In our fast moving and constantly changing age, the popular photo and video app, Instagram, is becoming an increasingly enticing tool for advertisers.
Instagram is a particularly popular app. among the lucrative and highly fashion-conscious 18-35 age-group who are among the most engaged of online audiences and who enjoy checking out high quality, beautiful, artsy, and otherwise appealing photo and video imagery on a daily basis.
With more than 200 million followers globally, Instagram not only has the potential to be one of the largest mobile advertising platforms, but also has the potential to reach a widespread, engaged and targeted audience with specifically focused and creative visual content on a timely and topical basis. Instagram photos and videos are very easy to upload and, once posted, are instantly shared across Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr.
Instagram offers great opportunities to advertisers who are looking to reinforce or shift perception of their brand image, get the word out about a new product or even to reach new audiences.
It can be used in conjunction with print media, TV and other online campaigns by providing another medium for reiterating a broad consistent message in a timely, appealing and very state-of-the-art, visually creative way.
Instagram targets ads to specific audiences and manages the content so that it reaches a wide number of followers but only appears once or twice to each Instagramer.
It is a great way to start an artistic conversation with consumers who may reply with their own images in a type of photo conversation.
Take for example one of the first advertising campaigns to appear on Instagram – Chobani Greek yoghurt (@chobani) – whose aim was to get across the message that their product can be eaten at any time of day, not just for breakfast. Chobani posted a series of images on Instagram showing the different ways in which Greek yoghurt can be combined with other foods to create both savory and sweet meals and snacks – and in return inspired an influx of pictures from Greek yoghurt eaters showing their own favorite yoghurt recipes.
Likewise, Disneyland has recognized that their own fans are their best advertisement and there is an ongoing Instagram conversation at the hashtag @disneyland featuring captivating photographs from people who all want to reiterate the message that Disneyland is, indeed, “The Happiest Place on Earth”.
More recently Lexus took a series of Instagram images created by Lexus car fans who had gathered specifically to take part in this advertising event. Lexus collected the images created by enthusiasts and put them together to make a video that was then posted online at #lexusinstafilm.
As the popularity of Instagram as an advertising medium continues to take off, the company has now responded to requests from advertisers for more insight into how audiences respond to and engage with the advertising content they receive.
Instagram has been working together with advertisers to perfect ways of providing the required information and announced it will shortly be unveiling a new series of tools designed to enable advertisers to understand more about how both their organic content and paid ad campaigns are performing.
The new suite of tools will focus on three main areas:
Account Insight: allowing businesses to see how Instagram is increasing their brand awareness through reach, engagement and impressions.
Individual Ad Insight: using brand analytics (reach, frequency and impressions) to show how each individual paid ad is performing with regard to the specific targeted audience.
Staging of Ads: allowing marketers and their creative teams to collaborate, preview, and save creatives for future advertising campaigns.
The new suite of tools will give businesses real-time access to the data they need for better understanding of the way their audience use Instagram – and so enable them to fine tune campaigns to post images and videos at the specific time of day when they will be best received.
For more insight into how to advertise on Instagram, check out the Instagram for Business blog and Visit the Instagram Gallery at Advertising Week 2014.
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