Are Sponsored Instagram Ads Ready For Their Close Up?

Recently, I opened the Instagram App on my daily commute and the first picture that appeared was from a brand called Bombfell. I knew I didn’t follow this account, so why was it there?

My eyes quickly found the word “sponsored” located on the upper right hand corner of the photo and suddenly it all made sense; Instagram had started selling sponsored posts to appear on my homepage. If you have never seen one of these lovely advertisements, here’s my prime example.


How does Instagram do this?

Basically they use your personal info from Instagram and Facebook, like many social media sites do, to gather information and present the most relevant posts, catered specially to you.

Hide this?

It’s easy to eliminate these posts from your homepage by simply clicking on the sponsored tag and selecting “hide this”, however, speaking marketer to marketer, I find it quiet amusing to see the ads that other brands are putting out there.

As an average consumer though, I can understand how these images could be somewhat annoying and why one might want to hide them. I think it’s interesting to note that anyone can create an Instagram Ad now, with a running Facebook page (their parent company) and some simple editing skills, any company can have an Instagram Ad up and running shortly.

Why should you consider advertising on Instagram?

There are a plethora of reasons why one should utilize these “interruptive type” ads and you can read the whole list that Instagram provides on their business website here. Regardless of what industry you are representing, a lot of positive results are currently being generated for this marketing strategy.

Specially speaking within of the Fashion and Beauty markets, this is definitely something that all brands, no matter how big or small, should begin doing ASAP. Why? Well, we’ll tell you:

1. Take a look at these figures that are provided on Instagram’s website. These numbers are crazy, this social media site has skyrocketed in terms of users and content that have been circulated since it’s debut in 2010. Basically we are saying, it would be crazy to NOT be on this platform.

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2. Because the F&B market is a goods market, it’s crucial to have links available to your website so consumers can view your products within your advertising. Instagram allows you to hyperlink any URL to the photo or video for easy access.

3. Post engagement is key, F&B brands rely heavily on consumer reviews and testimonies for sales. People trust the opinions of others and by having a comment section available under the advertisements allow others to engage right then and there. As opposed to traditional print or online ads that do not share the same functions as a normal Instagram post.

4. Awareness and views are essential for reaching as many users as possible. Because the sponsored ads are targeted towards people based on their previous likes or accounts they follow, this allows you to reach consumers that you might not have been able to before. For example, if someone follows L’Oreal and Rimmel, then they might recieve Clinque ads based on relevance.

L’Oreal Case Study

The carousel format “lets you show 2-5 images and/or videos, headlines and links or calls to action in a single ad unit” as defined by Facebook. Like many companies L’Oreal took advantage of this new innovation and ran with it.


Levi’s Case Study

Levi’s is one of the brand that experienced high benefits from advertising on Instagram. Read the following for all the facts:


Interested in advertising on Instagram?

The Instagram brand actually has their own blog, where they provide helpful tips and tricks for businesses that are currently adverting on their site, or ones that are investigating if they should start. Their posts walk users through new updates that are available, as well as case studies, or more of “brand shoutouts”, to companies they believe are doing a great job advertising with them.


We believe that investing in Instagram advertising is a win-win situation, because if you aren’t doing it then you are missing out. This is a great platform to be creative on and illustrate your brand in it’s best light. So why not give it a try?

What are Native Ads? Are they Effective?

For the past few years native advertisements have been a hot topic for digital marketers and businesses alike. Across the board companies have to educate themselves with the difference between using native ads vs. banner ads on their websites and/or social media.

The MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) defines native advertisements as “a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed.” Sounds easy enough right?

Not quite, there a lot more components to native ads than the definition suggests, like any other digital ad there are mobile ads and display ads, and like any other ad one can be more successful than the other.

Moreover you have to make sure that the sponsorship fits your business criteria and your audience’s preferences, meaning you have to keep a close eye on engagement metrics such as CTR’s (click through rates) to measure whether or not your target audience is responding to the ad.

A key component of a successful native ad is keeping close to the rule book before posting anything. When using a native ad you must ALWAYS (yes, always) use the correct language when presenting content these tags include but are not limited to: Sponsored By; Sponsored Post; Presented By; Paid Post; Promoted By; Ad; and Advertisement.

“Advertisers should clearly distinguish advertising, public relations and corporate communications from news and editorial content and entertainment, both online and offline.” (AAFTL – American Advertising Federation Thought Leadership)

As a professional you should always keep these restrictions and facts in mind while taking advantage of the insights and effectiveness of native ads.

So… How can you choose?

In 2013 conducted a study with 4,770 people to determine how either one of these work for brands across the board. The following infographic shows their findings:


Not much has changed since 2013, native ads are still perceived as a 23% higher quality add with 3 times more time and attention from the public says MMA’s Advertising Committee. In addition, audiences around the globe are more used to native advertisements than they ever where.

Native ads became increasingly popular with the “social media explosion” in the early to mid 2000’s. Nowadays seeing a company’s sponsored Tweet, Instagram, Facebook or Tumblr post is considered as normal as any other post on your feed.

Since native ads copy the function and format of the platform upon which they appear, audiences perceive the ads as valuable content instead of “just another ad.”

Taking this into consideration, banner ads should not be taken out of the equation when looking to advertise on social media platforms. Instead you should always weigh your options, while native ads merge better as editorial content banner ads stand out and might be better for special offers and/or deals.

Final verdict? Native ads can by widely successful but you have to keep a close watch on the engagement that they produce and whether or not pairing it with a banner ad can lead to a better qualified advertising campaign.

For more information on how native ads can help your ROI look out for our next blog posts!

Can’t get enough? Check out our post on the best filters for your next Instagram Advertising.