Business development · 22 September 2016

Small firms help Instagram double advertiser base in six months

Instagram reported that online conversions have been boosted in 70 per cent of ad campaigns.

Social media app Instagram has announced that the platform now hosts more than 500,000 active monthly advertisers, with small businesses making full use of the app’s marketing features.

The Instagram community hit 500m this year, with a growing global audience that provides businesses with a platform to build their brand through special advertising tools.

More than 1.5m companies worldwide have created a business profile since Instagram launched Business Tools. The tools provide access to insights and analytics, and offer hand-picked campaign audiences.

By tapping into passion-based markets, businesses have been able to use Instagram for marketing in a highly responsive environment. Since launching adverts in September 2015, there have been one billion interactions from users, according to official figures. The app also reported that online conversions have been boosted in 70 per cent of ad campaigns.

Instagram’s head of brand development, Amy Cole, acknowledged the presence of smaller businesses on the photo-sharing app, which are taking advantage of specially tailored tools to reach an international audience.

“We’re particularly proud that so many of the advertisers using our platform are smaller brands who are growing their businesses with us,” Cole said in a statement.

Kerem Atasoy, marketing director at wearable technology designers Vinaya, spoke of the strong suitability of the app in strengthening the marketing capabilities of a small business.

Atasoy said: “As a growing business, we have to make sure we are laser-focused on everything we do – particularly marketing. Advertising on Instagram means we can target the right communities, at the right time […] it’s so great to have this data and global reach directly at our fingertips.”

In an official blog post, Instagram explained that the venture into business profiles followed a demand from entrepreneurs.

“After conducting hundreds of interviews with small business owners, three key needs became clear – stand out, get insights and find new customers,” the blog post read.

The wide engagement in Instagram’s marketing features suggests that the app is winning the battle in social media marketing. Research released in October of last year by media consultancy Deal With The Media found that two-thirds of the UK small business owners felt that their online marketing strategies on Twitter and Facebook had been met with little success.

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.