Using Instagram for Business: 3 Visual Marketing Tactics

As social media moves into 2013, users are looking for more exciting ways to express their thoughts and ideas. Enter Instagram- a social media platform that focuses solely on pictures.

One of the biggest attractions is the ability to add a variety of filters to the picture enhancing the appearance of the image.

Millions of users upload pictures daily and the hashtag phenomenon that took over Twitter is also widespread on Instagram.

Users are able to track their favourite subject or topic and even compete for the most aesthetically pleasing picture.

Instagram also uses the @ theme for mentioning other users and the ability to share to Twitter, makes it simple to merge between the two.

Other platforms that images can be shared on include Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr and FourSquare making it one of the more versatile platforms, despite its seemingly limited subject matter.

Businesses aspiring to utilise Instagram to its full potential should fully consider its capability for promotion. Relaxed spam settings allow businesses and individuals a lot of freedom to employ some blatant advertising.

Pictures of the product or service you offer in practice could quickly become viral if you market your Instagram campaign successfully.

Here are three reasons that Instagram has marketing influence.

User Participation

Running a campaign for users to upload pictures of themselves using your product gets your clients to do your marketing for you.

Human input is one of the most respected and influential ways of proving your value to an industry.

A campaign asking your followers to a picture of themselves using your product in the most inventive way could not only have a large amount of engagement but will also draw in potential customers.

Instagram is a continuous feed of photos and a great visual tool for your marketing campaign.

instagram logo

Hashtag Incorporation

Twitter has already proved the value of using a hashtag marketing campaign. Countless businesses have run entire campaigns around them and utilise the engagement it receives from users.

Since Instagram’s inclusion of the hashtag feature, the sharing function allows shrewd companies to merge their campaign across the two platforms.

This enables you to promote your new Instagram campaign on Twitter and vice versa.

Cadbury’s Crème Egg’s trademark slogan #HowDoYouEatYours was an obvious Twitter hashtag campaign but when they took the same approach to Instagram, they received even more engagement from users uploading pictures of varying hilarity.

The element of competition among users vying to get the best snap, drives the campaign on with little effort required from your marketing team. Get your audience to do the work for you.

Promotional Gifts

Instagram can be used to run campaigns distributing promotional gifts to users that engage with you, in turn encouraging more users to engage.

By uploading a picture of the promotional stock branded with your business you can tag it with the increasingly searched for hashtags: #Competition and #Win to increase your brands visibility to potential clients.

This is widely received by users, they are more likely to want something if they can see it.

One of the most successful promotional gift campaigns on Instagram was from paper company RAW, who asked users to upload pictures of themselves using RAW paper as inventively as possible.

Winners were sent various promotional gifts and then asked to upload pictures of themselves with these gifts afterwards.

Instagram is the next step for many businesses that are looking to keep up with the ever expanding social media world. Its users are attentive and there is a much higher ratio of engagement than its competitors, largely because of its specificity to pictures.

The ease of cross platform communication, such as sharing a picture to a tweet, gives you the best of both worlds enhancing and broaden your marketing efforts with the click of a button. Make your marketing campaign picture perfect with Instagram.

About Carla Froggatt

Carla Frogatt is currently working with Steel City Marketing, a promotional gifts company situated in the heart of Sheffield. They provide inventive marketing packages to small and large clients across the UK. With over ten years in the business, they are confident in their ability to infuse your marketing campaign with fresh ideas and drive forward your intended aims to success. They can be found tweeting such advice @SteelCityM.


  1. Very interesting post! I am in the process of registering my company for Instagram right now and your post really pointed me in the right direction.

  2. Great ways !! promotions and user interactions

  3. I didn’t knew the Instagram power thanks I would be now registering on the Instagram! :D

  4. Carla Froggatt says:

    Thank you for all the comments. Glad you found the post useful. A lot of people use Facebook and Twitter, but there are plenty of other social networks that are still underused by digital marketing. I work with a lot of clients who have products that benefit from visual marketing tactics- some of these approaches are great for Pinterest and Keek too :)

    Thanks again,


  5. Instagram is on of the fastest growing social network, I help to promote business well and I’d like the way you elaborate its importance in business. Awesome!

  6. Social media is the new advertising media, albeit free. Though we are not yet on Instagram, it is on our agenda and after having read this post I am sure we’ll start using its immense power sooner than later. They say pictures tell a thousand words and that is where I guess the appeal of Instagram lies.

    The idea about promotional gifts is appealing.

  7. Hey Carla,

    Using Instagram to promote products and harvest testimonials?hmm… Well, it’s sure new to me. I will definitely try this one out and see if it fits to my style and my site. Thanks for sharing this post.

  8. These are great tips, Cas, I’m so glad that I found you through the Google+ group for UBC. I’m a big Instagram fan and user and still searching for those a’ha moments to devise a strategy behind what I share. You’ve really helped me. I love the idea of using a WordPress plugin to share my Instagram photos on my blog. thanks!

  9. William Morris says:

    Awesome post, I am a huge Instagram fan, since day 1 that I heard of it, I have been constantly using it and getting great results with my online business, and am making great social networking contacts.

    I think everyone should be using Instagram for their businesses, thanks for sharing you’re tips, I am going to try them out and I will be back to let you know how it went, thanks again!
    - Will

    • I’m glad everyone has found it so helpful and it would be great to hear back from you when you start implementing your own Instagram strategies. Please contact me on Twitter if you want to discuss ideas :)

      Thanks again,


  10. Awesome post! Never thought of using instagram as a marketing tool!

  11. I haven’t used instagram but if I do I would need to find a way to watermark my images for maximum exposure. It’s so easy for people to share but forget where it came from without the watermark.

  12. Christine says:

    Very informative post.By using Facebook and Twitter along with the Instagram could help in luring the people towards your brands. Facebook could be easily used with Instagram as it owns this platform, but now Twitter too could be harnessed to embark with ways to create honey trap to attract customers over it.

  13. These are great ways to maximized the use of Instagram. Thanks a lot for these very helpful tips.

  14. Great tips for marketing on Instagram. Instagram isn’t very friendly to marketers so, you need to get creative to be able to monetize it :)

  15. I did not know Instagram could be of such use too. Managing marketing campaigns would be so much easier and fun with Instagram. Thanks for sharing the great information.

  16. Instagram is a marketer friendly tool, which gives the freedom to the marketer to practically do anything. The tips shared in this post are just brilliant. I am sharing this post with a friend who loathe instagram for an unknown reason. Thanks for the share.

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