Instagram entered the advertising space with a bang around 2014, and when Instagram ads were added to the Facebook Ads Manager in 2015 the advertising world shifted even further. However, Instagram continued to protect their space by not allowing links off of their site for several years, which made it challenging for advertisers to find value. The most recent iteration of the Instagram advertising machine is their ability to autoplay videos, add a digital version of their print catalog and add eCommerce links. The ability to place these feature-rich ads has advertisers drooling as they get ready to get their hands on the 30+ million Instagram users. Here’s what you need to know to take advantage of this great new promotional opportunity.
What Instagram Has Added
If you’re familiar with the Facebook ‘Collection’ format that was introduced in March 2017, then you’ve got a good idea where Instagram’s advertising team is taking their offering. The visual begins with a compelling video, which appears below the ad’s main creative element. While there is a limitation of only three items instead of space for four as provided by Facebook, it’s still a generous way to share your products with users on one of the world’s most popular social media platforms. What’s even cooler is that users can now tap on an individual product to launch a digital catalog with prioritized images right from within Instagram.
Instagram’s big beef with advertising in the past has been the desire for advertisers to immediately pull their victims . . . ahem, customers . . . off of the social sharing site. This new advertising option allows users to stay within the Instagram ecosystem for longer, while still offering enhanced functionality for advertisers and a better overall user experience.
Why You Care
While as of February 2018 the access isn’t available to everyone, we all know that this exciting new functionality is “coming soon” to advertisers everywhere. Instagram still tends to limit the number of ads that they allow on their platform, but users are starting to notice that their news feed is a bit more cluttered with promotional materials than it has been in the past. If your products are highly visual such as those in the beauty categories, Instagram is prime selling real estate that it would be shameful to overlook. The way the new ‘Collections’ brings together compelling video and direct-response advertising is a particularly potent mix on a platform that boasts more than 200 million beauty and fashion-related users.
The key reason to care? These reasonably-priced ads are interactive and near-irresistible to users who spend their days scrolling through looking for the Next Big Thing to share with their audience. The rich multimedia treatment feels much more like a mini-magazine than a true digital advertisement, lending itself well to the image-heavy environment of Instagram.
Start Thinking Now
Instagram’s Collections isn’t fully up and running for everyone, so why waste mental space on something that’s not even available yet? Sure, there are plenty of other ways to spend your ad dollars, but Instagram’s opportunity for growth is nearly legend. Facebook has nearly triple the number of advertisers and businesses as you’ll find on Instagram, making this a wide open territory for clever advertisers with the right message in hand. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s CEO notes: “Instagram is a business’s visual shop on mobile, and we’re seeing more people seek out businesses there. About two-thirds of the visits to Instagram business profiles are from people who don’t yet follow them. This is how many businesses are finding new customers.” If you’re on the lookout for new ways to engage with your current customer base and continue building your following, these new Instagram ads may be just what the doctor ordered.