This article was written by Alexandre Ali, COO at Rad.co.
Who could have imagined that the cool photography app, that made the square format fashionable again and democratized filters in mobile photography five years ago would become the favorite social media playground of brands and celebrities?
I see more and more what I call “Instagram-native brands” that have emerged over the last years and that are now growing exponentially just with this network.
Not so much in Europe yet but a lot in Asia, Australia and now in the US.
These brands often have a small range of products; they are not too expensive and address huge markets. The teams behind them have understood how to communicate with people on mobile devices, and they are super talented brand specialists.
Contrary to most of the e-commerce players, the first concern of these companies isn’t SEO, software engineering, webdesign, payments, or logistics — they just put all their energy into having a great product marketing, photography, storytelling and branding that can match their niche audience on mobile.
Instagram is the “vitrine” and the e-commerce website just becomes a back-end. They will often just put a link on their Instragram bio to a mobile friendly Shopify (or other e-commerce service)
Some of these brands have already hit hundreds of millions of $:
These brands have made instagram their #1 online acquisition channel, boutique, and social network at the same time — a lot ahead of Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network.
What is fun with Instagram-native brands is that you will hardly find them on Google or Even on Facebook. It is a completely horizontal network where you will find them because someone else mentioned them to you, or because a person in your feed showed the product.
2015 has also been the year where media called for the first time the term “Instagram stars” and described the “millionaire club” aka. people that have more than 1 million followers on instagram.
– Kylie Jenner number of followersnow equals 33 million people — 10% of the US population or one third of the superbowl audience — that watch her pictures and react every day. International fashion brands have been featured a lot on her account.
It is not a big surprise that all the “classic” brands are now taking the dip and adapting to this amazing social network of people, hungry for pictures and videos, looking for the next post to like and share.
Chanel, for instance, got 1.8 million followers in just a few days. Christian Louboutin, one of the most prestigious shoemaker in France, added its Instagram feed at the center of its new online store.
Many big brands have already integrated Instagram in their 360° marketing campaigns and many tools have already been invented to improve Instagram value for brands:
Brands spend their days thinking how to communicate the best way with their followers, and what I can say is that among all the social networks, Instagram is — from now — one of the favorites for many reasons:
THE QUALITY AND SIMPLICITY OF THE NETWORK
THE REACH EFFICIENCY AND THE DIVERSITY OF THE AUDIENCES
As of today, Instagram looks a lot like Facebook at its beginning: low regulation, not many distinctions between personal accounts and professional accounts, and full transparency or reach on the content posted.
Facebook observed this year its first decline in the desktop ads revenue, and also proudly announced that they increased mobiles ads revenue by 80%. Instagram, being one of their biggest mobile product, still remains Facebook’s current biggest opportunity to keep growing fast.
Big advertisers already had access to Instagram advertising platform but the self-serve ad platform is likely to be opened, like it happened for Facebook ads.
Many questions remain:
I would be happy to hear your point of view, and tell me all the Instagram-native brands I should add to the list!
Sources & more articles to read: