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Harness the Power of Instagram for Your Trade Publication - 12/17/2014 -


Harness the Power of Instagram for Your Trade Publication

Instagram is growing in importance, and it can help trade publishers reach more than 200 million monthly users.

By Mary Hiers

Trade association members are increasingly looking for new ways to connect with their colleagues. The traditional approaches of bulletin boards, monthly publications, and conferences remain essential ó but theyíre not enough. Itís also important to have a social media strategy. As social media has evolved to include more than Facebook and Twitter, many trade publishers are working to develop visual content strategies.

Instagram is a visual platform that allows users to take photos and share them with their friends and followers. Brands use it as a way to add a visual component to their brand stories that get shared with customers, leads, and readers. Itís growing fast: Today, the publication has approximately 200 million active users per month. In fact, Instagram has been shown to have engagement rates that are 58 times better than Facebook and more than 100 times better than Twitter.

Hereís a closer look at how Instagram can support your goals.

Establish a branded account. Instagramís advertising options are pretty limited, so brands using the platform to market and communicate with their communities have to develop creative strategies. It all starts with establishing a branded account. Once thatís in place, think about how visual content can help build a sense of community and entertain and inform your members. Find ways to encourage members to contribute content to your account. Share images and content related to your latest stories or breaking news. Leverage hashtags to help widen the reach of your content on the network.

Leverage an influencer campaign. Another creative approach to getting traction with Instagram is by leveraging an influencer campaign. Influencer campaigns identify existing users on the network that are popular and have large fan bases. Itís important that their reputation and content align with your interest base. For example, if youíre a trade publisher for the beauty industry, you might target beauty bloggers. Setting up influencer campaigns involves establishing partnerships that get these influencers to post images of them with specific products or services to increase exposure. Trade publishers might get copies of their publications featured in key images, or even use these promotional partnerships to benefit association members. Often, influencers are compensated with free products or a stipend.

Offer an insider look at the industry. Trade publications are in the unique position of being able to speak from a point of authority about their industry. Whether your followers are fishermen or chemical engineers, theyíre passionate about what they do. Developing a strategy to use Instagram to offer an insider look at the industry can earn you followers, shares, and click-throughs. For example, a trade publication aimed at the fishing trade might offer sneak previews of the latest tech gear, hot boats, big catches, and dream fishing destinations.

Visual content enables trade publications to reach their audiences in a whole new way. Embrace Instagram, the rapidly growing platform, by developing brand strategies and influencer campaigns. Itís a new, important, and effective approach to reaching your audience as a publisher.

Mary Hiers is a freelance writer based in the Nashville area. This article first appeared on www.realmatch.com.


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