Instagram, the fashion and beauty sector’s favourite social media channel, is taking a leaf out of parent Facebook’s advertising book with reports that it’s building specific profiles for businesses (just like Facebook’s Brand Pages), data on the performance of brand posts, and extra functionality to boost advertising through mobile devices.
What it’s not offering is a buy button but the fashion industry doesn’t seem to mind and more brands are signing up, despite these promised features not being due for a few months yet.
Whether users will take to it is another question as the user focus (rather than advertiser focus) has been a key part of Instagram’s appeal until now.
Kate Spade’s marketing head Mary Beech told WWD that the brand has 1.6m Instagram followers and already takes paid ads on the platform. She said Instagram must “continue to deliver the experience that consumers have learned to expect” when it makes the changes.
Meanwhile Derek Lam told the US trade paper that it’s launching its first sponsored Instagram posts next week and is likely to create business profiles too when they’re ready.
CEO Jan-Hendrik Schlottman said he likes the fact that Instagram is more ‘fashion’ than Facebook and the way he can very precisely target users. Next week’s Instagram ad launch will target women aged 28 to 50, who love fashion, shop a lot and are fans of Gianvito Rossi, Prada and Gucci. Now that’s targeting! The following week, the brand’s going for Instagram users who follow Jimmy Choo and Louis Vuitton.
Given that Instagram is more fashion-focused than Facebook, he’s hoping for big things. He told WWD that as far as ROI is concerned, Facebook has been the brand’s most effective digital advertising tool. So it’s no surprise that half of Derek Lam’s monthly online marketing spend is via Facebook with 30% going to SEO. Will that change as Instagram flexes its fashion-focused muscle? Time will tell.