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Top 10 Articles on Building a Brand on Instagram

Instagram with its visual orientation and global reach is built for branding. But are you doing it right? We go to the experts, or at least scholars, to settle it. From destination marketing around the world, to sports teams and brands, to influencers, here are the big takeaways for leveraging the power of Instagram to build a brand.

#1 Toward a Methodology of the Smart Growth of Destinations

The Italian job: Or being smart about Instagram branding for tourist destinations. Here’s an insider’s view of how a region in southern Italy became a 'gotta-get-there' tourist destination. Think hashtags, smart tourism, and co-creation — and it doesn't hurt that the view isn’t shabby either.

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#2 Brands and Instagram: Point, tap, swipe, glance

A study of the Instagram activities of global vodka brand Smirnoff and fashion retailer General Pants. The results? Instagram as an “image machine that captures and calibrates attention.”

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#3 User-generated branding via social media

Fans and followers of six running brands were more than willing to contribute user-generated content to Instagram, and the user-generated photos were more popular than the content created by the brands. The Instagram crowd also loved photos with an overt brand focus.

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#4 Digital challenges in destination branding

You could argue Portugal could sell itself as a vacation destination. It turns out, 40 percent of travelers say social network comments influence their travel planning and 50 percent base their travel plans on other people’s reviews and experiences. Instagram is made for this.

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#5 Snapshot aesthetics of `snap happy’ brands

In the choice between posting photos of a fashion brand in “snapshot aesthetics” that have a consumer-on-the-street feel or polished studio images, one type makes a big impression among Instagrammers. The winner? Snapshot aesthetics.

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#6 Instagram for Place Branding

Landskrona, Sweden, allows a citizen each week to take over its Instagram account to represent his or her view of the city. It’s a novel approach to “place branding,” but does it work and is it worth replicating? Take a tour of whether more cities should follow Landskrona's lead.

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#8 Instagram in Sports Team Branding

With a combined 21.7 million Instagram followers at the time of this study, English Premier League football stalwarts Liverpool FC and Manchester United are two of the biggest names in professional sports. It's no secret that Instagram offers fans a deeper connection with their teams. But did you know that taking fans behind the scenes is winning on Instagram?

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#9 Instagram influencers and brand attitude

Instagram influencers with high numbers of follows may be likable and popular, but are they the best choice as brand ambassadors? This study shows influencers who follow very few accounts can negatively affect their likeability. For brands promoting divergent products, Instagram influencers with high numbers of followers may not be the best choice because it decreases the brand’s perceived uniqueness and consequently brand attitudes.

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#10 TOMS, Instagram, and Co-Creating Brand Value

A brand can differentiate itself by creating a unique customer narrative. Instagram is an ideal place to make that happen, as TOMS showed in its socially aware "one day without shoes" global campaign. A key takeaway is that “marketing strategies using digital platforms need to generate an environment of trust that enables participating, as well as a sense of creativity through the use and sharing of brand values.”

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