A couple weeks ago we posted an article about Instagram ads, what it would mean for brands and how millennials might react. Last week Instagram finally announced what the ads would officially look like and many people even saw the first ad run in their streams.
Instagram announced that they have selected a few key brands to participate in the initial roll out: Adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, Burberry, General Electric, Lexus, Levi’s, Macy’s, Michael Kors, PayPal and Starwood. These ads should drive significant engagement with the millennial segment, which is highly active on the visual social platform. 81% of millennials have uploaded photos and videos to social channels, according to a recent Pew Research report. The examples put forth by Instagram last week are aesthetically pleasing and if all ads in the future as high quality as these, the ads should drive significant engagement for brands.
Can we really guarantee that all brands will put out as equally high quality photos? Probably not. While a good handful of brands will undoubtedly excel in this new advertising arena, there are far more that are destined for failure. The reality is that many brands do not have the budget to create such high-quality images. Additionally brands may lack the knowledge about what millennials care about and what is cool. Brands failing to do these things will ultimately force millennials to take their engagement elsewhere and seek newer platforms.
One interesting opportunity that Instagram Ads presents for brands is the possibility to repurpose advocate-generated content in paid. Advocate-content that is repurposed in paid channels receives 10x more engagement than branded content in the same channel. That’s a lot of engagement. Plus repurposing that content is a great way to:
- Thank advocates for sharing and creating content about the brand.
- Build stronger relationships and brand loyalty with brand advocates.
- Supplement content creation for the brand (at a much lower cost).
When all is said and done, if brands publish high quality images, users probably won’t be flee the platform. Brands need to understand and consider their audience when publishing content and most importantly utilize their fans and followers to optimize their paid strategy.
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