Instagram’s ad handbook encourages brands to “find beauty everywhere”

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What’s the key to a successful ad on Instagram? Since the “Sponsored Post” network started in the fall of last year,  the company has been careful about how brands communicate on the platform. Now, with a few more months of data to go on, Instagram announced a brand handbook Monday that champions subtle, art-focused content that refrains from overtly touting products.

According to the company, The Instagram Handbook for Brands highlights 11 brands on Instagram that have seen success with their marketing campaigns, offering tips and tricks to engage with Instagram users.

While the book is not “broadly available” to the public (likely only intended for brands) Instagram said in the announcement that it will incorporate some of the examples and lessons from the book into a series of blog posts. The first few tips include “be true to your brand” and “find beauty everywhere.” It also highlights the need for brands to encourage action among followers, essentially leaving the product shots and promotions to the community via a hashtag.

Spotlights on brands, including Warby Parker, stress the importance of those themes, especially the idea that ads should feel more candid:

 Photos from eyeglass retailer @warbyparker, featured in the handbook, never feel overly staged or serious, but instead draw from trends in the Instagram community to reflect the company’s quirky creativity.

Although the ad product is still in its early days, it’s clear that Instagram has a detailed picture of how other brands should fit in with the aesthetic that has made the platform so popular in recent years.

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