Instagram Launching Branding Guide for Businesses

instagram-for-business.emineo mediaInstagram is wedged in an awkward space between serving as both a platform for basically free advertising and developing a more formal structure for paid products and promoted images.

The Facebook-owned company is taking things a bit further with a new online guide in the works to guide businesses with better branding tips for images shared on the Instagram stream.

Starting with a few basic tips that might seem so obvious they’re usually ignored, the photo sharing service has already published the first series of tips from the new Instagram Handbook for Brands.

With an emphasis on inspiring action and emotion in specifically targeted viewers, the Instagram for Business team pointed to a number of examples from corporate customers, ranging from social media savvy eyewear brand Warby Parker to camera maker GoPro.

Here’s one putting the spotlight on General Electric:

Find beauty everywhere: Show how your company sees the world and make it meaningful to people. @generalelectric showcases the beauty of their technology by transporting people to giant jet engine factories and remote wind farms, capturing the machines with elegant symmetry and imparting the grand scale of these man-made wonders.

Tips about content, most popular hashtags, and more will continue to be published in an ongoing series of blog posts, although Instagram also noted a book is on the way soon too.

Read More: ZDnet

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Promote Your Business on Instagram

Instagram-For-Business-Emineo MediaIf you are thinking about promoting your business and looking for some fresh ideas, one of the most popular social networks – Instagram – will help you. Below you can find 10 creative ways how to expand your business on Instagram.

  1. Share your products. People like to examine products, so give your followers this opportunity. Put your products (supplies, equipment, etc.) on your Instagram profile. You can reduce the image of a not very widespread product and ask your followers to guess what it may be.
  2. Show how your product is made. Let your followers know how your products are made and where they come from. You can post photos of the production process. You can even show the whole process: from production to delivery, using many snapshots.
  3. Let people see the backstage process. People are interested in the offstage process. You can show your followers some exclusive photos from backstage, e.g. if you take part in a photo session, filming or interview.
  4. Show the results of using your products. You can announce a contest, in which followers have to use your products in the most creative ways. Then choose the best ones and post on Instagram. If your business is makeup or hair design, decoration or interior design, you can show the result of your work. Use photos “before and after.”
  5. Make your followers special. Make your Instagram followers feel that they are the first to learn news about your products. Share exclusive previews of products, show your new shops or offices before opening.
  6. Show your company. Post photos that show a common working day at your office: people, work places, equipment, recreation room and other interesting things. If you have vacancies, don’t forget to mention about them under the pictures.
  7. Invite your followers with you. If you go to some interesting event, like party or concert, you can take your Instagram followers with you. People can better understand the essence of your products by learning about the events you attend or sponsor.
  8. Show your employees. Make your brand closer to common people. Show your followers the employees of your company. Write some words about each of them. In their turn, your employees will have a minute of fame and feel useful.
  9. Show celebrities using your products. Post photos of celebrities using your brand when they are at your sponsored event, when they visit your company, or just somehow interact with your products and services. These posts will be popular for sure.
  10. Stake on animals. Almost all people like animals and pets often do some funny things. You can use this for your brand. Post pictures where animals are dressed in the clothes with your company’s name or show animals gazing on your products. Such photos will get many likes and comments from your followers.

Now you have learned the ways how to promote your business on Instagram. You can use only one way or combine several variants to achieve your goal.

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Brand Strategy Tips for Success

Connected People in NetworkDefine your core proposition and manage your brand strategy consistently throughout the whole company to build long-term brand equity.

Large, successful companies like Nike and McDonald’s know how to manage their brands well to maximize the bottom line. Mid-sized companies can achieve branding success by using the same key strategies as corporate giants.

“Brand is really everything you do. It’s not just your advertising, your brand name or the press release. It’s the experience you create over time,” says Catherine Ostheimer, Director, Marketing Communications for GE Capital Americas. Here are five key brand strategy tips she offers for mid-sized businesses:

1. Responsibility for brand management lies with everyone.

“Brand responsibility does not just sit on the shoulders of three people in the organization,” says Ostheimer. “All employees need to understand their role to make the customer happy. For example, Club Car Golf Cars ensured that all employees received education, so that the last worker who put the cars on the truck understood that he was the last one to see them before they were delivered to a golf course. It was his job to make sure that the order was right, the cars looked great and everything was in order on delivery day,” says Ostheimer.

2. Define your core proposition, the special promise that makes your brand different from the competition.

Easton-Bell Sports makes Giro protective cycling gear, Easton baseball bats and Riddell football helmets. In an interview for Bloomberg Enterprise, President and CEO Paul Harrington says, “Easton means engineering, high performance, style and design, protection and speed. It really means changing the game …and what that really means is increasing the performance of athletes, across all our brands.” Ostheimer says, “It’s really important to get at that higher order benefit and reach above the product offering to define what kind of improvement you are really trying to make in peoples’ lives.”

To uncover the core proposition, find what Ostheimer calls “the DNA of the organization,” either by conducting a brand audit or by going back to find out what the founders were originally trying to do when they created the company. A brand audit can uncover the brand promise, the brand personality, and the main attributes the company stands for among internal and external stakeholders. Those findings can then be used to create a brand blueprint that informs all strategic decisions right down to the logo.

“Mid-sized businesses need to think like ‘advertising ninjas’ and execute the right advertising tactic in the right medium at the right time to reach their target audience.”
3. Targeted advertising is critical to build awareness for early growth.

Large companies like Nike enjoy significant market awareness built over many years. By contrast, early-stage mid-sized businesses need to think like ‘advertising ninjas’ and execute the right advertising tactic in the right medium at the right time to reach their target audience. Rather than buying an expensive full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal, Ostheimer offers three questions to guide advertising spending decisions:

  • Who is your target audience and where are they located?
  • What kind of information are your key customers and prospects looking for?
  • Where are they getting that information right now – e.g. trade publications?

4. Consistency and continuity are both critical for building long-term brand equity.

No matter the size, all companies need to keep both consistency and continuity in mind to build a strong brand. Think about how confusing it would be if McDonald’s arches were shown in purple sometimes. “You don’t necessarily need a logo cop, but you should maintain a company document that outlines how the brand name and logo are to be used consistently in all communications,” advises Ostheimer.

You might think a logo needs changing every 3-4 years, but think carefully before you move. “It’s important to refresh your brand when you’re making a major change in strategy and product offerings, but if they remain unchanged, you should not change your logo. Customers need to know you are still the same company,” says Ostheimer.

5. Ask the right questions to devise the best strategy for incorporating an acquired brand into a parent company.

Should the original brand name stay or should a new line be folded under the parent company brand name? Ostheimer advises, “In general, a master brand strategy makes a lot of sense from an investment and awareness building standpoint, as with GE Capital, GE Healthcare, or GE Aviation. However, sometimes an acquisition will be very different from all the other lines that it may make sense to keep the original name, like when GE purchased NBC.” Here are three critical questions to ask:

  • Can the product fit within our existing portfolio?
  • Does this new product marry up with our corporate brand promise?
  • Do we have a shared customer base?

If the answer is yes to these three questions, then contemplating bringing that product under the parent brand makes a lot of sense. If the answer is no to any of these, then think long and hard about whether it’s wise to change the brand.

Read More: GE

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