It’s been a little over a month since we all came across the first Instagram Ad in our feeds. Perhaps it’s too soon to acquire the true ROI and value proposition of these ads, but we can look into other ways that brands are reaping benefits from this new approach.
Let’s start off with the question everyone has on their mind: How much are a few hundred thousand “likes” on Instagram truly worth? The answer is debatable depending if your background is focused on social media or traditional media. If you work in social media, you stand behind the fact that once the targeted consumer “likes” the advertiser’s post, their network of friends will be exposed to it as well. However, these ads do not offer a clear way to drive immediate sales since links cannot be included in the photo caption.
Being that Instagram is a photo-centric platform, it makes sense to step away from the way Google and Facebook target their users. By focusing on a small number of high-quality photos, consumers will have the experience as to when they’re flipping through their favorite magazine.
The greatest value of these ads comes from attracting new followers, each of which will allow the brand to continue to advertise directly in their feed. Like many of us know, when consumers are scrolling through their feeds, they may stop and look at a post without “liking” or “commenting” on it. These impressions are clearly not captured, but they offer a lot of value to a brand.
Okay I know what you’re thinking, “ I wanna see numbers!” Let me first remind you of the five brands that were part of the Ad launch: Ben and Jerry’s, Lexus, Michael Kors, Levi’s and General Electric. Okay, now that we’ve established that, time to blow your socks off! In the first 18 hours of launching it’s first ad, Michael Kors roughly gained 54,000 new followers. (WHOA!)
Additionally, of the 1,600 comments, about 3% expressed interest and intention of purchasing the featured item. That percentage has steadily increased to about 13% in their most recent post. Lexus pulled in roughly 200,000 likes for each of its ads that reached between 5-7 million users. Levi’s saw a 20% increase in followers after their first couple of ads.
Bottom line, the world of social media marketing is changing and there is a need to truly market brands to fit in with the platform’s style. Sure, Google and Facebook have grown a $6 billion ad business, but Instagram has a different plan and it’s working. The true test will come when Instagram attempts to scale their ads in a way that drives revenue while staying true to the nature of the platform.
Are you using or thinking about implementing Instagram ads in your social media marketing campaign? Are you seeing success? Let us know and please comment on your thoughts of this new online advertising medium.