The results were conclusive; according to data collected by Nielson Brand Effect, a company specialized in studying consumer behaviour, the sponsored ads tested on the platform exceeded norms for online advertising.
Instagram recently announced the next steps for their paid service on their blog:
If all goes as planned, Instagram anticipates that these new features will launch in fall 2015, with the following ad formats:
Presented in the original Instagram format, but with extra options to enhance the experience – like purchase buttons, and interactive navigation between images.
This new option provides a break in Instagram’s traditional vertical format, by displaying a series of images the user can swipe left to view. According to Instagram, the advantage of the carousel is its ability to tell a story through multi-page campaigns.
The new formats aren’t available to everyone yet, but so far the brands below have done a great job of taking advantage of Instagram’s ad options.
Type of ad: picture
In November 2013, the first paid ad appeared on Instagram. The honour went to fashion brand @MichaelKors.
According to Business Insider, even though users complained about the ad, the campaign was still a considerable success, earning Michael Kors nearly 34,000 new followers in the 18 hours after the ad was published.
Type of ad: picture
According to AdWeek, Ben & Jerry’s first paid ad got more than 386,877 likes, a 2,000% increase over the company’s usual organic engagement rate. The magazine went on to say that the average daily follower growth reached nearly 7,200 users per day after the ad was published, compared to previous growth of 429 new followers per day. The favourable response to the ads can be attributed to the fact that they were creative, inspirational, and didn’t feel like an intrusion in users’ news feeds.
Type of ad: picture + interactive navigation
[youtube width=”700″ height=”400″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3UW5AXwWUQ&feature[/youtube]
Mercedes took the Instagram experience to new interactive heights, with a tool allowing users to build their own Mercedez-Benz GLA, without ever leaving the photo-sharing network.
The user starts on a welcome page where they are instructed to choose a colour, wheels, roof, etc. Every option they choose takes them to a new Instagram page, with information about their selection (details, additional cost). They’re then invited to make another selection. At the end of the process, the user ends up on a page for their own custom car.
Type of ad: carousel + direct-response button
@Cea_Brasil used the carousel to create a narrative around the same pair of lovebirds featured in the brand’s other Instagram publications.
Type of ad: carousel + direct response button
For its part, Samsung used the carousel to publish tutorials explaining the improved camera functionality of its Galaxy S6 devices. The direct-response button allowed users to learn more by visiting their website.
Type of ad: video + Facebook targeting
This spring, the @StuartWeitzman brand launched a campaign that leveraged the association between Instagram and Facebook by producing a two-part ad, starting on the photo-sharing network, and later continuing in targeted users’ Facebook feeds.
The images published to Instagram were actually videos known as “cinemagraphs” – still photos in which small repeated movements occur, and a creative technique that Facebook encourages advertisers to adopt.
While you’re waiting for these new formats to become available in Canada, take a look at this list of official third party applications to help you push the limits of Instagram creativity, and keep up your efforts to build, retain, and engage your community.