Which Brands Should Spend More Money on Instagram in 2018


Instagram users are purchase ready – 72% of Instagram users report making a purchase decision based on what they saw on the site.

We can all surely agree as marketers that most consumers are like the Doubting Thomas they will buy something once they see someone else buying it or see how it functions & what value it will bring them. The key principle is that seeing is believing, meaning that platforms like Instagram & Snapchat which are driven by visual engagement, unlike Twitter which is driven by conversation & text. This explains why Instagram has the most influence on Shopping Habits

Instagram 51%

Facebook 23%

Pinterest 22%

Snapchat and Twitter combined only influence 4% of shopping habits, according to XCart. Thus, when selling a product or service, your advertising budget will be well spent on The Gram if you want to increase sales. However, this is not to say that Twitter and Snapchat are a waste of time or money because they speak to different aspects of marketing i.e. marketing your brand as a  Thought Leader & Industry Expert will be tough to advertise on Instagram as one needs to put out communication of the brand. However, using Twitter or LinkedIn as a communication platform will gain optimal impact for your campaign. (Click   to learn more about Brand Winning Social Media Content)


In these three years (2014 to 2017), Instagram has achieved an increase of 357% in growth compared to Facebook and YouTube which only experienced a positive growth rate of 50%. This growth is unmatched and cannot be ignored as Instagram is quickly approaching the 1 billion active monthly users mark. Well done Instagram, your growth is beautiful to watch.


If you have been sceptical of the platform, it’s time to believe. Believe that Instagram is the best place to spend your marketing budget in 2018 to reach your target market within seconds and grow your brand at an exponential rate. Moreover, advertising on Instagram does not mean uploading pictures until the sun comes up. It means that you need a team of creative individuals who have excellent multimedia skills and will follow through your strategy in order to reach your target market through effective marketing. This team should consist of influencers of the market and content creators who will create a content strategy and a content plan.


Who is most likely to win the influencer marketing budget race in 2018? The obvious favourite for the past 3 years has been Luxury. The following brands form part of the top spenders in Influencer Marketing.

  1. Luxury 91%2)
  2. Sports & Active Wear 84%3)
  3. Beauty & Personal Care 83%4)
  4. Travel & Hospitality 82%


Celebrities Vs Influencers Vs Content Creators

From experience, we’ve learnt that not every celebrity is as influential as they claim they are and not all influencers are great content creators. When deciding which influencer or celebrity to work with we look at the following indicators;

  • Quantifiable Audience Size
  • Content Creation Skill
  • Focused & Niche Demographic Make Up


How to decide where to spend your marketing money

Do you want reach or do you want engagement?

Celebrities with a large following offer great value when it comes to reach. Their large audiences may be interested in different things but if the celebrity has a niche focus on the content they post, you are most like to get good value for your money. Our preferred approach at Black Smoke is to work with a blend of Content Creators, Micro Influencers (25k+ followers) and Brand Advocates (10k+ followers)

  • Content creators know how to compile engaging, exciting and shareable content to get the expected results.
  • Micro influencers and Brand Advocates receive the most engagement and they usually have a Focused and Niche Demographic.
  • Celebrities are brands themselves and that can become a challenge when a paying brand has conflicting values or views. The messaging then becomes diluted and not authentic.


Tell the truth don’t lie to us

Millennials and Gen Z consumers don’t trust traditional advertising and they can see when promotions are contract based. The secret formula for Influencer marketing is Love. To maintain a large & loyal following of fans you have to love what you’re endorsing especially when it comes to the brands you work with.  Because Black Smoke is built on a solid foundation of love, we work with micro Influencers with a following of 10k-100k who do what they love. We help them to authentically align themselves with the right brands, earn money and grow their following locally and internationally. If you would like to work with any of our influencers to supplement your digital marketing strategy, please send us a brief at dwyl@blacksmokeagency.co.za

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