Last month, the social-networking site, Instagram, rolled out advertising in Canada, partnering with six key Canadian brands (who are already pretty great on Instagram) for launch—HBC, Air Canada, Target Canada, Travel Alberta, Sport Chek and Mercedes-Benz. The massively popular user-generated content (UGC) site made this announcement almost a year to the day of the U.S. market launch of ads.

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In addition to the ads, Instagram has also added analytics tools to help advertisers understand the performance of their paid and organic content. Sponsored posts can also include video feed, which may be more compelling in some brand storytelling cases.

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With over 200 million Instagram users, and 20 billion photos shared, why wouldn’t Instagram want a piece of the nearly 11 billion social media advertising dollars? (According to Statista, for 2013.)

And, according to their news release, Instagram  is focused on “rolling out ads in a very slow and carefully controlled way while taking feedback from the community.”  And feedback there is. Here are some of the comments that showed up under Instagram’s sponsored post about the release of advertising on my mobile.

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The negative sentiment is the customer anticipation of brands doing it wrong. But there are brands out there who are getting it right. The numbers don’t lie. Advertising in social media is about brand lift. And according to Totem’s list, these are the top three brands on Instagram right now.

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These brands are using the lost advertising art of cultural imprinting on their users through stellar photography and campaign genius.

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You can be that awesome on Instagram too! Give us a call to find out how Instagram can work for your business today!