Creating thumb-stopping content on Instagram

Linda Bask

by Linda Bask

A few weeks ago we took part in Instagram’s first event in Finland. During the sunny afternoon, we heard from a group of social media experts who shared some insightful case studies and useful information about Instagram’s new performance metrics. Inspired by the event, we wanted to offer our two cents on the best practices for companies hoping to get the most out of Instagram in their digital marketing efforts.


The most influential social media platform

“Instagram connects people with the moments that showcase the aspiration of your brand”

Nadine Neubauer

Business Development Lead at Instagram

It’s no secret that social networks facilitate the production of large volumes of content every day, and in Instagram’s case, that content means images. Not only do consumers have a way to connect using the visual medium, but brands are now able to reach their customers in a way that is far more engaging than traditional advertising methods. “Instagram connects people with the moments that showcase the aspiration of your brand” said Nadine Neubauer, Instagram’s Business Development Lead. With 80 million photos and 3.5 billion likes produced daily, it’s clear that Instagram offers a great opportunity for the companies.

These volumes show the need for businesses to get up to speed with Instagram, which is currently recognized as the most influential social media platform. That said, being active on the channel is not enough; a clear strategy is essential for companies looking to utilize Instagram. For example, many brands have chosen to use the platform in a similar way as regular users. This strategy involves posting on a daily basis or once a week, the result of which is often a client base that is wider than the preliminary customer group.


Make the photos a perfect fit for the platform

When thinking about the fact that Instagram posts are such a successful way of marketing, one thing rises above the rest. It’s content. Instagram offers inspiration around many themes and ideas, and as a visual channel, the content has certain requirements: it needs to be on brand, concept driven and well crafted. It also needs to be built for people, built for feed and built for platform. This all boils down to one question that you should always ask yourself when posting on Instagram: is the photo thumb-stopping? The fact is that brands are competing with each other, but they’re also competing against all regular Instagram users. That’s why each and every Instagram photo of your brand needs to be so inspirational and attractive that it stops the users’ endless scrolling. A nice example is the Instagram feed of sports giant Adidas. The trick behind their posts is simple – Adidas creates beautiful lifestyle themed images that resemble the posts of “normal” fashion Instagram users. Adidas’ photos are authentic, and a perfect fit for the platform.


Finland has an active Instagram community

Smartphones have changed the way people access media. We have already seen an ad spend shift to mobile, and people spend more time on mobile devices in general. Martin Hehme, Measurement Lead at Facebook, gave us a look at the stats of Finland and Finns on Instagram. 70% of Finns are active on the platform and have high demands, and 47% of Finns on Instagram check their feeds several times a day. The numbers make it clear that there is a strong, active Instagram community in Finland. This means that companies should take advantage of Instagram as it is a massive marketing platform providing numerous sales opportunities for the companies.

Instagram has become essential for brands. Instagram users browse their own feeds, but they’re also discovering new things with the discover feature. In fact, almost half of Instagram users take advantage of the channel when looking to discover new products. Some studies even show that around 50% of Instagram users recall content from social media marketing better than the ads used on TV or traditional media channels. It’s common that users search for product information via Instagram, and then go on to actively engage with the marketing of those products – for instance, asking where to buy products in the comments field. Stats tell us that nowadays 65% of shoppers use a mobile device when shopping, and 33% of shoppers carry out research on their mobile device before actually buying from desktop or store.


Key takeaways

Here are some tips to keep in mind when joining the game of Instagram marketing: create a clear strategy, set targets and decide which KPIs you want to achieve; maintain a consistent presence and be active on the channel; and make sure your Instagram posts are thumb-stopping. The photos representing your company need to be personal, concept driven, inspiring and most importantly, built for people.