COLOGNE/LONDON: Brands seeking to engage consumers on Instagram could learn from the experiences of ten top British brands, which have achieved impressive follower growth rates on the image and video-sharing platform.

New research from social analytics firm Quintly has confirmed that Instagram remains a leading platform for images, but some of these UK brands also find that video and engaging content are particularly attractive to their target audiences.

That is according to analysis of Instagram campaigns run by luxury car makers Aston Martin, Bentley Motors, Jaguar, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, clothing brands Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Primark and Stella McCartney, as well as BBC News.

Covering Q4 2016, the research found all five auto brands achieved follower growth of more than 20%, which led Quintly to conclude that even big brands have the potential to attract more followers and that Instagram is far from saturated.

Burberry, the luxury fashion brand, may have had the lowest growth in follower numbers over the period (8.78%), but it still gained 676,138 new followers, taking its total to an impressive 8,378,527.

Of particular note to marketers, the research further revealed that every brand posted an average 67 posts per month, including both images and video, or about two posts a day.

Brands posted at least 45 images per month and an average of 22 video posts, although BBC News stood out as the leading brand that put video content at the heart of its Instagram strategy.

Out of a total of 477 posts, video accounted for 85.95% of the content posted by the public broadcaster, which suggests its strategy rests on engaging viewers for a longer period of time.

By contrast, images accounted for 93.54% of Primark's total of 511 posts – the highest number among all ten brands in the study – but, interestingly, the fashion retailer did not just post images and hope for the best because its content generated a massive 20m likes.

"What we can learn from Primark is that the high-street fashion retailer follows a specific strategy that seems to be more engaging and in particular more attractive to its audience," said Quintly analyst Nils Herrmann, who also referred to comments made last year by Primark's head of digital.

"We found that our content has done best when it looks like a friend posted it. It's not about being staged. We're essentially a guest on their feed, so we need to fit in," Olly Rzysko told Digiday last June.

Nils Herrmann summed up the findings by saying there are many different approaches to secure a successful Instagram campaign.

He said it could be achieved by "triggering a desire for luxury goods (Burberry, Jaguar), showing a combination of affordable products in a scenario that looks like if a friend posted it (Primark), or simply informing your audience (BBC News)".

Data sourced from Quintly; additional content by WARC staff