In August we launched a report Instagram Strategies for Travel Brands that focused on how successful travel brands use the social photo sharing service.
In August 2014, Instagram released a snapshot of the analytics dashboard that is available to paid advertisers.
Travel brands like Starwood, Airbnb, HotelTonight, Marriott, and Royal Caribbean, which already do well on the photo-sharing service, are now able to measure and benchmark their content efforts more efficiently.
For instance, Starwood now has a view on impressions and reach. In addition, it can target ads and set goals. “Expanded reach of our audience is a secondary metric—our channel grew significantly after the first ad campaign, and engagement remains high,” said Christine Espinoza, Associate Director, Global and Brand Social Strategy at Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
Whether or not insights from this data will affect authenticity and quality negatively remains to be seen. “Ads on Instagram are designed to support brands focused on reaching large audiences with memorable, high quality content. We think this aligns with the way people and brands already use Instagram – sharing photos and videos that capture a moment, inspire others, or shift perceptions,” according to an Instagram spokesperson.
At this point, Instagram is more focused on the value and effectiveness of campaigns driven by awareness and ad recall metrics. Vendors that provide analytics dashboards like Curalate, Iconosquare, Piqora, and Totems, will need to adapt quickly to the data points Instagram deems worthy to track in order to stay relevant.
A more important aspect that can significantly impact this aspect of content marketing is the lack of ability to schedule posts. For the most part, the brands interviewed for this report see it as an advantage over other social media platforms. The programmatic aspect is not appealing to brands or the community.
“There is a strong sense of community and fluidity to Instagram in the way that it’s set up so that you are viewing the content in the order of when it happened. It’s okay that you can’t schedule posts to manage times and multiple users. It doesn’t need to be perfect,” said Carolyn Fox, Digital Director, National Geographic Travel.
Original content and being in the moment wins on Instagram. Currently photo content dominates the platform, but with the recent release of Instagram’s new app, Hyperlapse, it will add another incentive for users to produce videos. It is not a stretch to say that monetizing these 15 seconds will be another advertising play on this visual-based platform.
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