Tia Castagno, global head of innovation and content at Vizeum, reflects on the potential of social platform Instagram.
Instagram is now widely recognised as one of the most loved social platforms, both by its communities as well as brands. The social platform’s head of business operations Amy Cole told Dmexco 2015 delegates why.
In a nutshell the secret formula of Instagram is that it is a platform:
– Built for community
– Focused on simplicity
– To inspire creativity
Over the past five years, the community has grown exponentially, counting 300 million people today and growing by the second. Some 70% of those accounts are from outside the US. What external drivers have powered this success? Mainly two, in the eyes of Amy Cole: the rise of mobile and the power of images, whichAmy nicely summarised as a “camera in your pocket at all times”.
As has been well documented, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words. Power of images to convey emotions is undiscussed.
Picture moments carry the weight of the world, if we think of historical or iconic images circulated at any given times.
“They can change our mood instantly. They can make us think differently,” Amy said.
Instagram’s strength is that it puts community first: the 70 million photos posted daily and 2.5 billion likes daily are strong proof of that. Thirteen to 24 year-olds use Instagram all day long, it accompanies them through any moment of the day.
Amy described Instagram, quite poetically, as “a visual pulse on the world”. We only have to think about the emotions the recent Pluto photos generated. It was the first time that NASA published on social media first.
So, how do brands fit in? Brands are in fact some of the most creative accounts on Instagram. They beautifully leverage shared passion points. In addition, Instagram today is perfectly placed to offer an advertising platform for brands and 97% of them report significant brand lift in ad recall – 2.8 times greater than Nielsen ad recall norms.
I know by now you are all waiting to hear what the future of Instagram holds. The answer is a lot, and most of it coming out this very month.
New formats, more compelling and easier to run
How excited have we all been about the long-awaited introduction of landscape images and videos? Well, they are finally here. Also, 30 seconds videos for advertisers have just launched. And of course, Instagram is finally fully leveraging the power of ‘Better Together’, integrating with Facebook power editor. The unified backend technology makes it seamless for a brand to plan campaigns.
Beyond branding, to direct response advertising
Now you can take any further action starting from a picture, go shopping, download an app and much more. Check the madedotcom account for a best practise example. It really is neat. It shows that advertisers are thinking of the audience and designing purposely for them on Instagram.
Expanding to all advertisers large and small
From Vogue and Asos to the local flower shop. And also expanding globally. Insta ads will be available globally soon this month.
All this is making for a better community experience. Creativity is on a high on Instagram, as brands tend to blindly follow three unspoken rules.
- On-brand : Instagram is a window into who you are and brands take that very seriously. Check out turkishairlines
- No brand lands on Instagram without ‘Having a concept’ check out #unfashion campaign
- Craft really matters. Check out Mercedes Benz’ US campaign
Whether for marketing purposes or your own personal enjoyment, Instagram has all it takes to make it with flying colours to the next phase of social media.