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A decade of Instagram

10 years of Instagram – the platform is officially a tweenager. Starting as a lone-soldier in the social media world before being acquired by the powerhouse that is Facebook, the platform’s gone through a lot – from pioneering visual content on social, to ripping off features from newer platforms such as Snapchat and TikTok.

Through all these platform changes, additions and tweaks, content has remained king. But how do you make sure this content goes down a storm with your audience? We’ll talk you through some of the biggest learnings we’ve taken from working on the platform since its birth.

Be disruptive.

You’ll have seen variants of the word ‘disruption’ thrown around left, right and centre when speaking to anyone who knows a thing or two about social media. All social media companies have the same goal – make users stay on (and come back to) your platform, then show them enough ads to make a viable business. How’s this done? Making users engage with content.


You may recognise this egg, you may have even followed this egg. It’s most probably the most popular egg in the world, as the post with the most likes on Instagram.

What made it so successful is being unexpected and entertaining – the ludicrousy of an egg being the most liked photo on Instagram is what drove it to be exactly that. Users shared this in their thousands, creating leverage and disruption across feeds.

We’re not recommending posting an egg to your feed, but there are lessons to be learnt from this – be (pleasantly) surprising, and give users reasons to engage, whether that’s humour, emotional reaction or strong visual appeal.

Invest.

Instagram (like Facebook), is increasingly becoming a pay-to-play platform. It’s disappointing, but doesn’t mean there isn’t opportunity for businesses on the platform. One thing businesses need to understand is that there’s value in their Instagram audience – it’s worth investing in. Incredibly large online businesses are being created almost exclusively through Instagram, by building a fanbase and converting them into sales of products.

These pure-online businesses are becoming household names too. You’ll probably have heard of Facebook’s top spender on ads in the first half of 2019, despite them being a startup. D2C food brand Huel spent a huge £18M on over 400 creative executions, generating 2.5B impressions in the UK. This definitely paid off too, with the company on track to be valued at $1.25B within the next 3 years.

Especially if you’re a D2C brand, you should be trying ads on Instagram and Facebook. Wanting to give social advertising a spin? Get in touch and we’ll get started!

Leverage creative opportunities.

As we said, Instagram’s organic reach is on the decline for content. However, there’s a ton of relatively untapped potential in new and creative features such as Instagram filters, GIPHY stickers and Reels. Using features like this helped us generate millions of views for Sevillian gin brand Puerto De Indias, by utilising GIPHY stickers for Instagram stories. (Take a look at them here!)

Sometimes it’s about thinking outside the box to generate impressions, engagement and sales that you didn’t think were there.

Want to make your brand stand out on Instagram, generate sales and grow your brand? Get in touch → info@ponderosa.agency

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Ponderosa is part of Audience Collective. An insight-driven group of specialist agencies that help brands better connect with their audience.