Instagram ads now available to all advertisers

Last week, Instagram announced that its ads platform would be open to all advertisers, and we imagine the collective response from the global network of businesses was something like this.

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With Instagram’s coming of age comes a range of opportunities for businesses to get in front of their target audience in a way that’s fairly unobtrusive, and could see higher click through rates that any other ad platform to date. In terms of how effective they’ll actually be, time will only tell, and we can’t wait to start experimenting on behalf of some of our clients as of this month.

A few things to keep an eye out for in the coming weeks and months:

Edit your Instagram ads from within Facebook Power Editor

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Those who already use Facebook Power Editor will see that there’ll be a new built-in Instagram ads dashboard, meaning that there won’t be a huge learning curve for most advertisers.

What will Instagram ads look like?

Instagram ads look almost identical to regular Instagram posts (especially considering most posts by brands are like mini-ads anyway), except that they’ll have the word “Sponsored” where the timestamp of the photo usually is in the top right hand corner, and a specific call to action in a box where the three small gray dots usually are in the bottom corner of posts. There will also be video formats, and we’ve also seen a carousel format of three images that users can swipe through.

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Why we already like Instagram ads

I’m personally an avid Instagram user, and what I like about the Instagram ads I’ve already seen starting to trickle through my news feed over the past few months is that like Facebook ads, Instagram ads blend in fairly seamlessly to the rest of my feed. I, like most other users, also already follow a large number of brands on Instagram, and almost use it kind of like a virtual catalogue of brands whose products or aesthetic I like. “Following” a brand is kind of like keeping a virtual bookmark on them until I’m ready to come back and buy something from them later. Ads will further facilitate new brand discovery, on a social channel that many people are using as a discovery platform anyway.

In terms of pricing, Instagram may prove to be highly cost-efficient as well, with reports from early adopters saying that their CPMs [cost per thousand views] are averaging close to $3, and video ads costing as little as 2 cents per view.

What industries will Instagram ads work well for?

If your brand is fairly visual in nature, it’s likely you’re already on Instagram, and so are well positioned to start showing your ads to potential audiences. Fashion, fitness, design and travel clients all stand to benefit hugely from Instagram ads, but we’re looking forward to seeing how creative other industries will be in their efforts to adapt to the platform.

Stay tuned for an in-depth Instagram ads how-to here on the Reef blog in coming weeks!

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