Marketing with Instagram

– Jess Graham

With more than 100 million active users per month, Instagram’s popularity has skyrocketed since being acquired by Facebook in April last year. In fact, it’s enjoyed a 500% increase in users in just one year. So too, has its popularity risen amongst brands, with 67% of the world’s top brands now using it as a platform to engage with consumers. Whilst this is still below the number of brands using Pinterest, brands can communicate directly with an audience of 7 million on Instagram, 14 times that of Pinterest.

The biggest brands on Instagram include:

  1. 1. Nike — 1.31 million followers
  2. 2. MTV — 1.29 million
  3. 3. Starbucks — 1.2 million
  4. 4. Burberry — 761,000
  5. 5. Gucci — 561,000

Not surprisingly, those that have seen the most success on Instagram to date have been luxury and apparel brands, whilst entertainment giant, MTV has effectively utilised hashtags to provide a live stream of photos from events such as the MTV Music Awards.

Only time will tell how Instagram can be utilised effectively to generate a definitive return on investment and if, like Facebook, it will integrate an ad platform. Regardless of this however, perhaps the most appealing feature of Instagram is that brands don’t force their message on people, rather people choose to engage with the brand, making it a very appealing marketing tool.