In 2013 when I launched the first e-book on Instagram in Romania there were voices who said that a sane company would not give more than 3 minutes for a campaign on this network. Of course, at that time, Instagram was just a network for hipsters fleeing from Facebook or Flickr because they just wanted a place of their own.
But time passed and strong companies started engaging with Instagram and they managed to not only to draw the attention of the press but also to build a community eager for creative content.
For example, National Geographic has gained over twenty million users by managing to bring extraordinary places from all over the world to people’s phones. And when have they posted their first photo on Instagram? January 5, 2012 (I recommend you read this interview on their strategy on Instagram). So before my e-book was released. And we could say NG is quite a sane company, eh?
Another sane company is The New York Times; they launched 8 Instagram accounts: video team, sports area, marketing department, events team and food, travel, fashion and content for T Magazine. Exactly, each one of them targeted for specific needs of their followers.
And I am certain you know other big companies that have Instagram in the top 3 most used social networks in their communication strategy.
And when giant companies start using a certain network and invest big money into the platform in question, then I think the smaller ones should listen and take notice.
I wrote a post where I pointed out good practices that a company could have on Instagram in 2015 (read here). It’s past the first half of 2015 and I’m already noticing an improvement in this area in many companies. There’s always room for more, but I think this is a promising start and one that deserves encouragement.
I also noticed that some brands have started using instagrammers in their campaigns.
But things will really start to change for the better as soon Instagram opens the advertising door for every market as well. In June they officially released ads for small and medium businesses and in March they gave way to what they call Carousel Ads. Still, it is not known exactly when and how we will be able to use these services on the open market, but when that moment comes it will certainly draw the attention of agencies and companies.
According to eMarketer, in 2017 we will see an Instagram that is larger in ad revenue (mobile) than Twitter or Google.
Yes, now is the time for brands to start using Instagram.