Instagram Marketing



Instagram Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2016

Facebook Marketing SMK Insight Report 2015


Introduction . ............................................................ Page 3

Pillar 1 – Creating Killer Content for Instagram . ................. Page 4

Pillar 2 – Working with Influencers ................................. Page 9

Pillar 3 – Risks of Instagram Marketing ............................. Page 14

Pillar 4 – Paid Advertising ................................................ Page 19

Pillar 5 – Tools for Instagram Marketers ............................ Page 23

About SMK . ............................................................... Page 32


Facebook Marketing SMK Insight Report 2015


Welcome to the latest

SMK Insight Report

James Fitzgerald

Executive Director of Programing

Hi there,

This report has been put together to help organisations better understand the major principles of marketing and

communicating on Instagram. Compiled by the SMK research team, we’ve cut to the core around what really

matters on the platform.

2016 should, all things being equal, be the year Instagram moves beyond social hype and starts to come of age.

With Instagram’s advertising platform opening up for all companies at the tail-end of 2015, we can expect big

things this year. eMarketer forecasts Instagram ad spend to reach almost $3 billion by 2017, enormous growth in

just three years!

There are two major factors underpinning this staggering growth. First is the borderline addiction

of its users; second is the powerful ad offering of its parent company; Facebook.

Instagram enjoys the benefit of leveraging what is fast becoming

the most sophisticated advertising platform around. The advertising

technology Facebook possesses is mind boggling, not to mention

the data it collates on its users which advertisers can then apply.

Every quarter more and more businesses are jumping

on board, while existing advertisers are investing

more heavily in Facebook. For the 2.5m+ advertisers

on Facebook, Instagram campaigns are now just

a few clicks away.

We hope you find this report useful, if you have

any feedback please feel free to get in touch.


James Fitzgerald

SMK – Social Media Knowledge

Executive Director of Programing


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 1

Creating Killer

Content for Instagram

Instagram is above all a visual medium. Photography and video are the pivots on

which the success of any Instagram campaign hinges.

To get attention, your content must look beautiful enough to capture the eye of a

scrolling Instagrammer. However, beauty alone isn’t enough to turn a glance into

profitable business. Your content must be strategic.

When we talk about killer Instagram content, we mean content that hooks viewers

with something they care about and then reels them closer to your brand.

While easily articulated, these outcomes can only be achieved with a combination

of planning and creativity. Here are some tips on how to do it.

Visual Quality

Aesthetics matter on Instagram. An experienced professional behind the camera might

help, but it’s not a necessity. You can win on Instagram just by remembering a few

secrets and applying them to make content that is attractive and identifiably on-brand.

Think inside the box

Although Instagram now supports landscape and portrait

orientation, the distinctive square images and videos that

are the default Instagram format remain the most popular.

The easiest way to make sure your images are optimised for

a square display is to skip the standard rectangular framing

and actually take your pictures in a square format.

Sure, you can crop standard rectangular images down to

squares, but such editing sometimes requires compromises

of composition and framing.

Instead, you can take square shots from directly within

the Instagram app. Although this can limit your options

somewhat, it’s super easy.

Adopt basic

photographic principles

Angles, lighting and the choice of colour or black and

white can greatly influence the attractiveness and tone of

your content.

If you’re unfamiliar with the basics of photographic

composition, look around the web for some quick pointers

you can apply easily and effectively.

For instance, use a tripod to get your angles just right

and capture smooth pans for video. Consider the position

of your light source to draw attention to the parts of the

image you want people to see.

Alternatively, change the settings on your smart phone or

digital camera to restrict the ratio to square before you shoot.

To save yourself editing time, ensure that all desired

elements fit within the frame, and that your shot’s

composition works in a square format.


Facebook Instagram Marketing SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 1

Creating Killer

Content for Instagram

Visual Quality (Continued)

Enhance with easy editors

Instagram’s best-known feature is its built-in filters. They make

it easy to turn happy-snaps into masterpieces, adding extra pop

to your posts. However, Instagram doesn’t have a monopoly on

quick and easy image editing and enhancements.

In fact, there are lots of other great tools available—many with a

greater variety or different feel to the built-in Instagram filters.


If you’re taking stills, VSCO Cam is a robust third party camera app (free, iOS and

Android) that includes a wide range of pre-sets and filters. It also offers advanced

camera controls to manually adjust aspects including focus, shutter speed, white

balance and exposure compensation.

Litely (free, iOS) gives your digital images some of the organic warmth of oldfashioned


Afterlight ($1.06, iOS and Android) lets you apply textures and custom frames to

your photos, with greater options than Instagram’s standard package.


For video, apps like Replay (free, iOS), Splice (free, iOS)

and Magisto (free, iOS and Android) make easy work

of video editing. Use them to add smooth transitions,

music, effects and more.

Instagram’s own Hyperlapse (free, iOS) makes it

simple to create stunning, automatically stabilised

time-lapse videos.


Facebook Instagram Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 1

Creating Killer

Content for Instagram

Strategic Success

Focused, purposeful posts

Before you start to create, consider the purpose of your post.

Is it to start a conversation with your existing audience?

Is it to attract new followers? Is it to announce a special offer

or a new product? Don’t try to do everything at once. Focus

on a single objective and tailor the caption appropriately.

Visually beautiful content

gains commercial value

when Instagram users see

and interact with it. Make sure

your content speaks to your

audience with these quick tips.

Maintain brand consistency

Whatever is featured in your picture, make sure that the

overall tone and composition is right for your brand.

Is your brand edgy and daring? Dark and moody?

Bright and sunny?

Take a little time to define the visual character of your brand.

Once you’ve found it, be consistent in applying it.

Make your Instagram look recognisable by using stylised

photographic techniques, by artfully and consistently

applying Instagram filters, or through a combination of both.

Capture the power of captions

Use captions to communicate concepts that complement

the visuals of your post. For example your caption may:

Expound the story that the image presents

Provide vital context

Include important information

Add a call to action—e.g. ‘Shop Now!’, ‘Download

our App’, ‘Click the Link in Bio’, ‘Tag a Friend’

Tailor the caption to achieve the purpose of your post.


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 1

Creating Killer

Content for Instagram

Strategic Success (Continued)


Hastags remain the major method for Instagram users to search for content they care about.

For this reason, a well chosen hashtag (or three) can attract new followers.

Be relevant

Ensure that each hashtag you use is relevant to the content

of your post. This applies doubly if you are planning to

piggyback on a trending hashtag. While riding the wave of a

currently popular topic might seem like a great idea, it’s easy

to get lost in the flood of content, especially if your post is not

particularly noteworthy.

How many

Include anything from three to 10 hashtags with each post. On

other social media networks you’re often advised to use fewer,

but Instagram is commonly held to be an exception to that

rule. You can pile on the hashtags, so long as they’re relevant.

Hashtagged campaigns

Create a campaign that encourages Instagrammers to share

brand-appropriate content with a caption that includes your

campaign’s unique hashtag. Your brand will get good exposure

through the uploads of your community, while you can

re-affirm your connections with them by reposting/featuring

the best contributions.

These kinds of campaigns tend to work best when they

allow users to show off lifestyle activities or interests that

are aligned with your brand. For example, Kathmandu’s

#TRADEforNEW campaign asks people ‘How well travelled

is your Kathmandu gear?’

If they upload a relevant photo with the #TRADEforNEW

hashtag, they go in the running to win a $1,000 Kathmandu

voucher. The upside for Kathmandu is a big selection of

regrammable content created by their users.


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 1

Creating Killer

Content for Instagram

Strategic Success (Continued)

Apply memorable text

directly to your visual

All across the internet, people love sharing inspirational

slogans and notable quotes.

It’s not groundbreaking, but the simplicity of overlaying

your visuals with memorable, inspiring text can generate

lots of shares.

To make it super easy, Red Cactus have designed a text

overlay app called InstaQuote (free, iOS and Android) for

Instagram images. While the free version includes all the

basic functionality—including the ability to export directly

to Instagram—investing in the app’s pro version gives you

access to more than 50 additional fonts

and stock backgrounds.

Make the most of

your bio link

Every Instagram profile includes space to provide a URL in the

bio section. Use it wisely.

Brands should use this link to direct traffic to the webpage that

is most relevant at the time.

You can change the link whenever you like, so don’t worry too

much about what will be best next week—just keep it current.

You can switch the link from your usual landing page to a

campaign page and back again at will.

When running a campaign, it’s become standard Instagramspeak

to include the phrase ‘Link in bio’ as part of a post caption.

URL shorteners like can help you track Instagramdriven

traffic with Google Analytics.


Instagram has proven a uniquely positive

space for brand collaboration. Be on the

lookout for opportunities to cross-promote with

complementary brands, products and services.

Share the love by tagging other businesses that align

with yours (but which do not directly compete, of course).

Experience shows that the aligned business is likely to

reciprocate. It’s just the done thing, and it seems to work.

Cross-promotions can help brands widen their recognition by leveraging

the followers of their peers. If this exposure is converted into engagement,

it can boost your overall effectiveness on Instagram in the long term.


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016


with Influencers

Partnering with social media influencers has quickly become a go-to strategy for savvy businesses

looking to boost their brand on Instagram. Why? Influencers boast enormous ready-made audiences

with pre-qualified tightly aligned interests. Crucially, influencers are individuals who have already

earned the trust of their legions of followers.

A Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey reported that over two thirds of consumers say they trust opinions stated

online. This level of trust is only beaten by first-hand recommendations made by people they know in real life.

From a return-on-investment perspective, shout-outs from a well-chosen influencer can be highly effective

for improving your bottom line in exchange for a relatively small spend. And, according to data gathered by

RhythmOne, influencer effectiveness continues to rise. In the US, the average earned media value from influencer

marketing programs was 1.4 times higher in the first half of 2015 than it was for the full year of 2014: USD$9.60 for

every $1 spent, versus USD$6.85 in 2014.

If you’re not already, it’s about time you got primed for working with influencers: what they are, how to find them,

and how to get them on board for your brand.

What is an Influencer?

An ‘influencer’ is someone who carries major clout to a

major audience on social media. They can be evaluated

according to three basic criteria:

1 Number of followers

2 Expertise, credibility and authenticity

3 Strength of their relationship with their followers

If an individual rates highly in all three of the above

criteria, you can classify them as a genuine social media

influencer. They are a new kind of celebrity, and their

clout is felt more keenly on Instagram than anywhere else.

Make no mistake, their opinions matter.

When chosen correctly, an influencers’ followers—which

may range from the tens of thousands into the millions—

makes up a pre-vetted distribution list for your brand.

Their list of followers will be packed with people perfectly

primed for interest in your brand and its products. If an

influencer is talking about your product, chances are their

followers are going to listen.


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016


with Influencers

Identifying influencers for your brand

Of course, knowing what an

influencer is is only half the

battle. You must also be able

to identify the right influencer

for your brand.

Authenticity is key. You should be on the lookout for influencers who are genuinely engaged in ways

that will complement your brand. The alliance between you and the influencer mustn’t appear forced.

It should be a natural nexus of shared interests and values.

So, where should you start your search?

Your own followers

Your own followers can often point you to potential

influencers. Pay attention to who else your followers are

engaging with. Getting an up-to-date snapshot of your

followers’ activity is easy. Just click on the heart-shaped icon

at the bottom of the main Instagram screen. At the top of

the next screen, select ‘Following’. You’ll be presented with a

summary of the posts that your own followers have recently

engaged with. Do some digging. Look out for posts by

people with large followings. It’s a sure-fire way to discover

influencers who are relevant to your audience.

Discover people

Log into your brand’s Instagram account and click the

magnifying glass icon on the bottom of your screen.

This will take you to a Search screen.

At the top of the Search screen, just below the search

field, is a link to ‘Discover People’. Click on it and you will

be presented with a selection of people that Instagram

recommends you follow based on your past behaviour

and the people that you currently follow.

Many recommendations will be regular users, however some

will be very popular Instagrammers with huge followings

that share your interests. Pay attention to the number of

followers each has, as well as the amount of engagement

their posts receive. Browsing through these people can be a

great place to start hunting for a potential influencer.


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016


with Influencers

Identifying influencers for your brand (Continued)

Explore recommended posts

Immediately below the ‘Discover People’ link on your Search screen

is a selection of individual posts suggested for you, based on your past

behaviour and who you follow. These posts tend to be those that are

attracting widespread likes and comments across the Insta-verse. Many

will be from Instagrammers with huge existing followings. As is the case

with ‘Discover People’, browsing through your recommended posts could

lead you to an influencer who fits your brand.

Hunt with #Hashtags

Instagram’s search function lets you search for users and, importantly,

hashtags. Searching a specific hashtag presents you with all of the

content posted with that hashtag.

Search hashtags that are relevant to your brand and keep your eyes

peeled for posts with lots of likes and comments. Dig into the profile

of the person that’s posted the content and see how many followers

they have and what kind of other content they’ve posted. Look for

Instagrammers that consistently share content that gels with your

brand. Admittedly it can take time to sift through it all, but you’ll likely

be rewarded for your effort.

Use an influencer network,

agent or talent manager

Of course, if you don’t have time to search for an influencer yourself,

you can always engage the service of a dedicated influencer network

or agent. Yes, they exist. We’ll look at them in more detail in the

following subsection.


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016


with Influencers

How to engage an influencer

There are two ways you

can go about engaging

an influencer to promote

your brand:

Each has its pros and cons.

1. Approach them directly

2. Go through an intermediary

Approaching influencers directly

Some influencers make it simple for interested brands to recruit them. They will stick out, because they’ll include contact

details in their Instagram bio—an otherwise uncommon occurrence. To get in touch with such an influencer, simply send

them an email telling them about your business. Explain why they’re a good fit and ask if they’re interested in a partnership.

If the contact details of your ideal influencer are not listed, send them a direct message via Instagram. Select something

to post that you think will attract your influencer. When you post it, select ‘Direct’ instead of ‘Followers’—this gives you an

opportunity to select the influencer as the sole recipient. As the caption of your post, include some information about your

business and the nature of your enquiry. You may also include some off-Instagram contact details so that they can get in

touch to discuss further.


Approaching influencers yourself is cheap. You don’t have

to pay someone to do the looking on your behalf. When

you do engage an influencer, there are no intermediary

fees or third-party commissions.


Recruiting an influencer directly is not always easy.

Not everyone with a large following wants to be a paid

influencer. Even Instagrammers that do want to go down

that avenue may need significant convincing that they want

to use their influence on your behalf. You have to be right for

their brand in a similar way that theirs is right for yours.

You must take care with what you say to your potential

influencer before a deal has been struck. There is always the

chance that they’ve already been contacted by one of your

competitors, and its unlikely you could hold them to any

confidentiality agreements until they’ve signed a contract.


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016


with Influencers

How to engage an influencer (Continued)

Using intermediaries

With the rise of influencer marketing, intermediary networks and agencies have arisen to cater for brands seeking to engage

influencer services.

Networks like Snapfluence, Hypetap and InstaBrand connect brands with influencers that match your brands needs, for a

cost. Likewise, agencies like Influencer Marketing Agency (IMA) and Australia’s The Audience Agency represent a wide array of

influencer talent for hire.


Someone does the hard work of identifying possible

influencers for you. Influencers on the books of an agency

are pre-vetted for willingness to work with sponsors.


Cost. Network and agency recruitment services aren’t free.

Expect to pay fees for access to their network of identities, as

well as ongoing agent commissions.

If you seek multiple influencers, working with a network

or agent can simplify negotiations, contracts and

payments, saving you valuable time. It can even help with

co-ordination of the campaign, with the simplicity of a

centralised contact point.


Facebook Instagram Marketing SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 3

Risks of Instagram


Enhance with easy editors

Risk #1:

Intellectual property risks

Instagram rules prohibit the posting of

copyrighted content unless the user owns or

has expressed permission to post it.

Of course, people can and do share on social

media. Sometimes, the phenomenon of sharing

can be leveraged to go viral and to amplify

the reach of your message. In other cases,

social media sharing can head into copyright

infringement territory.

Technically, according to the Instagram Terms

of Service, users should only share your original

work on Instagram if you give them permission,

but be cautious about pursuing formal recourse

for every instance of reproduction. You don’t want

to be known as the company that takes legal

action against their innocently-intentioned fans. It

betrays the social aspect of social media and may

start a destructive tide in the fluid and fast-moving

online environment.

Besides, there are plenty of reasons why you

might want your community to share your

content: to give permission to thousands of users

could be impractical.

In general, you want to make sure that any

redistribution of your content serves your strategic

purpose. This may be inherent in the content of

the image itself, or it could be tied to the use of a

specific hashtag or re-posters giving you credit in

the caption.

If you think your intellectual property rights have

been breached and want to do something about

it, start by reaching out to the person posting the

content. You might be able to resolve the issue

quickly, without involving any third-parties.

If the poster stands firm, or if they ignore your

contact, seek legal guidance to get clarity around

the issue. If there is a genuine issue and you want

to pursue it, get in touch with Instagram via the

dedicated online form—you don’t even need an

Instagram account to use it.

Instagram takes claims of copyright infringement

seriously, so be prepared to get technical if

needed. If Instagram agrees with your claim, they

may remove the offending material and send a

warning to the user who posted it. Instagram will

also send them your contact details, so if the user

feels strongly about it, they might get in touch

to discuss the matter. They can also launch a

counter-claim if they think their post should not

have been removed.

If Instagram’s actions are unsatisfactory for you,

you could potentially take things to court. There

are many financial expenses and reputation risks

associated with such a move, but there are cases

where it may be justified.

Instagram documentation refers to the Digital

Millennium Copyright Act (1998), but you should

note that this is US legislation and therefore it only

applies to US courts.


Facebook Instagram Marketing SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 3

Risks of Instagram


Risk #2:

Value risk posed by bad agencies

In business, you always need to know your suppliers

—cheap isn’t always better. For Instagram services,

it’s no different. Some influencer marketing agencies

are better than others. A minority are downright terrible.

Some social influencer agencies have been revealed to use fake accounts that have

few genuine followers. Campaigns that rely on these shysters obviously generate

minimal useful reach. So far, these agencies seem to operate mostly on other social

networks, but that’s not to say that Instagram won’t be targeted too.

Risk #3:

Exposing your marketing technique

Many brands want to leverage the genuineness

of influencers, to speak to their followers on a

level that seems unadulterated by commercial

concerns. Achieving this means walking a fine line.

Australian and New Zealand Consumer Law

prohibits misleading or deceptive conduct. Relevant

sections about product misrepresentations

including testimonials are contained in Sections

18 and 29 of Schedule 2 of the Competition and

Consumer Act 2010. On the basis of those legal

dictates, a business must disclose their financial

connection to an influencer if a failure to disclose

it would be deemed misleading, deceptive or a


Both Electrodry and Australia Post have been

criticised after it was been revealed that they

paid influencers to make online testimonials and

mentions of their brands, without disclosing any

commercial connection.

In general, the ACCC suggests that businesses

should offer ‘a prominent explanation of the nature

and extent’ of their commercial relationships with

reviewers and influencers.

Of course, the safest option would be to make sure

your influencers clearly announce their financial

connection to your brand. However, many

marketers may believe that this waters down the

value of such influencer marketing.

That leaves significant wiggle room, but

remember: it is your responsibility to assess each

of your connections and each paid post that they

make to ensure no breach is occurring.


Facebook Instagram Marketing SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 3

Risks of Instagram


Enhance with easy editors

Risk #4:

Value risks from

influencer-led exposure

While influencer marketing is catching-on big time,

it’s overall practical effect is a bit if an unknown.

Certainly, when it is done right it amplifies the reach

of a brand’s exposure. However, this exposure does

not translate directly into increased sales.

In practice, exposure needs to be backed up with

conversion. Campaigns that invest heavily in exposure

techniques need to be complemented by processes

and portals that make it easy for potential consumers

to ride the wave and become directly engaged with

your brand. Exposure levels can come and go: if you’re

going to pay for it, make sure you can take advantage

of it when it comes.


Facebook Instagram Marketing SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 3

Risks of Instagram


Enhance with easy editors

Risk #5:

Intellectual property risks

Competitions and promotions

on Instagram can be rewarding,

but care should be taken

to do it right.

Format risks

Select the format of your competition to suit

your objectives.

Competitions that are too easy to enter may

get many entries from people who aren’t

interested in your brand and won’t stick around

to be convinced.

For example, if you want to boost engagement,

you might be disappointed by the results of a liketo-win

competition. Such promos may get many

entrants, thereby inflating the initial metrics of

the competitions success—but the likes may have

been given cheaply and ongoing investment in

the brand may be minimal.

discouraged by the effort it requires. If they have

to use a certain hashtag, that could put some

people off, especially if it’s a long hashtag. If you

require people to tag their friends in a post to

participate, some users may feel uncomfortable

and forgo the opportunity to enter. If you ask

that users do a combination of these things,

the barriers to entry stack up and may severely

reduce your participation rates.

On the flip-side, if it’s too hard to get involved,

you may discourage genuine fans from

participating. If users have to take a certain

type of photo, some users may be immediately


Facebook Instagram Marketing SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 3

Risks of Instagram


Enhance with easy editors

Risk #5 (Continued)

Intellectual property risks

Instagram rules

Instagram won’t like it if you encourage

users to tag posts in a way that is at all

misleading, including tagging people for

pictures in which they do not appear.

Instagram also insists that you acknowledge

that they do not sponsor or endorse your

promo, and they say you should get each

participant to expressly release Instagram from

any connected liability.



Basically, you run campaigns on Instagram at

your own risk. They’re happy for you to do it,

they just don’t want to take any responsibility for it.

Regulatory risks

Even if your promo runs exclusively on Instagram, you remain responsible for ensuring it conforms

to all relevant rules and laws. You may have to consider issues pertaining to lotteries, discrimination,

provision of prizes or rewards, and age-requirements for certain activities or products.


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 4

Paid Advertising

Instagram’s advertising performance in the US is earning it a reputation as a social marketing juggernaut.

The platform that Facebook acquired for $1 billion in 2012 will rake in an estimated USD $595 million in

mobile advertising revenue for 2015. By 2017, eMarketer predicts that figure will reach USD $2.8 billion.

Despite the positive buzz, Instagram advertising in Australia and New Zealand is still somewhat mysterious.

Until very recently, full access to the platform had been restricted to big spending Aussie advertisers who

have negotiated one-on-one contracts directly with the social network.

Now, that’s all changed. Instagram has finally made self-serve advertising available to all Australian and

New Zealand brands.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know to ensure your brand is ready

Historical operation

Self-serve advertising

It’s relatively early days for paid advertising on Instagram,

especially in Australia and New Zealand. Savvy to the

fact that a too-much-too-soon approach could have

a negative impact on user experience, Instagram has

phased in advertising slowly and carefully. The emphasis,

according to Instagram, has been on high quality content

and unobtrusive integration into user feeds.

A limited version of its paid advertising offering reached

our shores in October 2014—about a year after its launch

in the US.

Initially, Aussie advertising space on Instagram was

limited to a select group of heavy spending brands—

including Qantas, Destination NSW and Kathmandu.

Each of those lucky companies gained their access

via individually negotiated contracts. It’s probably no

coincidence that most of them had already amassed

significant Instagram followings with their canny use of

the platform prior to exploring paid advertising.

Since then, Instagram has tinkered with the options and

features available on their advertising platform. In late

2015 they decided that paid advertising was finally ready

for a mainstream Aussie and Kiwi launch, and opened it

up to everyone.

In August 2015—beginning in the United States, and

gradually expanding to other markets around the

world—Instagram first opened up their ad API to external

developer partners like Brand Networks and SalesForce

Marketing Cloud. The move allowed any brands that use

an approved third-party digital marketing platform to run

their own Instagram ad campaigns for the first time, and

crucially, without a minimum spend.

Power Editor for

Instagram Advertising

Instagram has now gone a step further, making self-serve

Instagram advertising available to all brands via Facebook’s

existing Power Editor ad-buying interface.

That means that any brand can schedule and manage

their own Instagram ad campaigns—regardless of size and

budget. It’s easy to use and benefits from massive scale, so

the Power Editor integration should drive down Instagram

advertising costs and make the broader management of

online advertising more convenient.


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 4

Paid Advertising

Ad services available

Photo Ads

Video Ads

Carousel Ads

At first, ads were restricted to the square

still images for which Instagram is best

known. The mission was for ads to

appear as true native content. To achieve

this, they perfectly matched ads with the

look and feel of all other user-generatedcontent

feeds. Today, these kinds of ads

remain the most prevalent, but support

has also been added for portrait and

landscape image formats.

Shortly after paid content started popping

up in the feeds of Aussie and Kiwi

Instagrammers, video ads also launched.

Until recently, video ads were restricted to

15-second duration and appeared in the

typical square aspect ratio.

In September 2015, Instagram announced

30-second video ads, as well as support

for landscape-format content.

Carousel ads allow marketers to include

more than one image in a single ad.

The first image displays as usual, with

users able to swipe across to reveal

further images. According to Instagram,

carousel ads provide advertisers with

more flexibility in telling their stories by

allowing people to swipe left on an ad

to see additional images, and link to a

website of a brand’s choice to learn more.’



Instagram advertisers can now add a

call-to-action button as part of a paid

post. This has the potential to drive

significantly greater conversion than

a link in bio caption, and will help

advertisers to ’drive business results

across a variety of objectives’.

Available buttons include:

Shop Now — for direct purchases

Install Now — for app downloads

Play Game — for game downloads

Sign Up — for subscription services

Learn More — to drive website traffic


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 4

Paid Advertising

Advertising performance

When it comes to advertising performance, Instagram is arguably the hottest

social media platform going.


Ad Recall

Instagram has overtaken Twitter to become the second

most-used social media network. In popularity, it is

second only to its parent company, Facebook.

Since starting out in 2010, Instagram’s growth has been

fast-paced and sustained. By the end of 2010, they had

one million users. In February 2013, the platform boasted

100 million monthly active users. By September 2015 they

claim that number has grown to more than 400 million.

Instagram’s strategy for seamlessly integrating

advertising into the user experience is paying off in

other ways, too.

Nielsen research cited by Instagram reports that ’ad

recall for sponsored posts on Instagram was 2.8x

higher than Nielsen norms for online advertising.’

User Interaction with brand as a

percentage of brands’ fans or followers




The levels of user engagement on Instagram are

unmatched by any other major social network.

Instagram users like, comment and share between 3.1%

and 4.2% of posts. Compare that with averages of just

0.07% and below for Twitter and Facebook, and it’s easy

to understand why advertisers are so keen to get their

content into the feeds of active Instagrammers.

The stats also stack up for paid content. As the graph to

the right shows, Instagram users are far more likely to

interact with branded content on Instagram than they

are on any other major social media network.













Source: Forrester’s Q1 2014 US Top 50 Brands Social

WebTrack and Forester’s Q1 2015 US Top 50 Brands


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 4

Paid Advertising

Costs for marketers

While the positive performance indicators are clear, the cost for advertisers has been historically less so.

Prior to unveiling self-serve advertising, Instagram kept quiet on the exact costs for ad campaigns run by its

initial advertising partners. The largely closed nature of the platform and the stature of the brands involved

in the initial ad offering exacerbated the mystery.

Despite the lack of an official statement, insider rumblings suggest the figures ranged between $350,000 and

$1 million per month.

Obviously, costs of that level would rule out the participation of small and medium businesses. Thankfully,

that’s not where the story ends. With Instagram now offering an automated and openly accessible

Facebook-style advertising system, there is no longer a minimum spend for brands looking to make use of

the platform’s promising potential.

What to look out for


integration of

Facebook data

Carolyn Everson— Facebook’s

vice president of global marketing

solutions—recently made news with a

statement that is sure to make any social

media marketer salivate. Speaking at the Cannes

Lions festival in June 2015, Everson said their

intention ‘to open up the entire suite of Facebook

targeting on Instagram over the next few months.’

With an already established edge in user engagement,

custom targeting for Instagram is a big deal. Options whereby

brands can serve their ads to Instagrammers based on interests and

demographics seem destined to have higher conversion averages than

similar campaigns elsewhere.


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 5

Tools for Instagram


A large part of the decision for marketers about whether they are going to use a certain channel is what it can

achieve, and how easy it is to achieve it. For social media channels, there are two considerations that heavily

impact on what can be achieved: core functionality of the platform and third-party tools that can be used to

better interact with the platform.

There are a host of apps and programs you can use to achieve certain outcomes on Instagram. Some seem to

have a short life span, often because the app creators hack the Instagram API in violation of the Terms of Service.

Instagram is strict about maintaining the instantaneous nature of posts, so auto-posting—i.e. getting a bot to post

and/or repost content—has long been a no-no. When Instagram identifies breaches of their terms, they put a stop

to them. The tools below, however, are all on the up-and-up.

Free tools

Screen Grab to go here

Instagram User Report

by SimplyMeasured

SimplyMeasured is a newish company

with far-reaching social media tendrils.

Their web-based Instagram User

Report is free for accounts that have up

to 25,000 followers.

Covering the last two-months of

activity, the report summarises data

such as:

Average engagement per photo

Best time to post

Top locations

Most commonly used filters

Active follower lists

Analysis of comments

for keyword

SimplyMeasured has good, reliable data

and easy to digest. It may be suitable

for your own personal info, or to share

as a formal business report.

Like most free lunches, you’ll have to

listen to a sales pitch while you dine.

To get the report, users may be asked

to follow a SimplyMeasured social

media account. They’ll also get your

email address to send you the report to

once it’s generated.


Facebook Instagram Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 5

Tools for Instagram


Free tools (Continued)

Screen Grab to go here

Instagram Account Checkup

by Union Metrics

Union Metric offer metrics for networks across the internet.

Their Instagram Account Checkup is free and easy.

By direct comparison to the SimplyMeasured report, the

Union Metrics offering is not as deep, but it’s aimed at

succinct, practical advice to keep you afloat.

Boasting free information derived from the company’s

proprietary analytics platform, the check-up synthesises backend

data into customised and actionable advice, such as:

What time to post to Instagram?

Hashtags should to use?

Content that your should post more (or less) of

Your top fans


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 5

Tools for Instagram


Free tools (Continued)

Repost by Red Cactus

Repost lets you review your Instagram community’s content

on your mobile device and, as the name implies, repost the

favourite pieces.

Reposting pictures by other users can be extremely useful

for campaigns, and broadening the exposure of your

branded hashtags. This strategy, combined with the Repost

app can help build your community by increasing the

engagement that you offer to others, much like retweeting

on Twitter or sharing on Facebook.

Each repost fully and properly attributes the user who

initially posted the picture, with optional variations including

tweaks to the format and positioning of the attribution text.

You can still add your own text and filters to the repost, just

as you would for a standard picture post, tag people and

share it across other social networks.

Repost is free for Android or iOS devices.


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 5

Tools for Instagram


Free tools (Continued)

Hyperlapse by Instagram

For 15 seconds of refined Instagram gold, create time-lapse

videos. This can be especially impressive for concisely depicting

time-consuming processes such as illustration, installations,

travel and workouts.

Instagram’s own Hyperlapse app makes it easy to create slick

time-lapse videos. Its auto-stabilisation feature is a genuine

step-up from most predecessors. Speed up from 1x to 12x, save

the result to your camera roll and post it to Instagram from there.

Hyperlapse by Instagram is currently only available on iOS.


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 5

Tools for Instagram


Free tools (Continued)

Layout by Instagram

Make collages. It’s quick and easy with Instagram’s own official

Layouts app. You can choose your custom layout, locate the

photos you want to include, then drag-and-drop to rearrange,

flip, rotate and resize.

Free and super easy on both Android and iOS.


Instaport lets you archive all your Instagram account’s

photos, exporting them at a touch. Making your images

easy to save on your hard drive and organise however

you like, it can be a real timesaver.


Crowdfire (formerly known as JustUnfollow) helps you

identify inactive followers and see who unfollows you. It

also recommends new potential followers based on your

Instagram behaviours and hashtags.

As a sort-of scheduler, Crowdfire also lets you set reminders

to post specific photos at pre-set times.

Effective across both Instagram and Twitter, Crowdfire is

available on iOS, Android and on the web.


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 5

Tools for Instagram


Freemium tools


Iconosquare (formerly known as Statigram) has the ability to

enhance your Instagram analytics, cross-portal integration

and campaign management.

It offers a good overall summary with important numbers

such as total likes, most liked photos ever, commonly

applied filters, and a visualisation of content focus via

a hashtag cloud. Iconosquare goes deeper too, offering

more pointed stats such as historical trends, insights into

details about your followers and followings, and growth

monitoring. It also performs some basic analysis of

engagement figures to recommend filters that you should

and shouldn’t be using, and times-of-day that you should

post to get the best response.

Iconosquare can help you feature your Instagram efforts on

other parts of the web, including Facebook and websites.

The also have a dedicated WordPress plug-in.

Iconosquare’s follow buttons can be pasted into your

website or blog to let people follow your Instagram

account with a single click on your own sites. For back-end

convenience, there’s also a HootSuite app.

The paid version of Iconosquare lets you step it up a bit,

including white-labelled add-ons, contests and campaigns.

For starters, you can remove the Iconosquare branding

from your integrated apps, widgets and plug-ins. It also lets

you run competitions, with functionality to track hashtags,

give campaign specific stats and graphs, and customise

campaign-based landing pages. You can even track your

competition’s reach across Facebook and Twitter.

For all its power, Iconosquare’s user-friendly interface is still

attractive and easy to navigate. It’s popular for individuals

and big brands, and for many it fulfils the requirements they

have for Instagram tools.


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 5

Tools for Instagram


Freemium tools (Continued)

Giant Square

Giant Square is an app that lets you easily make big

pictures on Instagram. The opposite of a collage creator,

you can use it to cut a single high-res image into a series

of smaller squares. Those squares

can then be re-organised in your Instagram profile to

make a banner-like feature of a single image across a

series of uploaded pics.

Giant Square’s own Instagram account shows how

you can use it.

Available for iOS and Android, the basic functionality is

free. Paid upgrades remove ads from the app interface

and the watermark from published images, and unlock

additional collage options.


InstaFollow gives you info about your follower base.

Specifically, it lets you:

Track new followers

Monitor unfollowers

See who follows you that you don’t follow back

See which users you follow that don’t follow

you back

Follow and unfollow users from within the app.

It’s simple, single-minded and easy to use.

The basic suite is supported by in-app advertising, so they

can offer it for free on Android and iOS. The premium

version removes ads from the interface, supports multiple

accounts and lets you detect and track blockers.


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 5

Tools for Instagram


Freemium tools (Continued)

VSCO Cam (photo-editing)

VSCO Cam offers extra easy photo editing options right on

your mobile device. Unlike Instagram’s classic retro filters,

VSCO goes for sharp clarity and high-contrast brilliance.

Tweak photos with familiar photo-editing options such

brightness, colour temperature, contrast, saturation and

sharpness. For one-touch style, there are 10 basic filters

available for free, and several more you can get via in-app


Once you’re done editing, VSCO Cam can post the

improved image directly to your feed.

Available on iOS and Android.

Integrated shopping

Shopseen makes it possible for users to shop for your

products directly from your Instagram feed. It supports

sales functionality across multiple social media

networks and online stores, with specific integration

for Instagram.

When you post a photo of your product to Instagram

with a price in the description, your product will be

immediately available for sale on your Shopseen

page. Include the link to your Shopseen page in your

Instagram bio, and users can access the product and

buy it immediately.

Shopseen is free for a single platform, however a

10% transaction fee applies to purchases it generates

via Instagram.


Instagram Facebook Marketing

SMK Insight Report 2015 2016

Pillar 5

Tools for Instagram


Paid tools

Screen Grab

to go here


Due to Instagram’s terms and conditions forbidding

certain types of automated posting, reliable scheduling

can be a problem.

ScheduGram is one service that lets you upload and

schedule images or videos to post later without breaching

Instagram’s rules. Unlike many competitors, it doesn’t

require you to tap or authorise at post-time.

Schedugram lets a single user manage multiple accounts,

and lets multiple team members participate via a single

Schedugram account.

ScheduGram is priced according to the number of

followers per account. Starting at $20 per month for each

account with up to 10,000 followers, it can cost up to $100

per month for an account with over a million followers.


Have2Have.It by Soldsie is an internet shopfront for your

business with a focus exclusively on Instagram. What

it lacks by excluding other social media networks, it

balances with a dashboard interface that integrates many

aspects of your Instagram presence into its analytics.

Once you’ve included a link to your Have2Have.It page in

your bio, anyone who clicks through will be taken to your

Have2Have.It shopfront page. You can set that page up to

look like a reasonably slick Instagram clone. From there,

any image they click will link through to your own site for

transaction completion, with zero commissions.

You can try it free for 14 days. After that, plans start at

$49 per month.



SMK is Australia’s leading dedicated social media training and research business.

A knowledge hub at heart, SMK exists to help businesses become more effective

users of social media and digital channels.

With its industry leading training programs, SMK educates and coaches businesses

on how to use social media more effectively and assists them in overcoming

organisational challenges. SMK’s tailored In-house training programs, and stepby-step

approach, help businesses navigate the social media space in a carefully

considered manner, creating a solid platform for success.

SMK has provided training for Australia’s leading businesses and brands, including:

Jetstar, NAB, Pfizer, Panasonic, News Magazines, Nivea, Tourism Australia, McDonalds,

Transurban and Subaru, to name just a few.

1300 740 252


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