Why You Need To Advertise On Instagram And Brands That Are Doing It Right

— June 17, 2017

It is said that a picture says a thousand words. On Instagram, a picture speaks to millions.

Instagram is a purely visual social platform and the platform’s popularity has soared in the past couple of years. It has over 700 million monthly users and out of all the social sites, Instagram’s audience is the most engaged.

There are 8 million registered businesses using Instagram business profiles and in March 2017, over 120 million Instagrammers visited a website, got directions, called, emailed, or direct messaged to learn about a business based on a business ad.

Why You Need To Advertise On Instagram And Brands That Are Doing It Right

What are the benefits of advertising on Instagram?

You’re guaranteed to reach your target market: Instagram is the favoured platform among millennials [most users are between 18-29 years old]. If that’s your target audience, then Instagram is the place for you.

High engagement rates: The audience on Instagram is highly engaged and the platform’s targeting is based on Facebook’s targeting which means you can use custom audiences, demographics, interests and more to get your ads in front of the right eyes.

You can show your creative side: Instagram is a visual platform. In order to get people to stop scrolling and start looking, the visuals you share need to be something special. Unlike other platforms, on Instagram, you can let your creative side shine to the highest level.

Helps build trust: As Instagram is a creative, visual platform, a business can go beyond just showing users ads to showing them the day-to-day life at the office. By sharing a business’s personal side, a brand is building an emotional connection with a user, which increases the user’s trust in the brand.

Who are the brands that are doing it right?


Ben and Jerrys are definitely a brand to take inspiration from. Their Instagram feed is loaded with snaps of their ice cream but they’re showcasing the products in innovative and clever ways.



GoPro dedicate their Instagram feed to their product in action. And who better to showcase a product than the people who use it. Go to their Instagram and you’ll see tons of snaps from people across the globe capturing their adventures.


Möge der Zimt mit dir sein! #starwars #theforceawakens #cinnamonbuns

A post shared by Ben & Jerry’s (@benandjerrys_offiziell) on


Lego’s Instagram is all about creativity. The brand is posting some seriously imaginative and engaging content, and their 2 million followers are loving every bit of it.



NASA’S Instagram account exists to evoke curiosity and wonder. And it really is out of this world. Just take a look at the content it’s sharing.


NASA uses Instagram to promote its work. Its Instagram account works well not only because it shares visually spectacular videos and images, but because it educates its followers. Each post comes with an explanation that’s easy to understand.

NASA’s use of Instagram is inspirational because it doesn’t just post beautiful images and videos and leave it at that. It is committed to ensuring the audience understands what’s going on in the universe.

What do the experts have to say about Instagram?

Amy Kilvington, Head of Content, Blinds Direct

Why should companies be advertising on Instagram?

There is so much value for brands that advertise on Instagram – the benefits really are endless. To summarise, it enables them to reach a wider audience, raise brand awareness, connect with customers, deal with customer service issues, liaise with others in the industry, and finally gather user-generated content that will benefit future communications. Not only this, but companies are able to drive more traffic to their website and secure conversions.

Does it work best for certain industries?

Instagram is a particularly effective marketing tool for visual industries, and brands that offer attractive/photogenic products, such as food, makeup or homeware. However, most businesses can see success on the platform, especially if their products or services can be represented effectively by images and videos – industries like motor, fitness and technology, for example. People love beautiful things, and the more aesthetically pleasing your Instagram feed is, the more engagement you will receive.

Are there certain industries that would struggle on the platform? Why?

While Instagram is a great platform for most industries, there are some that won’t be the best fit. Sensitive areas like legal and financial may struggle, along with overly technical brands, and companies that deal with sensitive issues and require extensive privacy and anonymity. While there may be a way that these brands can utilise Instagram, there’s a risk that they’ll get less value out of it for the time and budget that’s dedicated. In this case, I would recommend against using Instagram.

Tips to run successful campaigns across the platform?

My top tips include plenty of planning, taking the time to establish your goals and arrange the full process. High quality is a must, so invest the right amount of time into the design and development of your images and videos. Also, take the time to fact check every piece of content you share on social media – any mistakes could come back and bite you in the future. And finally, don’t forget to engage with other accounts throughout the duration of your campaign. The more you ‘like’, ‘comment’ and ‘share’ other people’s content, the more you’ll appease Instagram’s algorithm, and your own content will land in more people’s feeds.

Sarah Donawerth, Social Media Accounts Manager, Stampington & Company

Why should companies be advertising on Instagram?

Instagram has a highly-engaged audience. They check their feeds regularly and the platform appeals to millennials, which means that it is the perfect hunting ground for new customers that can be made into loyal customers for years to come. These new leads are extremely valuable. Instagram is also a very visual platform, so it is the perfect way to show off your products to their best advantage without being weighed down with text.

Does it work best for certain industries? Why?

It works best with creative industries and visual industries. I would discourage it for anything in the medical supply industry (I’ve seen those ads and they are awful), law or finance, or technical industries. If you have a physical product to sell, Instagram is a great way to display your product from all angles and to its best advantage.

Tips to run successful campaigns across the platform?

Always place your product, or the focus of your ad, in a natural setting. I do not recommend anything on a flat white background. It looks too salesy and it loses the artistic component that people expect on Instagram. Try propping the item to look like a still life, prop with similar items, or add a pop of color to the background. Give your customer something visually interesting to look at, and they will want to know more about your product.

Daniel Heller, Content Editor, Trusted Shops

Why should companies be advertising on Instagram?

Instagram is a true blessing for sellers. You can build up a loyal audience, win new customers and show your products to potential buyers with a multitude of beautiful pictures. It even gives you the opportunity to run ads, which have a “shop now” button underneath so shoppers can buy products directly on their phones. However, any ad campaign will run best if the company has a well-run “normal” Instagram account to complement their advertisements as well.

Does it work best for certain industries? Why?

In industries where people are passionate. These can be fashion, fitness, cars, or business. Passionate people tend to share, like and engage with compelling content. This makes Instagram the perfect platform to connect with potential buyers and start a conversation with them.

Are there certain industries that would struggle on the platform? Why?

Every industry has interesting facets. As a matter of fact, you could even build a passionate following in the legal and financial industries by sharing relatable pictures, quotes, or thoughts. Think about what you would really like to see on the platform and then create that content. Win fans first and they will become customers eventually.

Tips to run successful campaigns across the platform?

The social media game has to be played for the long-term. So, tell a story, act human, and interact with your fans. Posting boring images of your product won’t get you far and will result in people ignoring you. Instead, show how your product has helped your customers and show it in action. Keep in mind that people open Instagram to be entertained and not to get bombarded with ads. Around 80% of your content shouldn’t focus on selling your product, but rather make your brand more relatable and human. If you focus on your fans and not only on your products, you will build a loyal audience. They will buy your products, share your content with their friends, and feel good about doing it.

Patrick Harvey, Social Media Manager, Passion Digital

Why should companies be advertising on Instagram?

As a platform, it’s got all the powerful targeting capabilities of Facebook in a less cluttered environment which has an emphasis on visual. This gives you a unique opportunity to build trust and connect with your audience through a medium that puts image and video content first. It’s also growing fast with over 700 million users and with new products and features like stories coming out on a regular basis, advertisers have a range of rich media ad formats and placements to get innovative with.

Are there certain industries that would struggle on the platform? Why?

The finance industry, for example, might find it harder to evoke emotion amongst audiences with their content on Instagram. Unless you’re able to humanise your content and present it in a way that people can really feel something from just by looking at it, you might find Instagram advertising an uphill struggle.

Tips to run successful campaigns across the platform?

The best social ads are those that appear native. Nobody enjoys seeing an ad that’s clearly meant to be salesy. As such, focusing on storytelling and authenticity can often lead to better results. Think more ‘wow’ and less ‘buy now’. Having said that, there’s no reason why you can’t drive direct response as long as you can connect with your audience’s desires.

Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community