Using Instagram to Market

What is Instagram?

Elise Moreau describes Instagram as “a social networking app made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone.” (Moreau) The majority of users run the app via their smart phones which have access to a camera. Instagram can be used as a social networking tool but it can also be used to market, blog and advance a persons career.

Is Instagram a valid marketing tool?

Anything that reaches an audience can be turned into a marketing tool. Since Instagram’s launch in November 2012 a number of marketing companies offer services to improve outreach, follower numbers and revenue. It is a visual tool (Sprung), allowing access on the go (Baty), and allows promotion to a younger generation (Villegas).

How does it work?

Instagram is very easy to work. It allows the user to take a photo with the option to customise the image using filters. The image is then uploaded for ‘followers’ to view. By inputting a description and using hastags, the user can reach a public audience and increase their following. Celebrities also use Instagram to connect with their fans and promote their own work. Currently Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Beyonce and Taylor Swift allow have over 1 million followers (Social Blade).

Instagram and Crowdfunding

Tam Pham details crowdfunding success that were aided by Instagram and have allowed some users to live off the income created by the App. It details success stories such as Steven Ng who launched ten successful Kickstarter campaigns. https://thehustle.co/meet-the-people-making-a-full-time-living-from-instagram-kickstarter-and-teespring  It’s important to note the use of other social media platforms being used to boost followers. The celebrities mentioned above all have corresponding Twitter and Facebook accounts that aid there following across each platforms. However there are successful users who’s primary focus is Instagram. Many travel bloggers have used Instagram to allow them to continue travelling including Expert Vagabond (@expertvagabond), Ever Changing Horizon (@everchanginghorizon) and Kirsten Alana (@kirstenalana).

High House Collections

It was very important to used every tool available to use to market the campaign. Instagram became a helpful visual tool to display our work and similar products. Users could interact and reply to our images.

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We were able to link our profiles and direct users to the main HighHouse profile which gave further details and direction to our campaign.

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It also allowed us to monitor our progress and tasks in a visual diary. By the end of the campaign we had gained over 100 followers and increased our own following.

 

References
Elise Moreau, 2017, What is Instagram, Anyway?, Lifewire, https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-instagram-3486316

Felipa Villegas, 2015, Ten Reasons to Adopt Instagram as a Marketing Tool, Level Ten Interactive,  https://getlevelten.com/blog/felipa-villegas/ten-reasons-adopt-instagram-marketing-tool

Jon Baty, 2013, Is Instagram a valid marketing tool?, SEO.com, https://www.seo.com/blog/social-media/is-instagram-a-valid-marketing-tool/

Rachel Sprung, 2013, 5 Ways Marketers Can Use Instagram, Social Media Examiner, http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-ways-marketers-can-use-instagram/

Social Blade, 2017, Top 100 Instagram Profiles – Sorted by most followed, https://socialblade.com/instagram/top/100/followers

Tam Pham, 2016, Meet the People Making a Full-Time Living From Instagram, Kickstarter and Teespring, the Hustle, https://thehustle.co/meet-the-people-making-a-full-time-living-from-instagram-kickstarter-and-teespring

Matthew Karsten, 2017, 25 Awesome Instagram Travel Photographers You Need To Follow, Expert Vagabond, https://expertvagabond.com/instagram-travel/

High House Collections, 2017, Instagram Profile, https://www.instagram.com/highhousecollections/?hl=en

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High House Campaign Page

When designing the High House Campaign page, the team asked family and friends what they would want to know from the page. We also looked closely at other wallpaper campaigns such as:

Murielmotion – Animated Wallpaper
Get Anna Hill Wallpaper to Exhibition!
Southend-on-Sea Wallpaper

And then looked at other crowdfunding campaigns that appeared on the Indiegogo and Kickstarter recommends banner. Many of these were technology based but had a very large following.

Many of the things these campaigns contained, we had already created including a banner, product photos, video and team information. So we focused on the content and what was written. We also looked closely at Indiegogo’s own guidelines for a successful campaign and drew on my knowledge from my earlier research module.

Indiegogo has a set template where a user inputs the information. This can only be adapted slightly and allows you to insert videos, images and text.

Our first section focused on the High House story and history. We kept the information short so that backers didn’t get bored. We also didn’t want to repeat too much information that was included in the campaign video. We were also able to inset another video that explains the History of High House.

Our next section displayed the India collection as this was the focus and the products being sold, followed by how the campaign would support students. This section was incredibly important to get right as it would explain the key reasons as to why we were doing a crowdfunding campaign.

Our final sections displayed the products available which backers would receive by donating a certain amount. This included our too India Collection Designs at £75 per role. We also asked backers to support us by sharing the campaign.

Our final look was a stylish, professional looking campaign with key information included. We then asked friends and family to review the campaign before launch so that any changes could be made.

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High House Campaign Launch

Today’s the day of the High House Campaign Launch. The team are incredibly excited. We have put in a lot of work creating content and marketing ourselves through social media channels.

Over the past few weeks we have built up our campaign page.

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Throughout the day we have counted down to the launch which has allowed us to gather live interest. We have high hopes for the campaign setting our target amount at £6000.

Update:

The campaign has been launched!

We have decided to release content through our social media channels at least three times a day to keep the content current and interest high. Keep an eye out and check out the campaign page: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/high-house-wallpaper-india-collection-design#/ 

Final High House Video

Watch the Final High House Crowdfunding Video Below:

Although the video is complete and being shared by the team there are still changes and improvement I wish I had time to make. This mainly includes the audio quality. Due to the location we used and the poor mic quality it has been hard to adjust the audio. I managed to stop parts from pitching and a constant level for each individual clip but struggled to continue this through the whole video due to my limited editing skills. I clearly have a lot more to work on.

However, the video gets the message across to viewers and has come together (content-wise) perfectly.

The Making of ‘High House Crowdfunding Video’

Using the research gathered in the MA Creative Futures, Creativity and Enterprise Module I was able to determine what needed to be covered in the crowdfunding video for High House Collections. Due to my previous research focusing on film campaigns I took a look at some similar art and design campaigns that related to High House.

Murielmotion – Animated Wallpaper
http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/murielmotion-animated-wallpaper/

Took viewers on a journey of her work and how the designs were created from start to finish. Sarah Palmer explains how the idea came about and how it has developed to the current stage while emphasising the potential. The video is 2mins in total.

Get Anna Hill Wallpaper to Exhibition!
https://www.fundsurfer.com/project/get-anna-hill-wallpaper-to-exhibition

Anna’s video also takes the viewer on a journey of her work and the importance that people support her. It is a personalised video showing off her skills while inviting the public to take part.

Southend-on-Sea Wallpaper
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/southend-on-sea-wallpaper#/

This is a new campaign by Grant Philpott who has opted to use imagery instead of a video on his profile. The images of the wallpaper are eye catching however there is little to keep the viewer attention and this could affect his campaign results.

Using these examples alongside my previous research it was clear the areas I needed to focus on for the High House Video. We needed to show the story and the values of the team. To do this I focused on asking the team questions around:

  • Who we are
  • What we want
  • Why
  • Future Plans
  • Directly asking the audience for support

I felt doing an interview style would be more beneficial as the answers given would be true and more passionate than a scripted video.

Each member of team was asked:

  1. To introduce themselves
  2. What they had done as a member of the High House Team
  3. What they would be doing while the campaign commenced
  4. To describe the India collection and why they like it
  5. Why people should support High House
  6. Directly ask the audience to support us

From their answers further questions were asked such as individual roles or further questioning about the High House Experience. Most of the further questioning was directed at Rowena and Jenny who have been working on the project much longer than the rest of the team.

The filming took 2 hours using locations within the university. This meant that I had a lot of footage to work with and once the campaign video was completed I could create individual team videos.

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To start with I linked the audio up with the video before rearranging the footage. Then I grouped the footage into team members and cut out anything that had the interviewer (me) introducing the questions as this wasn’t needed. I kept the footage in order of the questions were spoken as this helped me create a journey of information. Once all the footage was ordered and rearranged it was time to begin selecting the footage for the final cut.

As my goal was to take the audience on a journey of High House and the India Collection I picked out footage that clearly expressed this information and split it in to categories again:

  • High House – What is it?
  • India Collection Development
  • India Collection designs
  • Future Plans
  • Why we need your support us and how it will affect us

I felt it was also incredibly important that each member of the team had a spoken appearance with the majority of information told by Rowena, the creator of High House. From here the video almost made its self by putting the information in a chronological  order that made sense. Once this was complete it was time to smarten the edges by sorting out the audio (due to the mic used there was a slight echo) and checking to see if I’d removed as many “ummms” and “errrrs” as possible.

Finally I needed to find a fitting soundtrack to play in the background. This took a while of searching as the music needed to fit the tone and style of the project. I finally settled on ‘Fearless’ from Purple Planet (a free online music source).

I completed the edit by exporting and sharing to the team for any changes. Their responses were very positive.

 

Check out the final video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgOcJBbV4Fo&t=17s 

Don’t forget to support High House by following us on Twitter @HighHsWallpaper Facebook @highhousecollections and on Instagram.

Ikea threats and Weakness Overview

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Ikea Milton Keynes

Ikea Weakness:

  • Size and Scale as a global business. “During FY2014 only 9% of global sales were generated in Asia and Australia, at the same time when 69% of sales were generated in Europe’s saturating market.” (Yearly Summary 2014, IKEA Group)
  • Reputation: Ikea has suffered a number of global ethics-related incidents such as altered images using photoshop in September 2012. The discovery that Ikea had business suppliers in communist east Germany 30 years earlier that used forced labor.
    The company has been accused of using child labour in Asia and of buying feathers plucked from live geese. Journalists revealed that Mr Kamprad had backed a Swedish fascist group in his youth; he apologised in an open letter. (Economist, T. (2011)The secret of IKEA’s success. Available at: http://www.economist.com/node/18229400)
    And the 2013 horse meat incident (Business Insider (2013) Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/ikeas-reputation-has-taken-a-beating-2013-3) These incidents weaken the brand image.

 

Threats:

  • Social Trends: Ikea is the brand of many. “Kamprad set out the philosophy: ‘We have decided once and for all to side with the many. What is good for our customers is also, in the long run, good for us.’ He wanted to ‘create a better everyday life for the majority of people’.” (The Guardian (2005)Ikea – brand of the many. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2005/jun/12/theobserver.observerbusiness4)
  • Competitors: As with any business Ikea must stay ahead of it’s competitors by being as innovate as possible. Local companies has jumped on the DIY furniture system and it is important for Ikea to remain the number 1 place to go. This is done through teams of developers with each piece of furniture taking approx. 3 years to develop. Ivan Kamprad would personal inspect each product too. (Stenebo, J. and Stenebo, S. (2010)The truth about Ikea: The secret behind the world’s fifth richest man and the success of the Flatpack giant. London: Gibson Square Books. Pg18-22)
  • Economic Factors: Ikea is not immune to economic factors and was also affected by the 2009 crash causing them to cut 5000 jobs by June 2009 “We have never had to implement such massive job cuts before…. But it is completely necessary to adapt our costs and our capacity to demand, which is weaker than we expected,” Dahlvig (Bennett (2009)Article: Ikea has cut 5, 000 jobs due to economic crisis: Report – the economic times. Available at: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/ikea-has-cut-5000-jobs-due-to-economic-crisis-report/articleshow/4693917.cms?intenttarget=no)

Creativity and Enterprise Module overview

For this module I investigated ‘Crowdfunding’ for independent films. This project had a very small timescale and I would have like more time to ask further questions and research further before drawing conclusions. The Christmas period also proved difficult when trying to receive survey and interview responses. I received  two late responses today which I could no longer include in the project. Using my initial gantt chart I stayed relatively on track throughout the timescale. Personal illness did however slow my progress at times but this was overcome at later stages. I felt I developed my academic writing scales due to guest lectures and my project proposal.

Learning Outcomes

I successfully  reached the learning and Problem Solving outcome by researching my subject area using secondary and primary research techniques including books, journals, articles, surveys and interviews. Although I would have liked to do further research and survey/interviews to support my findings. I gained all the information needed in an ethical manner. To further test my findings I designed a crowdfunding campaign by  replicate  results using information gained in the research to improve them further.

Enquiry; Knowledge & Understanding; Analysis was completed by looking at the commercial implications of crowdfunding and directly contacting key study pieces and industry leaders of this field and enquire further about the techniques used such as Max Silverman from Seed&Spark. I used the knowledge gained to understand and analyse the process and development needed to successfully replicate the results and improve them.

I also created case studies by analysing individual pieces and platforms as well as the subject as a whole to gain a wider perspective and full understanding of the subject.

By applying techniques and skills gained to individual product and suggesting improvements that could be made I effectively communicated my results. Reviewing this process and the results by testing the product with the public and industry experts helping me to recreate the results in later projects.

 

The blog has allowed me to reflect on my process and display research gathered. This has been difficult to manage due to the amount of information gathered and the changing outcomes. I have often found that I have moved on to the next point before remembering to blog and therefore not review effectively. I am not a confident blogger but I do feel my writing has improved as the project has progressed.

 

I believe the project proposal successfully explains the themes and methods used to investigate this project. I will be continuing to research the subject further and develop a report after ‘Canary’ campaign. I hope to create an e-book from this information for other filmmakers to use.

Originally I had intended to recreate one profile that took all the best parts from each platform however as my research progressed I realsied that due to the different models and platform functions that this was not possible. I therefore chose two that would be suitable for the film campaign ‘Canary’. If I had more time I would have created a third and then discussed the most successful items needed using further public surveys. I think i slightly underestimated the scale of the project and the avenues I could investigate. If I did the project again I would be more focused and investigate the promoting or rewards chosen rather than crowdfunding as a whole.

For further testing I would have liked to run an actual campaign to gather ‘live data’ rather than theory based and available data.

From this research I believe I would effectively recreate a successful campaign. This will be put in practice for ‘Canary ‘ and High House Collections wallpaper campaign.