He is the Founder and CEO of Kubb&co – a digital agency based in Copenhagen that helps brands become bigger, better & more effective. They do this through cutting edge social media, digital marketing and content creation. The agency’s services include: social media, content marketing, video production, web and apps, growth hacking, PR, Facebook and other social media advertising, SEO/SEM, digital strategy, and marketing automation. Chris “Kubby” Kubbernus was a speaker at Digitalium 2018, where I had the chance to meet and talk to him. The main learnings are here.
interview by Romanita Oprea
What are Instagram’s trends in 2018-2019?
There is so much more content. People are more and more interested in Instagram, the platform is growing and will continue to grow. What we are seeing is more and more professional content, professional things coming over. Now, the pictures with cats still work, but we are seeing more and more professional effort in content creation, so companies like World Economic Forum or Bloomberg or Discovery Network or Disney are really looking at the media play on Instagram and providing people with good stories, good engagement, long-full content, Instagram type TV came out this year and that will be prompted out by big companies. Those companies will be going deep into this area and creating channels – Disney Instagram Channel and you will find specific content there for that sort of thing.
We, as people, don’t like advertising, so I think that we are going to see better targeting, better retargeting, so we can target our fans and followers on Instagram properly, get the content out to them. But it’s going to be harder for the content to get out there. We are going to see the algorithms really crackdown on stuff that doesn’t engage very well, who doesn’t do very well and doesn’t reach very well. And I think that a lot of people’s stuff is going to get hurt because of that. We have to find new ways of reaching our fans.
Do you think that is going to be just like in Facebook’s case where they will try and push more what people create than what brands create?
Absolutely. I think that will be in a year or two. Facebook is going to see that their revenues are dwindling, just like their platforms dwindle a little bit, Instagram is going to be the new player that they are going to push to get more revenue in. So I think that what will they do is similar to the strategy they had for Facebook – “Hey brands, come in! Here is your community, this is so great!!! everything is free” and then they will crash the brands’ organic reach and make us pay.
That is definitely coming and we can see that as Facebook is smart and they know how to make money. They will leave the doors open for a little bit to make people and brands feel really good and then they are going to start asking for brands to pay.
Do you believe that Instagram works only for some types of brands and others shouldn’t even try or it works good for any type of brand?
What is surprising is that we’ve seen it works for all sorts of brands. And brands that you would never thought is going to, but that actually do better on Instagram than in any other platform. For example, we work for some pharmaceutical companies and they get the best engagement, reach and impressions on Instagram.
Which type of content? Is it more video?
Mixed content. It’s a lot of value based content. Giving the community (the nurses, the doctors, the patients) valuable content that isn’t just about pushing a drug ore pushing a medical device, but rather giving them knowledge to: a) to their jobs better and b) live their lives better. And if you leave with that, with the humanistic approach of “we are not here to sell drugs, we are here to make people’s lives better” than you will do way better, on any social media platform. That is, I think, the kind of content that works best, the one that gives people ways to improve their lives.
Do you think is easier or harder to have to express your message in a shorter period of time and on a limited space?
I think what we see is that brands have a hard time bringing content. No matter what. It doesn’t matter what size it is (large, small), content takes time and we see that brands struggle with it and we also see that they are very self-conscious about it, trying to figure out if this is the right thing for them. They are a little scared of putting out there the wrong content. Is it or not approved by legal, etc? If you want to go down those roads you will pay the price, because you will not be fast enough for the market.
I look at content as a product. All the social media platforms give us the opportunity to get our product in front of more people. And that product is content. But if you wait too long with that product and you miss the boat, then all that work that you put into it is gone. So you need to find that balance of spending time on it and how much time and getting it out there. And I think that most brands haven’t figured out that one yet. So, long, short, doesn’t really matter. What matters is are you really spending the appropriate time in getting it out there in a good way and in good enough time.
You talked a lot about what TO DO on Instagram. Tell us what NOT TO DO on Instagram.
Do not sleep on it or spend too much time strategizing. You are not going to have the correct strategy straight out the gate. Nobody does. Instead of spending 5 weeks in analyzing hashtags or analyzing editors’ content or any other type of thing, before you actually press publish, the truth is – none of that matters. The minute you press publish that is the minute you find out what works and what doesn’t.
Don’t post and ghost. A lot of companies would just post and not engage with their communities, will not take questions, will not give answers. They simply use it as a megaphone that they’re screaming at the world with. It doesn’t work. It’s not where we are anymore. The truth is that they don’t see this golden opportunity that they can literary talk to their costumers every single day. If you want to build a relationship with a costumer, a long term relationship, you will talk to them every single day. And that happens in real life as well – with your friends, family, etc.
Take away tips from Kubby:
- Optimize your username with keywords;
- Publish 3-4 times a day, whenever your audience is likely to go on Instagram;
- Use location hashtags because they receive more views than other hashtags;
- Be the first in your niche to use new features;
- The bigger the # or sticker, the higher the likeliness to rank;
- Video gets the biggest engagement and reach. You can have even more success by adding text to it;
- Put a play thumbnails for your video, because people will be more likely to click on it;
- Use the multiple upload feature (making a story is quite a good way of looking at it);
- A good marketing strategy is to use new features, tools and platforms first, because it says something about your brand, that you are a cutting edge brand and willing to try new things;
- Use Instagram stories daily, 5-10 times a day;
- Add existing content to make content to upload to Instagram stories;
- Use the @ feature in Instagram stories- if you are with somebody, if you are doing a collaboration, if it’s somebody on your team, a friend or somebody you like to be doing business with the @mention features are a good way of exposing other people to the content and their friends and followers to your content;
- In your captions for your posts, add your own username;
- Pay for shoutouts;
- Stories should be broken up with polls, GIFs, like meters and questions.