Instagram Expands Ads to All Users, Adds New Features

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

In yesterday’s article, Pinterest new plan to add a Buy It button was discussed. The other major-image sharing platform also had big news recently. All Instagram marketers will soon be able use paid promotion to get their content to the the target audience. Though Instagram’s new ad system is less revolutionary than Pintrest’s Buy It button, new ads on Instagram can be very useful to marketers trying to reach certain demographics.

Since Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012, one of the main challenges for the both companies has been generating revenue from the platform. The fledgling Instagram wasn’t selling ads when it was bought by Facebook. Teaming up with social media behemoth gives Instagram access to data and technology that will make Instagram ads more effective and better targeted than they would be otherwise.

“We have benefitted greatly from being a part of Facebook,” said James Quarles, Instagram’s global head of business and brand development. “It would have taken us years to build this tech stack for ourselves. So, we’re fortunate to be able to take select pieces of Facebook’s tech stack.”

tumblr_npbzuaxgII1upqzato1_1280There will also be some improvements to the ad format. For example, besides the image, marketers will be able to include calls-to-actions buttons that lead to another site. The posts will have Shop Now, Book Now, Download, Learn More and Sign Up links. There will also be improvements in the targeting capabilities.

Ads fist began appearing on the platform two years ago in 2013. The only companies able to use ads during this time were specific Instagram partner companies that were part of the trial. Now, Instagram will open up ads to all of its business users. This will created a lot of revenue for Instagram as well as benefit business owners. According to Instagram, in the past, across more than 475 campaigns measured globally with Nielsen Brand Effect, ad recall from sponsored posts on Instagram was 2.9 times higher than Nielsen’s norms for online advertising.

One of the main benefits of using ads on Instagram is that it will allow marketers to reach younger demographics that are more inclined to use the mobile, image-sharing platform. In a recent article where a global study on Instagram was analyzed, it was revealed that many teens and young adults find Instagram as trustworthy and many check their accounts every day.

“It’s an ideal platform to shop on as it’s so visual and fashion oriented,” said Old Navy media director Michele Schuh in a statement to Adweek. “We’re thrilled that Instagram is now offering users the ability to click directly through to a product, creating instant gratification without any cumbersome steps.”

It remains to be seen how well consumers will respond to the increasing number of ads they see on Instagram. As was mentioned before, Instagram is a youth-driven platform and that demographic can be very cynical about ads and corporations filling up their news feed. However, since Facebook has managed to successfully blend paid content and regular content without too much trouble, it’s likely that people will grow accustomed to and will use Instagram ads in the future.

For more information on Instagram read this article with stats that show why Instagram is so important.


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