Advertising: Instagram Photos Vs. Studio and Stock Photos

In this cut-throat world of advertising, everyone and everything is constantly vying for consumers’ attention – this couldn’t be any truer than the realm of the World Wide Web.


And thanks to Instagram, advertisers can now breathe new life in their work since Instagram photos can make more effective advertising as compared to studio shoots and stocks photos.  This is what Laundry Service, a social media agency, thinks.


An Instagram-esque photo in an ad on Facebook.


Based on a study on which the company measured the performance of its campaigns over the past six months – it found out that campaigns that used “organic” Instagram-style photos (non-glossy pictures shot outside of a studio) performed way better than those campaigns done in a traditional manner.


Picture this: Using regular photos, Laundry Service saw a 2.35% click-through rate. With Instagram-style shots, that increased to as high as 8%. When tying ad performance to sales, the company saw conversion rates increase by 25%. The data was drawn from over 100 million impressions spanning campaigns from more than 15 advertisers, according to Laundry Service Founder and President, Jason Stein.


“It’s not an opinion,” Mr. Stein said. “This is what was working best.”


In fact, Laundry Service has now started an Instagram division under Liz Eswein, whose @newyorkcity handle is followed by 1.2 million people on the platform. The company also plans to further build out the network of Instagram photographers Ms. Eswein has cultivated, which it will lean on to shoot photos and videos for advertisers.


But buyer beware! Or in this case – advertiser beware!


Instagram photos can, at times, work better than standard ad creative – but not all the time. “I wouldn’t fire all of my photographers and just source photos from Instagram,” said Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus, a digital agency.  “Sometimes you want beautiful, food-porny product shots and you’re just not going to get that from Instagram.”


And like all things new – they get old with time. There will always be that chance that the “authentic” Instagram aesthetic loses popularity, especially if the market is oversaturated by it.