speed matters, but also what we say and how we say it needs to be more relevant.
There is a lot of noise out there – so the businesses and brands that lean into good storytelling and making meaningful authentic connections will win.
I am so energized where I see things going because it means that the news industry is taking centre stage. With the influx of influencers and content creators – it has levelled the playing field which is giving an enormous opportunity for the PR industry to really stand up and stand out!
[bctt tweet=”PR expert Maha Abouelenein: Businesses and brands that lean into good storytelling and making meaningful authentic connections will win.” username=”brand_minds”]
2. How does storytelling support PR?
Storytelling supports brands communications efforts by sharing a more meaningful connection that evokes emotion. We connect with people we can relate to and stories allow us to make those connections.
People love a story – a beginning, a middle and an end. How are you delivering a powerful story to sell your brand? Don’t do it yourself, use the media to share your story with a wider audience. And better yet have a story or news that is shareable and ‘snackable’ that they can push on their social media channels.
Your aim is to create a story or content that is shareable. Something worth sharing with friends or family and something snackable – easy to digest and easy to understand. Think of what your news hook is – something unique, something new; also the timing is very important so that you are relevant.
The hook is the reason you are telling your story. Then comes the pitch – how are you going to sell it into them – how are you going to get them to listen to your story so they publish it and distribute it for you.
You need to convince them that is a story worth telling and that it will help them grab the attention of their readers. The stories that are pitched that get coverage are those that lean into a brand truth – taking a page from my Netflix playbook -the brand truth is to put the consumer in a situation that we all go through. That means finding something in common that consumers face and then how our story puts us in the centre of that situation.
3. Name 3 trends in PR that you believe will go big in 2020.
Voice is only going to continue to grow! From voice search engine optimization to voice-assisted applications and skills to podcasts. Lean into voice. Find out what your brand sounds like by developing a sonic brand or starting a podcast. Get vocal. This is a HUGE game-changer for businesses and brands.
Read more on voice: How voice is changing customer behaviour and the way you do marketing
Everyone needs to think about personalization at scale. What can you do to personalize your relationships with your customers?
Companies are now communicating with customers across multiple channels – website, social, direct mail, in-store – the challenge is how to create a meaningful experience and relationship so that it feels personal, not virtual.
The way to keep consumers loyal and “sticky” is to think about how you can use data to understand your consumer and then personalize that experience for them. Think Nike – they allow you to personalize your sneakers and personalize your preferences to really engage with the consumer in a way that is personal to them.
Everyone will need to pay attention to their digital reputation.
With the rise of deep fakes and the virality of content – this will matter more now than ever. Protecting your reputation is the single most important mandate for your future. Start investing now in how you will do that.
Digital reputation is not just about companies, it also impacts leaders especially those with personal brands.
4. What are your recommendations for entrepreneurs and startup founders to earn media attention in 2020?
I love this question!
First – you have to think about what is your message. The message is the most important element of earning media attention. Don’t think about what message is important to you – think about what is important to them.
Having the customer-first approach will really cause you to think about delivering a message that matters to them. Often we think about what we want to say, not what they want to hear. Craft a creation story that propels people.
Second – they need to really get to know the media that they are targeting. Start following the press, follow the social media accounts of the writers – learn about their beat and what stories they are writing about.
You can really learn a lot from listening and observing. When you know more about what they care about, it gives you more understanding when you come to pitch an idea to them about your business. Having that learning and context is crucial to know how to land a great story that gets media attention!
Third – try to speak at events. I like events because they are a triple whammy of power – first you get attention by speaking to a wide audience, second you will get social media coverage because everyone will be filming with their phones to prove they are there, and third the press always covers the events so this is a great opportunity to get all the media in one place to get some extra coverage.
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This App Helps Your Brand Create Video With Your Audience
Video is one of the best mediums brands can use to send their message to their audience and the latest statistics detailed in Video Marketing Statistics 2018 – How Brands used Video for Business support this view.
But more often than not, brands create highly polished, scripted and heavily edited videos. The downside: these videos come off as inauthentic which leads to low engagement levels. To win the video content battle, brands need to create videos that are authentic, less polished or scripted.
User-generated content, may it be image, text or video is one of the best sales and marketing tool that a brand can leverage. To mention just two brands off the top of my head that use this tool efficiently: Apple and GoPro. Apple’s Instagram channel is made entirely of photos taken by Apple users and GoPro publishes its customers’ videos on its YouTube channel.
Brand storytelling has been a buzzword for the past years and yet so many brands find it challenging. One of the reasons is the difficulty of creating content which resonates with their audience.
What if there was an app that could bring together video, UGC and storytelling in one powerful product?
The app exists, it was launched in 2014 and its name is Seenit.
What is Seenit?
Seenit is an app and online platform enabling businesses to create community driven video content.
The app transforms the way brands and organisations create with their communities. It helps organisations empower their fans, customers or employees to create video content that is relatable and authentic.
By using Seenit, brands put video production into the hands of those closest to the story. It is an easier way to direct, collect, and curate user-generated content anytime, anywhere.
Our platform enables organisations and brands to create engaging, multiperspective videos with their communities. Telling stories that truly resonate has never been easier.
The Story behind Seenit
When Emily Forbes was working as a documentary maker, she attended a protest against poaching in South Africa. While filming, she noticed a lot of protesters were also capturing the experience on their smartphones. She realized that her documentary would be incomplete without the perspective of the protesters, so she asked them to send her their videos. The result was a rich video content documentary featuring authentic shots filmed at the heart of the protest. That’s how the idea of Seenit was born.
Communication has evolved significantly and in turn traditional methods have become less effective. As people rapidly consume and create content from all angles to satisfy their needs, how can brands and organisations cut through the noise and create something truly relevant for their audiences?
We believe that everyone has a unique and important perspective to share and that’s what makes this world vibrant and interesting!
The world is a better place when everyone has a voice.
- Seenit was launched in 2014 in London, UK by Emily Forbes, a former documentary maker and producer;
- It reached 100 customers to date;
- Over 220.000 uploads hit;
- Over 150.000 platform users.
Our mission is to give everyone a platform to tell the stories they are most passionate about, with the people that care the most.
How Seenit works
- Shot list – use the online studio to create a project brief and filming directions for your community;
- Capture – invite your community to film on the mobile app;
- Collect – review and curate uploaded footage collaboratively from within the online studio;
- Edit – use built-in post-production software to create finalised video edits.
We believe in amplifying the real voices and stories of the world to encourage a more open and connected community.
Brands using Seenit
Benefit, The Body Shop, The Hut Group, Marks and Spencer’s use Seenit to capture video from their own customers or employees.
BBC, NBC Universal and other broadcasters are creating video content with superfans around the world.
Large corporations like HSBC, City Bank, Accenture, EY are using Seenit to champion the voices of their employees.
We believe the people who are the most passionate and most knowledgeable about a brand or subject or product should be at the front of the story.
Emily Forbes, founder of Seenit via uktech.news
Benefits of Seenit
- Grow your community organically;
- Engage with your fanbase in an authentic way;
- Co-create authentic video content;
- Increase brand trust;
- Create influencers;
- Build brand loyalty;
- Give your audience a voice;
- Increased control legally and creatively (permissions are granted on signup to the app) as opposed to YouTube and Facebook;
- Brand Storytelling;
- Increase brand engagement.
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Storytelling through Instagram feed
How can you do storytelling on your Instagram’s feed?
Storytelling in marketing is about using digital means to tell your brand’s story and emotionally connect with your audience.
Let’s discover how to use your Instagram feed to tell your brand’s story!
Here is our list of recommendations to get you inspired and get you started:
Whether it’s Dwayne The Rock Johnson or Richard Branson, Maya Angelou or Oprah Winfrey, everyone can find a quote that rings true to them!
Quotes encapsulate a person’s wisdom and are tiny vehicles of our collective knowledge. Quotes and sayings are expressions of insight put into memorable wording.
People come to Instagram to look for inspiration and motivation so quotes can be a powerful tool you can use to tell your story.
LinkedIn is a great example of using quotes.
A picture tells a thousand words, but video tells a story.
Instagram started as an image based social media channel, but later it allowed its users to load and post videos.
If you are just starting out, you don’t need to invest money in expensive video equipments to record video, you only need your smartphone’s camera and good lighting. It’s easier than writing a blog post or editing an image: just push the record button on your camera, point it at yourself or your product and tell your story.
Watch how seblester uses video on his Instagram account:
My online calligraphy class is finally here via @skillshare. You can take it free with a trial via skl.sh/seb (link in bio). This class is aimed at beginners and anybody who is curious about calligraphy and would like to try it. I have tried to answer all of your most often asked questions about equipment, letter styles and so on. You can also ask me questions directly via the class page. I hope you feel inspired to give it a try.
3. One theme+one filter
To catch everyone’s attention you need to invest in your account’s aesthetics. After all, Instagram is the most visually pleasing social media platform by excellence! It’s about what you say but also how you say it.
Think about your story and choose one theme that best illustrates it and one filter that helps your theme stand out.
Some accounts are colourful (erinsummer_), others turn to the dark side, using brown, grey or black tones (maria_solovey), while others love the many shades of white (she.turns.pages). Browse Preview app to find your theme.
4. Write the story of the image
Instagram is all about visuals, but it also offers its users 2200 characters to write the caption of the image or video.
It is a great opportunity to have a double impact on your visitor: a great image and a great text.
National Geographic is an excellent example of storytelling using the photo and text combo:
Photo by @joelsartore This wattled curassow was affectionately named “Scud” because of the unique call this species can make, which sounds very similar to an incoming missile. The song is used in courtship as well as an alarm. A bright scarlet knob and wattles (fleshy overlapping of skin) on their bill gives the wattled curassow its name. It’s a secretive bird but it can be seen ‘tightroping’ along tree branches in the Amazon River Basin of Central and South America. They do descend to the ground, however, to forage for insects, fish, aquatic crustaceans and fruit. While they were once common throughout their range, they have been listed as endangered in the wild since 2010. This is due to hunting and habitat loss. These birds are often found close to water edge habitats, which are easily shot by people. The Caldwell Zoo (where Scud was photographed) participates in the Wattled Curassow Species Survival Plan with other accredited zoos and institutions, helping to protect this species from extinction. To see another image of this bird visit @joelsartore.
5. User-generated content
Apple’s Instagram strategy relies exclusively on user-generated content: Apple posts photographs taken by Apple users. Instead of saying “look how great we are”, Apple is showcasing their users’ photographing skills and creativity, creating a culture built around customer values and aspirations.
6. Branded hashtag
User-generated content strategy cannot be accomplished without branded hashtag. The branded hashtag can illustrate brand’s core values, goals or story.
It is also a tool to find the content generated by its users.
Here are 3 examples of branded hashtags:
7. Show your work
Ultimately, Instagram is a place to show your expertise, your talents or abilities, your brand’s values, your customers’ goals and aspirations.
Use various photo editing apps to make your images stand out and attract followers to your Instagram account, such as Instagrid, Snapseed or Prisma.
Here are 3 examples of Instagram accounts that can inspire you: christianwtsn, subwaydoodle, lingvistov.
Lingvistov.com – Visit our online shop! #funny #illustration #doodle #drawing #cute #quotes #jokes #comics #comicforsale #doodlesofinstagram #goodmorning #goodmorningpost #morningmotivation #cats #catwakesmeup #catwakeupcall #catwakesup #gifts #lingvistov #giftshop #giftsforher #giftsforhim #catlady #catladylife
How to create an online storytelling campaign for an NGO
“Storytelling is how humans communicate with each other, the way that we make sense of complex information, and how we relay our experiences to others. Nonprofit storytelling can motivate people to pay attention and take action. Emotional, appealing stories can build an online audience for your nonprofit,” wrote TheBalance.
Videos allow you to combine your dynamic story with emotion to create a connection with your audience that words and photos cannot build. Emotion is your main asset to use. Moreover, organizations can convey impact in a way that engages and inspires donors by persistently telling stories.Through storytelling, nonprofit organizations can harness the power of emotion to make a connection with donors that inspires action.
According to thebalance.com, a storytelling campaign has three phases: planning, implementation, and evaluation. In the planning stage, you need to articulate the goal of the storytelling campaign clearly. “Design each campaign for a defined purpose and to accomplish a specific goal. You may need to carry out multiple storytelling campaigns per month to achieve your goal, or perhaps just one per quarter, depending on your resources. Once you define the action that you want people to take, you can determine who is most likely to take that action, and the emotional storytelling hooks to get them to do so.”
The next steps are selecting your audience and making sure that the story is true and it fits the audience’s expectations and realities. There are five main types of stories that nonprofits can collect and develop — value stories, social proof stories, founder stories, resilience/continuous improvement stories, and impact stories. After deciding that you must collect the necessary pieces of information to create the right campaign, choose the right channels to whom to send it and promote it,create it, share it and evaluate it. More details you can find here.
“Because e-mail is a great way to engage supporters who might not regularly visit your website, you can use it to hook supporters into your story and prompt further action, without it feeling like you’re asking for donations at every point of communication. Use e-mail as an opportunity to invite readers to be the hero of your organization’s mission. Layer in visuals: With the average person’s attention span maxing out at 8 seconds, you can’t afford to deliver a novel to people’s inboxes. Instead, think of your story as a short picture book. This email is such a great example because it injects an image after every couple sentences. Break up blocks of text with visuals to keep readers engaged and keep your copy clear, simple and concise,” wrote classy.org.
More ideas and pieces of advice you can find also here.
Best packaging ideas for 2017
In the very competitive and full of inspiration and imagination year such as 2017, a good product is not enough for it to become a brand and capture the consumer’s attention. Let alone make him/ her choose it from the numerous similar products on the shelf and lead to a future buy. Therefore, a great packaging design, in sink with the product’s qualities, characteristics and what it stands for, will mark the path to a successful rise and growth of a brand.
Here are some of this year’s main packaging design trends and ideas:
1. Back to basics. Simple, bold and clear
This year, the trend is better articulated and more compelling to the customer. Minimizing the elements used in a package design can elevate a product… as long as it gets the point across. In our fast-paced world, shoppers don’t always have the time to study each and every product detail. Sticking to the essentials and making sure the buyer will make a more informed decision, a clean-cut design can convey information and make a product shine using simplicity.
According to thedieline.com, the designers understood the purpose of the object and the thought process of their audience. In service of this, they simplified the message and stated it clearly and boldly across the face of the packaging. These designs are text-based and say what they are in no uncertain terms. They realize the value of a simple message in today’s crowded world. The simplicity does not come off as lazy or incomplete but refreshing and honest. This is the manifestation of the idea: clarify not simplify. These designs identified exactly what the customer was searching for and expressed it simply. It comes off as powerful and trustworthy.
2. Putting focus on the custom lettering
Almost every designer loves to get crafty and create some of their artwork by hand. According to Martin Lupus of 99designs.com this thing happens in order to get the organic effect: fluid imperfections—like irregular lines or natural texture fills— that can make a product stand out through warmth and set it apart from digital designs. “This warmth can create an emotional tie to the product, making it feel handmade and wholesome, or communicating a feeling of nostalgia. Either way, for 2017, we are seeing a massive comeback of hand-lettering,” added Lupus.
3. Letting geometry rule!
Hand in hand with the previous trend, this theme is centered around expressing simplicity, approachability, and honesty through patterns and shapes. Circles, triangles, and squares are, as the specialists consider, an attempt to treat the mindset of a weary, overwhelmed consumer. Particularly in industries with over-the-top design, these reduced approaches standout. Familiar shapes, colors, and patterns communicate an awareness of the world and a sensitivity to the consumer.
- Old school with a twist
The past is haunting us, but in a good way, through a “idealization of the past—a longing for simpler times when things were cared for, made by hand, and detail-oriented”, as Grant Wenzlau from dieline.com would say. But these designs are not simply regurgitating old forms and techniques, they are modernizing them and combining them in new ways. “This new take on what is old is refreshing because it selects the best parts of different periods of our history and juxtaposes them. These designers realize the increasing rareness of endangered techniques like calligraphy, letterpress, and foiling. These artisanal practices grow more and more desired each year. In the mind of the consumer, they are increasingly novel and related to greater value. But far from merely being historical, these techniques are being re-imagined in the context of mid-century layouts and applied to a 21st Century, cutting-edge materials”.
source: ACH Vegan Chocolate
source: cocktail kit
Moreover, vintage package design brings back memories for people who lived through the original era and satisfies the curiosity of younger generations eager to explore the past. The key to going vintage is to find a balance.
5. Making the color a focus and priority
Colors evoke emotions and affect purchasing decisions. Because of this, color has always been one of the most important choices in packaging design, presenting in new, exciting ways. Bright colors and vibrant associations are beginning to make a scene on store shelves. More than that the colors and their special use are able to differentiate the packaging and the product at the shelf, making it to stand out and attract the consumer that will always choose exciting over common and boring. Also, it is proven that the consumer will always remember a product that is interesting and has the wow visual factor.
6. Be playful and multi-functional!
In each of us lays a child and we love to be given the opportunity to loose ourselves from time to time. So does the consumer. He appreciates a good, interesting packaging that can be joyful, playful and multi-functional.
7. Repeating a pattern
source: Helmes Workshop
We learn and remember through patterns, as our brain is built that way. Using well-chosen and beautiful patterns can also elevate a package design from ordinary to ethereal. Although the idea of repetitive shapes might seem simple, the technique can be dynamic and compelling when used correctly. Moreover, as it happens in writing a book or a play or a song, repeating a visual motif that captures the essence of the brand sends a strong message. Whether the pattern is bold or playful, patterning the package can create a strong identity that customers will always remember.
8. Storytelling & narrative
source: Smith & We All Need Works
People love stories and, as previously said, having a story behind everything one does it’s always a plus, giving it authenticity and creativity, at the same time. We seek out and cherish the stories that feel closest to our hearts, therefore the packaging design are starting also to incorporate narrative illustrations, trying to get closer to the consumer’s empathies and emotions. The place where the real sale and conviction start.
9. Putting it in the mail
Internationally, there’s a strong comeback for the print and its values, for going to back to the roots, the life before the online. Coffee shops that are inviting their costumers to stop using the wifi and talk to each other, online magazines that are starting to get their first printed versions, people choosing books over kindles, etc. With faster, more efficient ways to communicate, the joy of receiving a letter via the post, in the real mail, not online, has started to disappear over the years. But there is a new trend that will take people back to that feeling. According to the specialists from 99designs.com, the packaging design is here to save the day with an emerging postal trend.
10. Going eco-friendly
The years to come will be more and more about sustainability. According to packaginginnovation.com, the new trends are about using green padding materials, with biodegradable bubble wrap and recycled paper being perfect eco-friendly alternatives. “One of the leaders in sustainable design, method sells bottles made with recycled ocean plastic. From using more renewable resources to keeping materials recyclable, more consumer brands are integrating eco-friendly design into their business. This is a trend that we hope to see grow with each year because it benefits everyone,” also added and concluded Martin Lupus.
source: Grow With Me
How to have the best brand storytelling on Instagram
As storytelling is the latest trend in communication, all the agencies and companies trying to bring the concept to life in their campaigns and social media presence, Instagram is one of the latest powerful social media tools to try and capitalize on this trend.
According to Social Media Week, since Instagram launched a couple of years ago, over 300 million people have used this platform as a visual place to share their lives. With more than 20 billion images shared on the app to date–this app has become a creative space & community for people to share their story in innovative ways using photography and short videos.
It’s no wonder the stories on Instagram are catching up people’s attention and likeness as so many of them spending so much time on their mobile devices. What it does now for its users is allowing them to share their stories to the world in a quick and easy fashion. It has become a simple, yet powerful tool that has allowed people and brands to develop their own voice visually.
How can a brand take advantage of this trend and make himself even more noticeable on Instagram? Just take a pick here at our short pieces of advice:
- Identifying your niche & developing your own unique voice.
The way you position yourself is always the key. The more different, unique, special your brand is, the better. Make sure that your stories are always capturing that essence of the brand and special approach. By giving your audience something they know they can expect from you, it will be easier to grow a stronger and more dedicated community around your work.
- Utilizing your captions to add more depth to your photos.
Captions may become a vital part of your storytelling process, if you know how to put accent on them and use the right hashtags and words. The story behind the story is always important and should be relevant. Putting your own spin on the story, emphasizing on a certain aspect that makes your brand YOURS is helping bring the story where it should. Your story ultimately, makes a huge difference.
- Choosing and using different angles
The same places or the same ideas, presented in your brand’s way, are creating the differentiation that you are looking for. Instead of shooting something from the same angle as everyone else, try looking for new spots to take the same photo. Maybe you want to get closer to the ground for a different angle, pose a person in a different place, or shoot a photo through the branches of a tree to provide a more natural frame. There are always ways to put a new spin on the same place, and try to make sure you try a bunch of different angles.
- Highlight your brand’s versatility
People want the brands to be playful, to interact, engage and entertain them. They get bored really easy and you must make sure you always bring something fresh to the table. Don’t be afraid to try, to mix and match, to always have in handy a special new app or filter that is trendy. Make it count while is still fresh and not used by a lot of other brands present on Instagram. Your followers will be looking for powerful, original, content. Find ways to expand your current niche creatively to develop a strong brand voice.
- Using video and gifs
Always be present. Be fast and up-to-date. A video speaks more than a picture. A gif makes one laugh and entertains. In other words, powerful tools for your story.
- Making sure you have user-generated content
Getting your followers involved is extremely important for a TODAY brand. Get your audience to do some of the heavy lifting for you by creating a user-generated hashtag for your brand tribe. Then you can post the content of your biggest fans directly on your Instagram account.
- Showing your happy employees
What do you mean? Call center does not need stretching? If you have to be at a desk all day long, doing some simple things can improve your posture and health##fitbreak#officestretching#stretching#public#callcenter#healthyworkplace#happyemployees#worklifebalance#funatwork #beactivebeproductive#corporatewellness#olympiagroup#corporatewellness#posture#?☎️??⌨️?
There’s a global war for talent today and the best brands are showing off the fresh faces on their team and all the fun they are having at work. Showcasing yourself at work or your company’s employees in action is great for putting a human face on your brand, which makes what you share on Instagram more interesting to your followers.
- Introducing them behind-the-scenes
Learned so much at #SocialMediaWeek! Huge thanks to @jaslovesyou, @madrid73, everyone helping behind the scenes + the panelists! . . . . . @consortdesign @thematfinish @bquattro @citysage @lightlab @thebouqsco @triciateschke @soulcycle @zoekasiske @latimes @comedycentral @drewpinsky @homepolish @thefutureperfect
Each one of us loves to feel special and shown that they are important. Make sure your brand does that for its followers. You can start by taking them inside the stories of your company, showing them some never-seen before images, actions, activities, etc. Take them where nobody has been before!
6 Big Instagram 2017 Trends Any Marketer Should Know
User-friendly and making the most of one of people’s favorite activity related to owning a smartphone: taking pictures, Instagram becomes steady and sure one of the Romanians main used social media tools, especially among the trendy persons. Brands are also starting to notice its impact and are taking advantage of this positive trend.
According to Zelist Monitor, quoted by instagramology.ro, 2017 started with a performance on the Romanian market: 50,518 more users in January 2017 compared to December 2016. This is the biggest growth from December to January stated in Romania so far, the predictions for February being that the total number will reach half a million users.
In this context, marketers should make sure they know the biggest 6 trends happening out-there and be ready to adopt them as fast as possible. They might fly as easily as they arrived.
- Using Trends To Get Noticed
Being aware of the latest trends can give the marketers insights into what people are looking for on Instagram. In fact, a lot of trends can be determined by doing hashtag research and finding popular content. According to sproutsocial.com, as a business, you want to be seen in some of the most popular places on Instagram. By paying attention to the latest Instagram trends, you can help get your content noticed and in front of more eyes. Branding is all about building your audience and increasing awareness about you.
- Instagram Stories
Launched in August 2017, stories aims to change the way people use Instagram. Stories allows you to tag people in updates, add a link to your content (useful for brands directing people to their site), and it even supports Boomerang.
- Instagram Direct
It’s all about fast connection to your consumers. Last year Instagram updated Direct, the messaging side of the photo-sharing app. Since then, user numbers worldwide have grown from 80 million to 300 million. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder Instagram will continue to improve this part of the service to encourage people to use the app more.
4. Instagram Shopping
Recently, Instagram trialed shoppable product tags with 20 fashion brands, allowing the tagging of certain items in a photo. This presents a much more seamless shopping experience for the user. Rather than having to find a link in the bio, users will be able to click a tag for a detailed view of the product. The shopper can then continue researching the product without leaving the app. If the user wants to continue with the purchase, a Shop Now button will take them to the product landing page on the businesses website.
- Instagram Business Tools
The new feature allows accounts to be verified as a business account for the first time. Therefore, the marketers can add contact methods, directions to their business and unlocks access to promoted posts and analytics. Moreover, Insights on Instagram allows businesses to uncover details about their followers, such as behavior and demographics. Better knowing your customer means better business and a prolong success.
- Video is still the king of the game
According to wersm.com, One of 2017’s buzzwords is video; and video content, whether pre-recorded or live, should be leveraged by social media marketers in the next year. Instagram itself says that video will account to 75% of data in the next four years, so brands need to learn how to effectively create it and use it. The many tools that Instagram offers, have lead to the democratization of video creation, so everyone has the ability to create engaging content with little or no budget.