For this post, I will discuss the marketing implications of Instagram, why it’s the best marketing platform in 2018, how the implications of that tie into my own personal use and how companies can utilize Instagram to their benefit.

The implications of Instagram marketing are extremely important. I feel that Instagram is the first platform to have ads not only look and feel like native content, but the first platform where the ads are often more interesting and valuable than the native content. The ads on Instagram don’t feel “spammy” to me and often tie into something I find interesting such as camera gear, editing softwares or investment apps. I feel Instagram is the first platform since Google Ads to really integrate advertising into their platform in a way that looks, feels and provides as much value or more than the native content.

For example, scrolling through my Instagram right now, I see a post for a children’s workshop by Open Spaces KC. This post doesn’t appeal to me, because I don’t have kids. Next I scroll to see a video from Gary Vee where he’s garage sale-ing on Saturday morning. Again, I don’t have much interest in this content, although it is slightly more entertaining, but only for a couple of seconds. Next there is an ad from Joshua Harris about how to create the best digital marketing agency by focusing on the right niche of the market to service. This is an issue that I ran up against this week with a client, so it is definitely timely and appealing to me. Also, the content is a picture of an old wooden ship rising on the crest of a wave over what appear to be mythical water creatures. This kind of old school imagery with new school information appeals to me on a deep level.

So, out of three pieces of content on Instagram I am most likely to click through and engage with the paid advertisement, because it brings me the most perceived value. This is an important and fundamental change in the way advertising is done online. If a company can bring it’s target demo specific and quantifiable value through content and copy on Instagram, it will have a very high click through rate. Much higher than other current platforms, and often times much higher than native, free content on Instagram.

I have a personal connection to this type of marketing, because after I graduate in December I would like to either work for or run a digital agency that focuses solely on story-based marketing. I have no interest in taking shiny pictures of perfect products and having that be the be-all, end-all of the marketing strategy.

I’m focusing on the company or product’s story. By detailing who they are, why they’re passionate about what they do, what obstacles they overcome, who they’re serving in the market, it creates a much richer portrait of the company and a deeper connection with the customer.

I believe that unique branding and engaging storytelling are the most important factors to a company’s long term growth. Nike didn’t grow to become the behemoth it is today because it’s shoes are better than Adidas or Reebok. Nike grew to be the leader in their field because from the beginning, they positioned themselves as THE company for hustlers, grinders, warriors and winners. And they did this through the use of storytelling. It’s why they’ve worked with acclaimed directors like Spike Lee and Casey Neistat in addition to athletes. Apple is the same story, as is Tesla, Whole Foods, Airbnb, etc. All of these brands focused on the story and the brand perception of their company over simply promoting their products. Instead, they promote a lifestyle and a culture and that is the most valuable asset in the long run.

As for me, I’ve often clicked on ads through Instagram and become a converted customer for the product displayed. One example of this is for the DJI Osmo Mobile 2, which is a camera stabilizer. I saw it and the footage it produced on an Instagram ad, was highly interested, clicked through and eventually bought it. This sale for the company came straight from an Instagram ad. Not only that, it’s a win-win for DJI as well as Instagram, because I’ll now use the Osmo to film ads that will run on Instagram as well as including a reference to the Osmo in the description of my native posts that utilize it, effectively another ad for the Osmo Mobile 2.

Instagram is effectively a marketing platform where companies can consistently and inexpensively tell their stories, to targeted audiences, who are ready to engage.