Is Instagram the Missing Key to Social Media Advertising?

New instagram ads

Instagram is one of the largest and busiest social networks on Earth. The platform is unique in its ability to let every user explore the world through beautiful images. Launched in 2010, over 400 million users seek inspiration, entertainment and mouth-watering meals from the app every month. Instagram’s new algorithm has put it in competition with Facebook and Twitter because of increased options for advertising, targeting and content featuring.

Advantages for advertisers

Over 80 million photos are uploaded each day, which results in users liking them 4.5 billion times. On any given day, an active user is expected to spend approximately 20 minutes browsing the platform compared to 18 on Facebook and only nine on Twitter. However, unlike Facebook and Twitter, most of that time is spent exploring. Instagram features content based on what users are already liking and mixes it in with what’s generally popular. This gives users easy access to great material, brands and people.

What does this mean for the platform? Customer engagement is off the charts. Great content is 58 times more likely to be interacted with than Facebook and 120 times more likely than Twitter. The platform is created so that customers seek out content. They’re looking for interaction on Instagram more than any other platform, and they’re ready to see what your business is promoting.

Much like shopping, Instagram is all about browsing. Recent updates have made simpler search features, such as trending categories and recommendations based on location and accounts users follow. Businesses can also sponsor posts and hashtags that target specific users.

Despite how much searching and discovering is involved in the network, only 32% of all businesses use Instagram for marketing. Improved searching and little presence from other companies means your business has an incredible jump on the competition. Instagram’s new system of sponsoring posts is already boasting 2.8 times higher ad recall than other platforms. Higher recall means more traffic and customers searching for your company.

Tweet: Instagram’s new system of sponsoring posts is already boasting 2.8 times higher ad recall than other platforms.

How it works

Advertising on Instagram is made incredibly simple with recent updates. Prior, businesses were forced to rely on organically attracting users to their page or branded hashtag. While that’s still an effective option, Instagram’s sponsored posts act similarly to those of its parent company, Facebook. In fact, running ads requires a Facebook page in order to access the company’s ad creation and Power Editor software. This may seem like a pain, but the connection will allow access to Canvas, a mobile ad builder that creates engaging full screen experiences for its users. In the two months since its public release, the system is already receiving rave reviews and gaining lots of attention for the unique digital advertising options it offers. They currently support engagement, conversion, awareness and view-based objectives. Ads are allowed to feature hashtags and calls to action which prompt users to submit their own content. Links to external websites can be added to boost sales, sign petitions, join mailing lists or drive traffic to a company site.

Advertisers will feel at home with the simple format and approval process. The difference comes in creating and presenting content. Ads on Instagram are able to feature brands in more creative and engaging ways, quickly attracting and inspiring users. There are three ways to present your brand to users within their timeline: photo, video and carousel ads. Every sponsored post gives the option for a “learn more” call-to-action that can link to a company or product page. The first is a simple photo ad. It’s a static image and blends in with every other post outside a small “sponsored” designation at the top. Video posts follow the same format. Carousel ads, on the other hand, are where users are encouraged to engage with the post. They feature several photos in a slideshow that users can swipe through.

 Tweet: Ads on Instagram are able to feature brands in more creative and engaging ways, quickly attracting and inspiring users.

How others are using it

Your brand’s personality can impact the way your business operates and identifies good traits about the company, builds emotional connections and can even help you stand out from the competition. Whether your personality is already established or still under construction, Instagram is the place for it to thrive. Businesses can share interesting content that may not be posted on a site like Facebook or Twitter. Instagram is the place for your business to get creative and show a more human side to the company

Companies like Sabra Hummus and GoPro do this very well. Sabra features images of food spreads next to its hummus, rarely with the logo. GoPro features amazing shots taken with its cameras. The style of using its cameras is recognizable by users, and the absence of a branded photo allows them to enjoy great content that’s more likely to be shared. Chipotle has also carved out a loyal and interactive following by posting and sharing unique burrito recipes, jokes and tin foil wrapper sculptures. Another example is Saturday Night Live, which has become the king of behind-the-scenes photos. Followers are often treated to outtakes and glimpses into filming and live sets.

Your customers are waiting for amazing content, it’s time to become an Instagram pro. Appleton Creative is an award-winning, full-service online marketing agency located in Orlando, Florida. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to deliver custom content, persuasive online ads and expertly crafted campaigns. By implementing valuable and shareable digital content strategies, Appleton can create the perfect social and online marketing experience for your brand and audience. Your Internet advertising goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or