Instagram signs the first $100 million ad deal & 5 tips from my book to get your business onto Instagram
Facebook is starting to monetise the Instagram platform which it bought in 2012 for $715 million as Instagram signs $100 million ad deal. The deal was signed with Omnicom Media Group which houses several ad and agency companies such as BBDO, DDB and TBWA/Chiat/Day which will use Instagram for their clients to run global campaigns over a 12 month period.
According to an article posted on Ad Age, Ads in Instagram will work differently to regular Intagram posts. Ads will be controlled so that the post continues to stay inside the users stream for an extended period of time.
“This doesn’t change our advertising strategy moving forward — people will continue to see a limited number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from select brands who already have a strong presence on Instagram,” said Jim Squires, director of market operations for Instagram, in a statement. “Our teams are going to work hand in hand to develop and execute campaigns that provide people with amazing imagery. This is an exciting new chapter and we’re looking forward to the great creative content that comes out of this partnership.”
According Jim Squires statements, it would seem like Instagram’s ads will, at least initially, be very manual as they target specific set of Instagram users. We can assume that as more agencies sign up to the Instagram advertising program, these processes and systems will be enhanced. Instagram did state that they will be working with “very limited number of long-term partners,” and so we should not expect a Facebook like interface for anyone company to use.
Instagram for every Business
But what is your business does not have millions laying around the company’s bank accounts to be used on ads – can Instagram be used for business ?
Whilst Instagram is in discussions with multi-million dollar ad agencies, regular business are able to advantage of Instagram with no money at all. The “catch” with Instagram is being able to walk the fine line between blatant advertising and being a “cool brand on Instagram”. This is an art that International brands like Nike, GoPro, Redbull, Levis and Playboy have mastered gaining millions of followers who regularly interact with the company.
On the South African front, Instagram is growing at a rapid pace. From 100 000 in 2012 to 680 000 in 2013 according to the SA Social Media Landscape study done by Fuseware and World Wide Worx. In South Africa, Instagram for business is in its infancy and only a handful of brands have really started to take advantage of this visual platform to engage with customers. Even fewer are doing it correctly.
According to the same study: Fewer that 1 in 10 [brands] use Instagram. When I inquired as to why companies are not on Instagram platform, the common reason given is that businesses simply don’t know how to use Instagram beyond their own personal photo-sharing experience.
[Inserting a shameless plug here] In my book, Mastering Instagram for Business –All you need to know about growing your business with Instagram, I look at the practical side of Instagram and cover various topics such as: How to set up a businesses Instagram account, How should businesses use Instagram, What should business post to gain engagement with customers, how business can grow a highly active community without spending millions, what are the secret weapons of Instagram and how to use them effectively. The book is a practical How-To guide to get your businesses going immediately – no theory, just practical advice.
Here are some 5 key tips on how to use Instagram for business:
1. Instagram is not a camera – Do not use the Instagram app to take photos but rather use your phone’s camera to take the shot. Use the app to upload the image.
2. Instagrams are squares – Instagrams are squares so you have to think in squares. There are no landscape/ panoramic shots.
3. Hashtags – There are Twitter Hashtags and there are Instagram Hashtags. These are not the same all the time. Using Descriptor Hashtag can help gain new followers and more engagements with your business products and services.
4. Instagrams are moments – Businesses need to stop advertising their products but rather capture the correct moment and share that with the Instagram community.
5. Instagram can be measured – There are several tools such as INK 361 (http://ink361.com) and Followgram (http://followgram.me) that allow you to measure and reads vital stats on your Instagram account.