Instagram’s Top Five Influencer Campaigns

According to CMO Council, 65 percent of marketing executives believe that visual assets are core to how their brand story is communicated. Since Instagram launched on Oct. 6, 2010, brands have been strategically engaging on the platform to share personality and creativity to immerse in their fans daily lives.

Whether it is through graphics, infographics, or videos, marketers are engaging with their customers in new and exciting ways.

One of the ways brands can continue to promote their businesses is through Instagram influencer campaigns. Influencer campaigns help generate leads by leveraging audiences to other Instagram accounts.

Tina Hsu, blogger for The Keyhole Blog states it perfectly, “If you want to engage with more potential customers, especially young costumers, Instagram is a fantastic platform to market your company or products at low costs with high returns.” 

Here is a list of our Top 5 Instagram Influencer Campaigns starting with No. 5:

  1. Starbucks: It should be no surprise that Starbucks made our list of top Instagram campaigns, seeing as though it is one of the companies that is consistently on top of Instagrams ranking. And based on the number of Starbucks cups you came across on your own Instagram newsfeed today, it should be no shock that the #WhiteCupContest made the list as well. In 2014, Starbucks challenged their creative customers to customize their iconic white cups and tag their submissions on Instagram with #WhiteCupContest. The contest was able to highlight the brand’s imaginative fans and received more than 4,000 submissions in three weeks. 
Winner Brita Lynn Thompson designs
Winner Brita Lynn Thompson designs
  1. Samsung: Last year the well-established multinational conglomerate company, Samsung launched its #StandTall campaign. The campaign overall generated 681,217 impressions through their selfiecam.  The campaign honored the achievements of young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their local community.
Participants test out the #selfiecam
Participants test out the #selfiecam
  1. Marc Jacobs: In the Fall of 2014, Marc Jacobs, one of the world’s greatest fashion designers, announced he would be casting new faces for his Marc by Marc Jacobs 2014 fall collection on Instagram. The campaign used #CastMeMarc to attract every boy and girl-next-door they could. The campaign attracted 700,000 entries and was kept for the following year. Only the second time around Marc wanted to cast a group of friends. Marc told WWD in an interview, “It seemed like a great idea to me, as casting through Instagram seemed cool, current and strong.” 
#CastMeMarc Campaign
#CastMeMarc Campaign
  1. Mercedes: Another Instagram campaign from 2014, was Mercedes virtual custom shop via Instagram.  In order to commemorate the launch of the new 2015 Mercedes GLA Compact SUV, the brand created a users could create their own dream version of the luxury  vehicle via different tags leading users to alternate accounts with different customizations and features. The campaign included hundreds of Instagram profiles and thousands of images to create the experience in which the final photo presents the user with their customized vehicle and the price tag to match.
Build Your Own Mercedes-Benz GLA on Instagram
Build Your Own Mercedes-Benz GLA on Instagram
  1. Sonic: Sonic is a company that put thinking outside the box to a whole new level. For us at #DoItForTheGram, Sonic wins the best Instagram campaign award for 2016 thus far, or ever! Just last month Sonic created an Instagram campaign for their new Creamery shakes, which feature more premium flavors and ingredients. The campaign was designed for the world’s first square shakes designed for Instagram. Shakes were sold on-site at Cochella and were available for purchase through Instagram. During Cochella customers could purchase the shakes, in exchange for a post to their own personal Instagram. That’s right, the shake was free in exchange of getting the brands name out to their friends and family. Sonic’s president and chief marketing officer, Todd Smith, told AdFreak in an interview that Sonic “wanted to be the first brand, and especially the first food brand, to have a product that was designed for Instagram, offer it exclusively for sale on Instagram, and then deliver that product within minutes of your order on Instagram.” The goal of the campaign was not to help sales, but rather try and build its brand among young people by growing its social audience.
Sonic's Square Shakes are #Instaworthy.
Sonic’s Square Shakes are #Instaworthy.

What are some of your favorite Instagram marketing campaigns? Let us know in the comments below.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram Ad Creative

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[Image Via: iDownloadBlog.com]

One of the great things about the new Instagram ad platform is that it’s very compatible with what brands are already used to using Facebook ads. If your brand advertises on Facebook, you are at an advantage and the process of expanding into Instagram advertising should be a seamless process for you. You’ll have the ability to apply the same creative and target audience as you do with your Facebook ads. However, it’s important to remember that Instagram is all about high-quality visuals, so customized creative is key.

The Do’s:

Andrew Waber, Manager of Market Insights and Media Relations for Nanigans, discussed best practices for Instagram ad creative.

  1. Do utilize natural light and high resolution photos to not only fit in with the organic feed, but to stand out.
  2. Do remember that excessive branding can overpower content. In order to resemble organic content, display your logo subtly or showcase your brand’s signature color.
  3. Do let the visuals be the focal point and speak for the ad. Keep text to minimum or include it in the caption section.

Carolyn Berk, Content Marketing Associate for Nanigans, also weighed in on the matter by providing some noteworthy bonus tips:

  1. Do connect with your audience by showcasing real-life situations and objects. Increase your CTR (click-through rate) and to make your creative more memorable.
  2. Do stand out by using bright colors that will catch your audience’s eye.
  3. Do use content that hasn’t been seen by your audience before.
  4. Do dedicate each ad to just one of your products.

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The Don’ts

Blaise Lucey, Senior Content Strategist at Bitly, highlighted 7 reasons your ads are not converting and what to avoid when it comes to your Instagram ad creative:

  1. Don’t be too professional. The traditional corporate ad will stand out in a bad way. Try using candid shots or behind the scenes photos. Anything that is typical to what your audience is used to on Instagram.
  2. Don’t forget to tell a story with your ad. Connect with your audience by conveying a funny or inspirational message.  
  3. Don’t use loud call-outs and banners. Instagram ads already have a default call-to-action button so focus on the content and the click will come soon after. Banner ads on mobile screens are the equivalent to pop-up ads. Therefore they are not visually appealing to your audience and will be ignored.
  4. Don’t use shadowy or generic people. Avoid coming off like a stock photo by using generic images. Instead, try photographing an influencer!
  5. Don’t let you product just sit there against a blank backdrop. Immerse the product you are trying to sell into a lifestyle by adding a compelling background like a city skyline.
  6. Don’t use too much text or borders. This will draw away attention from what your ad is all about.
  7. Don’t forget to try video ads. Showcase your brand or product in motion using a video series, interviews, and action shots.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Carousel Ads

In March, Instagram launched carousel ads which gives brands the ability to showcase multiple images within an ad. Users can experience a sequenced story by swiping through the images of a panorama or snippets of an action shot to tell a bigger story. There are universal style tips that should be considered when using carousel ads. Instagram’s creative strategist, Derek Eehevarria-Scott, walked AdWeek through some tips for how to build a carousel.

  1. Do make the initial image stand out on its own. It shouldn’t necessarily rely on the images to follow. After all, some users may not choose to continue swiping through the carousel.
  2. Do come up with creative ways to hint at what come next after the initial image.
  3. Don’t use long and dense captions.
  4. Do use a landing page for your call-to-action button that continues the tone of the ad creative and is a page that is mobile friendly.

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Final Thoughts

Creating compelling ad creatives is really in your brand’s best interest. It’s a big investment but a great way to drive traffic and revenue. By following these do’s and don’ts, your ads will have a better chance of performing well. One last rule of thumb is to always test your creatives before putting money behind them to ensure an adequate return on your investment. 

What tricks do you use when making Instagram ad creatives? Share with us below and don’t forge to follow us @hashtag4thegram!

3 Tips to Nail Your Instagram Ad Campaign

The stakes are high for advertisers on Instagram. Since the platform rolled out paid advertising in 2013, it has become a powerful force. In fact, the service just opened up for businesses of all sizes back in September, and companies have been quick to seize the chance to up their Instagram game and reach more of the 400 million monthly users on the app.

Of course, Instagram has been cashing in on this, with the company expected to make nearly $1 billion in revenue in the next four years. It’s not surprising, although they’ve been notoriously secret about pricing on paid advertising, estimates range from $500,000 to $1 million per month.

So yes, the stakes are definitely high. Marketers can delete and replace a bad Instagram post, and even a poor strategy can improve with time. But when you’re spending thousands, or possibly millions, of dollars on paid advertising that will put your brand in front of a much larger audience than just your own followers, it’s important to get it right.

Here are three essential tips to make sure your ad campaign gets a return on your investment.

 

1. Make Your Ads Look Native

A study cited by Fortune found that banner blindness is manifesting on social media platforms. Just as website users became desensitized to banner ads on web pages, user engagement with brands on social media platforms is falling.

Combat this effect by keeping your ad content appealing to viewers. Ads that blend in with other organic posts are likely to be viewed more favorably than something that looks like spam.

Take one of Instagram’s success stories, Capital One. There’s nothing particularly visual (or interesting) about banking services, but they saw their slogan, “What’s in Your Wallet” as an opportunity to create the creative, striking and personal images that are common place on the app. The nine pictures they circulated ended up boosting ad recall by 16 percent.

 

2. Consider videos

Video advertising on Instagram just got easier this February when Instagram rolled out its first 60 second ad campaigns. Previously, the platform only supported 30 second videos.

There’s no better way to stand out from a static image than with a dynamic video, but getting viewers to spend a whole minute on your video is a bit of a risk. It may be safer to stay on the short side, but the most successful 60 second ads have captured viewer interest in the crucial first 10 seconds with visually striking elements – For T-Mobile, it meant harnessing the power of Drake!

Keep in mind: Instagram does not automatically play audio on posts, so don’t rely on special sounds to catch a viewer’s attention.

 

3.Use a Call to Action

Paid ads come with a pretty powerful feature: the ability to include outbound links. Not only can you link back to your website, but you can do so with a sleek looking call-to-action button. In fact, market experts have found that Instagram seems to be having pretty great success with direct response ads, showing that they’re good for more than just brand messaging.

Seize this opportunity to link to your landing page, website or other content that you couldn’t otherwise on an organic post.

Why Brands Shouldn’t Worry about Instagram’s New Algorithm

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If you’ve been anywhere on Instagram in the past few days, you’ve probably heard about the impending apocalypse that is Instagram’s new algorithm. The company recently announced it was making a major update to user feeds.

The previous feed displayed posts in reverse chronological order, so users saw every post by every account they followed when scrolling past. Although this could be time consuming for users who follower thousands of accounts, it meant that any post had an equivalent chance of being viewed by a user, dependent only on the time it was posted.

But the new algorithm is shaking things up. Now, Instagram will prioritize posts from accounts that users have engaged heavily with through likes, comments and views and display those first, while relegating less significant accounts further down in the feed, or off it entirely.

Naturally, brands are freaking out about this. While the change might make IG more convenient for viewers, content creators now need to pay closer attention than ever to what they’re putting out. While this is definitely true, this doesn’t mean brand marketing on IG isn’t going to change for the worse.

PAY TO PLAY?

For larger brands that can afford paid advertising, the update won’t make a difference,  but smaller brand accounts that rely on organic post reach fear that this change is a step towards Facebook’s “Pay to Play” system. Facebook’s current algorithm gives brand accounts such a low organic post reach that many marketers feel they are essentially being forced to pay to promote their content.

Kurt Wagner at Re/Code writes that Instagram isn’t quite taking this approach. As of now, brand accounts are still treated the same as personal ones, which means that all content is treated equally. This is likely to change, but in the interim, it is still possible for brands to create content that gets seen without paying a fortune.

CREATING CONTENT THAT CLICKS

Although posting striking visual content is still important, you should encourage your followers to do more than just stare.  Madeline Popelka, a digital marketing expert, gave Elite Daily some tips for creating killer content.

Encourage them to tag their friends in posts that are relevant to them. Create incentives for followers to use your brand hashtag with giveaways and shout outs.

But boosting your account’s status goes beyond your own posts. If you’re engaging with and promoting your followers’ content, you’re more likely to get a favorable response from them the next time your new post is published.

AVOID THE ARROW

To mitigate the effects of new algorithm, some brands are turning to another method that you may have noticed in the past few days: pleading with their users to turn on post notifications. This will inform users whenever an account has a new IG post, even if it doesn’t show up in their feed.

While this tactic might avoid a short-term drop in views, you still won’t see the results you want if your posts are just something pretty to look at and then scroll past. Brands that can create killer content that encourages action and engagement shouldn’t be afraid of this new algorithm, because their posts will still be seen and furthermore, will actually lead to conversions.

 

The bottom line is, if your brand is creating content that viewers enjoy seeing and interacting with, you have nothing to worry about – at least yet.