Instagram is frequently used as an integral part of the social media marketing mix, used across industries and is growing at a rapid rate. The cutting edge social network currently has a userbase of over 15 million and attracts a new registration every second.
Looking at recent campaigns and developments, it is inspiring to take Intagram’s rise into consideration and wonder about its leading status as a key platform in the social space. There’s no shortage of creative executions that employ Insatagram as either a valuable component or a key campaign driver. From Twitter and Facebook integration to driving user generated content, brands are utilising the platform to publish official content and implement creative and interactive campaigns. A cleverly thought-out plan can cause a surge of engagement and drive fans of a brand to publish myriad content pieces around a centred theme. Moby’s ‘Destroyed’ campaign utilised hashtagging and location tagging to aggregate fan’s content via Instagram’s API within a map based web application that enhanced the user experience of previewing music content. This was a superb way of engaging the audience around the release of the product whilst leveraging three individual platforms to gain traction.
“Crowdsourcing” is certainly a leading strategy. A more recent music campaign allowed a band’s audience to unlock exclusive content upon increasing shares of Instagram photos, hosted on a promotional site. There was added value in that each user-submitted upload would contribute to a mosaic poster as part of the product release.
Casting is another strategy increasingly used by brands. Not only can content be sourced from a brands customer base, but the customers themselves can become part of the longer term brand campaign. Levi’s has recently employed Instagram in a “global casting effort” for its print and broadcast material, demonstrating this simple, yet powerful approach to connecting with consumers.
Despite new and alternative players in the market showing their own unique positions, such as web-based PicYou and journal-focused Path, Instagram has a firmly established presence that is likely to continue becoming as integrated as possible with Facebook and Twitter. It was just announced that all content connected and shared to Facebook will automatically be added to an “ Instagram Photos” album and feature prominently within the new Timeline interface on user Facebook profiles.
Simply Zesty has predicted 2012 to be a significant year for the platform and the most notable factors to consider are, first and foremost, the penetration of smartphones (and introduction of an Android version of the app) as well as – of course – the seamless social experience Instagram has to offer.