As of November 2013, the statistics for Twitter and Instagram usage are up, and they’re very…odd. Here’s the paradox:
- 40% of the top 1,000 Instagram videos were posted by brands.
- Instagram has over 150 million monthly users.
- 4% of the top 100 Vines were posted by brands.
- Twitter has over 232 million monthly users.
As you can see, brands clearly prefer Instagram video to Vines, yet Twitter has a larger reach. So, why are brands switching over to Instagram video anyway?
Maybe it’s the fact that Instagram video is twice the length of Vine, and content creators at major brands vibe with that. Maybe it’s because Instagram isn’t just video – it also offers a platform of other digital mediums that creative directors find very attractive. Keep in mind that Instagram is also tied to Facebook, and Facebook has over 1.19 billion monthly active users. At the rate Instagram is expanding, it isn’t crazy to project that, one day, a big chunk of those monthly active users will also be checking Instagram and seeing the videos posted there.
So, without further ado, we present the top 10 brands on Instagram (as of October 2013).
1. MTV – 130,000+ shares/month
The clear winner of the current Instagram brand video battle is MTV, with over twice as many shares as its closest competitor. Surprising? Not really. MTV blew up because of MJ’s music videos, and they’ve had plenty of time to practice and distill their video-making expertise into short-form servings.
Takeaway: MTV doesn’t just post video randomly, though – they have different channels for their Instagram video, like “Need to Know.”
2. NBA – 68,000+ shares/month
If I asked you to guess the top 10 brands on Instagram video, chances are you wouldn’t include the National Basketball Association. But the NBA is defying expectations and silencing its critics by doing something extremely smart – relying on the Instagram accounts of its players to generate attention and create hype for games.
Takeaway: In other words, the NBA is running multiple vlogs. Anyone who’s anyone in the NBA’s cast of characters (except maybe Tim Duncan) has an Instagram account, and a whole lot of them are making videos.
3. Peanuts – 43,000+ shares/month
The most unexpected winner in Instagram video this year has undoubtedly been the “Snoopygrams” account, which posted several videos back in October that went viral. Maybe it’s because Peanuts isn’t pretentious, and isn’t really trying to sell anything, either. They’re just making videos that people can enjoy.
Takeaway: Is Peanuts getting direct conversion from their Instagram videos? Hard to say. But are they getting back into the public eye and introducing themselves to a new generation of fans? Absolutely.
4. GoPro – 35,000+ shares/month
It was only a matter of time. GoPro’s insane, stomach-churning action videos have already gone viral on Youtube more times than we can remember, and now they’re giving GoPro users the option to quickly upload their action videos onto Instagram, too. GoPro is tied with the NBA and Peanuts as one of the most shared brands on Instagram right now.
Takeaway: By allowing excited users to post their own instagrams, GoPro is giving itself free social marketing.
5. Miami Heat – 28,000+ shares/month
The recent back-to-back NBA champions got noticed in a big way with their Harlem Shake video, but are also exploring other media channels, namely Instagram. They’re by far the most shared NBA team on Instagram, but they aren’t the most profitable NBA team – not by a long shot (the Knicks take that coveted spot, and the Bulls and Lakers are next in line).
Takeaway: It almost makes you wonder why other NBA teams aren’t spending as much time on Instagram making videos. It should come as no surprise that filler is still filling. And the Knicks could seriously use the bump right now.
6. Wendy’s – 24,000+ shares/month
Wendy’s has the honor of being the “restaurant stock of the year”, and it’s also the only fast food chain with a large following on Instagram. For this past Halloween, Wendy’s even put out a few spooky Instagrams, just for fun:
Takeaway: The fast food industry can make you hungry just by putting a branded paper bag full of burgers on screen, but it can also remind you that it has a fun personality. After all, fast food chains are notorious for their bad customer service, so Wendy’s does the smart thing by making the brand particularly playful.
7. Topshop – 23,000+ shares/month
If you haven’t heard of Topshop…you’re probably not alone. Out of the 10 major brands represented in our shortlist, Topshop is probably the only one that won’t instantly ring a bell for the average internet-minded American, which makes its success on Instagram all the more surprising.
Takeaway: Topshop happens to be a British retailer that targets fashionable women. And while Topshop knows none of its videos are going to get the husband and the kids running to the monitor, it doesn’t care. As long as it can put out relevant, shareable content for its target consumer, it’ll still come out on top. Pardon the pun…
8. Starbucks – 22,000+ shares/month
If you’ve ever been to the very first Starbucks in Seattle, you’ll understand exactly why the brand has is so down-to-earth and cozy. Like Ben & Jerry’s for ice cream, Starbucks really just wants to be the “cool” kid in the coffee crowd – Dunkin Donuts can take everyone else, for all it cares.
Takeaway: The Starbucks Instagram account is a perfect reflection of its franchise vibe. Interspersed between various shots of coffee on windowsills, coffee on tables, and coffee mugs in hand, Starbucks has taken the time to insert a few “office snippets.” So you won’t forget that they’re so cool.
9. ABC – 21,000+ shares/month
Perhaps due to the nature of news and TV entertainment, the ABC family instagram account doesn’t actually have many videos of…well, videos.
Takeaway: Instead, it uses Instagram video as a call-to-action.
10. HBO’s Girls – 21,000+ shares/month
Is it weird for a TV show to have an Instagram account? Not at all – half the reason people watch Girls is because they relate to or are fascinated by the characters. So, HBO did the only sensible thing and made behind-the-scenes Instagram videos of the cast.
Takeaway: If you didn’t know anything about Girls, then this video of two of the guys playing ping pong is meaningless. But if you did, it gives the brand a minute, undetectable lift that it wouldn’t have enjoyed otherwise. In other words – videos don’t have to be about “big things” – sometimes it’s the little things that matter.