Learn How Big Brands are Marketing on Instagram

 In Social Media

The age of social media marketing is upon us. From Facebook and LinkedIn to Snapchat and Pinterest, brands are booming on social media platforms in ingenious ways. Budding businesses and international organizations are creating marketing empires across online media to connect with consumers globally. Instagram has been vital to the success of big-name brands. Since its 2010 launch, the photo sharing app has grown to provide exposure for companies looking to engage, convert, and connect with over 500 million active monthly users. While many sponsored posts are cross-targeted with users on other platforms, the most successful brands have capitalized on Instagram’s overwhelmingly large base while offering a general best practice for businesses using the service.


For global automobile-maker Mercedes-Benz, Instagram proved to be a successful vehicle to promote a new line of compact SUVs. Influenced by a popular hashtag, #ThingsOrganizedNeatly, the company used the GLA’s cargo mat to organize trip items that potential Benz owners might pack. The results were astounding. The company boasted a 14-point lift in recall for Mercedes Instagram ads, a 54% increase in site visits from cross-targeted ads, and a whopping 580% increase in site visits when integrated with their Facebook direct response ads. Mercedes concluded that Instagram’s growth and outreach coalesced well with their overall desire to connect.





Mercedes-Benz also encourages fans to post aesthetically visual photos of Mercedes-Benz using a branded hashtag, #mbfanphoto, which the company also includes in their bio description.




General Marketing Manager, Mark Aikman, said “Imagery is everything on Instagram”. If you take a look at the Mercedes-Benz IG, you can see their photography is perfectly-crafted, and strategy is very well executed. Engagement is high – with posts generating between 50k-100k likes per post.




Likewise, Australia’s flag carrier airline, Qantas, experienced major marketing returns after employing a strong Instagram campaign. Qantas sought to connect with the younger Instagram audience by presenting stunning seasonal visuals to engage users emotionally. By showcasing original summer images coupled with short video clips of real people meeting up at airports, the airline became the first Australian brand to successfully run a joint video and photo campaign on Instagram. As a direct result, the brand saw significant lifts in both ad recall and message association.



The biggest brands benefit from Instagram’s vast user base by presenting compelling imagery, creating cross-targeted posts, and capitalizing on seasonal hashtags. For smaller businesses, knowing the best practice for using the service will give similar results without a significant budget. Staying on brand, remaining consistent, and creating well-crafted and concept-driven visuals will allow you to succeed too.


For the most engagements, conversions, and connections companies should first identify their brand’s unique message and create content that reflects their point of view. This can be accomplished via logos, taglines, color, or any other iconic brand element. Next, brands must stay consistent when incorporating these elements in their posts. Users should be able to briefly scan a company’s Instagram page and identify their unique point of view through even a small sampling of posts. The most successful brands also focus on meaningful, concept-driven campaigns. Original and bold imagery, carefully constructed composition, and highly stylized visuals are key to lasting brand footprints on the app. Using the best practice for Instagram will allow your business to flourish while meeting personal marketing goals on the social media service.

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