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Is Instagram changing the way we use ads?

With the way that we use social media constantly evolving, it is imperative that brands keep up with the ever-changing needs and wants of its users. Instagram is now one of the largest and arguably the most influential platform out there. With over 1 billion monthly active users – that’s 200 million more than this time last year – it’s growing rapidly and companies must keep on top of how it has changed the way consumers interact with brands.

Influencers are one of the main factors which have changed the platform. Whilst they were always ‘influential’, companies have quickly realised that they can easily turn these user’s loyal followers into customers.

For example, Instagram influencer Chiara Ferragni reportedly earned £3.9 million in digital advertising for Dior, her wedding dress designer, and the dress was the focus of 15% of the wedding’s overall media coverage. The event was the influencer version of the royal wedding. With all the proceedings documented with the hashtag #TheFerragnis and a combined following of 20 million between them, they are a brand’s dream. Launchmetrics totalled the audience-driven media impact at £27 million, with 67 million interactions from Instagram posts and reported online press across all the brands involved, which is a huge amount of coverage for any brand. When comparing this to Meghan Markle’s wedding dress, designed by Givenchy, this only generated 7% coverage of the day’s total buzz. That’s less than half of what Chiara achieved for Dior.

Ultimately, potential customers are sticklers for authenticity, the presence or absence of which has a critical bearing on conversion, investment and loyalty. ASOS is a brand that spotted this trend, and has capitalised on it for years to create an epic, authentic brand identity. As a result, ‘ASOSInsiders’ is a marketing initiative designed by the retail giant to give its users more personal content – namely, fashion tips and style advice. ASOS and its insiders have mastered the art of engaging with social influencers by creating content that we, as a consumer, can’t actually tell is an ad. With figures showing that 53% of women are reportedly making purchases due to influencer posts, this kind of posting is hugely valuable and ASOS has proved itself a master of social media.

As Instagram grows and other platforms carry on adapting its most popular features, brands need to stay current by keeping on top of how communication now works online. As a consumer, we are more likely to engage with a post if we feel like it is relatable. By understanding what the users want, which is a relationship with an influencer whose content they can trust, you can provide promotional content that will encourage a more engaged and beneficial response from consumers.

If you want to discuss creating reactive content that is impactful for your brand, give us a call on 0121 454 9707 or email gary.hebblethwaite@hroc.co.uk.