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The Product Data Lab

Instagram's Targeted Advertising to Reach 14m UK Users

With 300m global active users, 14m UK Instagram account holders access the social platform monthly.  This user base has doubled in the last 2 years.  

The fast adoption of Instagram has been driven by consumer behaviour, particularly with a move from traditional text based communications to more visual, engaging and richer content.  There is also a shift from 'Search with Intent' to a more 'Discovery' type of behaviour where consumers are looking for suggestions based on their search criteria.

70m photos are uploaded onto Instagram via mobile daily, generating 2.5bn likes - the ever connected consumers are hungry for fresh new images.

Instagram has been a perfect platform for brands wishing to build their audience, drive brand equity and build relationships from aligning products & services to the lifestyle of the average Instagram user.  

Instagram now gives brands the ability to include paid for advertising...from which Instagram users seem to have reacted warmly. Burberry & Audi have both seen fantastic engagement results with their recent campaigns.

Instagram shared the results of some of their campaigns to date.

  • Of 500 campaigns run globally, 97% of those campaigns generated significant uplift in brand recall, 2.7 times higher than the Nielson control group.
  • Carousel ads were launched in May allowing users to see up to 3 brand images in a single post - these have worked particularly well for fashion advertisers to show different angles or ways to wear an item.
  • Based on research carried out by Instagram in May, comparing Instagram to four other social networks respondents said that Instagram was "the most inspiring and beautifull social network for brands to share creative campaigns" 

Amy Cole, Head of Brand Development for EMEA at Instagram, said: “As we build products and features, we’ll start to implement all of the targeting options that are available on Facebook.

“We’re starting to see advertisers using both platforms and we’re seeing success in campaigns that use both,” she added.

Brands that use both platforms for a campaign are targeting two different audiences according to the brand, with users visiting Facebook and Instagram for different reasons.

“Facebook is more about personal relevance, while people come to Instagram to be inspired and follow people they don’t know,” Cole said.

New targeting features will be the latest in a line of moves to improve the app’s advertising capability.

Creating ‘well-crafted’ campaigns

In order to be successful on Instagram, Al Cotterill, creative strategist for Instagram’s Creative Shop, said brands need to focus on the platform’s principles of simplicity, creativity and community by having a unique point of view, being concept-driven and creating campaigns that are “well-crafted”.

“Everything should ladder up to a unique point of view,” he added. “People expect things to be beautiful, stylish and creative.”

Instagram's advertising illustrates how consumer browsing is changing, online retailers need to be aware of all the online marketing channels consumers are using and ensure that their products are listed so as not to miss out on opportunities to competitors.