Almost a year ago, they barely dipped their toe into the water with a blog post that was so tentative it was almost comical.
In the next couple months, you may begin seeing an occasional ad in your Instagram feed if you’re in the United States. Seeing photos and videos from brands you don’t follow will be new, so we’ll start slow.
Advertising backlash is pretty much a given these days but it doesn’t have the punch it used to have. We’re all addicted to our social media choices. Did millions of people abandon Facebook when ads started showing up in the feed? Did they leave Twitter? And they won’t leave Instagram. . . . maybe.
Instagram is a little different. The audience is mostly young, urban and mobile. They’re more likely to bolt if the system gets too mainstream.
Like Pinterest, Instagram is all about the image and boring won’t cut it. Get it right and you’ve got the eyes of 200 million active users who will happily share your ad with their followers.
This Ben and Jerry’s ad reached 9.8 million people, generated a 33 point lift in ad recall and 17% more people were able to associate the new flavor with the brand.
Which leads us right into the new business tools:
Account insights allows businesses to see how they’re increasing brand awareness on Instagram through impressions, reach, and engagement
Ad insights shows the performance of paid campaigns with brand analytics (impressions, reach, and frequency) for each individual ad delivered to the target audience
Ad staging allows advertisers and their creative teams to preview, save, and collaborate on ad creative for upcoming campaigns
Here’s what it looks like on the page.
Right now, the tools are only available to Instagram’s advertising partners. Later, they plan to open the tool up to anyone with a business account. For the small business owner, Instagram’s free feed is a great way to reach a young audience. If you want to actually advertise on the site you’ll have to call and compete with the big boys. No self-service ads on this system. . . yet.