When Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion, many people wondered if a photo-sharing app could really bring a healthy enough ROI to justify the move. Less than two years later, the answer is a resounding, ‘Yes!’ Mark Zuckerberg recently announced the popular social media app has crossed the 200-million-user threshold, and is still growing. The growth doesn’t appear to be slowing anytime soon, either, with 50 million of Instagram’s 200 million users signing up in the last six months.
It is the mainstream popularity and explosion of growth that has turned a niche photo app into a marketer’s best friend. Last November 1st, the folks at Instagram announced their intentions to integrate ads into users’ news feeds. The idea was for companies to share high quality content without disrupting the smooth flowing feed users had grown so fond of. The results from the first few campaigns were successful.
Early Reports: Advertising Campaigns Successful on Instagram
When examining the first four ad campaigns, Instagram leaders analyzed metrics such as ad recall, brand awareness, and reach. There was a reported 32-point incremental lift in ad recall per campaign for users who were continually exposed to a specific campaign versus control groups. Brand awareness experienced a 10 percent improvement across all brands, including a 17 percent increase for Ben & Jerry’s. The reach of the four advertising campaigns was by far the most impressive metric, with Levi reaching 7.4 million people in the U.S. and Ben & Jerry’s reaching 9.8 million in the U.S.
Develop Your Own Instagram Strategy
While official Instagram ad campaigns may not be in your budget, there are dozens of other marketing capabilities brands can take advantage of on Instagram. Here are a few helpful tips to follow for reaching Instagram’s 2 million users:
- Be balanced. Your Instagram feed should tell a story, not spit out advertisements. Familiarize yourself with how Instagram works, what type of content is successful, and how your brand can tell its story without screaming ‘corporate account.’
- Follow back. This is one of the best things to do for your brand’s Instagram strategy. There is no better way to understand what customers are like than by following them on Instagram. You can begin to understand their needs, wants, and desires through observation. Best of all: it’s free!
- Photo contests. By running a photo contest, you are turning followers into personalized advertisements. Not only are followers interacting with your brand, but they are also sharing your brand with their followers.
What is the most successful Instagram strategy for your brand?