Amid Growth, #Instagram Rolls Out New Advertising Formats

Instagram is planning on rolling out advertising opportunities to all marketers, which will mean more ads in our photo feeds.  As an avid Instagram user, I’ve noticed that I’ll get 1-2 branded ads on my news feed every day.  Instagram currently showcases a select amount of ads from big brands, allowing a handful of large brands to place carefully drafted messaging to the Instagram audience. Within the next few weeks, we can expect to see many more ads for Instagram as they are opening their sponsored feed posts to all advertisers.  Within the next two years, Instagram will earn roughly $2.81 billion through advertising revenue alone. From the mom and pop coffee shop to large businesses like Nike, Inc., every marketer will have the chance to advertise on Instagram.  To help advertisers reach the right audience, Instagram is working to make advertisement available through an Instagram Ads API and Facebook ad buying interface in the near future according to a blog on Instagram’s website.

Instagram is incorporating hashtags to help advertisers hone in on who they are targeting. With the handy use of hashtags, users will be able to search relative topics and find exactly what they are looking for.  In addition, instead of seeing a single creative, Instagram created carousel ads where users can swipe through four different creatives. This helps advertisers showcase a wider variety of topics and also create a story for the users to help them become more engaged with the ads.  Most advertisers leave the last slide for a call to action and a link to a branded page. Since June 1st, Instagram has expanded their advertising to six additional countries, which includes UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, and Brazil.

Marketers will be able to target their audience not just by their age and gender, but also target user interests, activities on Instagram and the people they follow.  Instagram has always attracted a younger audience compared to that of Facebook, and these new advertising opportunities will allow brands to hone in on their targeting to young adults and teenagers.

As part of a media agency, I find it fascinating and exciting to see how Instagram advertisement will develop over the next two years.  On the other hand, from the viewpoint of an Instagram user, the thought of seeing more ads on my newsfeed is a bit overwhelming. In a quote given to New York Times, Instagram’s Global Head of Business and Brand Development, James Quarles said “Visual storytelling for brands has more resonance. People remember it more. But we want to make sure the ads they see are for things that matter to them.” With the right execution and creativity, users could be interested in the ads that they start to see in their photo feeds. By having the ability to target user by interests, marketers can reach their target audience and hope to get users engaged with their messaging and brand. Instagram is currently working on giving users the ability to click on an image and directly link them to a product page or an app install page.  Say goodbye to copying and pasting URLs into a browser and say hello to simple clicking! By 2019, we can expect to see over one third of the country using social media.

Annie Nguyen
Just Media, Inc.


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