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5 Unusual Ways to Use Instagram for your Startup

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by Startacus Admin

InstagramBusiness Social networking, and by extension, social marketing have become a staple part of a startup's healthy marketing ensemble.

With noses planted firmly in smart phones, and every other business snapping at the bit for attention, how can any startup hope to stand out against the crowd? The same way they had since starups in ancient Egypt managed to convince customers. Being creative!

(This is by no means saying that they had Instagram or Smart phones in Ancient Egypt – there may or may not have been time travel, but that’s irrelevant).

Creative new ways to market your wares are the driving forces of most startups in their early trading days, as they need to get as many customers as they can in order to survive. So, where does Instagram come in to all of this? That’s simple! It’s a visual medium that allows you to share images and information with your followers! How cool is that?

“But you could do that on Facebook or Twitter?”

You could, but you have to remember that both these websites make a significant turnover from paid marketing, so many image posts aren’t as widely available to followers who don’t actively go seeking them, so newer platforms that have yet to introduce such policies usually win out. Furthermore, Instagram is primarily an app based venture, meaning, that people will be more likely to see this stuff on the go, during their commute or on lunch breaks. Or indeed any other time one of their co-workers is mid conversation with their eyes glued to their phone. (You know who you are).

The fact that it is a primarily visual medium really gives it one major advantage in the marketing circle. You can REALLY flex the creative muscles of your team and put together a gallery of clever marketing ideas for all your prospective followers.
So, that being said, here are five unusual ways to use your business Instagram account.
Use your Product to Sell your Product
1. Instead of showcasing your product, show off the cool stuff that your followers and customers do with it.

Think about it - unique selling points are important, but why use only your team's ideas, when there are a potential 7 billion customers out there. Let them help you.
If you make a food product – there are only so many pictures of a jar with a label or a packaging that people will look at, but give them some amazing culinary work to look at or even try – watch the interactions go up. If you sell something else, say materials, books, movies, art, stories etc. Just imagine how people would react to libraries, crafts, or displays made with your supplies. It practically sells itself!

2. You don’t have a product to show off, but something inspiring instead.

Say you don’t have a physical product, or even a platform, but you want to promote your business – what is your business? What does it deal with? What couldn’t get by without you? Use that in your pictures! This is particularly good for small Instagram companies - you don’t own the staff, but you could show off the cool places your staff end up working. Got an impressive desk layout or a quirky or unusual office? Perfect!

3. Show off how far your product has come. Not chronologically – Literal Distance.

One of the most important marketing strategies employed by businesses today is to have their brand or product making an appearance at important events and locations. For example, if you’ve got a UK based comic book company, or store, get some pictures at big events, like Comic Con. Chance your arm, see if a celebrity will get a picture with you. Nobody knows why exactly, but this will make your product or shop more reputable and desirable to a customer base. One of life’s great mysteries... It even works if you have a fan or follower at these sorts of things. It’s madness!

This is a little lofty...4. The insane selfie.

A fan or an employee is doing something amazing – or crazy, who’s to judge? – And they’re willing to wear your brand or logo, Take a selfie!

The use of hashtags and name tagging on Instagram means that whoever takes the picture can easily bring the involved parties into the page. That said, the crazier the better, and if it’s hosted from your startup's account; even better. This is common when people are about to make or break a world record, so they get corporate sponsors on board and take snaps that look amazing – even with thousands of spectators or some other amazing back drop. Like an insane freefall attempt from space!

(Please don’t attempt to free fall from space for the sake of a selfie – you are a startup after all, save the pennies, also we don’t want you risking the whole dying thing).

5. Evolution videos

With Instagram's video function, you can record or even upload pre edited clips – meaning you can show off just how far a product has come from inception to implementation, or even just show off how it’s made or how it works. The videos are brief and to the point clips, meaning that you can share a lot of information – very quickly and all without giving the game away. Something to think about next time you’re wondering how to market your product. Show your followers something different. Where it comes from or who made it – even the whole process if it’s brief enough!

There you go! Five unusual ways to use Instagram for your business, which won’t break the bank and are an effective marketing tactic for any startup that wants to start cornering their demographics in other forms of social media.

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Published on: 16th March 2015

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