As Facebook looks to find more ways to maximize the revenue generation potential of Instagram, it's commissioned new research into how users perceive brand content on the visual platform, and how businesses can maximize their opportunities based on audience expectation.
Facebook's first report on this front looked at what users expect from brands on Instagram, and now, Facebook has released the second element, which examines how the platform drives audience action, both in terms of business discovery and purchase behavior.
The data is based on feedback from over 21,000 Instagram users in thirteen countries, providing solid insight into overall audience perception - if you're looking to utilize Instagram for your business in 2019, this is valuable information to have, and to consider in your process.
First off, the user feedback highlights an interesting, yet less discussed element of social media marketing - even if your social presence is not driving direct sales, it can still have a significant impact on brand perception, which could be hugely relevant, dependent on your target market.
As per the report:
"Simply by being on Instagram, brands can make a positive impression on potential shoppers. People surveyed say they perceive brands on Instagram as popular (78%), creative (77%), entertaining (76%) and relevant (74%). Those top associations stayed relatively consistent across the globe, with a few differences, like in Japan, where people put informative as their second most-perceived quality."
Again, the benefits of having an active social media presence are not always direct.
No doubt you're at least tangentially aware of this yourself - the modern brand and product discovery process usually involves at least some form of social media reference, usually after a Google search, from which you might click across to the business' Facebook Page and see what their latest update might be.
That won't show up in your attribution reports, people coming to your social profiles to take a quick look, and potentially not clicking through on anything. But it can have a significant impact on brand perception, and as noted here, that's especially relevant on Instagram. By simply having an active Instagram presence, you can greatly influence audience perception.
In addition to this, Instagram, in particular, can play a big part in the purchase process.
That, of course, would have more relation to highly visual and B2C products, but the insights show that Instagram can play a big role in the purchase path, with images providing additional context as to how the products look in real life, and how they might fit in the customers' own usage.
Such content can then spur further shopping activity.
The data outlines the various opportunities for businesses on Instagram, with a range of relevant considerations and opportunities along the purchase path. And instinctively, much of this makes perfect sense - Instagram is a visual-focused platform, which lends itself to brand and product promotion, and can help drive action through aspirational content.
Given the growth of the platform, more brands are already looking at Instagram as a way to expand their social media marketing process, and the insights here will help to further target and improve your platform process in order to drive consumer action.
You can read Facebook's full 'How Instagram Boosts Brands and Drives Sales' report here.