Early to bed early to rise – take a selfie and advertise!

It’s been one day since Instagram announced advertising for the masses and the excitement among digital marketers has been growing as brands seek to get their message in front a fertile, almost untouched and certainly unsaturated audience.

But before we get onto the possibilities for today, let’s go back a year when Instagram first mentioned the possibility of ads.

In the announcement post ‘Instagram is Growing as a Business‘  the Facebook owned social platform mentioned that ‘Seeing photos and videos from brands you don’t follow will be new, so we’ll start slow‘.

And slow they did.

After a year there have only been a select few brands, in the US, who have been given the golden ticket to the fun-filled factory of social candy, and the results have left smaller brands eager for a taste.

Instagram Ads Georgia Halston Ponderosa


So what have Instagram been doing in the last year?

From this week’s announcement post we are told that a lot of the time has been spent ensuring native ads appear as naturally as possible in users’ newsfeeds.  This is probably a good call since their mother brand has been disparaged in recent times for their ad overload, making space for ad-free platforms such as Ello.

The rest of the time has been spent on ‘direct response formats’ within their ads, i.e. calls to action.


Instagram are going for:

  • Shop now – A pretty straight forward and probably most important call to action for advertisers looking for hard ROI
  • Instal now – It would be interesting to see if this link sends the user to the app/play store as is the case with Facebook ads with the ‘instal now’ call to action. Or, if Instagram is a little more intelligent and uses the same tech as with Twitter’s app install cards, which, using deep links detect if the user already has the app and invites them to open.
  • Sign-up – Always good for lead-gen and building your ECRM database
  • Learn more – A classic call to action, although a little flimsy and is usually there to cover any other miscellaneous advertising aims

What Instagram have not had to work on though, is their targeting capabilities and their ads API.

Well, they probably have done some work on this, but with a data powerhouse that brought nearly $12.5billion worth of ad revenue in the last year alone, behind them, Instagram have some what of a leg up when it comes to developing an ad API and have explained that they are looking to “leverage the best of Facebook’s infrastructure for buying, managing and measuring the success of ads on Instagram”.

The largest percentage of Instagram users worldwide are 16-24 years old, with the second largest being 25-34. This stat alone should make any advertiser interested in using the platform, even if you’re target market is slightly older, getting a good foothold in Instagram now would be a shrewd move for any brand looking to future-proof their digital comms strategy.

Although only a select group of “Facebook Marketing Partners and agencies” will be given access to the API initially, there are plans to expand throughout the year.

With the changes to Instagram’s ad capabilities and given it’s the fastest growing social platform in the UK, advice would be to make sure your brand is snapping and regularly! And just for fun, here’s a selection of Ponder selfies!


Instagram Ads Georgia Halston Ponderosa.jpg

Instagram Ads Georgia Halston Ponderosa.jpg Instagram Ads Georgia Halston Ponderosa.jpg

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