It’s likely that if you’ve spent any amount of time in 21st-Century America, or even in the 21st Century world, you know the New York Times and you know Instagram, but what you might not know is that Instagram has become a strategic tool in the New York Times’ marketing bag of tricks. As Instagram is mainly used as a picture-sharing site as opposed to a news-sharing site, you may wonder why the Times has chosen to undertake such a strategy. Here’s why:
It’s About Brand Loyalty
While the concept of branding goes back as far as ancient Rome (or even further,) where gladiators were known to promote certain topics, ideas, or even products, today’s branding world is more competitive than ever. As a result, a simple billboard no longer cuts through the clutter. Instead, companies are choosing to slowly bring in consumers and walk them through the cycle of becoming a loyal customer through modern branding.
Someone decades ago who may have been presented with only a few choices of a similar product down at the local market today has to choose between dozens, if not more. To add to things, the online market, including sites like Amazon and eBay, have opened even more possibilities for consumer choice. As a result, building and maintaining brand loyalty is one of the keys to survival.
How Does Instagram Help?
As a photo-sharing site, Instagram provides brands with the ability to share a message visually, a style that many consumers immediately connect with. Through pictures, the Times is able to evoke emotions from readers and visitors alike, sealing followers and eventually subscriptions. The thinking is that, if you provide some premium content now, you build credibility, and therefore, loyalty. People who see your amazing photos on Instagram will be more inclined to check out your digital and print editions, and if you can continue to deliver in those, you’ve now gained a new paying customer.
Diversity Can Help You Clean Up Nicely
One of the main factors in the Times’ Instagram success is that the paper doesn’t limit its online reach to a single account. Instead of simply pouring all of its content into one Instagram profile, it has chosen to split up its offerings into niches, such as sports, news, food, and other interests. What this approach does is entice people to get involved who might have otherwise not done so had they not been presented with information that applied to their interests.
For example, someone who doesn’t follow the news, but loves sports, may consider subscribing to the Times after seeing plenty of relevant sports information and pictures on the Times’ sports Instagram branch. Likewise, a homemaker who is focused on food may eventually subscribe to the times after following its recipe and food branch on Instagram.
In the end, recognize that every online outlet is a chance to promote your brand and gain followers and subscribers. How you choose to go about doing so is up to you, but always put in thought and strategy into your plan.