When a company grows from one million to over 200 million users in about four years, it’s worth a conversation. Instagram has created a new medium for companies to market their brand. Users are annoyed by sponsorship clutter on their Facebook and Twitter feeds, but a recent Forrester Study has showed that Instagram has bucked that trend. The study results state, “top brands’ Instagram posts generated a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21%. That means Instagram delivered these brands 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.” Another study by Shareablee showed that an Instagram brand post generates more than double the amount of comments, likes and shares than a comparable Facebook post. Why is this happening? There are a few reasons, but it’s safe to say Facebook got a steal when they bought this mobile app for $1 billion.
In my opinion, Instagram’s sponsored ads are not as blatant as a Twitter or Facebook advertisement. The user is fixated by the picture and may not even notice it’s a promotion. With a Facebook sponsored tweet, a consumer could feel irritated that someone is infiltrating their feed with something they did not ask for. If you see below, the Ben and Jerry’s Instagram ad is not pitching you anything or making you click anywhere. Another savvy move by Instagram was how they title the post. All it says is “sponsored” in the right corner of the post compared to Twitter where it’s obvious who is marketing their brand. With a Twitter or Facebook post you have a very forward message trying to sell you and push you to a pop-up site.
Users are more engaged on Instagram due to the access. With Facebook, someone could get bored by seeing a friend update their status three times a day. Instagram users are allowed to see the ins and outs of their favorite athlete or celebrity’s life. Marketers see dollar signs when Lebron James gets 255,000 likes by just posting a selfie wearing a sweat suit and new sneakers. GoPro is the perfect example of great advertising on Instagram. This product is practically sold by its users but the company wanted to fixate consumers with eye-catching photos instead of the videos you see on TV.
A Picture is worth a Thousand Words:
Instagram is not complicated and that lack of complication is why engagement continually has risen. Facebook is a profile of your life. On Facebook, you can find a job, find an old friend, or maybe even meet the love of your life. With Instagram, you are simply drawn in to a photo. Every post starts with a picture first and then if you’re still interested you read the text. If you like the sponsored ad, nothing will pop up taking you to a new page. Likes are being measured by marketers and prove to be valuable while selling to clients.
From my experience, the biggest factor to why Instagram has been so successful marketing-wise is that it’s not begging a consumer for a call-to-action. Furthermore, Instagram actually gives the viewer the ability to like or dislike an ad and then can explain why they made that decision. What a thought, right? The ads allow someone to look at a picture and move on if they choose. With Facebook or Twitter, you are swarmed by ads in your feed and on banners. Marketers need to decide whether a specific message or a picture will keep their consumer base engaged.
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