Over the past few years, an application called Instagram has really taken hold of the public – the team behind the popular photo-sharing app recently announced that they have more than 80 million users currently signed up to their service. As a part of this announcement, the team also released statistics that suggest 40% of these users (so, around 32,000,000 users) are actually accounts held on behalf of some of the top brands in the world, including MTV and Starbucks. So, how are these brands using Instagram to boost their online marketing strategies?
Basically, Instagram is a mobile-only application (once reserved for iPhone owners, but now also available to Android users) that allows account-holders to take photos of things they like, edit them and upload them to a profile that is visible to their followers. Account-holders can also follow other people’s accounts, liking photos that appeal to them and sharing them on through other social networking channels, like Facebook and Twitter buy instagram likes and followers. Whilst many may think that the app doesn’t have much online marketing value, the top brands of the world have proven otherwise.
Looking at Instagram’s statistics, it becomes clear that luxury brands tend to be the most followed by consumers. Brands like Burberry, Tiffany & Co, Armani, Mercedes Benz and Gucci all feature in the top 10 list for the highest amount of followers. These brands were quick to spot a new way in which they could engage consumers through an online marketing campaign that really doesn’t feel like one – all they have to do is upload some attractive images of their latest products or lines and let the power of the internet do the rest.
Some brands have really embraced the purpose of Instagram and aren’t using the application to promote their latest products and online marketing propaganda at all. Instead, they upload highly attractive (and highly edited) images of their products, taken by professional photographers and fans alike. Whilst the products in some of these images could be a few years old and no longer available brand new, the effect of getting the brand name out there is still the same. This is how Instagram is meant to be used, and followers are quick to recognize this.
With only 40% of the world’s top brands using Instagram to give their online marketing strategies an extra boost, there is a huge opening for some of the more niche brands to get their foot in the door. At the end of the day, it isn’t all about the amount of followers you have – the amount of interaction between your followers and images is equally important. Even a brand with a considerably low number of followers (say, a few thousand) could still perform well if user interaction is quite high.