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On March 2, Bloomberg Businessweek published an article online titled “How Much Is an Instagram Story Worth?” and given the recent conversation involving which app is superior, Instagram or Snapchat, I couldn’t help but to give it a peek. I was expecting to find another article fueling the feud between the two social media apps but found it centered on a different subject altogether—how Instagram has been cultivating brand awareness.

This specific article focuses on the Beautiful Destinations account, which was launched in 2012 by Jeremy Jauncey. Soon after, Jeremy was joined by his brother, Tom, and within a year, the account had one million followers. Today, this Instagram page has acquired over 8.5 million followers and has turned into its own travel advertising and marketing business. The brothers have acquired an impressive portfolio of clients within the travel industry who pay to be featured on their account.

Beautiful Destination’s success continues to flourish with the Stories feature that Instagram launched in 2016. Stories are short videos or pictures that disappear within 24 hours (like Snapchat). An additional perk was added to Stories in January; they can now be linked to websites, a marketing tool that regular Instagram posts don’t offer. This has worked in the brothers’ favor, allowing them to more effectively market their clients’ brands.

What astounds me are the numbers. Since the launch of Stories, Beautiful Destinations has been registering 30 million weekly views and individual story posts have been averaging 5 million views. However, generating this type of outreach does come at a cost: Clients pay Beautiful Destinations in the form of annual contracts from anywhere between $50,000 and $1 million. Although it can get pricey, this type of marketing is less expensive when compared to traditional television and print advertising

As a PR professional, I’ve become increasingly aware of the branding power social media has. Instagram has become an unexpected powerhouse in this field … unexpected at least by me. I’ve always viewed it as the cool, laid back form of social media so when I think business, it’s not the first app that comes to mind.

However, this article, among countless others, including this one proving that Instagram is a better platform than Snapchat for your brand, has made me reconsider. I would now recommend all of our clients to consider creating an Instagram account, whether we manage it or not. And now with its more than 600 million registered users, 300 million of which log onto the app daily, Instagram provides brands with the engagement that they’re looking for.

If this doesn’t persuade you, check out this post from Sara Goodwin, where she breaks down the business features Instagram launched last year.

Breanne Krager
Breanne Krager
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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