In 2010, Instagram was launched as a new visual, alternate social media platform to Facebook or Twitter. What started as a small place to post instant images with grainy filters and minimal captions, has now become a world-recognised sales platform and with it, a whole new wave of marketers, also known as ‘Influencers’, ‘content creators’ or ‘Instagrammers’.
How has Instagram changed the world of marketing?
Previously print, websites, TV or Radio were the main channels to be seen, social media changed that and Instagram created a whole new platform to consider when showcasing a product or brand. Visual content that could engage and be consumed within a swipe became the way to influence purchase decisions.
While it began life as a platform for younger users, this is no longer the case. For example, research for easyJet showed more than 55% of 18 to 65-year-olds had booked trips purely based on images they had seen on the social network. Millenials and Gen Z looking to plan trips away will now look at an Instagram geo tag or go to a travel Instagrammer’s account to look for hotel recommendations, rather than TripAdvisor. Some people have even admitted to booking holidays based purely on the ‘Instagram-ability’ of a place, meaning it will look nice on their profile page and generate likes and engagement for their own Instagram page.
The sales power of Instagram
An example of the impact Instagram can have for a brand is by looking at the sales figures of the Minky cloth, a simple household item that sold out in all UK stores in October 2019 due to ‘cleanfluencer’ Mrs Hinch showcasing the cloth when cleaning her bathroom to her 2.9 million followers. With a whopping 60% of people who have heard of her say they’d buy something purely on her recommendation, the Minky cloth suddenly became a must have item, with the cloths selling for over 3,000 times the retail price to people desperate to get their hands on one of the highly coveted cloths. Mrs Hinch’s influence is clear to see as when she took a short hiatus from Instagram after the birth of her son, Google searches for Minky cloths plummeted by -60%.
What can we learn from Instagram in the next 10 years?
Impressing influencers is just as important in 2020 as it is traditional journalists, and as social media platforms evolve and new ones emerge, the way we consume information has changed considerably.
When planning a campaign, influencers should play a key part in outreach and not fall under a secondary umbrella category. You may even consider working with an influencer to be at the forefront of a campaign to lead creative and visual content. The appeal with Instagrammers is the transparency in their content to their loyal following and their credibility as a trusted personality. If working with a brand, they must highlight this with #gifted or #ad. If an influencer doesn’t like something, they’re under no obligation to say otherwise, so building relationships with well-known stars is key to success.
If you’d like more information about how Westgate can help you build Instagrammers and Influencers into your next campaign, do contact us.