With two million advertisers onboard Instagram, experts call it an ideal platform

As the user base grows to 800 million with 500 million monthly active users, Instagram is surely becoming a favourite with brands and advertisers

by Ronald Menezes
Published - Sep 29, 2017 7:22 AM Updated: Sep 29, 2017 7:22 AM
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Instagram has grown to two million advertisers, up from the one million figure in March. People are spending more time on Instagram now and the numbers are proof as the user base has grown to 800 million with 500 million monthly active users on the platform.

Time spent watching video on Instagram is more than 80 per cent year over year while the number of videos produced per day has increased four times compared to last year. Businesses are finding more opportunities to connect with their audiences because of features like Instagram Stories and Live.

With increasing number of advertisers and users on Instagram, how attractive is the platform for brands to advertise in the Indian context?

Gautam Mehra, Chief Data Officer, Dentsu Aegis, said, “Instagram is a great place for brand storytelling and advertisers have seen good success there. It is also super simple to extend a Facebook campaign on Instagram. Simply, check a box and your ad is adapted and run on Instagram. The fact that it runs like a placement in conjunction with a Facebook feed makes it super simple and an elegant advertising solution. This has undoubtedly helped Instagram tremendously.”

Siddharth Hegde, MD and Founder, Ethinos, said that Instagram will be perfect for relevant categories like lifestyle, travel, objects of desire, fashion, etc. “It is also a double-edged sword with many core Instagrammers having much lower tolerance for irrelevant and badly targeted ads. The formats however, let the brands be a lot more creative, tell a story and develop a meaningful narrative built on quality imagery,” he said.

Brands have started leveraging this to increase their reach, awareness and establish an identity for themselves in the minds of their target audience, some of which is done through a strong influencer programme, according to Muddassar Memon, National Head – Social and Creative, iProspect India.

Muddassar added, “This is helping brands display their content in a visually appealing manner and push users to visit its website/app or view products on their handle. Due to this, Instagram has about seven times higher engagement compared to Facebook and Twitter and thus brands are now leaning towards Instagram as a platform to advertise. The use of Instagram to advertise will surely continue to increase as brands use the platform as a visual storytelling tool to establish a character of their own, leading to increased awareness and a strong user base.”

Chetan Asher, Co-Founder and CEO, Tonic Media, is of an opinion that Indian brands are warming up to Instagram. He said, “The first focus on the platform is to market the brand using influencer outreach right now. As a visual and mobile first platform, Instagram offers tremendous potential to create micro content that communicates more in few seconds. As the audience size increases, spends will too. But for advertising to be effective on Instagram, brands will have to create fresh micro content and that's what we have been advising them at Tonic.”

Crossing the 800 million user mark is just another milestone checked off the list for Instagram. Along with this success, the platform has also announced new tools to keep the platform safe and a positive place for expression.

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