How to advertise on Instagram in Iran while building a brand
In many ways, Instagram is a digital shop window display – a place where we dress up our lives and increasingly dress up our businesses. In fact, what started as a very simple social media app has now grown to assist brands and businesses each day with added features and promotional tools. Still retaining this simplicity, Instagram has made a point to empower both brands and their followers, doing so by granting official status to brands and allowing followers the ability to quickly and privately communicate with them. But as both big brands and small enterprises in Iran flood to Instagram to help advertise their products and services, dressing their pages up and attracting customers is not as simple as they might think. So allow us to help explain how brands in Iran can better succeed on social media platforms in Iran such as Instagram.
In 2012 Instagram’s popularity was quickly recognized by Facebook and after only two years’ of existence the social media giant acquired it with $1 billion cash and stock. The following year Instagram enjoyed 23% growth as oppose to its new parent company that only saw 3% growth during that same period. Move forward a few years, and Instagram finds itself boasting 600 million users that accumulate over 4.2 billion likes per day.
Although we don’t have access to specific figures of Iranians using Instagram, a comparison of followers to Iranian celebrities on Instagram can maybe help give us a clue. Both Mahnaz Afshah and Elnaz Shakerdoost – Iranian actresses living and working in Iran, with a population of 80 million – currently, each have 5.3 million followers. This is more than Hollywood’s international superstar actress Cameron Diaz with 4.5 million followers. Diaz however, is a long way off of one Instagram’s most-followed, the female artist Beyoncé, who currently exceeds 92 million followers and recently achieved a world record for the most likes on a photo following the announcement of her being pregnant with twins. With these figures, one can get a hint of how Iran compares with respect to users and possibly engagement.
Among the social media platforms, Instagram has undoubtedly become an essential part of any brand’s communications, currently used by 48.8% of brands — a number that is expected to rise to 70.7% by 2017. Here in Iran, many of the brands that we at Zigma8 | 360º Creative Communications work with are more than familiar with the power of social media to instantaneously attract and engage audiences. What they often don’t initially realize however is that finding and growing an audience isn’t as easy as just posting pictures and listing hashtags.
Only the best advertising agencies in Iran, such as ourselves, work with our clients to outline a social media strategy before establishing a presence on Instagram for example. Agencies such as ours understand the importance of aligning such activity on Instagram with advertising campaigns, public relations as well as other online and offline communications. We make a point to implement the social media strategy by establishing the groundwork such as visual and verbal basics. These are often tailored graphic design such as templates, as well as simple and consistent copywriting or copywriting rules – all of which are carefully curated so as to be in keeping with the brand’s identity guidelines. Following this we then establish a network, which can consist of content provider such as Iranian photographers or illustrators – or as is increasingly the case, we establish connections with Iranian social media influencers (high profile or highly relevant users that can give credibility of exposure). With these things in place we’ll begin delivering content, being careful to get the timing and frequency of delivery just right – something that we adjust if necessary based on our constant analysis.
With this approach, we have helped many brands in Iran either get off on the right foot with social media or improve the quantity and quality of their following – doing nothing short of dressing them up to impress. If you are interested in seeing how we can help your brand succeed on Instagram in Iran, simply call us for a consultation.