Brand Advertising: A Look at Instagram Ads
Last Thursday, Instagram unveiled sample ads that will be expected to appear on users’ feeds sometime this week. The ads will look like regular Instagram posts, but will be labeled as “sponsored” content at the top right hand corner.
Instagram mentioned in their blog earlier this month that the company will start featuring high-quality ads from established pre-selected brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Adidas, Levi’s, Michael Kors, Macy’s, and PayPal. These brands have been “chosen” because they’ve been able to build a pretty impressive presence on Instagram organically and it’s likely that Insta-users will enjoy the quality of their advertisements.
The company made it clear that their aim is to post ads that are really creative and engaging. “We want to show ads from businesses that are interesting to you.” Instagram has even planned to offer a way for users to input feedback and insight and allow them to hide ads that aren’t relevant or interesting to them.
Instagram hasn’t received very much uproar from users about the anticipated ads, not nearly as much as they received after their announcement that they’d be using users’ photos in ads, a move they quickly reversed.
Really, Instagram doesn’t need the ad money. However, their owner, Facebook, does. For the first time, Facebook is expected to get some revenue since purchasing the application for $1 billion last year. More activity on Instagram means more engagement on Facebook (without much effort from Facebook).
In addition, Facebook just might be using Instagram as a beta test for their video advertising pursuits (which have been pushed back to 2014, by the way).
What Brands Should Do Right Now
The fact is, with over 71% of the world’s largest brands on Instagram, brand advertising is going to grow exponentially on Instagram, if it hasn’t already. The top brands are now posting 70% more and engagement has risen 350% year over year. So what can do your company do to get in on some of the action?
All to you need to know right now is that: 1. Instagram ads are out, but only to select brands and 2. how these ads work when Instagram opens up the feature to every brand.
Begin to observe what these brands post and, most importantly, what kind of feedback they’re receiving. Take note on what seems to work and what doesn’t. Notice how users react when they see a post from a company they aren’t following. Then, when these ads are released and available to you, see if it’s a worthy investment to place in your digital marketing strategy.
For right now, we think it’s safe to say that the theme is to not overdo it, ad or non-ad. Instagram is set on providing users with only high-quality content they’d like to see and they don’t plan on overflowing their platform with ads of the substandard. And by setting the stage with only brands they know will do a good job, they’re setting the standard for their expectations. The Instagram experience of flipping through a book of visually appealing, captivating, beautiful content will certainly live on.
What do you think of the new insta-advertising? Do you agree with Instagram’s approach? Let us know your thoughts! And stay tuned by subscribing to our blog for the latest social media updates and marketing tips.
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