There are suddenly many more marketers trying to figure out how to resonate on Instagram. Last week Instagram opened the advertising floodgates, dropping the minimum spend and switching on an Ads API so that brands can start campaigns without talking to a rep. This is after a lengthy trial-and-error period with pilot campaigns.
As so many brands rush into Instagram at the same time, it will be interesting to see what approaches work and what falls flat. In the short-term, we’ll probably see a lot of “tire kickers” – brands reusing assets from other social campaigns and treating Instagram like an extension of Facebook. I think these tone-deaf brands on Instagram will come across like clueless parents entering their teenagers’ rooms.
In the long run, marketers will need to pay close attention to how people use Instagram and come up with creative ways to enter that world that aren’t one-size-fits-all. Instagram ads that resonate won’t feel like ads you’d find everywhere else.
My favorite recent Instagram campaign is this choose-your-own-adventure game from Old Spice. They creatively hacked the tagging function on Instagram to let people follow a story from post to post.
I’m looking forward to that kind of creative trial-and-error experimentation from brands. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how brands should approach Instagram.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed cartoon print. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)
4 CommentsJoin the Discussion
Gavin Llewellyn says
Once again it appears that brands are taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach to social media marketing rather than tailoring their efforts appropriately. And the ‘shiny object syndrome’ means there’s a rush to get involved in the next cool thing rather than thinking about what is most relevant to the target audience.
However, I’m also looking forward to the creative trial and error that will follow from imaginative brands looking to make a genuine impact – the Old Spice example looks really interesting and the way in which they’ve hacked the tagging function on Instagram reminds me of something Ballantine’s has been experimenting with: http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-ballantines-publishes-magazine-about-whisky-entirely-instagram-165116
The age-old question for me is how does this work for B2B marketing? Social media definitely influences consumers and Old Spice and other cpg brands have a lot to gain with cracking the code. Small businesses and other B2B focused companies with constrained resources may not see the benefits of a creative Instagram story and need an alternative. I hate to say it but B2B marketers will find the best way to use this to generate leads and with low cpc they don’t have much to lose.
Ted Simon says
Love this Marketoon, Tom! Once again, you’ve nailed it (not to mention capturing the scathing sensibility of today’s teens!). Thanks for sharing that Old Spice example…very creative use of the medium that’s appropriate for the brand and its audience.
Nicole raises a good question: “The age-old question for me is how does this work for B2B marketing?”
As I say to my team and my students (I teach social media marketing at grad school level), not all channels are meant for all companies. Just because a channel exists doesn’t mean it’s right for your brand, company or objectives. I imagine for many B2B companies Instagram won’t be a relevant or important channel to consider. It could be a large waste of time (it would be for my company); that’s something that will be up to each marketing team/company to discern.
The starting place is this set of questions: a) is our prime audience(s) present in a meaningful way?, b) is the medium appropriate for the objective which we are seeking to achieve?, and c) is our message relevant and appropriate in this channel?
If this sounds like Marketing 101, that’s because it is. Fundamentals don’t change because a shiny new object is available. What DOES need to change, as Tom and Gavin point out, is the “one size fits all” mentality that too often exists. I’m looking forward to watching this the experiment unfold.
Elvis Floroiu says
Old Spice recycled a rather old (40+ weeks) idea Mercedes Benz had: https://instagram.com/gla_build_your_own/
Not impressed by them.