Let’s face it, if you want to target a younger audience, marketing on Instagram is where you spend your time. Over 50% of 18 to 29-year-olds in the US use Instagram. For B2C brands, Instagram represents a key growth market for attracting new customers, and those who fail to use it effectively risk missing out on this opportunity.
Advertising on Instagram
Since it’s launch, there has really been no ability to advertise on Instagram, so all brands could do was set up their own pages and try to build a following organically.
However, this social media giant actually started allowing certain advertisers to use the platforms new advertising tools a year and a half ago. These were major brands that created high-quality ads, and the results were pretty impressive. Ad recall from the sponsored Instagram posts was almost three times higher than the norm for online advertising!
Before you get too excited, remember - previously Instagram had been ad-free, so we’re not 100% sure that these engagement rates will continue. It is impressive though.
A study by Instagram itself (take this with a grain of salt) showed that of 4 campaigns reviewed there was a 32-point incremental lift in ad recall per campaign compared to a control group. There also was a 10% lift in brand message awareness. Statistics on ROI are not available because the campaigns were delivering broad reach advertising to increase awareness. There was no option to click through to buy products or to learn more.
New Features For Advertisers
Instagram announced a month ago that it would be increasing its ad offering to give advertisers more options. The different ad formats include letting people sign up, buy a product or download an app directly from an ad. Although Instagram has been relatively vague on the details - these options will be revealed in the coming months as the features are released.
Enhanced Ad Targeting
Instagram knows that it users won’t want to be bombarded with irrelevant ads. It also knows that advertisers want to only pay to put ads in front of people that are going to be interested in their products or services, so as to be able to get the best possible ROI.
Offering advertisers better-targeting options is a win-win scenario for all involved. The critical component to be able to target effectively is data, and lots of it. But, Instagram doesn’t have data do they? Yes they do! Facebook bought Instagram in 2012. So yes, Instagram will most likely be able to provide their advertisers lots of data via Facebook.
Basically, advertisers will be able to target demographics and interests data that has been gathered by Facebook. Pretty cool!
How will Instagram ads be purchased?
Instagram stated that they will be creating an Ads API for the platform, which will allow the purchasing of sponsored posts.
However so as to make it easier for businesses large and small to purchase ads on the platform, Instagram says that it wants to ‘leverage the best of Facebook’s infrastructure for buying, managing and measuring the success of ads on Instagram’. This means you will be able to purchase Instagram ads through the current Facebook ad buying interfaces such as ads manager and power editor once the feature is rolled out.
Can I advertise on Instagram now?
No, not yet. But soon - very soon! Right now it’s only major brands that will be allowed to use/test these new features. Instagram stated they would open up the platform in the coming months.
We'd love to hear from you! Are you planning on testing Instagram's new advertising features? If so, let us know in the comments below...