Have you noticed a lot more images populating in your Instagram feed from brands, retailers, and accounts that you don’t follow? If so, you’re not alone. Instagram has been testing sponsored content for over a year and a half with select advertisers, but earlier this month the social media network announced that their Ad platform is now openly available to all businesses and advertisers. This means users will be seeing much more sponsored image content on a regular basis.
While users often let out a collective groan when asked about seeing ads on social media platforms, Instagram says it has seen success and knows there is further potential for advertisements on its platform. Instagram says that the performance of its previous 475 ad campaigns have been noticeable. Measured globally with Nielsen Brand Effect, these campaigns aided in 2.9x higher ad recall compared to Nielsen’s norms for online advertising. To help advertisers continue to see this type of return and to take advantage of its 300 million+ user base, Instagram’s new fully operational ad unit will offer new and improved products and capabilities to business of all sizes.
Instagram’s new sponsored content will provide advertisers with many new ad services to utilize. Expanding ad formats to include action buttons within the post will help brands drive return by influencing purchase, app installation, user sign ups and website visits. The “Shop Now” button means that Instagram is taken a giant leap into the e-commerce world, using technology that will finally transform its user base from content consumers into marketable shoppers. To help ensure the right people see these ads, Instagram hasn’t stopped at just making ads functional, it has integrated new targeting capabilities too.
Back in 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 Billion and has been integrating its technologies into the image sharing social network ever since. Instagram has now tapped into Facebook’s ad targeting capabilities to enhance the effectiveness of targeted Ads. Advertisers can utilize factors such as interests, age, gender and other data acquired from users’ Facebook profiles in order to target Ads at specific demographics. Millennials make up the majority of Instagram’s active userbase, so the ability to target the precise targets within this large audience is crucial. This young demographic interacts with content on Instagram at a rate higher than any other social network – shares, likes, clicks and comments on Instagram posts are consistently higher relative to other platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
Bottom line, Instagram’s new Ad platform will promote actionable engagement with targeted posts at specific viewers, which will lead to increased engagement with brands and advertisers.