The Use of Social Media for Advertising
The product that is to be advertised is clothes for the young generation. One of the tools for promoting these products on the net is Instagram. The latter perfectly suits the goals of the advertising campaign. First of all, it helps to reach different customers through one posting. Then, it could be reposted by the followers and advertised further. Secondly, the images appearing on the Instagram appeal to the emotions of the potential buyers and show them new variations of wearing the clothes offered, thus, everyone can find the model that suits him or her best. Thirdly, it is difficult to overestimate the popularity of Instagram among youth. Nowadays, the photos of everything from ties to dishes are stocked on this Internet platform which in total results in the volumes of free advertising. Thus, advertising on the Instagram would help to reach the target audience with the minimal costs spent. In overall, the use of social media, including Instagram, for advertising is a trend that would become a routine in the future. Thus, the sooner the company starts to benefit from it, the better.
Few basic steps need to be taken in order to deploy the advertisement and ensure the success of promotion campaign. First of all, it is important to establish a large strong community base. It should be noted that 13% of all Internet users have already created their Instagram accounts (Cohen, 2014). Moreover, the top-100 brands also started to promote their products via this kind of social media. Thus, in order to benefit from Instagram and get additional competitive advantage, the company has to establish its own account and ensure that its loyal customers are subscribed to it. The more subscribers it has, the better.
In order to increase the number of followers, it is important to use right hashtags. They are used to group concepts, ideas, products, etc. With their help people find what they need much quicker. New people (potential customers) could be reached through hashtags as well (Harrison, 2014). The last point is to use the hashtags which both describe the specific product and are frequently used and searched via Instagram.
The second step is to determine the peak time and post the products exactly at these moments (Cohen, 2014). Like all other networks, there are hours when users exploit Instagram extensively and intensively. In order to determine the exact time needed, it is recommended to use IconoSquare which reports best time for updating profile. It is believed that the rightest moment for posting depends on the day. For example, on Monday the biggest activity of users is witnessed at 9am. Then, they activate at the end of the day at approximately 5:00-6:00pm.
Later on, it is necessary to engage the competitors’ followers. They have already admitted that they are interested in the product which is advertised by the competitors by following it. Therefore, it is important to show the customer another site, product or service and its benefits. In order to find out who the followers of the competitors are one can easily apply the JustUnfollow tool which helps to search competitors’ followers by their name.
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The fourth step provides the establishment of the links with the popular Instagramers. It should be noted, however, that unlike the free use of Instagram as a platform for advertising one’s product, a favor of advertising one’s product made by the celebrity or simply popular Instagramer might cause certain financial spending. At the same time the outcomes could be really dramatic. The influence of a star or popular person is indeed hard to overestimate. Thousands of fans use certain cream, wear the boots or drink Black Jack Whisky just because their favorite actresses use it as well.
After creation of the sufficient customers’ base, the company might start launching its promotional campaign on this social media platform.
1) When considering the advertising campaign which involves the use of social media one should be aware of at least three risks accompanying it. They are as following.
- The first in a row is a security breach. It is a common known fact that hackers operate everywhere and could sabotage any kind of business for free or with the purpose of earning money from the competitors. The hackers are believed to browse social media sites in great volume. And their activities do not always intent to hit the information of finance of the organization. Some hackers are just willing to wreak the havoc. It is a kind of fun for them to hack the pages, profiles of organizations and their followers. They can retrieve the information by using the e-mail. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a reliable security system.
- Secondly, the use of social media might jeopardize the company’s positions among customers. The audience of a specific organization might be offended if the company releases the materials that might hurt someone. It relates to other forms of PR crisis and is one of the outcomes of advertising in social media which has just to be accepted as it is.
- Finally, the use of social media might result in some kind of litigation. The materials that are posted in the net do not disappear and could be used in legal processes initiated against the company even five years after the advertising campaign started. These risks, however, could be mitigated by launching clear campaign and through the right understanding of the law.
2) The following steps of the selling strategy are considered to be the most effective for increasing sales rates. First of all, in order to convert the followers into customers, the owner of the Instagram page should stress upon scarcity of the products offered. Naturally, the goods that are limited are more wanted by people. This marketing tool is frequently used by the companies stating that the discount period will last only until the last product is sold which stimulates the customers to buy their products even if there are lots of them.
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Additionally, spotlighting new products is also an essential part of the selling strategy. In terms of presenting new items, Instagram is a perfect tool as it lets to show the product from the variety of sides. In order to boost selling rates, it is also useful to report some kinds of social proof (Smith, 2014). The latter refers to the powerful psychological phenomenon which states that people turn to follow the actions of the people they trust or respect. Therefore, occasional reports and reviews of the product revealing its specific beneficial features or posting of the ratings might make the customers purchase a new item.
3) Internet advertising could be profitable due to many reasons. First of all, it is an additional channel for promoting products. Needless to say, that every product line has its own marketing campaign. The elaboration created for such campaigns could be used on the net as well. However, in comparison with traditional advertising, online promotions are less expansive. In fact, every organization could benefit from advertising its products via social networks which are popular especially among the youth who often tend to make emotional purchases. Additionally, it is a universal truth that while considering buying a new item, potential customers carry the research on the net reviewing the characteristics of the products and feedbacks of other customers.
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Moreover, a lot of Internet tools could be used for advertising. Nowadays search engines, for example, trace the customers’ preferences and then post advertisements that correspond to their previous searches and needs. All of it leads to the growth of sales rates. In addition, the marketing advertising on the Internet might result in increased output of the business. It could be done engaging the customers in the process of purchasing the product or ordering of the service. It could also be achieved through the application of such tools as Cost Per Action, Cost Per Click and others. Their exploitation might help the business to analyze three important things. First of all, it shows the overall efficiency of the product’s exposure. Secondly, it helps to estimate the number of customers that have clicked on listing. Finally, it determines how many customers have finalized their process of purchasing the good. These three tools, thus, could help the company identify and estimate the value of advertising campaign and the return on it. Moreover, the Internet contributes to the process of reaching more customers spending less money which is profitable for any kind of venture.
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In conclusion, the advertising through social media channels seems to be beneficial in many ways, especially when compared with the conventional tools for promotion. Traditional advertising refers to the situation when everything is decided by the advertiser. He/she determines the target, creates the advertisement, tests and distributes it. However, it usually costs more in comparison with unconventional advertising. In addition, it is not so interesting and fascinating, thus, it does not draw attention as much as the unconventional advertising. Viral advertising is more beneficial than traditional advertising since it promises low costs, faster diffusion, higher level of credibility of the info presented, etc. In addition, the audience is targeted easier than in conventional advertisements.