The rapidly growing picture and video sharing app has given more people access to their advertising API.
Up until now, only a select group of brands and agencies (such as John Lewis, Cadbury and Omnicom Group agencies) had run Instagram ads by collaborating with the network’s dedicated ads team.
This ensured all campaigns were carefully curated to enhance users’ experiences, and guaranteed there were no rejections in over 400 successful campaigns.
Now, the Instagram Ads API Partner program gives more publishers the opportunity to schedule and publish content within the app.
Partners include 4C, Ampush, Hootsuite, Kenshoo, Brand Networks, Salesforce, Unified, SocialCode and Nanigans.
According to Instagram, ads are increasing brand recall 2.8x more than digital ads normally do, while Neilsen’s data suggested one John Lewis campaign saw purchase intent increase by 14 points.
Regarding open access to all publishers, the Facebook-owned social network told SocialTimes:
“Instagram ads will be available to advertisers of all types later this year. We are currently testing self-serve buying interfaces and APIs with a small group of partners, and we expect to make them more widely available over the coming months.”
Ads are annotated with a “Sponsored” icon and label in the top, right-hand corner, and have the option of call-to-action buttons on the right-hand side under the image frame. These buttons include “Install Now”, “Shop Now” and “Book Now”.
Some have chosen to leave the CTA out, including the Mazda video ad below.
The New Wave of Instagram Ads
In recent weeks, users have experienced an increased frequency of social ads appearing in their feeds.
We’ve collected a few examples that have graced our devices.
Note: sponsored posts do not have the menu options to embed or report them; we couldn’t embed the video ads but will point them out below.
A few Instagram ads have stood out for us – in that they don’t stick out like a sore thumb.
Great branded Instagram content doesn’t break from the style of the community. Instagram’s 300 million active users don’t want their feeds to feel encroached upon by advertisers.
Cheerz is an e-commerce brand that transforms your best Insta photos into printed polaroid-style hard copies.
Their ad (below) has the right home-made feel that suits people’s personal
Fairmont Hotels have similarly captured one of their hotels with a beautiful but achievable photo, the sort of tourist snap we would expect to see when a friend is humble-bragging about their latest city break.
The brand have included a campaign hashtag though, which implies this ad will supplement more content from the brand’s account, or be part of a user-generated content campaign.
Frijj have taken a similar approach to Ribena, by getting a bit surreal with their branded ads.
The unicycling, juggling clown/cow (which is meant to be word-play, we assume) is a video that crosses the screen and draws the attention of the other cows.
Despite reassurances that Instagram ads will involve audience targeting from their own and Facebook’s data on users, this ad appeared in the feed of a myclever employee who has long since finished his A-levels.
The following ad for Bux4Ever – a graphic design completely at odds with the Instagram feed – appeared in a myclever feed recently and sparked animated discussion about its relevance and appropriateness.
Most of us see it as garish and out of place, not to mention being entirely irrelevant; Instagram users don’t go to the app to discover money-making apps.
However, as a few devil’s advocates pointed out, it did get us talking about the app in question.
The ad for Made.com summed up a hasty attempt to capitalise on Instagram’s rising value to brands and users.
The image, though better than Bux4Ever’s, felt more like a catalogue image than real life photography. Not to mention, there’s nothing really inspiring about this scene.
Add to this the fact that the copy below appears to include a typo (“So fresh and so green, green…”) and you’ve got an ad that we’re surprised has over 1,400 Likes.
While we couldn’t find it at the time of writing, we also spotted an ad for a game app. A strange hybrid of Pokemon and Farmville, the majority of its engagements were negative, with many users outraged that they couldn’t hide or report it, and the rest accusing it of ripping of other video games.
Over To You
What do you think? Have you spotted any great (or garish) Instagram ads?