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Beginning life in 2010, Instagram is a little over 10 years. 

Now owned by social media behemoth Facebook, the platform currently boasts an estimated one billion users. While beginning life as a simple photo-sharing app, the platform has since become huge in the world of marketing and is now one of the key social media marketing tools for brands across the world. 

This should come as no surprise with roughly 200 million people visiting a business profile daily. Further to this, it is the fourth most use of any mobile phone app, the sixth most popular social media channel, and the ninth most popular Google query. 

With all of this in mind, below, we take a look at the platform, highlighting what it is, what it does, who uses it and why it’s not only good for business but what businesses should be using it.

What is Instagram and what does it do?

The USP of Instagram is that it’s visual-centric. As a photo-sharing app, it’s a place where individuals share their life through imagery, with accompanying text, rather than simply through text such as Facebook or Twitter. Since its inception, Instagram also hosts videos and stories, where quick images and videos that are deleted after 24 hours are shared with followers. 

While Instagram is a place to connect with friends and family, much like other social media channels, it quickly came a place for individuals to create and share content with like-minded people across the globe. One of the key ways this is done is through hashtags.

These clickable links allowed people to expand the reach of their images for those searching specific hashtags. You can even follow a hashtag as well as a person now. 

It’s elements like this that led to the platform becoming a huge social media marketing tool, where images shared by brands can reach not only followers of the brand but for those searching specific hashtags. 

Who uses Instagram?

While social media marketing on the platform can be key for many business marketing strategies, it’s important to know exactly who’s using the platform. 

As of October 2020, there are 28 million Instagram users in the UK alone. The majority of users are younger than 34 years old, with the key demographic being 18 – 24-year-olds, and is the second most used app amongst American teenagers (the first being Snapchat).

Meanwhile, the gender split is almost equal on Instagram, 51% female and 49% male, with users spending an average of 53-minutes per day on the platform.  

As the second most logged in to social media site after Facebook it’s easy to see why Instagram has become more and more popular with brands in recent years.

How can Instagram help businesses?

With a potential advertising reach of around 1.1 billion and a youth audience reach of 83 million, Instagram could be hugely beneficial for any business looking to sell products through social media marketing.

With 90% of accounts following at least one business page, businesses see an average follower growth of 1.46% each month – meaning your sales potential will continue to grow and grow when doing social media marketing the right way.

Perfect for e-commerce businesses, Instagram is a key tool in the discovery side of the customer purchasing journey, with 83% of Instagram users discovering new services and products on the platform. Further to this, 50% of users say they’re more interested in a brand after seeing an Instagram advert.

Who does Instagram work for?

So, the big question on your lips will now be – is Instagram right for my business? The answer to this is yes and no.

Firstly, it’s important to look at the bigger brands on the platform. While 60% of the world’s top brand share videos and photos on Instagram for marketing purposes, the most popular tend to fall into the fashion and cosmetics industries. This is due to the platform being image-centric, and these types of brands lend themselves perfectly to visually stimulating photography.  

For reference, the ten most popular brands on the platform are:

  1. Nike 
  2. Victoria’s Secret
  3. Huda Beauty
  4. Chanel
  5. Gucci
  6. Zara
  7. Louis Vuitton
  8. Dior
  9. Adidas
  10. MAC

As you can see, they’re all brands that would primarily focus on strong imagery for sales. Therefore, for companies not working in an industry that lends itself to the ethos of Instagram, which is strong visuals, it may be more beneficial to focus on another platform.

When it comes to social media marketing, all brands must have a presence somewhere. However, it’s also key not to spread yourself too thinly, focusing on where your audience are.

If you’re unsure of the right platform for your business, Relative specialise in all forms of marketing, including social media marketing. Get in touch today and find out what we can do for your brand when it comes to creating a killer social media marketing strategy.

Lewis Shepherd profile picture

About the author

Made in Wales, Lewis worked for the only Pot Noodle factory in the world as a teenager! He then moved up north to study Journalism and media studies at University. Lewis has a self-confessed love of musical theatre and Madonna, which borders on the obsessive, and regularly spends all of his money on books, which he adds to his ever-growing pile at home. As a copywriter, his role at Relative requires him to write words in many forms for all our clients.

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