Many brands make the mistake of thinking that social media marketing is only for B2C companies. Many believe that, because of the informality inherent in social media use, This couldn’t be further from the truth - all brands should be considering it as a means of engaging their audiences, whether they’re executives or teenagers. Building a following on Instagram, for example, allows brands to continually engage their target audiences and keep them up to date with company developments in a less formal manner than, say, an email newsletter.
Instagram has some 300 million daily active users, the vast majority of whom are between the ages of 18 and 34, a figure that’s leading more and more content marketing executives to include it in their strategies. Despite that age bracket, it still has a slightly older demographic than that of Snapchat, making it more relevant for brands outside of the consumer space.
Take AEG Worldwide, for example. The sports and entertainment giant has some high profile clients but engages its audience on Instagram with quality video and picture content, and has nearly 3,000 followers. The company’s posts give potential attendees a flavor of what they can expect at its events, with both funny and inspiring videos published in order to drum up interest. Event sponsors should be doing this too, with each party having a share of the responsibility in raising the profile of the event and getting the right people in front of the sponsor displays.
But Instagram and Snapchat are not only for the run up to an event - they should be utilized during the event to give it as much exposure as possible on the day. Post about interesting content from the event to extend its reach beyond just the people in the room. If you’re showing up to an event and not broadcasting it you’re missing an opportunity to engage everyone on your follower list, rather than the select few there on the day.
When choosing between Snapchat and Instagram, brands should be aware of the differences in the audiences of the two social media but, ultimately, it’s Instagram that’s better suited to the vast majority of corporate entities. ‘Instagram Stories allows sponsors to tap into the storytelling capabilities of Snapchat with the built in audience and analytics of Instagram,’ said Zack Sugarman, Wasserman Media Group vice president, properties. ‘The ability to upload to Instagram Stories versus needing to shoot live on Snapchat means brands that may have been hesitant about the truly raw nature of Snapchat have the ability to test the waters and play in the ‘live’ space on Instagram with less risk.’
There are, of course, limitations with engaging audiences on Instagram. The most significant is that there are limited opportunities for call to action on the platform, and the lack of a trending feature on Instagram means that it’s not a suitable place to get your content noticed by new groups. ’The difficulty with this platform is the inability to add a clear call to action with organic content; therefore, the channel is best used for building awareness and not conversation,’ said Bree Procter, Whistler Blackcomb’s digital community strategist.
Ultimately, though, all brands that choose to sponsor events should be prepared to promote that sponsorship on social media in some way. Different social media are effective for different demographics, but all brands should consider using Instagram given both its huge user base and how well it caters for picture, video, and live content. Today, every element of marketing should involve digital, and event sponsorship is no different.