Instagram is the retro-Polaroid photo app that has made its way into our Smartphones and into our hearts. Enabling us to point, click and share beautiful photos and videos, content can be instantly enhanced with effects that once required hours of work in a darkroom full of chemicals.
The app’s founders’, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched Instagram in October 2010. Two years later, they achieved the “Silicon Dream”, and Instagram was acquired by Facebook.
Instagram has fueled the popularity of #hashtags, and has spawned a new generation of “smartphone photographers”, hungry to discover and share the user-generated contents of this award-winning application.
With more than 100 million active users engaging on the app, forward-thinking brands have also been saying “cheese”. Here’s what’s in store for brands looking to increase awareness and amplify their social share of voice on the Instagram platform.
Source : socialmediatoday.com
Instagram opened its doors to advertisers this September, offering brands the opportunity to create sponsored posts. Currently available to US users only, many major American brands have been crafting sponsored content on Instagram including Adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, General Electric, Levi’s and Paypal.
Source : http://techcrunch.com
How Sponsored Posts Work
Similar to how Facebook serves sponsored stories based on an individual’s activities and interests, Instagram is trying to find the most relevant way to match native advertisements (aka sponsored posts) to individual user profiles. Instagram does this by mining information from users’ Facebook accounts, such as the people and pages they follow, their interests and other profile information that users choose to disclose on the social network.
On the flip side, Instagram users can choose to hide sponsored posts by clicking on the ellipsis found on the bottom right corner of each post. Instagram has also stated that companies won’t be allowed to use pictures posted by users to display ads.
Capturing Marketing Opportunity from Instagram
Instagram started out as a space where people could capture and share special moments in time. Today, it wants to extend that opportunity to brands, while ensuring that it doesn’t detract from the experience Instagram users have grown to love. The ‘hide’ function is one example of how Instagram is attempting to softly integrate advertising into the platform.
67% of the world’s biggest brands are already on Instagram but it takes more than an account to capture marketing opportunity from the platform. To succeed, (at any content marketing for that matter) brands must first understand who their audience is, what their values are, what inspires them, what they share and how they share. The more creative and aligned your visuals, hashtags and captions are with your audience’s behaviours and needs, the more motivated they’ll be to engage with your ‘’sponsored post’’.
There are some great examples of how brands have successfully utilized Instagram for their marketing efforts here.
According to eMarketer, “advertisers are expected to spend $9.52 billion this year on social network ads including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, representing 8.1% of their global online budget. Instagram is chiming in with its own sponsored content offering and presents some really interesting opportunities for brands to market themselves through what could be considered a non-traditional take on a traditional form of advertising. Here, users are empowered to choose how they will or will not interact with advertising—so only the brands that invest the time and energy in aligning their content with their audience’s wants will capture attention that begets action.