The Year of Instagram (2014)


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The Year of Instagram trata de cómo las marcas están usando Instagram como canal de alto atractivo visual. 2014 es el año de las estrategias en Instagram.

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The Year of Instagram (2014)

  1. 1. NOVEMBER 2013 ROB REED
  2. 2. Introduction: The Instagram Channel Instagram Stats Three Principles: Instagram Strategy Instagram Business Value Context & Relevance: Instagram Local Location Tagging What’s Coming: Instagram Ads The Brand Selfie Brand Profile: Disneyland Brand Profile: JCPenney Brand Profile: Barney’s Beanery Brand Profile: Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Conclusion 02 03 06 12 14 20 22 26 28 32 36 42 46 Reprint from The Huffington Post By Rob Reed, Founder, MomentFeed, November 2013 TABLE OF CONTENTS
  3. 3. 2 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy INTRODUCTION: The Instagram Channel As 2013 comes to a close, marketers should be thinking about 2014 as the year of the Instagram strategy.” “
  4. 4. 4 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy Not only is the total number impressive, but it means Instagram is growing at a rate of more than 100 million new users per year, as the social network added 50 million of them in the past six months. Managing the Instagram channel is no longer optional. It has become a strategic imperative for any brand or small business, and the urgency grows daily along with its user base. More than anything, Instagram presents an unparalleled opportunity to build and share a brand — to show a different side by leveraging this highly visual medium. Plus, the rate of customer engagement is off the charts compared to other social channels. But there are challenges. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, it’s not as easy to manage Instagram using native tools. Plus, what exactly does it mean to “manage” Instagram? This is a big question that we’ll seek to answer through the entirety of this paper. Instagram recently announced it has more than 150 million monthly active users worldwide. More specifically, brands should be asking and answering the following: INSTAGRAM STATS Monthly Active Users: 150 million Average Photos per day: 55 million Daily likes: 1.2 billion Total photos shared: 16 billion • Is Instagram just about posting brand photos and videos? • Are repurposed advertising images good enough for an Instagram feed? • Is there a conversation to be had with customers on Instagram? • Is Instagram a customer service channel? • How does one build an Instagram following? • Can brands utilize customer content from Instagram? • Is Instagram a local marketing channel?
  5. 5. 6 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy THREE PRINCIPLES: Instagram Strategy
  6. 6. 8 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy Consistent with the new media revolution, Instagram represents the ability to connect directly, authentically, and efficiently with a large number of consumers through a two-way medium. The medium has evolved, however, from text and ads through PCs to photos and videos through mobile devices. We’ve outlined the three key principles to successfully managing the Instagram channel and executing successful Instagram strategies: Instagram may be a new channel that is just now achieving massive scale, but many of the same marketing principles still apply. Brands can populate their Instagram feed with content through two methods: creating original brand content and curating customer content. Original Instagram content strategies can vary widely. We find that authentic, in-the-moment content performs opposed to generic advertising photography being repurposed for Instagram. There are cases like Fab, however, where images shot in a studio feel natural on the Instagram platform. This has a lot to do with the brand and brand category, as we find that authentic food photos do better than studio shots. The top Instagram brands in terms of original content include Ben & Jerry’s, The Gap, Patagonia, and Starbucks. The feeds for these brands show originality while staying true to their identities and providing a more intimate and authentic look at what they represent. Nevertheless, producing a steady stream of authentic, original content can be expensive and time consuming. Which is why brands should consider balancing original content with curated customer photos and videos i.e. “re-gramming” the best brand-related content from customers. This is similar to a retweet on Twitter...but with better content. Re-gramming takes a customer photo or video and reposts it to the brand’s feed with the proper attribution. It provides brands with a limitless source of high-quality, brand-specific content while authentically engaging customers and encouraging them to produce more and better photos of their brand experiences. Note: Regramming is not a native Instagram feature. One must generally use a third-party application, such as MomentFeed, that automates this feature on a smartphone, as the only way to post Instagram content is through the mobile Instagram app. 1. Create and Curate
  7. 7. 10 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy First, brands need to see all of the related photos and videos customers are posting on Instagram. This includes monitoring all brand, sub-brand, and campaign hashtags — positive, negative, misspellings, etc. — as well as photos being tagged to specific locations, known as “location tags.” With brick-and-mortar brands, up to 40% of all brand- tagged Instagram photos are only being location tagged, and these tend to have a stronger brand signal than hashtags. Next, brands need to monitor Instagram comments for critical keywords. These could be related to a campaign or product launch to measure impact. On a daily basis, however, Instagram comments will surface a broad range of customer issues. Indeed, Instagram has become a critical customer service channel alongside Facebook and Twitter. Unlike Twitter or Facebook, though, Instagram always includes a photo or video. So if there is a hair in someone’s food or a messy bathroom; if employees are behaving inappropriately or the customer experience doesn’t live up to the brand promise, an Instagram response means there is photo or video proof. As such, the negative impact on a brand can be magnified tremendously as this content gets shared to Facebook and Twitter. 2. Listen 3. Respond There are two simple ways to respond to customers via Instagram: liking and commenting on their content. The Instagram “like” is an easy and efficient way to thank customers for sharing and engaging with a brand. More often than not the customer will receive a mobile push notification indicating that the brand has liked their photo, thus engaging on a one-to-one basis. This also has the effect of growing a brand’s Instagram following because tapping on the brand’s “like” takes the customer to its profile page. The customer may not have been aware the brand was on Instagram before this. Commenting can also be a way to thank customers. However, this mechanism is best utilized as a customer service channel to address dissatisfied customers and resolve the issues, either within Instagram or through an offline channel. One of the advantages of Instagram is that the conversation on each photo is discrete. Unlike Twitter they are not part of a brand’s open content stream. So it’s not absolutely necessary to take these conversations offline. Plus, a brand can comment on multiple photos with the same message without coming across as inauthentic. kat_ruttenbur Matching #disneyland #california #losangeles disneyland Fantastic photo! do you approve of us featuring it (with photo credit) on our official Disneyland Instagram account? If so, please reply ‘yes’ in the comment below. Summary By crafting strategies around these three basic principles, brands can maximize the success of Instagram as a scalable and multi-faceted marketing channel that puts customers at the center of the experience.
  8. 8. 12 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy 12 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy INSTAGRAM BUSINESS VALUE: Customer Engagement Customers that are more engaged with a brand tend to be more loyal and spend more money. Social engagement is increasingly becoming a reliable signal and proxy for business performance, especially when measured at the store (POS) level. Brand Awareness Large-scale social networks can be tremendous sources of word-of-mouth promotion by a brand’s customers. Instagram’s visual focus makes it especially compelling for brands in the food, fashion, sports, and travel categories. Sales Instagram can drive sales through several mechan- isms, many of which have yet to be enabled. The pairing of Instagram’s visual medium with new methods of conducting transactions through mobile devices, both online and off, means that real commerce will soon flow through Instagram. 12 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy
  9. 9. 14 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy CONTEXT & RELEVANCE: Instagram Local
  10. 10. through which brands can reciprocate engagement and establish authentic connections with their most passionate and loyal customers. And this is just the start. When consumers location tag Instagram photos and videos, they infuse that content with local relevance. The content is specific to a place and time — to an individual customer moment. This is vastly different from a Tweet or photo at the brand level. While consumers can tend to feel anonymous among the millions of people in a brand’s global community, the community around individual locations might number in the thousands. It’s a more intimate and meaningful experience for brands and consumers alike. One way to foster and build these local communities is through the curation and sharing of customer-generated content across the social platforms. When brick-and-mortar brands make the connection between location-tagged photos on Instagram and their corresponding local Facebook Pages, it enables local communities to scale in ways that were never before possible. Consumers are creating and sharing high-quality branded content that is specific to a business location. Instagram becomes the source of relevant photos and videos for that location, and the Facebook Page becomes the distribution channel. In other words, brands can crowdsource much of the content for their local Facebook pages via Instagram. This creates a virtuous cycle of customer engagement and community building at the local level. 16 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy Location is core to both the app and the vision of its founders. One of the long-term goals of Instagram as a company is that you’ll be able to visit any place in the world through Instagram photos and real time. You’ll be able to click on a map and see what’s happening there in that moment. This requires that a large percentage of the content be anchored to a specific place and time. Instagram structures content locally through two methods. First, users can activate location through the Photo Map feature. This attaches a lat/long coordinate (geocode) to each piece of content, giving users the ability to view their photos and videos on a map and providing vital context to these precious moments and experiences. Secondly, users can “location tag” content, which attaches the explicit place where the photo or video was taken. For example, one might attach a food photo to a restaurant, a video clip to a music venue, or a fitting room selfie to a clothing retailer. This provides unique context for the user and her followers. It also provides the strongest possible signal of customer engagement for brands i.e. when customers are in the buying moment. A location-tagged photo or video means that a consumer is present at a specific location and that they are associating (tagging) their Instagram content with that place — the same place where they are having a brand experience and often making a purchase. This opens a channel of communication Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is a location-based platform by design. For example, the following outlines the key steps for curating and sharing location-specific content: Step 1 A customer posts a compelling Instagram photo or video of their local brand experience (publicly). Step 2 The brand shares the customer’s photo or video (with attribution) to the corresponding local Facebook Page, which goes into the News Feed of its fans. The brand is giving the customer additional distribution and exposure for their content. Simultaneously, the brand leaves a comment on the customer’s photo or video with a link to the Facebook Page. Step 3 The customer goes from Instagram to Facebook and further engages with that local community through liking, commenting, and/or sharing. The page generates more local fans. Step 4 Customers produce more branded photos and videos of higher quality in the hope of getting additional distribution and acknowledgment from the brand. Step 5 Rinse and repeat.
  11. 11. 18 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy Instagram has become a critical component of our local strategy. Without the benefit of our customers’ photos, it just wouldn’t scale. As a result of engaging with our customers through Instagram and sharing their photos to our Facebook Pages, we’ve realized much higher rates of engagement, and the quality of the content has improved over time. Now we have customers asking for us to share their photos to Facebook when they post them.” – Patrice Anderson, Director of eCommerce and Online Marketing The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf “
  12. 12. 20 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy LOCATION TAGGING How to location-tag an Instagram photo or video After taking a photo, tap “Name This Location” on the subsequent screen. Note that the “Add to Photo Map” feature must be enabled. Choose the location from a list of venues provided via Foursquare. Click “Share” and note that the location will be included above the photo in your feed. 31 2 20 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy
  13. 13. 22 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy “ WHAT’S COMING: Instagram Ads
  14. 14. 24 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy Ads shown within one’s Instagram feed are highlighted as Sponsored posts This will be a photo or video that brands publish with media spend to increase distribution. Which means users who do not follow the brand will see the photo or video in their feed, and it will be highlighted as an ad. In a blog post, the Instagram team reassured its community that its photo and video ads would not only be “creative and engaging” but also relevant, tailored to your interests based on “information about what you do on Instagram and Facebook.” Of course, this begs the question about targeting. In addition to the personal data that Facebook uses to target its ads, Instagram knows the brands people follow uniquely on Instagram. It knows the hashtags people use on their photos and how frequently. Much more than Facebook or even Twitter, though, Instagram knows precisely where people take their photos — where they eat, where they shop, where they vacation. It has a much richer set of local data and can target promoted photos and videos accordingly. This is one of the more exciting possibilities for Instagram’s forthcoming ad platform. Instagram recently announced that ads are coming. The social network enters the paid media space with native “Sponsored” products.
  15. 15. 26 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy Instagram is almost entirely responsible for the mainstreaming of this behavior, and brands have an opportunity to take advantage of it through the promotion of branded selfies. For context, see the wildly popular website The Chive, where its users take photos of themselves wearing Chive clothing or promoting the Chive brand and submit them for publication. In exchange The Chive posts these photos on its website, giving its users tremendous reach and exposure — a measure of fame in a fame-obsessed culture. The result is a virtuous cycle of customers promoting the brand and the brand promoting its customers. Everyone wins. Non-Chive brands can borrow from this by encouraging similar methods of engagement i.e. taking a selfie that incorporates the brand and tagging it appropriately. For example, a Starbucks customer might take a selfie with their cup that clearly shows the Starbucks logo and tag it with #starbucksselfie. As a reward, Starbucks would repost the photo to Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter. The hashtag, per its design and intention, would constitute explicit permission from the customer. THE BRAND SELFIE The term “selfie” was recently added to the Oxford Dictionary and refers to “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” 26 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy
  16. 16. 28 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy The Disneyland Instagram audience has grown by 360% to more than 250,000 followers. What’s more, the photos posted to the Disneyland Instagram feed receive an average rate of engagement of 10.3%, which is more than twice that of other major brands on Instagram and ten times greater than other social platforms.” “ BRAND PROFILE: Disneyland Resort
  17. 17. 30 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy Many of the photos were clearly the work of professionals, and even the amateur photographers were producing content worthy of the Disney brand. To put it into Disney terms, it was nothing short of magical. Disney Resorts also realized it couldn’t hope to compete with the combined force and creativity of its highly engaged follower base. To scale an original Instagram strategy of that magnitude would require tremendous resources, and it could never match the authenticity of guests capturing and sharing their Disney experiences in the moment. As such, the Disney social team decided to crowdsource the entire Disneyland Instagram feed from its guests — a 100% UGC strategy consisting of “re-gramming” or reposting of the best guest photos. The initial challenge was Disney legal. How could a brand so conscious of trademark issues utilize customer- generated content for its Instagram feed? The answer was simple, actually. They asked guests for permission. Disney implemented a clear and efficient approval process that takes place entirely within Instagram. Through the comments, Disney asks for permission to re-gram a guest’s photo. When the guest comments back with an explicit confirmation, Disney re-grams the photo with proper attribution. Disneyland announced the strategy in May on its Facebook Page. At the time, it had fewer than 70,000 Instagram followers. The following day, Disney fans posted more than 13,000 photos with the Disneyland hashtag, a 40% lift from the previous day. Since then, the Disneyland Instagram audience has grown by 360% to more than 250,000 followers. What’s more, the photos posted to the Disneyland Instagram feed receive an average rate of engagement of 10.3%, which is more than twice that of other major brands on Instagram and ten times greater than other social platforms. And yet Disney Resorts has never taken or shared a single original photo. In considering an Instagram strategy, Disney Resorts analyzed how its guests were engaging through the channel. The social team found that the quality of the photos far exceeded what they’d seen through other user-generated-content (UGC) channels. Follow disneyland Disneyland Official account of Disneyland resort, showcasing some of our favorite Guest Instagrams. Be sure to add #Disneyland to your photos. 157 posts 298,580 followers 42 following
  18. 18. 32 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy “ We launched our Instagram presence earlier this year and have made it a point to engage those who take the time to mention our brand. Our customers are our best advocates, and their voice is extremely important. Since we began featuring, commenting and ‘liking’ their content on Instagram, we’ve seen a marked improvement in the quality of user- generated content. It’s been a win-win for our brand and our customers.” – Sean Ryan, Director of Social & Mobile Marketing JCPenney “ BRAND PROFILE: JCPenney
  19. 19. 34 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy JCPenney customers have posted nearly 70,000 Instagram photos and/or videos with the #jcp or #jcpenney hashtags. In 2013, another 5,600 photos and/or videos have been explicitly place tagged to a JCPenney store. The retailer began to engage with customer photos in June through liking and commenting on them. Since then, the number of brand-tagged photos has risen by more than 50% from 1,000 per week to more than 1,500 per week, and the brand’s Instagram following has grown by 476%. For its back-to-school campaign, JCPenney promoted the #firstdaylook hashtag through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This generated more than 2,500 #firstdaylook Instagram photos alone. Most of these were images of kids on their first day of school, a moment that parents cherish and look back on for decades to come. Overall, JCPenney observed that the increase in volume of customer photos accompanied a noticeable increase in quality. This was attributed to the retailer’s direct engage- ment with customers and its nurturing of the channel, such that customers are inclined to not only share more of their JCPenney moments, but they’re taking more care in capturing them. JCPenney has been active on Instagram since February, 2013. The retailer started with original, behind-the-scenes images of a fashion photo shoot, and its photo feed has evolved to include a mix of studio product shots, launch events, JCPenney models, and seasonal styles. Follow jcpenney JCPenney Bringing you the quality and comfort you want with the style and affordability you deserve! 206 posts 28,510 followers 78 following
  20. 20. 36 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy Over the past year, Instagram has become the most important social channel for Barney’s Beanery. Our customers tend to be in their 20s and 30s, and this demo seems more engaged on Instagram compared to Facebook and Twitter, although we manage all of them. The Barney’s Cash rewards pilot showed how flexible Instagram can be as a marketing channel.” – AJ Sacher, Regional Manager Barney’s Beanery “ BRAND PROFILE: Barney’s Beanery
  21. 21. 38 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy It is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is also a full bar with countless microbrew beers on tap. The restaurants are decorated with old license plates, hubcaps, street signs, magazine clips, and even a full-sized Harley Davidson chopper. In other words, copious amounts of Instagramable material. By March of 2013, the restaurant chain had been managing the Instagram channel, together with Facebook, Foursquare, and Twitter, as part of its broader social strategy for nearly a year. Given the quality of the content its customers were producing on Instagram and its unique local dynamics, Barney’s Beanery wanted to test a program that increased both customer engagement and loyalty. The answer was the Barney’s Cash (#barneyscash) rewards program. Customers were directed to sign up for the program at It asked for their name, email address, Instagram handle, and home street address. After signing up, rewards could be earned as follows: Step 1 Customers posted Instagram photos at any Barney’s Beanery restaurant using the #barneyscash hashtag and earn rewards points. Barney’s Beanery is an iconic restaurant chain in Los Angeles, California, with locations in West Hollywood, Burbank, Pasadena, Westwood, and Santa Monica. Step 2 Customers earn bonus rewards points if Barney’s Beanery “likes” the photo on Instagram and additional bonus points if the photo is shared to the corresponding Barney’s Beanery Facebook page. For Facebook sharing, the photo also has to be location tagged, which is proof of presence. This step mitigated potential gaming of the program. Step 3 Customers who earn enough rewards points receive a $10 Barney’s Beanery gift card in the mail. Step 4 Rinse and repeat. As a pilot test, Barney’s sought to enroll 50 customers in the program using Facebook and Twitter to direct people to the Barney’s Cash website. This goal was exceeded by many magnitudes. Follow barneysbeanery Barney’s Beanery 109 posts 760 followers 13 following
  22. 22. 40 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy What wasn’t entirely expected was that customers would share photos of the gift cards themselves. This generated additional engagement and sharing. Plus, it offered proof that the overarching objective had been achieved: reinforcing and strengthening the emotional connection customers have with the Barney’s Beanery brand, which has a direct impact on loyalty.
  23. 23. 42 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy Instagram has provided another opportunity to acknowledge our customers’ passion for Margaritaville, and we continue to explore ways to get the most from this interactive channel.” – Kyle Collins, Director of Marketing Margaritaville Hospitality Group “ BRAND PROFILE: Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville
  24. 24. 44 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy Recognizing the value of their local fans and followers, Margaritaville wanted to get even more of its customers to engage locally at its restaurants and to also understand what stimulates this type of engagement. Over the course of five months, Margaritaville listened to and engaged with customers through Instagram who were already taking photos at its restaurants by both liking photos and replying to them directly in the comments. These photos included those with the #margaritaville hashtag as well as those that were location tagged to specific locations. As a result, Margaritaville realized a dramatic increase in customer engagement across its locations, which has led to dramatic lifts in monthly impressions and reach, as well as its overall social audience. In this case, the brand started by listening and responding to customers on Instagram, which had a significant impact. Named after the 1977 hit song, Margaritaville has restaurant locations across the US as well as franchisees in the Caribbean, Australia, and Mexico. The company has additional locations under its LandShark Landing brand. Audience: 48% total lift over five months Engagement: 74% average lift per month Impressions: 249% average lift per month Reach: 302% average lift per month Follow margaritaville Margaritaville It’s a state of mind! 45 posts 2,619 followers 2 following
  25. 25. 46 The Year Of The Instagram Strategy Digital marketing is now a visual medium. It is driven by photos and videos. Whether being consumed through PCs, tablets, or smartphones, visual content is driving the bulk of consumer engagement, and consumers are playing a vital role in producing and distributing it. At the center of this trend is Instagram, a mobile-first platform built for the creation and consumption of visual content. Instagram has now achieved significant scale. Growth is accelerating. And the underlying infrastructure that powers Instagram — smartphones — is becoming more robust and dynamic with every new product cycle. The possibilities for innovation are limitless. But first marketers need to become familiar with the medium itself. Early investments will earn huge returns in the form of competitive advantage as the platform matures and integrates new ways to reach and influence a brand’s target audience. As 2013 comes to a close, marketers should be thinking about 2014 as the year of the Instagram strategy and how this visual medium can drive not only customer engagement but quantifiable business results. CONCLUSION ABOUT MOMENTFEED MomentFeed provides the most comprehensive and innovative set of tools for managing the Instagram channel at both the corporate and local level. Most importantly, these tools are provided not as a point solution but as part of the MomentFeed marketing platform, which integrates Facebook, Twitter, Google, Foursquare, Yelp, Instagram, and a brand’s internal systems. All with a goal of driving growth and retention. MomentFeed’s unique tools for managing the Instagram channel include the following: • Comprehensive monitoring of both hashtag and location tag photos • Synchronization of Facebook local pages with their corresponding local Instagram IDs for the purpose of cross-platform sharing • Indexing of Instagram comments for the purpose of listening, searching, sentiment analysis, and direct customer response • Identification of brand influencers and advocates • Optimization and moderation of a brand’s Instagram content feed • Mobile re-gramming app to curate the best customer photos for a brand’s Instagram feed, complete with approval workflow process • Mobile app for local managers or representatives to manage Instagram and other social channels at the local level with corporate oversight
  26. 26. MomentFeed launched in July of 2010. Instagram followed three months later. This is no coincidence. The respective founders drew inspiration from the same convergence of technology and culture — the mobilization and localization of social media through rapid smartphone adoption. As predicted, these megatrends have lead to dramatic shifts in consumer attention. The Instagram mobile app alone commands more than five hours per month from its 150 million active users. Combined with Facebook, the two apps account for one in five of all minutes spent on mobile. Since attention is finite, this comes at a cost to television, print, out-of-home, and other mediums. Marketers have to adapt accordingly. While Instagram is stealing consumer attention, MomentFeed provides a scalable solution for marketers to connect with these audiences and manage this highly visual channel at both the corporate and local levels. THE INSTAGRAM IMPERATIVE