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Instagram Direct: How Advertisers Can Take Advantage of It

Instagram last Thursday introduced Instagram Direct, a messaging service. With this new release, users will now able to send each other photos and videos privately. That said, only users who follow each other can use this function. If I followed a celebrity who didn’t follow me back, I wouldn’t be able to send messages to him or her. 
While it’s still in its introductory phase, Instagram Direct will surely benefit advertisers significantly. Here’s how:
  1. Send customized content to specific consumers

    With the new private messaging service, retailers can use it to send customized content to specific groups of consumers. Brands can assess the types of people their followers interact with, the types of apparels their fans wear, and places their shoppers visit to see how their products or services suit their buyers’ lifestyles. This tactic is particularly useful for apparel merchants because they can determine the types of apparels that best suit their followers based on the clothes and locations settings their follower wear or attend in their photos. This in turn can heighten these retailers’ engagements with their fans as  they’re interacting with them using highly customized content. This can improve the brand preference and most importantly, the conversion rate.
  2. Reduce advertising costs

    Instagram Direct enables users to tell their friends about a sales promotion effortlessly. This in turn can reduce online retailers’ advertising costs as they can utilize Instagram Direct to engage in word-of-mouth promotion (WOM). This enables retailers to substitute expensive hard-sell tactics and traditional approaches such as newspaper ads and radio commercials with relatively inexpensive Instagram Direct promotions. The production cost will be significantly cheaper than approaches because all merchants have to do is take a photo with their phones and upload them onto the Internet. 
  3. Target qualified consumers

    By using Instagram Direct to interact with their existing followers, brands can leverage their current fan-base to expand their reach to other qualified prospects. They can run special contests to encourage their followers to promote their products or services to their peers. This enables retailers to break the ice and engage with prospective customers who they haven’t connected with. Moreover, it allows merchants to target qualified prospects easily as their followers are more likely to share the promotion to peers who they think are generally interested in the offering. This enables merchants to explore new, qualified markets without having to do extensive research or advertising. 
Just like every other social media platform, Instagram is slowly but gradually becoming a potent advertising tool. By introducing Instagram Direct after its recent Instagram ads release, Instagram continues to provide brands with advertising-friendly tools that’ll help them increase their reach, content-customization, efficiency, and most importantly, bottom-line.