This has been in the making for a while now – with the launch dating back to October 2013. I am an avid Instagram user and can see how magical it would be to target even more customers on the platform. No more “click the link in the bio” but rather “click here to read more”. I mean – this would be impressive, right?
I remember when I heard that Facebook took over their young and impressionable photo rival – I expected thousands upon thousands of sponsored adverts, disrupting the scrolling pleasure I so enjoy. But, there they went and surprised me, Facebook took their time and slowly but surely – they are bringing us clickable ads that will transform how we use Instagram as a business and a consumer.
Can you imagine seeing a neat pair of shoes and all you would need to do is click the image and bammm – you’re on the site ready to find out more or buy that sexy thang!
The first sponsored post was done by Michael Kors – just as the critics became skeptical about the added feature.
1. Within 18 hours the ad accumulated 218,000 likes or 4x more engagement than any other post from their official account.
2. Gained 33,000 new followers, an increase of 16x their average of new followers for a recent post.
3. 1% of comments suggested “clear purchase intent,” despite predicted naysayers.
With the first ad deemed a complete success, large brands released their adverts progressively each week to make the Instagram ad a permanent fixture on a user’s feed.
In a carousel of images which people can swipe left through, the final image will allow brands to pick a website of their choice to send users to with a “Learn More” button.
This will allow users to scroll through like any other post or swipe through the images to become more engaged with what the brand has to offer.
While clickable ads are still in the early stages, the roll-out will be given to brands on a limited basis. Instagram mentions they will be collecting user data on the initial release to optimize and provide updates better tailored to user engagement.
For users, the swiping addition isn't new, as many websites that provide a gallery slideshow allow users to swipe through for a more enhanced mobile user experience - as we do on our website. Although, including this technology in the new carousel ads makes sense for the mobile-only Instagram app.
The big brands have tested this new untegration - but what does it mean for the small businesses? Well - that entirely depends on the financial position of the business and what they deem important. Small businesses will need to weigh up if this is relevant to their audience or whethr it will be a waste of money in the long or short run. Assessing the need for this form of marketing will be relevant in any form of marketing even social media.
As this product matures and Facebooks hones in on what the end result should be, the entire journey will be interesting to watch. There will be concerns that Instagram will become yet another Facebook or Twitter, but for now users can relish in the chance to better engage with their audience.
This is a very exciting feature and we cannot wait to give those carousels a go ourselves.