Does Your Brand Belong on Instagram?


This year alone, Instagram grew from 300 million users to 400 million, surpassing the audience of Twitter. Coincidentally—or perhaps not—Instagram also opened its doors to all marketers in October. For the past two years, Instagram has invited only select brands to advertise on its platform. If you haven’t thought about advertising your brand on Instagram before, now is a great time.

According to a study from Forrester, even though brand engagement on social media has fallen in the past year, per-follower engagement rates are still higher on Instagram than on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn combined—2.3 percent to their less than 1 percent. There is chatter about whether allowing more advertisers will scare Instagram users away, but with such a dramatic difference in engagement rates, Instagram may be proving that brands can successfully reach their audiences this way—as long as they do it correctly.

With the upcoming influx of advertising, Instagram users will be especially aware of how your brand is “fitting in.” Instagram is known for its high-definition, detail-oriented imagery. To create a cohesive and pleasant user experience, brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Michael Kors have created striking magazine-quality ads that fit users’ feeds yet still grab their attention.

Instagram also introduced carousel ads—where users can swipe through several photos in one post—which can help you avoid oversaturating your audience’s feeds. Along with single photo, video, and GIF post options and tons of free photo editing apps, you have plenty of ways to effectively reach and grow your audience on Instagram and beyond.