STUDY: Instagram’s Profile Rises As Marketing Tool For Prestige Brands


L2InstagramUserGrowth650Prestige brands — those in the beauty, fashion, retail, hotels, and watches and jewelry sectors — are relying more and more on Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network Instagram in their marketing efforts, according to a comprehensive study by digital think tank L2.

L2 studied the Instagram usage by some 250 prestige brands and found that:

  • 92 percent have Instagram accounts.
  • 72 percent post videos via Video on Instagram.
  • Prestige brands average six photo posts and 0.38 videos per week.
  • Engagement for photo posts from prestige brands is 1.5 times that for video posts.
  • 14 percent of prestige brands integrate user-generated content from Instagram on their brand sites.
  • 54 percent link to their Instagram accounts from their Facebook pages.
  • 60 percent of Instagram users are outside the U.S.
  • The average time spent per Instagram user, per month is 257 minutes.
  • Instagram generates 1,000 comments per second, 8,500 likes per second, and 1.2 billion likes per day.
  • 99 percent of post engagement on Instagram is from likes.

L2 assessed Instagram’s place in the social media landscape, particularly as a marketing tool, in the introduction to its report:

Explosive growth, aspirational demographics, and unmatched engagement have secured Instagram’s place among the social media elite. Instagram amassed 150 million monthly users in three years — two years faster than Facebook and one-half the time of Twitter. Although one-eighth of parent company Facebook’s community, Instagram registers 15 times the engagement and double the engaged user base (total community size times engagement rate) of the mother ship. 93 percent of prestige brands now maintain a presence on the photo-sharing platform, up from 63 percent in July 2013.

Instagram is often compared to the other visual darling, Pinterest, launched six months before Instagram (October 2010). Today, Pinterest is one-third of Instagram’s size, and 23 percent of Pinterest users engage with the platform daily, versus 58 percent on Instagram. Other upstart visual and mobile platforms, including Vine, have entered the fray. However, within one week of launching video, Instagram passed Vine in shares on Twitter, and it boasts 2.5 times the shares. The reach and appeal of the 15-second video format, ideal for ads, gives Instagram an edge (Vine limits videos to six seconds) with advertisers.

The biggest threat may be newcomer Snapchat. However, while seven times more photos are updated daily to Snapchat, Instagram’s superior demographics — slightly older, higher-income users — has greater appeal to marketers. Recently, Instagram took direct aim at Snapchat with the December 2013 launch of direct messaging, enabling brands to engage in two-way conversations with customers.

Readers: Do you see Instagram as a vital marketing tool?