Brands Rocking Instagram

brands rocking instagramInstagram has gained a large popularity during the past years – more than 100 million people have signed up and the platform has even outscored Twitter in number of active, daily users. But how can brands benefit from this visual and colorful social medium?

We have been taking a dive into how brands use Instagram and here by give you a small collection of really successful brands and campaigns on Instagram – from big, global brands to small, local ones.

Redbull

With more than 850,000 followers, Redbull has been quite successful on Instagram. The brand is mainly uploading pictures of extreme sports with their logo or name. And when Instagram started to allow videos, Redbull didn’t hesitate to take advantage of this feature as it perfectly fits their brand profile. In August Redbull posted a video, which received more than 30,000 likes within 12 hours. The best part? The video was an old production from the Redbull Youtube-channel, but they changed it to fit Instagram and it worked as a brand new one.

Redbull1 redbull2

 

Heineken

Heineken has recently launched a scavenger hunt on Instagram, where the participants can win tickets to the Men’s Final in U.S. Open.

The hunt is a mosaic of pictures, where the participants will receive clues, search the pictures for the answer and then receive the next clue. Eventually nine people will find all the clues and win the tickets. Heineken has created the entire hunt on a new profile; Crack_The_US_Open, which means the users can participate without ever leaving the profile.

heineken1  heineken2

 

VisitCopenhagen

VisitCopenhagen is the official Tourism Organization of Copenhagen and they upload pictures of Copenhagen daily – atmospheric and beautiful pictures, which make every Dane proud of their capital and every foreigner wanting to jump on a plane right away.  The best part about their Instagram strategy is that VisitCopenhagen let a local person take over their profile each week. This way, they get pictures from different neighborhoods, events and lives representing all of Copenhagen.

visit1  visit2

 

Hornslet Isenkram

The small hardware store ‘Hornslet Isenkram‘ is situated in Hornslet, Aarhus and sells furniture, art and home décor. The store uploads pictures of their products along with authentic, enthusiastic comments. The store doesn’t have a webshop, but after their success on Instagram, they have started to ship items by mail due to an overwhelming demand for their products.

hi1  hi2

These four examples show how almost every brand can learn to rock Instagram, if they use it in a creative and engaging way, relevant to their users.

How does your brand use Instagram?

 

 

Instagram’s New Algorithm – What You Need to Know

IMG_8423Nearly 6 years after its initial release and 400 million users later, Instagram is fast-approaching the ad-supported dominance of Facebook. Last week, it introduced its very own algorithm, following in the footsteps of Twitter and its parent company Facebook. Whether this is an enhancement is debatable and many seem to be divided on the matter as it stands. It begins with co-founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom explaining that “on average, people miss about 70% of the posts in their Instagram feed”, which may be alarming to some.

 

Twitter jumped onto the algorithm bandwagon only last month and has received its own amount of backlash from it. The fear that it will destroy live-tweeting and the key reason people love twitter is amongst the concerns. Of course, users tend to prefer what they’re used to on social networks and aren’t very welcoming to change, so this may pass.

Facebook’s introduction of its algorithm, which was due to extraordinary growth, was a much-needed overhaul of the News Feed. The fact that Facebook is bigger than the largest country on earth makes it almost essential for it to filter out unwanted posts and let its users receive the most relevant content. The question now is, does Instagram need it too?

Facebook Instant Articles was also released last year, which is a great way for Facebook to avoid the standard embedded browser mechanics that so many apps rely on. This allows users to view news more fluently by delivering a more native user experience. It also coincided with the release of the Apple News app, which has recently opened its doors to all publishers. The fact that developers are now realising the public’s thirst for news makes things extremely well-timed for the ever-growing amount of algorithms social is seeing. We need news, whether it be world news or friend news, and we need it fast – even if we missed it being posted.

 

What This Means for Brands

From a brand perspective, it is unquestionably going to become more complicated to market on Instagram. There are many visual-based brands that invest a great deal of money into Instagram to be able to reach a specific audience or age group. One example is brands paying influencers to promote their product, which has ultimately made it possible for those influencers to make a living by monetising their audience on the platform. This is achieved with a combination of brand sponsorships from companies, product promotion and follower reach. So how will it affect their livelihood? Companies will be much more demanding when it comes to requesting the influencer’s actual reach once it’s available, which will very likely decrease the amount that influencers are paid. This, in translation, means that influencers could ultimately be forced to take a pay cut with the introduction of this algorithm.

In layman’s terms, brands will be required to pay for their posts to reach their fans. This is especially true if the posts have little engagement, which exactly replicates Facebook’s model as Instagram takes its big brother’s handy advice. A key question here is, will the quality of posts increase due to content ‘needing’ engagement to push through?

Additionally, until now, brands have been supplied with little to no data on their Instagram channels. With this algorithm and a clear business objective from Facebook to increase ad turnover on Instagram, the company knows that advertisers expect something in return. The exchange is a classic eyeballs and actions for paid budgets and to prove delivery of reach and actions, Facebook will need to provide data and show that brands are getting their money’s worth.

 

Implications & Considerations

As general guidance, it may be efficient to stop thinking about news feeds as stories. A profile is a story and will probably always remain that way, but a news feed is a different beast altogether. With the algorithm, your followers might see some of your posts in their feed but far from all, making feed storytelling pretty much impossible. The challenge is to create a valuable brand presence on social that is recognizable without the context of other content.

Another discussion point is how Instagram profiles compare to Facebook profiles for brands. Facebook Pages made it easier to separate personal and brand pages, but Instagram has yet to do such a thing. Will we see something similar in the future? If so, it is sure to bring a great deal more features from Facebook to Instagram, which is undeniably the path we’re on with the two companies. Another thing to start considering is whether Instagram will eventually suppress almost all organic ads, like Facebook does. After all, having an algorithm like this can undeniably camouflage the real reason followers are missing so many posts.

Overall, Instagram is rapidly growing to greater capacities, users are posting more and we ultimately live in an algorithmic world as far as social is concerned. And as Instagram ads are managed through Facebook, they are extremely easy to target to a specific audience, which appealingly makes use of Facebook’s limitless data. These will undoubtedly merge together to form one giant supply of data and algorithms will most likely do the same. So it could be Facebook’s existing model that Instagram slowly turns into. Simply put, like father, like son.