Often people don’t understand the term Public Relations (PR) as it continues to have multiple definitions and jargons attached to it. But, to put it simply PR means – communicating compelling and impactful stories of a brand to its customers or audience. Public relations over the last 50 years has moved leaps and bounds from traditional press to effective communications building and strategic advisory and is thriving in the digital space. PR is not anymore about getting coverage in quantity and show numbers of PR values, instead creating a multi-fold impact through communication which is aligned to a brands business objectives is the primary focus.
The attention span of a viewer or customer is limited and it is imperative to communicate the message in those limited few seconds of screen time. To be able to drive effective PR campaigns there is a plethora of tools, tactics and strategies which are implemented. From this galaxy, I will pull out Instagram to highlight its magic and state why it is one of the most effective PR tools in the current times.
Instagram is the Holy book for brand custodians –
From gathering insights, sharing breaking news, to selling products, Instagram keeps providing with content which communications enthusiast’s and the brand custodians would want to keep themselves abreast with for their clients, competitors and for general knowledge/current national & global affairs. Essentially, the app helps in keeping a track of all brand-related conversations happening across, the engagement capacity of the peers and on-going trends. It provides easy access to tap engagement and understand the communication narrative of each brand.
Building image with an image –
As the old cliché goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Instagram emphasises on pictures and videos; which per online standards drive traffic far better than written content. Studies show that businesses incorporating images into their posts receive 90 percent more shares than companies that opt for advertorials. It is critical for brands and companies across different sectors to communicate with their customers wherein they feel the brand is talking to them directly. The pictures/creatives, when coupled with company branding creates an emotional-personal connection between the brand’s current and potential customers. Instagram is a platform which provides visual experience far better than You Tube, now all the more with the invention of IGTV and Reels.
Networking hub –
Having a solid network is vital for every professional but it is indispensable for a brand. While every social media is all about building relationships, Direct Messages (DM) on Instagram has expanded the networking capacity between a brand and its potential stakeholders seamlessly. Responding to a story on Instagram through direct messages is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make a connection and pick up a conversation. The beauty of this specific feature also allows businesses/brands to reach out to others and make valuable connections while creating networking opportunities in a thriving arena.
Tapping Millennials to Gen-Z with unique visual identity –
Millennials and Gen Z (age group 16 to 45+) are constantly turning to Instagram as a primary source of information, especially now with the Covid-19 outbreak where everyone is connected for resources and updates on the app. Brands like Dettol, Savlon, Grofers, Dunzo, Zomato have used this opportunity to bridge the gap between their customers and potential customers ranging from different age groups with spot on messaging, well thought through strategic hashtags and exemplary creatives.
Community Building –
Understanding the audience for the brand is essential for promoting, advertising and even engaging. Once, the target audience is tapped through influential outreach, building a loyal community becomes easier to curate and sustain. Instagram’s features like repost, re-share, tags and DM’s are persuasive and is nothing less than word of mouth which brands are harping upon. A single recommendation through a post, story, reel or tag passed from person-to-person helps to leverage and amplify the message through impressions, reach and engagement across communities.
There’s no limit with what a brand custodian can do in that small Instagram box through strategic and innovative thinking. Instagram has now become the lead visual tool which people, and businesses across the brand building and PR ecosystem can no longer ignore. The platform will continue to help brands connect with its customers while creating awareness around products, beliefs, culture, and values.
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