Instagram- What’s Next for Digital Media Campaigns

In the technology industry, it often seems easier to pay attention to the news coming from large organizations to identify trends and see what’s next. However, we’re finding that there is now more reason for CMOs, public relations managers and marketing departments to be looking elsewhere to stay ahead of the curve. Looking to digital media and social networks may be more fruitful to monitor to help shape your future marketing plans.

As I mentioned a few months ago in my post about Pinterest, brands need to look at this increasingly popular website. Just this week, Forbes, GigaOM and C/NET all talked about Pinterest – asking if it is the ‘next big thing’ in social media. Twitter’s Elad Gil took it a step further in his post and with the accompanying graph below –  “How Pinterest Will Transform the Web in 2012: Social Content Curation As The Next Big Thing.” As much as we talk about content curation and see it as THE essential tool in upcoming marketing and PR efforts, we’re often referring to written content. We also need to be looking at all different types of content (images, videos, infographics) and how and where it can be shared.

Elad Gil's meta-trend graphic

On prSPEAK, we want to keep you informed on the latest trends and what we’re seeing in the industry Such as Instagram which will play a role for brands in the upcoming year.  Why pay attention to yet another app and social network?  Instagram, the iOS photo-sharing filter app, has over 15 million users as of December 2011. Its growing popularity can be attributed to its ease-of-use, photo-centric platform and its base of share-hungry users.

It was even named as App of the Year in 2011 by Apple. Niall Harbison thinks that 2012 will be the year for Instragram and lists his eight reasons why here.  Yesterday, President Obama joined Instagram and it made the news. Why? Much like the rapid popularity of Twitter in President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, his usage of Instagram validates another player in the social networking field. President Obama has opened up yet another channel for potential voters to connect with him and view his progress on the campaign trail in 2012.

What does this mean for your brand? For consumer brands, it’s another avenue that will be used by customers to promote your products and brand via pictures. Think word-of-mouth in full living color and images. With the commenting and “liking” feature, it’s already provided another channel for brands to communicate with their target audience, gather feedback and promote themselves.

It will be interesting to watch this trend of how images and self-publishing will continue to grow and the role it will play in our marketing activities. Maybe that one iPhone photo posted on Instagram will generate more sales than the traditional expensive magazine photo shoot advertisement. What do you think? Just another app or are we witnessing the early days of the next Twitter or Facebook?