With the introduction of sponsored photos and videos for paid advertisements in 2013, Instagram too found its own space in social media advertising like its parent company, Facebook. With this feature, Instagram convinced advertisers that the site can used as an effective means to draw new users (for free) instead of to just show new products, connect with users, and offer discounts.
In case of a sponsored post, you can see a ‘Sponsored’ label on the top right corner of the photos or videos displayed and the name of the brand on the top left corner. Users can ‘Like’ or ‘Comment’ on the photos or videos or click on the “…” symbol that appears on the bottom right to hide that particular ad or provide feedback. Instagram will use that feedback to provide better targeting.
You will be shown only ads from businesses that are interesting to you. Information about your activities (for example, the people you follow, the photos and videos you like) on both Instagram and Facebook will be gleaned to understand your interests and provide a more relevant experience. Everyone on Instagram can view the ads from time of time regardless of whether they are Facebook users. If your feedback indicates that you don’t find an ad interesting, you will be provided with more engaging ads over time. However, the sponsored ads on Instagram initially appear only from some recognizable brands that are already great members of Instagram community such as Adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, Burberry, General Electric, Lexus, Levi’s®, Macy’s, Michael Kors, PayPal and Starwood. And Instagram shared some impressive results: Levi’s reached 7.4 million over a nine-day campaign targeting users between ages 18 and 34, while Ben & Jerry’s reached 9.8 million in an eight-day campaign focused on users between 18 and 35.
The main advantage of Instagram ads is that they do not let advertisers use your photos or video like in the case of Facebook sponsored ads. You own your photos and videos and Instagram advertising does not change this. With all these amazing capabilities, Instagram can prove an effective platform for social media marketers looking to display ads that will appeal to users and get your brand message across more effectively.