Posted: 30 Mar 2017
It's safe to say Instagram had a pretty lucrative 2016. From a fresh logo and interface to new additions like Instagram Stories, James Quarles, Instagram's VP of Business, certainly wasn’t mistaken when he said that 2016 was its "defining year." With more updates than ever before, Instagram knows that online trends are transient so aims to continue building on its momentum.
But how can marketers get their own slice of the pie? According to eMarketer, the bounty lies in its ad sales, which are projected to surpass $3bn by the end of 2017 – an increase from $60m in 2015 – and an estimated one million advertisers now use the app. To delve a little deeper into these stats, this number stood at just 200,000 in 2015.
Now, Instagram has had some help through its Facebook ownership, but the unique reason users flock to the app is also why the platform is so powerful. Instagram is essentially a library of what we want our lives to look like; from the things we buy, to what we eat and where we want to travel. Anyone with an eye for design and a knack for taking photos can thrive on this site, but the reasons for its popularity go further still.
According to Quarles, Instagram's growth has been spurred on by three core factors: passionate small businesses, ease of management and the company's commitment to sales and not likes or followers. Additionally, like Facebook, it presents an opportunity to monitor and drive sales.
Its new booking feature banks on consumer behaviour – so companies that use the platform, such as hairdressers, hotels or shops, can now use the platform to directly make sales, give directions and allow potential customers to contact the business. Given that around 80% of users follow a business, it's a significant market to tap into.
Even Instagram Stories – which at first seemed remarkably similar to Snapchat's – has overcome hesitant user adoption and turned the feature into one of its most powerful components.