Instagram is a social media network that attracts businesses mainly for building a brand image and showcasing their products and workplace. Through visual storytelling, they can reach out to current or potential customers, start conversations and build trust. But did you know that Instagram can help you perform market research and find out whether your business idea is viable? Or if your clients are ready for a rebrand or a change in the design of their favourite products?
Seeing Is Believing – the Instagram Promise
Visuals are powerful tools to share ideas and feelings. And Instagram allows you to create and customise all sorts of visual content, from static photos to looping images and videos. Also, the experiences created by various influencers and brands helped marketers devise market research, marketing and sales strategies that work only on Instagram.
After all, the key advice for creating effective copy that sells is “show, don’t tell”. On Instagram you can show your followers the message you want to convey – literally. Thus, you will obtain more honest and accurate results to your queries. This will help you devise a branding and marketing strategy that works for your target audience.
What Kind of Information Can You Obtain from Instagram Market Research?
Looking at what other companies do, you can use Instagram to test your potential market for:
- Launching a new product
- Redesigning an existing product
- Rebranding your business
- Estimating the market size for a potential business
- Measure brand sentiment.
This is quite a comprehensive range of data, and what it is more important, you get it for free. You don’t have to pay market researchers, purchase expensive reports or incentivise users with prizes.
Here are a few simple ways to collect valuable market data from Instagram:
1. Use Instagram Stories Poll Sticker
Instagram Stories are very popular, just like other forms of disappearing content. This type of Instagram post allows you to apply as much creativity as you want, from AR filters to various other visual and audio effects and post formats.
The poll sticker is one of these formats – and it is very useful for market research. What the Instagram Stories poll sticker essentially does is allow you to ask a question with two clickable answers. This is a useful polling tool for various marketing and branding efforts such as A/B testing logo designs or product packages to identifying your followers’ favourite product.
2. Test Product Ideas with the Reaction Slider
The reaction slider is another customisation tool available for Instagram Stories. It looks and works like sound volume slider: the users can swipe it up and down and select 4 predefined positions.
The reaction slider can help you determine what kind of product would sell better from various ideas. For businesses already in operation, this form or market research can help determine a future promotion on a best selling product or ways in which they can improve it to fit the customers’ demands.
3. Use Story Templates
Instagram relies heavily on influencers with huge followings. For this reason, the platform allows them to create and share their own branded and customised templates, which others can use in their Stories.
For new businesses creating and using story templates can help define a branding image that will appeal to followers. These templates are also a fun way to test the viability of a business idea or a product before you actually launch it.
4. Test Brand Sentiment with Quizzes
Do your followers know or understand your brand? Are you promoting the image and values they expect? You can find out with an Instagram Quiz. Many top brands use these quizzes with multiple questions and answers to check how connected their followers really are to their brand.
If you get poor results it means that you are not marketing to the right people – your followers are there for the fun, but not with the view of becoming clients.
5. Share Your Work In Progress
Work in progress series of photos essentially show your products being made from the first touch to the finish. Designers, craft and handmade artists use this series of work in progress images in an attempt to measure sentiment before they go through with the entire process.
On many occasions, they incorporate suggestions they receive from followers along the way and they end up with a different product – something that will actually sell.