Our Experience With Instagram
After initially launching in 2010, Instagram was later acquired in 2012 by Facebook. Facebook then immediately started collecting more data on users in an effort to make Instagram like Facebook - a profitable data resource for advertisers.
Facebook announced their intent for Instagram to be used as an advertising platform in 2014, and since then it’s become a resource for companies trying to establish their presence and connect with their audience by posting photo, video, and carousel ads on the platform.
Most of our clients are currently exploring Instagram and have linked to it from their websites. Some, such as Glazer’s Camera (a natural for a visual format like Instagram), have it embedded in their blog. Others like Oiselle have it as an input source for customers wearing their products. And others like Seattle Chocolates use it as part of their Every Chocolate Gives program. All integrations require small bits of development to achieve, and provide a mechanism for customers to share images that get presented in the company domain.
The Benefits - “Build Your Brand, Increase Your Reach”
Connect Your Brand and Your Website: Including a link to your Instagram account on your website is one of the most basic steps that can be taken with Instagram. Beyond this, you can configure your website to display Instagram posts from your own account and from other Instagram users that mention your brand. Whether through a custom built widget or a unique content display for your website, how you display posts is entirely up to you.
Marketing API: There are multiple API connections that can be used for a wide variety of services. You can manage your audience by integrating your CRM with your Instagram, or increase your creative control over ad creation within Facebook/Instagram’s campaign structure.
Website Actions: You can use Instagram to get people to take specific actions on your website, such as subscribing to an email list.
Analytics: Track conversions, click throughs, and analyze your followers to understand how Instagram is working as a channel for you.
Instagram Ad Formats: Instagram is dominantly a visually-based platform and to leverage this into support for marketers it offers enhanced ad formats, targeting, and buying options to drive traffic to your website. You have the choice of posting your ad as a photo, video, or carousel ad.
Carousel Ads: This allows you to post more than one image at a time, giving your audience the ability to swipe horizontally for additional images and a call to action button.
Manage Facebook and Instagram Ads Centrally: Because Facebook owns Instagram, their ad management systems are shared. This means that you can manage, post, and create ads for both platforms from the same place.
Ads Manager: An easy template for building ads based on objectives and content types. This allows you to connect your website and Facebook page to your Instagram.
Power Editor: Allows you to create, post, and control multiple ads at once. Using this to run ads on Instagram will require a Facebook account, but the benefit of having these two platforms linked is that they pull information from each other to support themselves.
When Do We Recommend Instagram
We recommend the use of Instagram to anyone. Although, for the most part, it’s used by B2C companies it can be supportive for well-strategized B2B marketing campaigns as well.
For example, Salesforce Marketing used Instagram to host a carousel ad campaign to encourage a highly targeted audience to register for their Dreamforce conference.
Because of it’s visual-focus, Instagram is a great tool for generating brand awareness. Largely, what you can do with Instagram is determined by your own creativity, and with an available audience of over 400 million, Instagram provides an invaluable source of outreach.