Back in 2010, Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom, graduates from Stanford created a humble photo sharing app and called it Instagram. The idea was to create a platform where users can share their photos with a short caption. This app was introduced when smartphone cameras were becoming high quality. Immediately, it was downloaded by millions of users and growth has been exponential ever since. Within 2 years, the platform drew the attention of social media giant Facebook, who purchased it for $1 billion. Riding the wave of the selfie era, the app is now more popular than Twitter and more engaging than Facebook.

The availability of smart mobile devices and cheap data plans has resulted in a younger generation that is constantly glued to the handheld device. By 2017, 51.8% of the social network users will be on Instagram and the app is projected to grow by 15.1%. Millennials, in particular, are fascinated by Instagram as it is much easier for them to impress others using photos instead of words. The need to get more likes and comments is the hook that makes these platforms popular, but also a growing concern among psychologists, who believe some users are addicted and this is negatively affecting them.

It is advisable to post 3-5 times per week (similar to top brands), but content obviously has to interest your target audience to be effective. You can’t create an Instagram marketing strategy without knowing the essential facts and figures, including which filters are the most popular to posting at the right time. Website Builder has come up with an infographic containing 139 facts about Instagram that are crucial for marketers. Check it out now!

The monumental growth of Instagram has increased the interest of marketers and this is evident from growing advertising revenue made by the company. If you want to market your business to millennials and even older audiences, this is definitely one of the leading social networks to utilise. Even though Facebook is a much bigger platform, Instagram is not to be left behind. It is projected that the number of users will reach 1 billion by 2018. As Mark Zuckerberg previously commented, when a social media platform reaches 1 billion subscribers, it will be ready for effective monetization. Now’s certainly the time to experiment with your strategy and benefit from affordably priced advertising. As more people jump on the bandwagon, prices will rise and the more difficult it will be to stand out.

A successful Instagram marketing campaign can be measured by the number of likes and comments per post and number of new followers generated. What makes the platform particularly beneficial is that it has the highest per-follower engagement of any leading network. It is also easier to encourage user-generated marketing content on Instagram which is vital for social proof (i.e. users talking-up your brand). With a strong following, marketers can easily get a higher return on their investment than elsewhere.