Instagram is perhaps one of the most popular social networks today due to its visually rich content and its ease of use. By offering a variety of photography effects, the platform has become the home for some of the most creative social media minds in the industry. But with so many brands trying to grab the limelight on Instagram, how can your ad creative stand out from the rest?
Eric Oldrin, creative strategy lead at Instagram, gives us some answers in the Q&A below. He also shares his thoughts on the evolution of social photography as a content marketing tool.
ClickZ (CZ): Tell us more about your role as creative shop lead at Instagram?
Eric Oldrin (EO): What’s great about being on the Creative Shop team at Instagram is we work with brands and agencies to help them build compelling, awe-inspiring campaigns through Instagram. Our platform has become a creative canvas for advertisers, and I’m able to draw on my background in branding and entertainment to collaborate with brands across verticals and industries to build the most compelling content for the best possible results.
CZ: Many in the industry say that Instagram is changing the way brands look at online/social photography and it is becoming an alternative content marketing platform. What’s your take on this?
EO: Billions of people now have a powerful phone and camera in their pocket. This is creating a profound shift: images are replacing words – people are communicating visually and using images to experience the world around them. Whether it’s a local business or a global brand, businesses want to reach a captive audience and a community of people looking to be inspired. Instagram helps them do this by enabling them to push the boundaries of their creative.
CZ: Instagram allows advertisers to play around with a variety of effects: sharpened, shadowed and brightened. How can advertisers choose visual styles that appeal to their target viewers?
EO: We’re constantly inspired by the ways our community pushes the boundaries of what’s possible on Instagram. Their imagination is what pushes us to continue to build new creative tools, and we encourage brands to also look to their followers and target audiences when determining their own visual identity. Taco Bell is a great example of a brand that is very in touch with its target audience, and its content and aesthetic on Instagram is the perfect demonstration of this. Last year it used Instagram to launch its new breakfast line, capturing the brand’s youthful ethos in a series of sponsored posts with a retro, sun-bleached color palette.
CZ: Instagram launched carousel ads in March of this year. How have advertisers responded to this ad format so far? Any numbers to share?
EO: Advertisers have really embraced the carousel ad format on Instagram as it gives them greater flexibility to tell more complete stories around their brands, while also giving the community the ability to learn more about the brands and products they love. We’ve seen brands from across different verticals using the format in creative ways, from Showtime raising awareness of the season two premier of Penny Dreadful (each carousel ad featured a key character, providing the audience with the opportunity to connect with the show in a deeper way) to Banana Republic, who used carousel ads to showcase the diversity of its Spring 2015 collection and reach new customers.
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