The rise of social media platforms in the 21st century was something fun, unique and exciting. Remember Flickr? Flickr still exists, and it is an image hosting service and video hosting service. Created in 2004 it was the starting point for a photo based social media platform. You see other photos and they can see yours. There is not liking system on Flickr though. Fast forward to 2010 and we witness Instagram being ‘born’ to its biological or technological parents Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Imagine, Instagram was only available on iOS devices until 2 years in April of 2012. If it had remained on iOS only it is highly doubted that Instagram would have exploded as it has already.
Instagram is different in terms of the marketing it allows its users to see. One method is Instagram adverts. Instagram adverts are used by many businesses but are not as effective. These Instagram adverts will come up in your newsfeed and look like a post from anyone who you follow. Only difference is that it will have a very demure but visible call to action. A call to action is essentially a button or sign post that will encourage you take a specific action such as to visit the website or to follow the relevant Instagram account. People do not like such ads because they feel as if it is an invasion of their privacy. People value what they see what on their social media feed. Hence the reason why people are addicted to social media outlets especially Instagram. You have the power to control what you see and what people see of you. You create a perfect bubble about the world you want to be in and the world you portray yourself to be in.
With Instagram another popular way of marketing is through affiliate partnerships with influencers. An Instagram influencer is someone who owns a super popular Instagram account that might have a following of over 1 million or even ‘just’ have 250,000 followers. These account owners are called Influencers because these people who follow them do so because they like the lifestyle they live or the clothes they wear. Now these Influencers act as a marketing segment for businesses. If there is an influencer who travels often many hotels will sponsor their trips to get that all exposure by the influencer. The influencer will take pictures of the food they eat there, the hotel room and the amenities. They will showcase the hotel in a manner that is so appealing to their followers that many will end up booking to stay at the same holiday resort.
Even clothing companies have adopted this marketing technique. These companies have such a choice when it comes to finding the perfect person to market their clothes. If they sell going out clothes they can find a party going influencer. If they sell boohoo chic type of clothing they will easily find someone who fits perfectly into that category. What will happen is that these influencers will post their outfits and have the outfit details readily available. Sometimes it can be an affiliate link in their bio or they will encourage their users to use their custom discount codes. That way the company can see how much revenue the influencer brings in and the influencer makes a bit of commission also. Now we see that Instagram has changed the marketing ball game for good.