If it feels like you are hearing more about Instagram lately, it’s for good reason. Businesses are finally recognizing the advantages to using this social media platform, including one to help monetize activities on Instagram.
What is Instagram?
At its core, Instagram is a photo-sharing app used primarily on mobile devices. Users can create a free account, take photos and video with their smartphones and tablets, and then share directly to the Instagram app. Users can follow each other to stay up-to-date on what’s happening.
Debuted in 2010, Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012. This means the two social media networks are linked, and you can post to Instagram through your Facebook account.
Instagram has more than 400 million monthly active users. Ninety percent belong to the millennial generation, those ages 18 to 34 years old.
Of particular interest to businesses: 40 percent of millennials say they follow brands on Instagram.
Why It Matters: Viewability and Engagement
If your business posts on Facebook, you may notice it can be difficult to get your content seen. Unless you advertise, many of your posts may experience low reach and engagement. Now that Twitter is using a similar algorithm, businesses are looking for social media networks where they can actually connect – organically – with their audience.
A noticeable difference with Instagram is all of your followers have the potential to see everything you post.
And with 40 percent of the largest Instagram audience following brands, Instagram offers an incredible advantage over Facebook and Twitter. Consequently, you can expect higher engagement on Instagram posts.
Higher organic performance is not the only benefit of Instagram. Paid social media advertising is where businesses also see measurable differences.
Last fall, Instagram officially launched its advertising program for businesses. Several months later, it looks as if brands are in favor.
By the end of Q1 2016, Instagram will serve 1 billion ads per month, and will hit its target of $1 billion in U.S. ad revenue. Instagram is on track to surpass Google and Twitter in terms of U.S. mobile display ad revenues, according to eMarketer.
According to Instagram, 97 percent of measured advertising campaigns on its platform have generated significant lifts in ad recall.
Even more intriguing is the simple way Instagram paid advertising works.
Because it shares Facebook’s ad infrastructure, users who advertise on Facebook can apply the same tools and targeting they already know. There is nearly zero learning curve, and you can easily port some of the creative from Facebook to Instagram.
If you are considering adding Instagram to your social marketing mix this year, then you may want to post content organically as well as through the advertising platform. Of course, discussing whether or not the platform makes sense for your business is the first step.