The Brand's Guide to Instagram

6 ways image analytics can help brands get the most from Instagram

When it comes to advertising on social media, it’s all about Instagram. Not only is it the fastest growing platform for social ads for top consumer industries, but it reinforces a change in behavior that’s rooted deep in the evolution of human experience. Simply put: We’re moving towards a more visual communication style.
This information should not be surprising; images have always been an important expression of human interaction. But with the growth of social media, the line between images and language is blurring every day. When comparing the top social media providers’ growth over the last 6 years, we can see exponential growth in platforms that provide video and photos in addition to text-based connections. Snapchat and Instagram lead the growth curve, behind the mega leader Facebook, who has adopted many similar “camera-first” technologies from its competitors.


This is where image analysis comes in. Here’s what we’ve learned about image-driven advertising campaigns.

1. Images can help detect sarcasm

Let’s be clear: Each social channel draws a different audience, and the messaging that the user writes might be sarcastic, which you couldn’t get without an in-depth analysis. Without clear image analysis capabilities, this post would most likely be sorted into a positive category for targeting, when in fact, it’s quite clear this user is joking about their brunch plans.

Staying healthy and having just one #bloodymary at brunch 🍅 📷: @boston_mouthful

A post shared by boston brunch guide (@bostonbrunchguide) on

2. Look at the larger picture

Using image analysis, you can see more than just the object that’s included in the image. The scene itself is meaningful for analysis. This changes the entire meaning behind the image and informs your business for making more targeted marketing.

3. Know your audience

Knowing your audience means understanding what matters to them. This can be something as complicated as their favorite musicians or foods, or as simple as mentioning your brand in association with a holiday. Finding a way to connect visually is just as important as finding the right words.

4. Authenticity is paramount

Understanding your audience means going beyond the simple explanation of what they’re doing to learn why this person chooses to live this way. As an example, fitness is a trend that younger audiences have begun investing in. We see it in the ways they talk about drinking as a reward for exercising. A photo can help us understand that story in greater detail, explaining the main drivers of fitness and good health. For many, it has to do with weight loss.

5. Leverage leaders/partners in your space

Once you’ve focused your topics of conversation for key audiences surrounding your brand, it’s important to uncover who your audience listens to. The advice of a respected individual is far more powerful than any advertisement. With the rise of paid advertising for influencers on Instagram and other channels, it’s important to target influencers that will resonate directly with the viewers you are targeting. Social analytics can help you uncover those top voices to promote your brands.

6. Don’t be afraid to share everywhere

What might work on one social channel might not work on another, but you’ll never know without conducting some A/B testing. Social analytics is a great way to measure the effectiveness of campaigns across different social accounts.
The results may surprise you. For Martha Stewart, posting to Instagram as well as Facebook provided wildly different results: 87, vs 11,090 likes.

Leveraging images as part of your advertising research will open a new perspective of valuable insights about your audiences. To learn more about how to implement social analysis for images, download our fundamentals of image analysis guide below.

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