For many small business owners, Instagram is already the most important social media platform in their marketing mix. Rated as the most vital social network by more than a third of those 34 and under, Instagram can be highly successful when used as a sales tool – a fact demonstrated very well by brands like AirBnB, Lenovo and Barcardi, which have all been praised for effectively transforming Instagram interest into real world sales.
It’s been a little over eighteen months since Instagram started offering advertising. The fact that Instagram belongs to Facebook, and as such, has access to the massive amounts of data Facebook collects, means that ads were highly targetable right from the start.
Now Instagram has announced that at the end of September, new functions will be available to Instagram advertisers, including video advertising, a landscape orientation option for images and video, and a suite of delivery and optimization tools to increase views and conversions. Improvements have also been made to the Call to Action function – the direct response buttons that encourage viewers to “Shop Now” “Learn More” or “Sign Up”.
A new premium tool called Marquee promises to give advertisers access to huge portions of Instagram’s user base; while pricing on this hasn’t yet been released, the list of inaugural users includes only behemoth, deep-pocketed brands – it may not be a tool that’s relevant to smaller companies due to budgetary concerns.
Finally, Instagram advertising has gone global. All 300 million users will now see ads, including those in countries like India and Mexico. For brands looking to improve their presence in those markets, this is great news.