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Published December 13th 2017

6 Instagram Marketing Tips For 2018, Backed by New Analysis

We've conducted new analysis to show marketers six ways to improve their Instagram marketing presence. Read it to learn unique Instagram marketing insights.

In July 2017, Brandwatch released Image Insights.

It’s the world’s leading logo detection tool, letting users find their logo in images with unparalleled accuracy.

The world’s leading logo detection tool now monitors the world’s largest image sharing site, Instagram.

To showcase the power of this update, we’ve conducted new analysis to show marketers six ways to improve their Instagram marketing presence:

1. Follow The Leader

We used Image Insights to search through 50 million Instagram images over a period of two weeks to find which brands were pictured the most.

Here are the top seven:

Adidas generated the most mentions on Instagram during our analysis. Here’s why:

While the budget behind Adidas’ campaigns is out of reach of most brands, it’s still impressive how their engagement dwarfs Nike, despite similar spend.

2. Use Micro Influencers

Chanel and Louis Vuitton have done an incredible job on Instagram.

On average, their logos appear more on Instagram than Apple, Samsung, McDonald’s, Amazon, Heineken, L’Oreal, and Walmart combined. 

They’ve achieved this by engaging micro-influencers. These are influencers with between 1,000 and 100,000 followers:

These users are typically cheaper to work with than megastars and have an active following who are more likely to engage with their content.

3. Personalize Products

Why Starbucks write your name on its coffee cups is up for debate.

But the effect it has on social engagement is startling.

On average, we found Starbucks garnered an additional 100 mentions per day from authors sharing pictures of their name on the cup:

In comparison, the UK coffee brand Costa generates 300 image mentions in total per day.

Starbucks’ personalization strategy encourages social shares. It’s dramatically increased brand visibility compared to its rivals – appearing third on the most pictured list.


4. Encourage User Generated Content

Nutella does an incredible job generating visibility on Instagram.

Benchmarked against all food and beverages brands, it appears 5th (ahead of KFC and Pepsi).

Compared to others on this list, Nutella hardly spends on advertising and sponsorship, so how do they do it?

Nutella’s owned Instagram marketing account has a very clear strategy; encourage users to use Nutella in novel ways.

Nutella also follows strict guidelines, mainly including the logo in every piece of content (see below):


This strategy clearly pays off, increasing its visibility dramatically.

Importantly it also encourages several customers to replicate their ideas and post their own creations online.

Our analysis discovered:

Overall, Nutella generates huge volumes of image visibility, due to a smart strategy that encourages their consumers to share.

5. Spend ≠ Visibility

The most photographed tech brand on Instagram is Apple, with more images than Google and Samsung combined.

What’s incredible about this is how little Apple spend on sponsorship.

Other than a brief partnership with soccer team Bayern Munich, Apple has historically never sponsored events or other organizations.

In comparison, Samsung spends almost $3.3 billion a year on sponsorships and advertising.

The takeaway here is that successful brand visibility isn’t all about spend. Don’t expect to compete with industry leaders with just dollars.

A bottom-up approach from product design to delivery is needed to build something that people want to share.

6. Earned Beats Owned

In terms of visibility, earned content is more important that owned.

This became apparent to us when analyzing the automotive industry.

Mercedes Benz performs outstandingly, generating  49% more image mentions than its rivals BMW.

What’s surprising though, is how successful BMW’s owned accounts are, compared to Mercedes.

  • BMW has almost 3 million more followers
  • Despite posting almost half as many images
  • BMW average 150k likes per post
  • Mercedes only average 60k per post

Looking only at owned accounts, we’d quickly assume that BMW is far more visible online.

However, when monitoring earned content it’s clear that Mercedes win.

The takeaway here is to look beyond owned content, it usually only shows a small part of a much bigger picture. Also, it can be influenced by paid ads and artificial engagement in a way that total visibility can’t.

And don’t forget, your Instagram strategy doesn’t end with your own account. It should extend to engagements from influencers, users and more (both in text and via image).

Next Steps for Instagram Marketing

This report confirms the importance of logo detection.

It reveals insights most brands miss. Without an effective logo detection tool, you’ll fail to really understand your visibility online.

If you’re interested in seeing how Image Insights could be used for your brand, click here. 

If you’re an existing Brandwatch client and you want to know more about Image Insights + Instagram, click here.

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