Instagram Proves Hit With Brand Marketers, Users

Ahead of Facebook’s latest earnings call, new data shows that Instagram is more popular than ever among brand marketers.

During the third quarter of 2014, 86% of top brands incorporated Instagram into their marketing strategies, which represented a 15% year-over-year increase, according to social media measurement start-up Simply Measured.

All told, Instagram now boasts 200 million active users, 60 million photos posted daily and more than 1.6 billion interactions per day, per Simply Measured.

Brands who posted at least once a day have doubled since 2012, while 73% of brands post at least one photo or video per week, the researcher found. Simply Measured also found a clear correlation between brands that maintain an active presence on the platform and increased user engagement.

“With more brands engaging larger audiences and tactics becoming more sophisticated, Instagram users are more receptive to marketing content on the network,” according to Kevin Shively, author of the report.

In fact, monthly engagement among top brands has more than doubled since the third quarter of 2013, and grown nearly 12-fold since the third quarter of 2012, according to Shively.

Along with consistent posting schedules, brands looking to do a better job of engaging Instagram users should focus on post tagging and caption content.

Posts tagged with a location receive 79% higher engagement on average, according to Simply Measured, while it found 56% higher engagement for posts that include another user handle in the caption.

“Only 36% of brands include at least one @mention, highlighting an area that could easily be leveraged for brands looking to increase audience size,” according to Shively.

For its findings, Simply Measured analyzed Instagram activity of the Interbrand 2013 Top 100 Brands, which are ranked based on market, competitive and financial data.

This past year, along with various efforts by Levi’s, Mercedes-Benz, Ben & Jerry’s, and other partners, a $40 million ad deal with Omnicom showed Madison Avenue’s confidence in Instagram. Still, since introducing advertising late last year, the Facebook unit has been careful not to inundate its users with brand messages.
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