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Marketers: Time to take Instagram seriously?

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27th Nov 2015
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According to a survey from Greenlight, 60% of businesses don't currently factor Instagram into their marketing. 

However, the research, which surveyed both marketers and consumers, found that 30% of Instagram users have bought items from the social network after seeing them on the app. This, combined with Instagram recently opening up its advertising API, means many marketers accept it’s now becoming a difficult channel to ignore.

53% of the marketing professionals surveyed in Greenlight’s research admitted they would aim to make use of Instagram in 2016 to boost their sales, with 50% of those saying they’ll use it predominantly for brand awareness, as opposed to for advertising or to drive sales.

However, Andreas Pouros, COO and co-founder at Greenlight believes some will miss out on the opportunity to use the upcoming holiday period as a useful period to test the waters with Instagram advertising:

“Gift-giving is always a challenge and sometimes people just need a little hint about exactly what they’re looking for. On Instagram, users curate a profile based on the people, products, brands and images they like and this provides a unique snapshot into their intimate wants and preferences.

"The sharable nature of this social media platform makes it the perfect channel to understand what loved ones might be hankering for this Christmas. With this in mind, marketers should therefore be using Instagram to encourage ‘hint dropping’; sharing this festive season in order to get stockings filled!”

From a user perspective, informative content is still valued most by consumers (49%), while over a third like to see brands share authentic or user-generated images or interact with their followers.        

Despite this, recent Kenshoo analysis suggested the social network may not be a bad option for testing ads on in the build-up to Christmas.     

Its early research of the new Instagram advertising API found an average click-through rate (CTR) of 2.48% for the ads analysed. In contrast, Facebook CTR rates are said to currently hover somewhere around the 1% mark.

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