Market Trend: Small Businesses Rampant on Instagram, the Hottest Social Media Platform Today
If you thought that social media marketing was only for big businesses, you’re wrong. It’s what drives smaller businesses out of obscurity and into the public eye. Take Narzbaby for example. The home-based business sells baby apparel and accessories made from quality materials that are meant to last.
After launching on Etsy in early 2018, Narzbaby founders, mom Maria, and daughters Ashley and Alyssa, wanted to find a impactful way to share their brand with customers. Being a small business, every marketing dollar counted. The women came to boutique marketing agency Black + Gold for assistance in creating an online strategy using social media and micro influencers to drive sales to their brand.
Creative Photography Helps Customers Relate to Your Brand
Black + Gold Executive Director Elizabeth Waterman and Creative Director Jhon Catano created a tailored strategy to launch the the mom and pop baby brand. Their goal was to create impactful photography for the brand and make use of the micro influencer trend booming on Instagram in the baby apparel market.
First off, Catano managed and art directed a creative photography shoot that yielded assets for the Narzbaby website, Etsy page, and Instagram. The shoot took place at the Black + Gold studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and was shot by Mari Juliano and styled by Steven Remington. Making use of broad light and soft styling, the shoot yielded images that were fresh and clean. This fit well with the Narzbaby brand, which prides itself on using many eco-friendly and healthy materials in its production.
Creating a Visual Narrative Helps Customers Relate to Your Brand
The Black + Gold team worked to create a visual narrative of the Narzbaby brand that was relatable and consistent across all platforms. The new images were integrated into a website facelift and Etsy page design. Catano and Waterman created a visual story for the Narzbaby Instagram, involving the family-centric story of Maria, Ashley and Alyssa, as well as the healthy and eco-friendly attributes of the brand. Pulling vintage family photos, integrating clean graphic design, and using the creative product photography, the Black + Gold team created Instagram feed that started to attract major attention. That was were the second phase of the strategy involving micro influencers and collaborators began!
What’s hot for small brands? Explaining Relationships with Micro Influences & Collaborators
Connecting with micro influences and collaborators on Instagram has been a hot new way small brands are getting the word out. Influential people with dedicated followings on social media can be targeted to help generate sales for small businesses like Narzbaby. Brands provide discounts or free products in exchange for exposure on said influencer’s Instagram account. It establishes relationships with people who have a known following and can encourage others to check out a specific product or brand that they are promoting. They’re essentially serving as virtual ambassadors for the companies they choose to work with.
In addition to these micro influencers, small brands are also championing each other on Instagram, especially in certain demographics such as baby apparel and merchandise. These brands often serve similar interests or markets but are not direct competitors. Both benefit from the others exposure. Narzbaby had a successful collaboration with Rykers Heart Heros Foundation that left both brands, and their fans, feeling heartwarmed.
Should your brand consider working with micro influencers and other collaborative brands?
Does your brand get great natural reviews from customers? Do you have loyal fans? If so, you may want to consider professionalizing these relationships and stepping into the world of micro influencers. Each market is different, and its useful to have a professional team on board. To learn more about Black + Gold and what we can do for your business, take a look around our website. Get a feel for how we work and the quality of services we provide. Like Narzbaby, it’s time to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Let us help your brand stand out on Instagram, the hottest platform today!
Social media marketing trends seem to evolve faster every year. (And don’t expect 2018 to be an exception!) Digital marketing experts are already predicting a number of influential shifts virtually guaranteed to occur during this upcoming year. Here are a few worth watching for:
1. Instagram Stories Will Continue its Meteoric Growth
Until recently, using this popular social media platform used to consist of a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, users had to strive for frequent-enough updates to keep their followers engaged. At the same time, users don’t want to flood their gallery with redundant and relatively low-quality photos and videos.
The perfect solution? A temporary “story reel” that allows users to post photos and videos that last for 24 hours before disappearing! (A feature that, you may have noticed, was virtually 100% copycatted from rival platform Snapchat, which Instagram unsuccessfully attempted to buy. But that’s a different story.) The bottom line is that Instagram stories, released hardly a year ago, have rapidly become one of the most popular features of the site. And this growth in popularity shows no sign of slowing. If you are not yet participating in Instagram Stories, the time to start is probably now.
2. Influencer Marketing Will Become More…Influential
The biggest names in social media keep getting bigger. Influencers continue growing their audiences and developing better content, wider reach, and more sophisticated marketing strategies. Because of this, building relationships with relevant influencers in your industry is more important than ever. Content sharing, blog commenting, and other forms of influencer relationship building should all be on your agenda for 2018.
3. Gen Z Shifts the Paradigm Toward Visual Content
In its earliest days, social media was virtually synonymous with microblogging — short and sometimes quite personal blurbs of text, such as Facebook statuses or even Tweets. With every passing year, however, the popularity of text-based content declines in favor of visual mediums such as video and photography.
Experts have given a wide variety of explanations for this ongoing phenomenon — some attribute this change to algorithm updates by Google and Facebook, while others claim it is simply a reflection off human psychology. One factor certainly in play here? The rise of Gen Z. (Born roughly 1995 – 2010.) This cohort has been shown time and time again to be exceptionally interested in visual content above all else — and their buying power is on the rise.
4. Live Content Rules
Who doesn’t love live entertainment? Facebook, Google, and many of their competitors are promoting their new live video platforms hard because they know that sooner rather than later, these technologies will dominate the social media scene. Getting a head start now is probably a wise move for virtually any business or organization.
5. Twitter Will Continue to Shake Things Up
2017 was a disappointing year for Twitter — which, in case you have been living under a rock, is one of the biggest and most influential social media platforms in the world. Considering their power and influence, Twitter certainly isn’t going to lose relevance without a fight! Already, Twitter has committed to a dramatic change when they doubled their character limit. Expect more radically groundbreaking moves of this sort in 2018, as well!
For more tips on social media campaign management and online marketing, visit Black and Gold online today!
Last week the Content Marketing Institute reported “Visual Content Strategy: The new ‘black’ for content marketers.” In essence it is crucial for businesses involved in eCommerce to understand how to use pictures effectively. Why? Because it just might reveal how to get your share of $1.5 trillion (in eCommerce business).
Photographs are best for driving social media engagement
Consider these data points that illustrate the growing importance of images as the driving force in social media content:
Visually driven social media are growing their user bases by leaps and bounds, led by Instagram. The Pew Research Institute reported that Instagram grew its user base last year by nine percent. This translates to 26% of the US adult population is now on Instagram.
Consider how Facebook has evolved as well. According to Business Insider, Facebook users upload 350 million photos every day, making it the largest photo sharing site on the web, leaving Flickr, Picasa and Photobucket in the dust.
And upstart video-sharing platforms Periscope and Meerkat are growing at an exponential rate as well.
A recent survey from Software Advice and Adobe reports that images and photos are the most important social media tactic.
The obvious conclusion is that photography matters when it comes to engaging people in eCommerce. But how can an online business effectively monetize this trend and grow their business in the process?
There is both an “art” and “science” answer to this question. Let’s first examine the science side of the equation:
Social Media “Buy Buttons”
As TIME magazine reported last month “Social media is no longer just ‘social’ it is fast becoming commercial too.”
Instagram is giving advertisers much more powerful tools according to a report in TechCrunch. These tools include “Shop Now,” “Install Now,” and “Sign up” buttons, interest and demographic targeting, and software for efficiently managing huge campaigns. At this point they’ve stopped short of allowing “buy buttons” but appear to moving fast in that direction.
Facebook announced last month that they are testing a new way to make it easier for users to shop on the social network’s app. Facebook cites the problems user have with their mobile shopping experience: difficult navigation, slow load times and too many steps on the way to check-out.
Facebook is testing immersive mobile ads called Canvas. “After clicking on an ad, people will see a fast-loading, full-screen experience where they can browse through a variety of products before going to the retailer’s website to purchase.”
Pinterest launched “buyable pins” earlier this year, and the Marketing Land blog reports that they are working in terms of driving new customer acquisitions. When users see a pin with a blue price, they will know it is buyable. They’ve created a simple secure checkout using Apple Pay and other experienced payment processors.
An attractive feature of buyable pins is Pinterest does not charge a sales commission. The bad news is there is a waitlist for merchants to sign up for this service.
Twitter has also rolled out “buy now” buttons embedded in its tweets. Twitter is partnering with major eCommerce platforms to offer this service, including Bigcommerce, Demandware and Shopify.
Now is the time to jump on this trend
All the major social media sites are making it easier to directly engage users, and then sell to them in new and innovative ways. This translates into growth for your eCommerce business.
Smart digital marketers and eCommerce sites should take note of this opportunity, and at the very least test one or more of these tactics to see how well it works with their products / services and eCommerce platform.
Like all new things there will be a learning curve, some growing pains and points of frustration, but it should be worth it in the long-run. If this seems daunting, simply think about getting a slightly larger part of what eMarketer expects to be the $1.5 trillion consumers will spend via eCommerce this year, while delivering a better user experience in the process.
To learn more about social media buy buttons, be sure to check out these links: