Mobile Influencer Marketing Becoming Success On Instagram
Despite a continuing lack of opportunities to create revenue through placing ads on Instagram, brands are increasingly turning to mobile influencer marketing to increase brand awareness on the photography platform.
Ever since our last post about mobile influencer marketing on Instagram, brands have increasingly been discovering the benefits of leveraging influential Instagrammers, and even celebrities, to create awareness for their brand on the popular mobile photography platform.
So what has been happening? Let’s take a look at the companies and brands that are participating.
The following three companies were founded by and for, amongst others, Instagrammers. That’s what makes these start-ups so interesting. Instagrammers saw the potential of mobile influencer marketing for the platform, and decided to act on that hunch.
This Berlin based visual brand communication company develops social media marketing strategies and creates brand campaigns, but most importantly, is building a network of notable influential Instagrammers.
Founded by Thomas Kakareko, Oliver Brügmann, and Sylvia Matzkowiak, who are all influential Instagrammers themselves, Visumate has helped brands like Desigual, Samsung, and Puma with their mobile influencer marketing.
The Mobile Media Lab
MML was founded by three keyfigures of the New York City Instagram scene (Brian DiFeo, Anthony Danielle, Liz Eswein), and focuses entirely on creating visual experiences through mobile influencer marketing on Instagram.
They have received the most coverage from several marketing websites, magazines and newspapers, and are called the marketing agency for Instagram.
The founders, all notable Instagrammers with more than 100k followers, cover brand related events such as Michael Kors fashion shows, but also use their network of highly followed Instagram influencers to promote apps and products.
They have worked with brands such as Jaguar, Armani Exchange and Evian.
See My City
Even in my little country, The Netherlands, several notable Instagrammers have started using Instagram for their mobile marketing efforts.
The goal of See My City, which is a citymarketing project, is “to show and market cities through unique and contemporary mobile photography.”
The founders/influencers visit cities (Doha, Qatar, for example) and take/post photos on Instagram encouraging outsiders to see the beauty of a city.
Furthermore, they lead photowalks/workshops through these cities to teach its residents to see their town through different eyes by using mobile photography.
Brands and Influencers
Nike, one of the brands that is leveraging Instagram in the most useful ways, sent a group of influential popular Instagrammers to San Francisco to help launch the @nikerunning Instagram account, and organized a run, and a helicopter ride around the Golden Gate Bridge. The influencers shared their experiences through the hashtag #projectflysf.
Red Bull is also great at everything they do marketingwise, and Instagram is no exception. Just like Nike, they are heavily using influencers to promote their product.
To create awareness for their new flavors (red, silver and blue editions) of Red Bull, three Instagrammers are either on the red, silver or the blue side. They post photos (either reddish, silverish or blueish) and add a Red Bull related hashtag.
Celebrities, Instagram and the FTC
Yes, even celebrities are involved. Since more and more of them are flocking to the network, brands are hiring them as brand ambassadors and asking them to endorse their products.
Nicole Richie recently posted a photo in which she was using a Unilever hairproduct called Suave, endorsing it publicly and pointing followers to a Suave microsite, without any warning of sponsorship.
Unilever admitted the photo was part of Richie’s deal with Suave. After much criticism from followers, the photo appears to have been deleted.
The same goes for Beyonce being a brand ambassador for Pepsi, and posting a pop-art like collage for the brand on Instagram.
These photos are not ads in the traditional sense, but can actually be seen as such. This fact is not disclosed in any of the postings, even though it should be: last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) added a section about mobile and social ads to their guidelines:
Our new guidelines focus on two trends — one, the movement toward advertising seen on small screens and how you make disclosures useful, clear and conspicuous to consumers, and two, the use of social media for marketing.
I think influencer marketing can be incredibly beneficial for brands trying to make something good of their Instagram accounts.
The fact is, people don’t like ads. This is why content marketing is becoming so big, and why Instagram is still so popular: no traditional ads (for the time being). But this means that new types of advertising are coming up, such as influencer marketing. Should they be seen as ads?
As I’ve said before in my previous posting about influencers on Instagram, I think it’s important to always disclose when someone is being paid to use or promote a product/service, yet not endorsing it openly.
Even though disclosure like this is not yet a legal matter, it should be an ethical one. The FTC adding a section about it to their guidelines is a good place to start.
What About You?
So, what do you think of influencer marketing on Instagram? I’d love to hear your comments!
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