Instagram was bought by Facebook a few years ago. There are now over 2 million advertisers in the mobile app and over 800 million monthly active users. The number of active users has increased by 900% since February 2018. More and more advertisers are now choosing to include Instagram in their advertising strategy and you may be wondering what made Instagram such a huge success?
1. Reach new heights of creativity with Instagram Stories
When Instagram launched its own version of the Snapchats Story feature, Instagram Stories, in 2016, the number of advertisers on the social network skyrocketed. From 500,000 before Stories started, the number of advertisers on the platform is now 2 million. That’s 300% growth in just one year!
Instagram Stories enabled advertisers to explore new visual and cutting edge content to promote their brands. The function has now become a popular tool for companies, as, according to Dan Grossman, VP of Platform Partnerships at VaynerMedia, Instagram is a follower platform where Snapchat is more of a best friend platform.
2. A broad range of ad formats
Since the start of IG Stories, the number of advertising formats on Instagram has grown, with the company introducing even more new advertising opportunities than before. The growth in ad features and formats on Instagram has given advertisers more space to display their ads more effectively and this in turn has contributed to Instagram’s boom.
The ad formats available on Instagram are based on Facebook’s technology and targeting methods. Formats include pictures, carousels, videos, lead forms, and slideshows with newly added features like collection ads and tapping to view products. Below are the different ad formats that you can use on Instagram.
- Videos: Video ads are composed of a single video.
- Carousel: Carousel ads use two or more pictures and / or videos.
- Lead forms: Lead form ads are great for generating signups for services or email subscriptions.
- Collection Ad: Collection Ads are a new format on Instagram that allows advertisers to combine both videos and images so that consumers can easily find the products shown in the video.
One of the most interesting statistics shows that the time spent watching videos on the app has increased by 80% compared to last year. As Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom explains, the number of video views on the platform has increased by 150% in the past six months.
In addition to its growing commitment to video ads, when it came to video creation, Instagram’s chief operating officer Marne Levine found that people and brands were producing four times more video content. A recent report shows that 25% of the ads on Instagram are now videos.
The main reason advertisers now prefer this medium is because many brands have found that video offers the best conversion rate. Amazon and eBay found that using video ads increased the likelihood that a buyer will purchase this item by up to 35%.
3. Excellent for anyone who is familiar with Facebook advertising
A notable point about advertising on Instagram is how easy it is, especially for companies who are already familiar with Facebook advertising. Instagram ads can be placed through the Facebook UI, so any brands that want to start advertising on Instagram can pick them up in no time.
Being a part of Facebook has been very helpful for Instagram, Levine said. Reliance on Facebook advertising technology and targeting methods has helped Instagram improve its own advertising services. With a reasonable cost and a familiar setup process geared towards Facebook, advertising on Instagram is an easy way to reach a wide audience, which makes the ads very effective.
4. The most engaged customers on all social platforms
The biggest advantage of advertising on Instagram over other social platforms is the extremely high engagement rates, which shows that audiences are genuinely interested in what brands have to say. Research shows that ad recall from Instagram-sponsored ads is, on average, 2.8 times higher than recall from other social networks, and Instagram has an engagement rate of 4.21%, which is much higher than other platforms. On average, people also stay on Instagram 192 seconds longer than other channels like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, which shows that traffic is the most active on the social network.
5. The ultimate platform to attract mobile customers
Another significant plus for Instagram is the fact that it comes on mobile first. Of all social platforms, Instagram has the highest percentage of mobile users. With the majority of people spending more time on their phones than on their desktop, this benefits Instagram tremendously, which has been mobile from the start. As more and more users shop on mobile devices, Instagram advertising becomes more attractive to brands compared to other social platforms. Ads on Instagram are optimized for mobile traffic, which is clearly appreciated by advertisers.
With Facebook likely spending less time on the platform due to the recent algorithm changes, Instagram will continue to be an important network for advertisers. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operations Officer, recently highlighted the success of Instagram and Stories. The newly introduced collection ads and product viewing feature have also given advertisers more opportunities to take their ads to the next level, and we’ll likely see more improvements to ads on Instagram in the future.
Which Instagram features have you found most effective for your business?