Total brand take-over: South African brands on Instagram 19 Aug 2014

Since its official launch, 16 October 2012, the online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service has gone through various transformations. From introducing videos, to Instagram Direct to brand advertising – Instagram is constantly changing and redeveloping itself to adapt to the need of the consumer. And more recently, brands.

Brands across all industries are now finding ways to successfully market themselves and achieve branding goals on Instagram. According to the Instagram for Business guide, this platform is highly effective for:

• Driving awareness for brands or products

• Shifting or reinforcing brand perceptions

• Creating associations with celebrities and partners.

How is it then that brands such as Starbucks, Victoria’s Secret, Burberry and Ben & Jerry’s are using Instagram as a powerful marketing platform to maximize brand impact, but South African brands are yet to catch on to the trend?

With its latest announcement of advertising in November, South African brands will hopefully also soon jump on the Instagram bandwagon. With a large amount of South Africans already using the platform and 67% of the world’s renowned brands reaching large audiences – brands that invest more time on this social media platform hold the power to shift brand perceptions and create Lovemarks well measurable beyond an ROI. Brand marketers should refine the way they look at the consumer and how, and where they spend their time online.

In 2014, the prediction is that South African brand communities on Instagram will boom. Along with establishing and maintaining an Instagram presence, it is predicted that a more refined, strategic use of the hashtag will be incorporated to boost brand awareness. With brands on Instagram experiencing an average of 7% growth in both followers and engagement, brands that do not utilize this platform should be turning to online community managers and content creators and reevaluate their online marketing strategy.

With Instagram revolutionising itself to make advertising “enjoyable, engaging and natural”, South African brands on this platform could benefit from an overall increase in awareness – not even to mention the power of awareness with Instagram ads.