Earlier this month, Instagram allowed users to respond to individual stories with photos, videos and boomerangs for the first time. This was the latest step in the Facebook-owned social network’s ongoing attempt to emulate Snapchat, which has released various new features such as 3D filters in recent months.

Highly engaging, visual content is a vital part of digital marketing campaigns in 2017. It adds personality to profiles and enables businesses to tell a story, which further increases user engagement. However, according to Business 2 Community, just 7% of marketers regard Instagram as their most important social media platform.

It’s a mistake, though, to overlook the photo sharing app. Here we look at how iGaming and financial trading brands can use Instagram to improve their customer acquisition and retention, as well as increase brand awareness. We also discuss how the platform is important to brands’ affiliate marketing strategies and to affiliates themselves.

Why Instagram?

While Instagram is a competitive space (there are 600 million+ users worldwide, according to Sprout Social, 82% of whom are aged 18-49), it offers abundant ways to create unique and engaging campaigns. These include real-time organic marketing methods, such as live video and stories, as well as the use of hashtags.

Organic Instagram marketing is ideal for both acquiring new potential customers and retaining existing ones. Meanwhile, the paid ads option offers the opportunity to achieve results to not only companies with bigger budgets but also small to mid-tier brands in the process of building their profile. There brands can quickly acquire depositing players and traders using paid Instagram campaigns.

They say a picture tells a 1,000 words, so it’s not surprising that Instagram posts score engagement rates that are up to 70% higher than Facebook, according to Business 2 Community. Because the medium is exclusively visual, it’s easier to build a profile personality that resonates with users. After all, potential customers are more likely to engage with brands who also behave like their friends on social media.

Nonetheless, restrictions remain for brands, especially iGaming ones. Instagram has inherited the gambling ads policy of its parent company, Facebook, and campaigns are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Organic & Paid Marketing

For small to mid-tier brands who don’t have a large marketing budget, there are various ways to achieve success by organically using Instagram. Some iGaming brands use the medium to post satirical images. Paddy Power, for example, posts memes and funny videos based on current affairs in their field.

Others, such as BGO Casino, have attracted tens of thousands of followers by regularly posting inspirational quotes and motivating pictures. Either of these post styles are easily shareable because they resonate with audiences.

One such example of successful organic marketing from a mainstream brand was Starbucks’ #WhiteCupContest in 2014. The campaign received almost 4,000 entries, while tying their brand to a fun and creative message.

Such promotions could be replicated around major events. For example, sportsbooks could create a hashtag for Premier League supporters to use when they post selfies – with a prize awarded to whoever takes the best picture.

The story and live video features make Instagram a useful medium to increase brand exposure during live events and for major company announcements. Like Snapchat, they provide your audience with direct and exclusive access.

Even users who don’t follow your profile can still watch your stories, allowing you to showcase events as they unfold and engage a wider audience. To add a personal touch, you can also add local geo-filters free of charge.

Instagram also allows brands to target potential players and traders’ news feeds with promoted posts. While this is less cost-effective than organic content, it directly reaches out to your target audience beyond your existing follower-base and automatically increases exposure. Non-generic ads tend to achieve better engagement rates, and could be themed around important dates such as the weekend’s football matches or upcoming live poker events.

Affiliate Marketing

When it comes to supporting brands’ digital marketing strategies, Instagram is also an important channel for the affiliate channel. It’s easy for affiliate partners to publish enticing images of brands’ products or offers. This drives traffic directly to affiliates’ sites, where it’s then driven on to brands’ websites. A benefit is that this works for all budgets, because affiliates can choose whether or not they wish to promote the post.

Affiliates also engage with partner brands’ Instagram accounts and generate awareness through influencing. This works best for affiliates with an already large, engaged follower base. By partnering with bigger affiliates, small to mid-tier brands can increase their exposure further than they would through search engine rankings or individually pushing their social accounts.

Looking Ahead…

Instagram’s importance as a digital marketing medium will likely only grow in the future. As more brands become adept using it, iGaming and financial trading sites will need to become more original with their marketing strategies. The pioneers who leverage the platform now will gain an advantage over their competitors, in terms of experience as well as reaping the financial and PR benefits.

At Income Access, we offer content marketing services and social media consulting on top of our other digital marketing services and affiliate software. To find out more, please don’t hesitate to reach out.