Instagram ads are here! That’s a headline you might have heard a couple of times in the past few months. The truth of the matter is, each headline was marking some milestone in a patchwork roll-out of the Instagram ads platform to business’ Facebook accounts. It’s for real this time though, Instagram ads are now available to everybody. So you should jump on board! Article over.
Hold on. You might be wondering if this whole Instagram thing is worth it. After all, it is, at its core, simply a different presentation of Facebook ads. Let’s dig a little deeper.
It’s still early going, so there’s not a lot of data. But, preliminary reports are showing that Instagram ads are seeing higher engagement than standard Facebook ads. In fact, for web click conversions, Instagram ads are seeing an average 1.5% click through rate, versus a 0.84% for a comparable Facebook ad at a similar cost per click (Source: Fool). There are several reasons that this could be the case.
1) Instagram ads are new.
Don’t underestimate the power of novelty. The reason people are clicking these ads more could be because it’s simply interest. I’ve never seen an Instagram ad before! What happens when you click this? This is refreshingly new. (Or, you could be getting the accidental clicks of the confused). Of course, the novelty will wear off, which cuts into the value proposition of Instagram ads over other social media ads over time, but it’s also an argument that you should jump on board as soon as possible and ride the wave while you can.
2) Instagram ads are big.
One of the original selling points of Instagram itself was the simplicity of the platform. It’s just one big square picture after another. While other social media networks struggle with cramming as much stuff into its feed without cluttering the user interface, Instagram has remained simple and minimalist. The ads slide in seamlessly, and with the exception of chronology and a small “Sponsored” tag, they are indistinguishable from other posts. For consumers who might have a negative reaction to conspicuous advertisement, this could be more favorable.
3) Instagram ads are higher quality.
The reason the click through rates are so good could be because up until recently, it’s only been a select few larger brands that have been advertising on Instagram. These companies, with the resources to create sleek ad campaigns, are creating higher quality ad campaigns than the general populace, and juicing Instagram's early numbers. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help you (although I’m sure your ads are better than average).
Maybe it’s not exactly definitive whether Instagram ads are more effective than Facebook ads based on the raw early results. You also have to factor in the fact that Instagram ads are only widely available in three of the nine objectives available through Facebook, Clicks to Website, Video Views, and Mobile App Installs (Source: Instagram) which restricts the flexibility you have to create more effectively specific ad campaigns in other objectives.
However, there’s one big stat points to why Instagram ads have the potential to be superior to Facebook and other social media ad platforms. Instagram, compared to others, skews younger, more diverse, and richer (Source: BI and Pew). In a world where businesses are always trying to chase that particular demographic, especially when business support on social media lags behind the cutting edge of current trends, it pays to at least be as far forward as possible.
Combine that with the knowledge that overall, Instagram is not as small as you might still perceive it, at around 200 million users it’s catching up with Twitter, and that its users are more engaged because its feed is less saturated (Source: SMT), it’s worth your time to get your business on Instagram ads as fast as possible.