What is IM?

If you are using social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook, then you have undoubtedly come across the acronym IM. While social media may have opened up new worlds of opportunity, it also brings with it a whole host of challenges. Chief among these is the fact that most social media platforms are owned by giant corporations who monetise your content. As a result, you are often subject to aggressive marketing campaigns and endless notifications prompting you to purchase more stuff.

The information and research provided below will introduce you to the theory and practice of mindful marketing. We will explore how following the 4-step process below can help you to move beyond the hype and discover sustainable growth for your business.

Instagram versus Mindful Marketing

To start things off, it’s important to acknowledge that not all ‘Instagrammers’ are created equal. While the platform was initially created for sharing fun pictures of your daily life, it has since evolved into a money-making machine. Here are some frequently asked questions about Instagram and how it relates to mindful marketing.

How Does Instagram Fit Into The Picture?

Instagram’s initial popularity can mostly be attributed to its simple premise: share your pictures with the world. While the app did indeed spark a creative revolution and gave birth to the hashtag #selfiesnmore, there was also a dark side to the rise of ‘Instagramming’. As mentioned by The New York Times, the platform’s popularity led to a “Snapchat-style epidemic of oversharing”.

The irony of course is that many people share pictures on social media to get recognition. Because the algorithm focuses so much on engagement, this often results in a never-ending cycle of ‘look at me’ posts. While this may not seem like a problem at first glance, this kind of behaviour can actually have serious consequences. As an Instagram user, you may notice that your ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ are out of control. What this means is that the people consuming your content are not really engaging with it in a healthy way. This can lead to serious psychological problems, as recently highlighted by the World Health Organisation.

Is Quality Content Still A Key To Success On Instagram?

If you are using social media to drive traffic to your site, then it’s essential that your content is of a high quality. After all, someone could be scrolling through their Instagram feed, mindlessly clicking on every image in the hopes of finding a gem that will lead them to buy your product, or service. While this might seem like a surefire way to success, it’s not healthy for the individual or for the platform as a whole.

Instead of looking at quality as a bug to be fixed, recognise it as a feature. High-quality and well-executed content will engage an audience and make them want to come back for more. As a business owner or content creator, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your content is of a good standard. After all, you’d never send your mum to a casino, would you?

How Does The Money Behind Instagram Affect What You See On The Platform?

We all love a bonus feature once in a while, but the monetisation of Instagram is one of the biggest challenges facing the platform today. As Instagram matures as a business, it is inevitably becoming more and more like a typical tech company — filled with billboards, ads and seemingly monetised self-promotion.

The problem with this kind of approach to business is that it strips away all the subtlety and humanity that made Instagram so special in the first place. The truth is that we all love a bonus feature once in a while, but why would we keep clicking on those billboards when we want to see a pretty picture of a cat in a swing?

The 4-Step Process To Grow Your Business Using Mindful Marketing

If you’ve decided that Instagram is a viable platform for your business, then congratulations! You’re on the right track. The numbers don’t lie: according to HubSpot Blogs, 71% of marketers plan on using Instagram in 2018.

While it’s a common place for people to share their travels, passions and daily lives, it’s a different matter when you’re a business owner or content creator. You have to avoid doing and saying the wrong thing, which can easily be accomplished with a little bit of planning and research.

Step 1: Set The Record Straight

One of the first things you’ll want to do is to set the record straight. This means establishing your credentials as an ethical and responsible business owner or content creator. Your first stop should be your website or business logo. Make sure that it is branded and looks good. Remember: no flashy logos or over-the-top branding will help you in setting the right tone for your content.

Step 2: Define Your Audience And Create Personas

Instagram is filled with billboards and ads of all sizes, so it’s important to know who you’re trying to reach. The first step in creating mindful marketing content is to define your audience. This means creating a profile of users based on demographics, psychographics and digital behaviours.

Once you have a clear picture in mind of who your target audience is, you can move on to the next step.

Step 3: Find The Right Platforms

Instagram has grown to be one of the biggest platforms for sharing pictures. While the network allows for a certain degree of freedom, this definitely does not mean that you can post anything goes. You should have a specific plan in mind when you choose your platforms, otherwise you’ll just be shooting in the dark. To find the right audience, you need to look for the places where they are already congregating.

Step 4: Measure The Results

Finally, you’ll want to measure the results of your efforts. While it would be wonderful to click on every impression and direct all our online presences towards our store, we all know that this is not possible. Instead, you need to set up regular measurements to assure you that you’re progressing towards your goals.

If you’ve followed the steps above, then you should be on your way to a more mindful approach to marketing on Instagram. Remember: this is a process, and it will take time to see results.