Should Instagram Let Brands Target Users Based on Location?

Foot Locker's video suggests untapped potential

The top Instagram video among retailers last week was by Foot Locker, which has picked up nearly 28,000 likes and comments since Jan. 29 with a post for its Penn Station location in New York City. It marks the first time a locally focused effort has cracked our 10-month-old Adweek/Shareablee chart for the top branded Instagram videos.

Foot Locker's post ran nationwide, since Instagram doesn't offer marketers a location-targeting feature. But the brand's success raises an intriguing question: Should the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing app incorporate the ability to zero in on consumers based on their whereabouts?

"Location-based targeting features would make Instagram a more attractive platform for large brands with multiple locations," said David Deal, a Chicago-based digital marketing consultant. "Mobile is the key to creating customers locally, and Instagram is both a visual and mobile platform. Brands that already possess strong local marketing strategies would benefit the most from location-based targeting features."

Instagram wasn't immediately available to answer queries about whether a future app update might include those capabilities. But considering Facebook allows all users to segment whom they want to see their posts, the idea of a similar tool for marketers and consumers alike doesn't seem far fetched.

At any rate, Foot Locker's "Customize Your Own" video leans on text while highlighting Nike and NYC's strong basketball heritage. The #HouseofHoops pitch encourages viewers to go to the company's Seventh Avenue and 33rd Street store to purchase a customized T-shirt. (A few commenters are chiding Foot Locker's "New York Dominates" copy—which appears in the fast-paced video for about two seconds—because the Knicks are enduring such an awful season.)

Check out the brand's work in our multimedia infographic that features eight categories (auto, beauty, consumer electronics, retail, fashion, celebrity, sports leagues and TV shows), which regularly appear in our weekly chart. Two wildcard niches are always sprinkled in, and we've chosen television networks and fashion luxury for this week's edition.

The niche-based winners for Jan. 26 through Feb. 1 appear below.