The close relationship between Facebook and Instagram now goes beyond the former owning the latter, to a whole new dimension, thanks to the new interface that allows more businesses to create self-serve ads on Instagram.
Both entities have recently added e-commerce features with Instagram’s new “Shop Now” button, and Facebook’s “Buy Now” button, to help build their shares of ad revenue.
The new Instagram ad options are accessed through Facebook’s ad management tools, and the features use the same targeting and powerful infrastructure as Facebook ads.
Instagram’s Shop Now button was tested during the past year and-a-half exclusively with major brands looking to build awareness through this highly visual platform. They report that results demonstrated improved ad recall for 97% of users. By September 2015, the ads were opened up with additional options, and availability to advertisers of every size in all countries where Facebook offers ads (although comments from wanna-be users through early October indicated a slow rollout in some countries).
Who you can reach
Users of Instagram are a highly desirable audience, known to be more engaged than those on almost any other social media network. The addition of this new instant response buying button lets you employ their powerful format and target their 400 million-user audience to: get your message out, generate click-throughs, and importantly, move product.
You’ll be reaching people who look to Instagram to find information and new ideas in a visual format, thus, viewers who are more likely to be receptive to your message. Plus, you access an audience that posts an average of 80 million photos per day, shares them at a rate of 40 billion (with a “b”) daily, and is based 75% outside of the U.S., pretty powerful numbers for businesses aiming to go global or expand current global reach.
The ultimate visual medium – 3 ways
When you create an ad with the Shop Now button, you’ll have the ability to engage and generate traffic directly to your site, or to push through a mobile app installation. Choose among 3 ad formats, using one or a mix for even broader reach. They include:
- Image ads, which tell a story through a powerful image, leading audience to take action
- Video ads, which allow up to 30 seconds to tell a richer story in order to generate response
- Carousel ads, which use multiple images, swiped through to allow more than one call to action trigger (note: mobile app installs are not available through this format)
Clearly, Instagram is enabling you to maximize your ad dollars by repurposing creative across these different formats with minimal development cost, at the same time as you extend your reach.
Let’s talk results
Besides building brand awareness to a large, receptive audience, already open to finding inspiring ideas and product information, your Instagram ad can:
- earn higher click-through rates, which will lead the networks to show your ad more frequently; a high CTR is one of the signals used by the Facebook algorithm to determine how often your ad appears, and it is expected the same will be true for Instagram’s algorithm;
- instantly target individuals for their interests, such as food, fashion, sports, or cars;
- generate demand especially in e-commerce, travel, entertainment, and retail;
- access more new features that improve ad capabilities, like a landscape option for photos and videos, and the Marquee, a premium ad package designed for mass market awareness and reach on a short turnaround time.
Facebook and Instagram — the ultimate interface
Refine your Instagram ad campaign results over time with the ability to harness Facebook’s Ads Manager and Power Editor targeting tools. Some advertisers have successfully placed and managed side-by-side ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram using the FB Power Editor tool, with a resulting increase in sales.
Instagram has promised to keep building opportunities for businesses in the coming months, with the stated goal of making media buying more efficient for marketers and advertisers at all levels. Most recently, they enabled advertisers to fine tune ads more narrowly. You can focus on driving website conversions through performance campaigns, or build reach and frequency through broader brand campaigns. All these options are offered on one or both platforms.
One of the most powerful tools to exploit is Facebook’s Custom Audience feature. Upload your customer list or similar data from your site, and Facebook will encrypt it and offer you targeting choices, like demographics and interest areas.
Build your audience exponentially with the Facebook Lookalike Audience function. This feature will look for people on Facebook who resemble your custom audience, and target them to receive your ads (from Instagram campaigns, Facebook campaigns, or both). Not sure which way to go in the fast-changing social media ad space? Contact National Positions for help in developing an effective social media ad campaign across multiple platforms.
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