How Brands can use Instagram to promote their Products

Instagram image courtesy of Android Tipsters

Grow your business with Instagram

One of the most popular social media platforms that exists today as of this writing is Instagram.  In this day and age where we document almost everything we do…in almost every place that we journey to, the ‘Gram has a user base of over 400+ active million IG’ers worldwide.  It is clearly a smartphone favourite, with an average of 80 million photos being uploaded each day.

While Instagram serves us to archive our personal moments in time, it is a great tool for businesses to create product and brand awareness.  The video I put together focuses on footwear cleaning product Crep Protect.  I discovered this particular brand through various sneaker brand IG pages that I follow, who would continually praise their products and consistency.   It is almost the equivalent to a digital version mention in terms of word of mouth marketing.  This is really an instrumental measurement of success.  Building a powerhouse brand in a short period of time is the goal.  I was curious to see if their products lived up to the hype and needless to say, the results did deliver.

The smartphone that I used to document my Instagram video was the One Plus One, which debuted in 2014.  OPO has been praised for their low end price point.  Their cell phones are available for $3-$400 cheaper than your typical Samsung/Apple models.

The shooting techniques that I used were very straight forward for this particular video.  There are 23 filters available on Instagram.  I elected not to use any of them since this video is demonstrating a product in action. I relied on natural lighting as I was outdoors while filming.  It was mainly point and shoot, doing my best to keep the shots focusing on the cleaning agent to get the job done.   I would have liked to use a zoom in option, but I believe that feature will be probably happen down the road as they’ve introduced some long requested viewing enhancements this past year.

What’s great about Instagram video is that it allows you to pause your shots and resume recording, similar to how Vine operates.  Previous versions of IG video were only available in one continuous 15 second shot.  The recent 60 second max recording allows Instagram users to tell a better story with ample time that is not too short or too long to lose viewer interest.

Biggest Instagram Takeaway

From a business point of view, the main take away is that Instagram is a valuable resource tool for companies. It is a popular communication tool that is user friendly to use, that really helps generate interest in a product.  Especially for the sneaker culture, with the rise of blogs and in particularly Instagram itself in the last 6 years, these platforms really help curate these same users of the ‘Gram to consume more content which can lead to a buyer purchase.  It is a winning formula because consumers are always hungry for new content.  Businesses have this digital outlet to highlight upcoming releases, provide product information and create a buzz all at the same time.


Chaykowski, Kathleen. “Why Instagram Extended Its Video-Length Limit To 60 Seconds.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 29 Mar. 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2016. <

Ratcliff, Christopher. “23 Up-to-date Stats and Facts about Instagram You Need to Know.” 23 Uptodate Stats and Facts about Instagram You Need to Know Comments. ClickZ Group, 20 Apr. 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2016. <

Understanding how YouTube can better your Business

Image Credit: Brad Hall

YouTube is Big Business

Since 2005, the world has gotten to know the phenomenon that is YouTube.  In the past decade, we have seen our fair share of various cat videos, cooking videos, DIY videos and much more.  Lately, the new trend are businesses gravitating towards investing into online videos.  While many will look at YouTube as just simply leisure and entertainment, it is more than that.  There is a significant amount of money that is being generated through this video sharing site.

I am trying to convince my business partner on taking this shoe boutique idea and turning it into a reality.  Obviously I want to drive physical traffic to the store.  But at the same time, I envision leveraging social media heavily by bringing digital traffic to our website as well.  I can visualize the creation of video product reviews, un-boxing videos to generate consumer excitement.  In doing so, I can provide insightful product knowledge as well.  The user generated content ideas are endless.  Ultimately,  I would want to increase our subscriber channel count.   This can lead to a sales conversion.  The potential to monetize this channel is very attainable  if we can incorporate the right content strategy.

With the help of Canva, I put together this SlideShare presentation for him to really see just how big YouTube is.  I wanted to provide some high level facts and more importantly showcase how this platform can really help launch a new business.  I also wanted to paint a picture of how an existing business that is lacking in digital presence can get on board with a  successful YouTube channel.

What makes a great Image Editor like Pixlr and Snapseed?

Original Image Not Edited
Original Image Not Edited

In today’s blog post, I will discuss my image editor experiences using two great tools, one for desktop and one for mobile.  Photography is a thing of beauty.  You can either capture a moment or stage a moment. And the fun part that comes after is editing that moment.  The figure to ground picture above is the original un-edited photo of me modeling a brand new, unworn pair of the retro Air Jordan 6 Maroon model.

Pixlr edited photo
Pixlr edited photo

Image Editor: Pixlr 

I was playing around with this desktop image editor called Pixlr and was quite amazed with what you can do to modify/enhance an image.  The first thing I did was add the iconic Air Jordan “Jumpman” logo that I found on Wikipedia.  You can do this by adding an image into an existing image under the Adjustment tab followed by clicking on the Add Image option.   I then added a maroon colored text description of the shoe by selecting the Type icon which has a variety of fonts to choose from. I selected the Sans category and chose a simple Roboto font to work with.

Next, I added this light rising sun looking filter to the image by clicking on the Overlay option and picking the Retro poster -> Beam filter at 40% usage.  Finally I had to make this image look straight fire, so I went back to Overlay, clicked on Flame -> Gap and now my image is the hottest looking thing since sliced bread!  Overall it was a great experience playing with this desktop editor, I definitely recommend it to anyone looking to boost or play around with your images.

Snapseed edited image
Snapseed edited image

Image Editor: Snapseed

I downloaded the Snapseed app to my Android phone and started to tinker with the image.  I wasn’t looking to do much with this image and kepy it simple and polished.  The first thing I did was add a white, inside curved border around the image.  This can be achieved by scrolling down to Filters -> Frames section and selecting the first option of 23 available.  I then applied a HD looking filter for a lighter feel.  I went through the path of Filters -> HDR Scape -> People to get this look.  Finally, I added a pre-made button with some text to describe my image.  Under the Tools area, I clicked on Text, chose the option called N3 and modified the text inside with a lighter gradient in the background.  Overall I was happy with this mobile image editor.  It definitely comes in handy when you’re on the road and you want to tinker with some of your shots.