“People look more at the stories than the actual posts because they are easier and they are more alive,” he explains. “With a static post, you can go back two weeks later and see it, but a story is live. You’re seeing things that are going to be erased in a couple of hours.”
Videos are also crucial to your Instagram strategy. Videos can help brands become more accessible and give customers a way of interacting and engaging with brands and the people behind them. “Our industry and our lifestyle is really personal,” says Acosta.
“Remember [that] to consumers, brand owners are like superstars. It’s been necessary to do more engaging videos nowadays because of the pandemic.”
Another interactive feature of Instagram that’s often underutilized is Instagram Live, which allows the account holder to host a live video conversation on the app for up to an hour. Acosta notes that while a lot of companies aren’t using Instagram Live, they should. The problem, however, is that to successfully use Instagram Live and engage with the audience, the person in the video needs to have a personality. To get around this, focus Instagram Live videos around a theme of education and aim to build brand awareness. You’ll build a dedicated audience and following in no time.
4. Insights and Analytics
Using Instagram for marketing purposes is no different than any other campaign. You must be able to determine your ROI and measure the results of your actions. Acosta recommends regular review of Instagram’s insights. These can be accessed for individual posts as well as your overall account and can provide valuable analytics, including the number of impressions, engagement, measure of reach and followers your content has garnered.
“You need to take the measurement of what you’re doing or you’ll just be another poster,” he cautions.
Insights and the data it provides will help you figure out what sort of content makes people stop scrolling, which is a good thing for Instagram. Using Instagram like an influencer comes down to a very simple question: What are you looking for? If you find the content that answers that question, you’ll build a following and influence that will provide immeasurable value to you and your business.
This story first appeared in the January/February 2021 issue of Tobacco Business magazine. Members of the tobacco industry are eligible for a complimentary subscription to our magazine. Click here for details.