Busy building a lifestyle brand? If you’re not already, you should be snapping photos and posting them on Instagram!

Instagram marketing is quickly gaining steam as an important small business marketing tool. Businesses are starting to see the value of this social media marketing tool: Instagram recently posted a video on their blog showing how some major brands such as Nike and Ben & Jerry’s are using Instagram for marketing purposes:

Instagram for Business from Instagram on Vimeo.

Whether you’re an emerging fashion line or packaged food company, if you’re focusing on building a lifestyle brand, Instagram marketing needs to be a major strategic part of your social media marketing plan. It is important to incorporate this social media marketing power tool into your small business marketing efforts.

Instagram marketing is both an art and a science. Its value as a social media marketing tool is undeniable, recently being voted as the best-performing social media tool for 2013. With over 150 million users worldwide, what started as a fun way to share those moments has actually turned into a magical way for small businesses to make themselves more interesting and appealing to customers.

Fashion and retail brands have really benefited from the use of Instagram simply because it’s a visual medium. Luxury brands have really gotten a lot of mileage out of Instagram marketing campaigns: one study of 249 luxury brands found that 93 percent of them are on the social media platform. Fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, and Gucci have become creative with their Instagram marketing campaigns, as seen by their use of hashtagged campaigns.

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So why is Instagram so appealing? Here are a few reasons Instagram needs to be a part of any small business marketing toolkit:

1. The visual platform lends itself well to inspiring action

2. Offers the opportunity to provide an inside track on what goes on behind the scenes of your business

3. Provides a great way to understand the habits of your audience and customers

But what’s magical about Instagram is that despite being smaller than Facebook, it actually has 15 times the level of engagement that Facebook does!! What’s great is that images that get these high levels of engagement can be used for for other small business marketing purposes, such as an email campaign.

Driving a social media marketing campaign forward can start with a few selected posts per week on Instagram. Use images that stay true to your brand and inspire action in your customers. If you’re looking for more assistance with your small business marketing, contact EDK today.