Instagram's 5 Tips for Better Marketing -- With Pictures

The popular photo-sharing site has released findings on its business blog about the ways in which the most successful brands have engaged the visual community.

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By Geoff Weiss

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Instagram is beginning to view its community of rich images and captivating videos through a decidedly business-friendly filter.

On its Instagram for Business blog, the company unveiled new research about how some of the most successful brands -- Ben & Jerry's, Disneyland and Patagonia, among them -- are using its network as a marketing tool to profound effect.

Instagram also announced a book entitled The Instagram Handbook for Brands, which profiles eleven especially engaging brands and features ten popular hashtags that illuminate the community's dynamism. Though its content won't be widely available, Instagram will roll out certain findings.

Related: Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: Determining the Best Platform for Mobile Marketing

Five top tips from Instagram's favorite accounts include:

1. To thine own self, be true. For instance, eyeglass retailer Warby Parker's images "never feel overly staged or serious," Instagram said, but aptly express the brand's quirky voice.

2. Prize experiences. Why feature simple product shots when brands can offer a penetrating glimpse into the experiences they can provide? The consumer-shot images and videos on GoPro's account, for example, give a fuller sense of the company's essence.

Related: This Is How Small Businesses Are Using Social Media

3. Seek meaning. While General Electric isn't necessarily synonymous with scenic imagery, the company succeeds in showcasing how its technology is meaningful to people. Transporting shots of giant jet engine factories and remote wind farms illuminate the company's myriad "man-made wonders," Instagram says.

4. Inspire community action. Nike and Chobani have succeeded in rousing interactivity and building communities with hashtagged campaigns including #runfree and #creationaday, which respectively celebrates runners in diverse locales and showcases particularly appetizing yogurt concoctions.

5. Be self-aware. Mission Bicycle succeeds because it understands what people love about its brand -- the beautiful simplicity of its bikes -- and uses that knowledge to "capture the imagination of new customers," Instagram said.

Related: Instagram Success: These Types of Images Drive the Most Engagement (Infographic)

Geoff Weiss

Former Staff Writer

Geoff Weiss is a former staff writer at Entrepreneur.com.

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