Instagram’s Sixty Second Ads

How many seconds do you think it would take for you to tell your brand’s story? Ten? Twenty? Thirty? How about sixty?

For a generation who has a short attention span, it is nearly impossible for advertisers to grab the attention of millennials. In new attempt to reach a younger audience, Instagrams new 60 second advertisements are allowing brands to reach their customers in new ways.

Brand Networks, one of the initial participants in the Instagram Partner Program, found that Video ads accounted for 22.52 percent of total Instagram ads served by Brand Networks in December, up from 9.54 percent in September.

Each social network seems to be taking the challenge of reaching young minds in different approaches to video ads.Facebook lets companies run video ads that are as long as they want, but only as full- fledged videos. Youtube has it’s skippable pre-rolls. Twitter lets brands sponsor the delivery of high-quality content from other publishers. Snapchat has short interstitial video ads and sponsored clips.

So what do Instagram 60-second ads mean for marketers? In a press release, Ampush CEO, Jesse Pujji stated that Instagram is the mobile marketer’s platform of choice for a highly engaged and growing audience.

SocialCode co-founder and CEO Lauran O’Shaughnessy said in an email to Social Times: “Brands are eagerly anticipating the expansion of advertising on Instagram. The platform’s rich experience and extensive reach with younger audiences makes it a perfect environment to influence and inspire, and to offer consumers relevant opportunities to purchase products. We look forward to continuing to build on Instagram’s Ads API and to guiding our clients’ success with new capabilities as they’re introduced.”

T-Mobile and Warner Brothers were two of the first companies to try Instagram’s new 60 second advertisements.T-Mobile's 60-seconds with Drake
What are some of your favorite ads you’ve seen on Instagram? Share with us in the comments below.

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.

The Perfect App for an Instagram Planner

With over 80 million photos posted daily, marketers are being forced to focus more heavily on the science of Instagram posting — how to get the best content in front of the right people before that content is no longer relevant. It’s estimated that 75% of social engagement occurs in the first five minutes after the content is posted. Giving marketers a short amount of time to reach their consumers in a fun and creative way.

Before there was Planogr.am there was…well, nothing. In one of our previous posts “7 Apps Every Marketer Needs,” we mentioned an app called Planogr.am, the first visual planner for Instagram. Created by Brandy Pham and her husband Andy, the app was designed from a designer’s and editor’s point of view. Brandy, a content creator for  @brandypham had to manage her time wisely when she became a new mom. Trying to plan out her posts was a long and tedious process. Andy saw there was a correlation between Instagram posts and online sell-through. When Brandy would post to Instagram she would make a sale. 

In the non digital marketing world and just the regular old fashioned marketing world, a planogram was and still is used in retail to show the placement of products on a shelf. It helps to maximize sales and minimize wasted space. They can also serve as a reference when trying to analyze retail performance to identify one of the potential culprits in lower sales.

How it works:

  1. Upload one or multiple pictures at a time
  2. Hold and drop the unscheduled image or (images) where you would like them to be placed
  3. Tap the picture when you have decided
  4. Add your captions
  5. Schedule now or later. There is a calendar view so you will be able to see when your posts are set to be scheduled and posted. You are also able to swipe right to post something in real time or left to delete.

Why should marketers schedule Instagram posts?

Planog.am helps cultivate brand presence and maximize potential earnings. Brands like J. Crew, Oreo, or J Brand use apps like Planogr.am to display there products.

What do you think of Planog.am? Love it as much as we do? Let us know what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to follow us on our own Instagram @hashtag4thegram.

7 Apps Every Marketer Needs

<p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BDBEFV8ORkN/&quot; style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_blank">Be sure you have every app a marketer needs. Link in bio. #marketingtips #marketingdigital #apps #tagsforlikesapp #abeautifulmessapp #regramapp #vscocam #layoutapp #blogging #planogramapp</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A photo posted by #DoItForTheGram (@hashtag4thegram) on <time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2016-03-16T14:05:21+00:00">Mar 16, 2016 at 7:05am PDT</time></p></div></blockquote> //platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js” rel=”attachment wp-att-117″>IMG_7283

Instagram is a great tool for customer acquisition, SEO, customer service and lead generations among others. Brands use instagram to engage with their customers through creative pictures and videos. It humanizes the brand and engages it users. New apps are constantly being launched whose purpose is to enhance pictures through filters and other editing tools. With all these new apps available to everyone, simply posting a picture and using one of their filters isn’t enough to get all the traffic you might have hoped for. In order for your brand to do well on Instagram and make your posts memorable, which is ultimately the goal, you have to be sure your posts will get enough engagement and likes. We have put together a list of the 7 Apps Every Marketer Needs to enhance their Instagram fame, err I mean game.

  1. Regram: Apps like Regram or repost allow marketers to build an image- based community by sharing others content that reflects the brand, products, services, and values. Think of it as Instagram RT. Marketers need to realize that Instagram Instagram isn’t just about the brand’s image, but the fan’s image as well. Companies like Ben & Jerry’s and the NBA are two great examples of companies that use a combination of their own images and videos, as well as, their fans images. Not sure how to RT an Instagram picture? Here’s how to Regram.
  2. TagsforLike: Is an app, also a website, that compiles popular hashtag data. Once you download the app, search a related hashtag category and add a few that relate to your post. Unlike Twitter, Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags in each post. However, studies have found that 11 hashtags yield far more interaction than any number up to 11. Hashtags, much like regramming, allows marketers to engage with their customers. Hashtags are a way for people to search and follow accounts. Using the right hashtags will bring more traffic to your account and end with a lot more followers.
  3. Planogr.am: Have you ever wondered how brands like JCrew posts a series of pictures? Instagram is a new platform and for a while marketers weren’t able to schedule their Instagram posts in advance. Now there are a few new apps that allow you to do exactly that. My favorite is Planogra.am. 
  4. Spreesy: Turns your company’s brand Instagram and Facebook pages into powerful, automated sales channels. “A free and unlimited ecommerce platform. Speezy has “comment buying” which means your followers just enter their email address on one of your shoppable posts and they are taken to a secure checkout. Your inventory is synced with your Etsy, Shopify. You can also grow your email list when someone enters their email with #subscribe.
  5. VSCO Cam: Is one of the many editing apps marketers can use to make their pictures look polished and put together. VSCO Cam has filters not offered on Instagram. The app has 10 filters to choose from. Once you have chosen a filter you can manipulate the picture, much like Instagram, however #doitforthegram prefer VSCO Cam filters over Instagram filters. Why? Check it out for yourself! We believe a smart marketer will take the time to cross their t’s and dot their i’s before posting a picture. Instagram has great tools to edit pictures, but sometimes it’s smart to go above and beyond to make sure your picture is #instaworthy. Not sure what filters to use on VSCO Cam? Try a few of these combinations to get started. #doitforthegram also found a few other editing apps to check out here.
  6. A Beautiful Mess:  Is an editing app that allows a marketer to add creative texts and graphics to their photo, making it #Pinterestworthy. Adding text to your pictures can help viewers decide if they want to read your caption or not. We all know a picture can be worth a thousand words, but sometimes it helps to give your audience clues as to what you are trying to communicate. “A caption makes a connection between the photo to your message, brand, business, etc.”
  7. Layout: create a collage of multiple images and videos. Layout is a unique way for brands to display their company is more than one picture. Check out a few layouts here.

What are some of your favorite apps? Have a favorite app we didn’t mention above? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on Instagram @doit4thegram.

#InstaThemes

When Instagram first launched, the majority of users were either teenagers or foodies.  Since then, 26% of adult Internet users are using Instagram, giving businesses the opportunity to increase brand awareness and represent their brand’s personality in a fun, creative way. Yet, very few businesses have embraced Instagram and everything it has to offer.

In today’s world, where visual content is crucial, it is important to portray your brand in a unique way so consumers think of you when they see a certain image. Brands like #Oreo, #VirginAmerica, #Nike and even #PBR made Small Business Trends list of the Top 25 Brands you should follow on Instagram. After looking at the list, it’s easy to see why each one made the cut.

Oreo posts projects and recipes that people can make with their products. They post creative images to help them create a call to action in order to increase customer engagement. On the other hand, clothing brands like Nike, post sports related pictures and inspirational quotes. They use different hashtags and re-post pictures they have been tagged in for their followers to connect with them.  Airline Virgin America posts behind the scene pictures of their company’s employees and encourage their followers to tag them in pictures of their own travels.

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 4.40.38 PM Nike Instagram Theme

Virgin AmericaEven though all of these brands have a different target market, they have one thing in common, a theme. All of them were able to display their brand’s voice and personality by combining storytelling with creative images and videos. The company is able to demonstrate their company’s culture, connect with influencers, share company news, and enhance and complement event experiences.

So how can your company keep a uniform theme on Instagram? To start, you should determine your objectives, develop a content strategy, and come up with a content calendar. Every time you post ask yourself, who is my target audience? Does this image and caption portray my brand’s personality?

Here are a few simple pointers from your Visual Marketing gurus at #DoItForTheGram to help you maintain a common theme for your Instagram:

  • Post similar pictures, but in unique ways. Think outside the box, think like one of your consumers.
  • Use the same filter & the same cut. Here are a few apps you can download to help with that
  • Create an Instagram Style Guide. If you have more than one member on your creative team posting to the brand’s Instagram be sure that everyone is on the same creative #gram.

What are some of your favorite brand themes? What are some brands you think are worth following on IG? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to follow us on our own IG account @hashtag4thegram.