Is Instagram The Next Big Mobile Marketing Tactic?

20 Jan

In October of this year, Instagram announced the rollout of advertising on their photo and video sharing platform with a sample ad placed directly in users' feeds. They began with a handful of businesses that were already trusted community members, and promised not to use any user photos or other content. Only ten brands were invited to participate in the phased rollout.

Mobile marketing is still in its youthful flush, with big brands like Facebook, Google and Microsoft working on the optimal way to make money out of mobile marketing advertising[BC1] . Google is out front in terms of revenue, but Facebook has made great strides, and will continue to do so with the launch of FBX for mobile. The fact that Instagram and Facebook are linked will be a major advantage for brands devising their mobile marketing strategies for the year ahead.

Instagram's struictures[BC2]  on what type of content can and can't be included is also a good thing. They demand only relevant, compelling, shareable content. This means getting the most of creatives, and giving the audience what they want.

The visual nature of the platform is one of the key defences against spammy, useless content. Creating images – even mediocre ones – requires more work than creating mediocre text, so mobile marketers will have to up their game if they want to find a way into Instagram's new phase. And with the recent addition of video, brands from MTV to Wendy's are using Instagram for a whole new kind of content.

Investing in Instagram video gives content to the most highly engaged users, and the aforementioned integration with Facebook has increased the appeal further still, with investment in one boosting the results of the other.

The addition of advertising to Instagram gives Facebook even more clout as we enter a new era of mobile marketing advertising, in which some analysts expect mobile use to outstrip desktop by the middle of the decade. Ahead of the service being rolled out to more advertisers, mobile marketers must start planning how to fit Instagram advertising into their marketing plan. If they do it right, their potential reach will increase dramatically.

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