Instagram’s Sixty Second Ads

How many seconds do you think it would take for you to tell your brand’s story? Ten? Twenty? Thirty? How about sixty?

For a generation who has a short attention span, it is nearly impossible for advertisers to grab the attention of millennials. In new attempt to reach a younger audience, Instagrams new 60 second advertisements are allowing brands to reach their customers in new ways.

Brand Networks, one of the initial participants in the Instagram Partner Program, found that Video ads accounted for 22.52 percent of total Instagram ads served by Brand Networks in December, up from 9.54 percent in September.

Each social network seems to be taking the challenge of reaching young minds in different approaches to video ads.Facebook lets companies run video ads that are as long as they want, but only as full- fledged videos. Youtube has it’s skippable pre-rolls. Twitter lets brands sponsor the delivery of high-quality content from other publishers. Snapchat has short interstitial video ads and sponsored clips.

So what do Instagram 60-second ads mean for marketers? In a press release, Ampush CEO, Jesse Pujji stated that Instagram is the mobile marketer’s platform of choice for a highly engaged and growing audience.

SocialCode co-founder and CEO Lauran O’Shaughnessy said in an email to Social Times: “Brands are eagerly anticipating the expansion of advertising on Instagram. The platform’s rich experience and extensive reach with younger audiences makes it a perfect environment to influence and inspire, and to offer consumers relevant opportunities to purchase products. We look forward to continuing to build on Instagram’s Ads API and to guiding our clients’ success with new capabilities as they’re introduced.”

T-Mobile and Warner Brothers were two of the first companies to try Instagram’s new 60 second advertisements.T-Mobile's 60-seconds with Drake
What are some of your favorite ads you’ve seen on Instagram? Share with us in the comments below.

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Instagram’s Top Five Influencer Campaigns

According to CMO Council, 65 percent of marketing executives believe that visual assets are core to how their brand story is communicated. Since Instagram launched on Oct. 6, 2010, brands have been strategically engaging on the platform to share personality and creativity to immerse in their fans daily lives.

Whether it is through graphics, infographics, or videos, marketers are engaging with their customers in new and exciting ways.

One of the ways brands can continue to promote their businesses is through Instagram influencer campaigns. Influencer campaigns help generate leads by leveraging audiences to other Instagram accounts.

Tina Hsu, blogger for The Keyhole Blog states it perfectly, “If you want to engage with more potential customers, especially young costumers, Instagram is a fantastic platform to market your company or products at low costs with high returns.” 

Here is a list of our Top 5 Instagram Influencer Campaigns starting with No. 5:

  1. Starbucks: It should be no surprise that Starbucks made our list of top Instagram campaigns, seeing as though it is one of the companies that is consistently on top of Instagrams ranking. And based on the number of Starbucks cups you came across on your own Instagram newsfeed today, it should be no shock that the #WhiteCupContest made the list as well. In 2014, Starbucks challenged their creative customers to customize their iconic white cups and tag their submissions on Instagram with #WhiteCupContest. The contest was able to highlight the brand’s imaginative fans and received more than 4,000 submissions in three weeks. 
Winner Brita Lynn Thompson designs
Winner Brita Lynn Thompson designs
  1. Samsung: Last year the well-established multinational conglomerate company, Samsung launched its #StandTall campaign. The campaign overall generated 681,217 impressions through their selfiecam.  The campaign honored the achievements of young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their local community.
Participants test out the #selfiecam
Participants test out the #selfiecam
  1. Marc Jacobs: In the Fall of 2014, Marc Jacobs, one of the world’s greatest fashion designers, announced he would be casting new faces for his Marc by Marc Jacobs 2014 fall collection on Instagram. The campaign used #CastMeMarc to attract every boy and girl-next-door they could. The campaign attracted 700,000 entries and was kept for the following year. Only the second time around Marc wanted to cast a group of friends. Marc told WWD in an interview, “It seemed like a great idea to me, as casting through Instagram seemed cool, current and strong.” 
#CastMeMarc Campaign
#CastMeMarc Campaign
  1. Mercedes: Another Instagram campaign from 2014, was Mercedes virtual custom shop via Instagram.  In order to commemorate the launch of the new 2015 Mercedes GLA Compact SUV, the brand created a users could create their own dream version of the luxury  vehicle via different tags leading users to alternate accounts with different customizations and features. The campaign included hundreds of Instagram profiles and thousands of images to create the experience in which the final photo presents the user with their customized vehicle and the price tag to match.
Build Your Own Mercedes-Benz GLA on Instagram
Build Your Own Mercedes-Benz GLA on Instagram
  1. Sonic: Sonic is a company that put thinking outside the box to a whole new level. For us at #DoItForTheGram, Sonic wins the best Instagram campaign award for 2016 thus far, or ever! Just last month Sonic created an Instagram campaign for their new Creamery shakes, which feature more premium flavors and ingredients. The campaign was designed for the world’s first square shakes designed for Instagram. Shakes were sold on-site at Cochella and were available for purchase through Instagram. During Cochella customers could purchase the shakes, in exchange for a post to their own personal Instagram. That’s right, the shake was free in exchange of getting the brands name out to their friends and family. Sonic’s president and chief marketing officer, Todd Smith, told AdFreak in an interview that Sonic “wanted to be the first brand, and especially the first food brand, to have a product that was designed for Instagram, offer it exclusively for sale on Instagram, and then deliver that product within minutes of your order on Instagram.” The goal of the campaign was not to help sales, but rather try and build its brand among young people by growing its social audience.
Sonic's Square Shakes are #Instaworthy.
Sonic’s Square Shakes are #Instaworthy.

What are some of your favorite Instagram marketing campaigns? Let us know in the comments below.

How to Create Visual Content For Instagram When Your Product Can’t Be Seen

By now, it’s no secret to marketers that the visual trumps the written. According to a study by Hubspot, visual content generates a staggering 94 percent more views than text alone, and most audiences don’t read more than 20 percent of a webpage.

A picture really is worth a thousand words.

With the emphasis on visual content and the availability of tools to create high quality photos and graphics, platforms like Instagram have come to dominate social media marketing.

Of course, when you’re selling rainbow bagels or lip kits, Instagram marketing is easily done. The stunning photos basically take themselves. But what if you’re an insurance company?  It takes a little more creativity and strategy.

But don’t write off Instagram just because you don’t have a sexy or even tangible product to sell. With the highest engagement rates of any social media platform, Instagram is too valuable for any marketer to ignore, regardless of their industry. Take some tips from these B2B business Instagram case studies and learn how to create a killer visual presence for your brand.

 

Lesson 1: Learn how to visualize your brand voice

Fido, a Canada-based personal communications service provider, sought to boost brand recognition among millennials. To do this, they latched on to the word “Curious.” They developed a series of ads using the hashtag #getcurious.

The ads, which featured millennial smartphone users, may have been for technology services, but the tone of these ads clearly invoked whimsy, curiosity and possibility with the use of somewhat abstract imagery featuring clouds, doves and plenty of sunlight.

 

Lesson 2: Show your audience themselves

salesforce ad
Photo credit: Facebook for business https://www.facebook.com/business/success/salesforce-3

Salesforce had a tricky question to answer: how do you market marketing services to marketers? The CRM provider wanted to raise awareness about its annual Dreamforce Conference among young professionals. The obvious answer would be to use photos from the previous year’s conference. But Salesforce had a different idea.

It’s no surprise that people like to see themselves, so Salesforce decided to create a campaign that featured individuals that their target audience could easily identify with. They used Instagram’s targeting tools as well as their own attendee demographics from the past year to create four visualized personas – developer, marketer, saleswoman and salesman – and then used these to create Instagram ads.

 

Lesson 3: Use visuals to tell a story

Capital One is a great example of a brand with a hard product to visually market. Financial services don’t lend themselves to pretty pictures. But the brand found a way to take a complex offering and boil it down to its most basic, visual element: the wallet. Reimaging their slogan, “What’s in your wallet”, the brand did so much more than just create a visual.

They built out a whole photo series that paired visual images of their customer’s wallets with compelling stories in the description, and boosted audience engagement in the process.

 

Here’s the takeaway

Visual marketing is about more than just pretty pictures of your product. Instagram can help you create a visual presence for your brand, your audience and your corporate story.

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram Ad Creative

instagram-api-ads-1024x812

[Image Via: iDownloadBlog.com]

One of the great things about the new Instagram ad platform is that it’s very compatible with what brands are already used to using Facebook ads. If your brand advertises on Facebook, you are at an advantage and the process of expanding into Instagram advertising should be a seamless process for you. You’ll have the ability to apply the same creative and target audience as you do with your Facebook ads. However, it’s important to remember that Instagram is all about high-quality visuals, so customized creative is key.

The Do’s:

Andrew Waber, Manager of Market Insights and Media Relations for Nanigans, discussed best practices for Instagram ad creative.

  1. Do utilize natural light and high resolution photos to not only fit in with the organic feed, but to stand out.
  2. Do remember that excessive branding can overpower content. In order to resemble organic content, display your logo subtly or showcase your brand’s signature color.
  3. Do let the visuals be the focal point and speak for the ad. Keep text to minimum or include it in the caption section.

Carolyn Berk, Content Marketing Associate for Nanigans, also weighed in on the matter by providing some noteworthy bonus tips:

  1. Do connect with your audience by showcasing real-life situations and objects. Increase your CTR (click-through rate) and to make your creative more memorable.
  2. Do stand out by using bright colors that will catch your audience’s eye.
  3. Do use content that hasn’t been seen by your audience before.
  4. Do dedicate each ad to just one of your products.

Brand

The Don’ts

Blaise Lucey, Senior Content Strategist at Bitly, highlighted 7 reasons your ads are not converting and what to avoid when it comes to your Instagram ad creative:

  1. Don’t be too professional. The traditional corporate ad will stand out in a bad way. Try using candid shots or behind the scenes photos. Anything that is typical to what your audience is used to on Instagram.
  2. Don’t forget to tell a story with your ad. Connect with your audience by conveying a funny or inspirational message.  
  3. Don’t use loud call-outs and banners. Instagram ads already have a default call-to-action button so focus on the content and the click will come soon after. Banner ads on mobile screens are the equivalent to pop-up ads. Therefore they are not visually appealing to your audience and will be ignored.
  4. Don’t use shadowy or generic people. Avoid coming off like a stock photo by using generic images. Instead, try photographing an influencer!
  5. Don’t let you product just sit there against a blank backdrop. Immerse the product you are trying to sell into a lifestyle by adding a compelling background like a city skyline.
  6. Don’t use too much text or borders. This will draw away attention from what your ad is all about.
  7. Don’t forget to try video ads. Showcase your brand or product in motion using a video series, interviews, and action shots.

IMG_0400.0

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Carousel Ads

In March, Instagram launched carousel ads which gives brands the ability to showcase multiple images within an ad. Users can experience a sequenced story by swiping through the images of a panorama or snippets of an action shot to tell a bigger story. There are universal style tips that should be considered when using carousel ads. Instagram’s creative strategist, Derek Eehevarria-Scott, walked AdWeek through some tips for how to build a carousel.

  1. Do make the initial image stand out on its own. It shouldn’t necessarily rely on the images to follow. After all, some users may not choose to continue swiping through the carousel.
  2. Do come up with creative ways to hint at what come next after the initial image.
  3. Don’t use long and dense captions.
  4. Do use a landing page for your call-to-action button that continues the tone of the ad creative and is a page that is mobile friendly.

ig-carousel-gmc-hed-2015

Final Thoughts

Creating compelling ad creatives is really in your brand’s best interest. It’s a big investment but a great way to drive traffic and revenue. By following these do’s and don’ts, your ads will have a better chance of performing well. One last rule of thumb is to always test your creatives before putting money behind them to ensure an adequate return on your investment. 

What tricks do you use when making Instagram ad creatives? Share with us below and don’t forge to follow us @hashtag4thegram!

Content Measurement

Men photographing with mobile phone

Why Measure?

Have you ever felt like your business isn’t getting anywhere on Instagram? You are producing high quality content, engaging with customers, and keeping up with the latest trends. However, you aren’t achieving the digital presence you’d like for your brand. In reality, there is much more to understand about Instagram than just that. No marketer can have a complete understanding of their presence, audience, and opportunity on the platform without measuring specific metrics.

Identify Goals:

Before you begin to measure your metrics, it’s important to identify your goals and objectives. What do you want to discover? You may want to find trends in you’re posting frequency or how a promotion increased brand awareness. Comments, followers, and likes can be more meaningful than just showcasing your popularity. These metrics can help determine your leads and conversion rate from Instagram. Content measurement uncovers if you’ve met your goals and objectives or not. Being a data driven brand can tremendously set you apart from competitors. Don’t just do things for the sake of doing them — make data driven actions when it comes to your Instagram account.

Instagram post image

What to Measure?

Lisa Kalner Williams, Content Marketing Director of Agorapulse, outlined important metrics to monitor. Here are 5 that relate to followers, likes, comments, URLs, and the timing of posts.

  1. Follower Growth Rate: The rate at which you attain followers can indicate if your Instagram strategy is working. By simply tracking the amount of followers your brand has on an Excel document and using a simple formula, you can identify interesting trends that tie your follower rate rise or fall to your Instagram activities.
  2. Engagement as Percentage of Total Followers: Calculate your brand’s engagement percentage by adding your average likes and comments for the month and dividing it by the number of followers your brand has. Compare the rates between months and find out what worked and didn’t work.
  3. Engagement per Post: Add the number of likes and comments you received over the last seven posts. Divide that number by seven to calculate your average engagement per post. Compare this average to the previous seven days and determine why it might be lower or higher.
  4. Clickthroughs on URLs: When it comes to Instagram, the URL you want to monitor is the one in your bio. Use a bit.ly link to not only shorten your link but to track how many users visited your site from Instagram.
  5. Best Day/Time to post: One metric that is often overlooked and should be examined is when you are posting. Per request from The Huffington Post, an app called, Later, that schedules and manages Instagram posts, performed an analysis on more than 60,000 posts to see what time of day is the best time. It turns out that on average, the best time to post is 2:00p.m. and 5:00p.m. EST if you really want to get your audience’s attention. The team also discovered that 9:00a.m and 6:00p.m. EST are the worst times to post. Wednesdays beat out the other days of the week as the best day to post. Keeping this is mind when you post is easy and doesn’t cost a thing! 

2and5pm

Getting Started:

All of these measurements may sound like a lot of work! The good news is that once you get organized and begin to track your brand’s metrics on Instagram, it will become second nature. Come up with a system that works for you. Try inputing data and formulas into an Excel document manually, or check out some popular, free Instagram analytical tools. Or do a combination of both! Pete Schauer from SocialMediaToday.com, outlined 5 of the best, free analytical tools for Instagram:

  1. Iconosquare
  2. Simply measured
  3. Instafollow
  4. Union Metrics
  5. Crowd Fire

What did you discover about your Instagram activities through content measurement? Let us know below and don’t forget to follow us @hashtag4thegram!

How the Fashion Industry Benefits From Instagram

If you’re a marketer on the fashion industry, you better be on Instagram. Instagram is redefining the fashion industry and is essential for all marketers to stay on top of it. Through this platform, a story about your brand can be told. As fashion relies on visuals, Instagram and fashion make a perfect fit. Instagram’s Head of Fashion Partnership, Eva Chen, explained, “It democratizes fashion. There’s a greater connection to the customer now. Instagram enables brands to build a voice and speak more specifically to their audiences. Designers are not just thinking about the people at the shows.”

 

FashionGPS has identified four lessons Instagram has taught the fashion community around the world. Also, how brands can obtain leverage by using the tools Instagram provides its users with to increase a brand’s presence and achieve community growth.

Here are some reasons why you should be using Instagram to promote your brand in the fashion industry.

  1. Brand Identity: Instagram is the ideal place for a brand to reveal personality through storytelling. Culture, lifestyle, and products are all depicted through a brand’s Instagram profile.

Example: Burberry’s Instagram has put all effort in depicting what their brand stands for and the lifestyle that is heavily associated with the brand.

 

  1.  Community Engagement: Through Instagram. Brands can achieve a high degree of community engagement among their customers.

Example: Urban Outfitters created a custom hashtag, #UOonyou, that consumers use to post pictures of them wearing Urban Outfitters’ products. This creates a community and engages the customers with the brand while at the same time the brand gets free advertising.

 

  1. Behind the Scenes: Social media has made it possible for users to have a sneak peek at a brand’s next launch of a line.

 

  1. Monetizing Social: Through Instagram Ads, you can increase the traffic into your account. Carousel ads on Instagram are the best way to advertise through visuals.

 

If you’re a fashion marketer looking for ways to increase your presence on social media, Instagram is the most essential platform for you. Follow these tips in order to achieve your goals and drive traffic into your profile.
What brands have been doing a great job at this? How has Instagram personally helped your brand to increase sales? Let us know what you think and follow us on IG @hashtag4thegram.

How to Measure Your Digital Presence

Do you know how to track your results on Instagram? If you don’t, then how will you know whether the tactics you’re using are working or not? How do you know what you should continue or stop doing?

There are several metrics available to measure the success you’re having on Instagram.

Aaron Lee, a well-known marketer, has identified 10 ways to monitor and measure your digital presence on Instagram on  his 10 Simple Ways to Measure Your Instagram Marketing Success.” These are the following:

 

Ways to Measure your Success on Instagram:

  1. Likes: This tool Instagram offers is the most basic one to measure the success of a campaign or a post. It is the most obvious metric since this determines how much your fans enjoyed the content you posted about. Additionally, it’s very simple to determine the number of likes a post received.
  2. Comments: Pay attention to the comments because they often include customer reviews, questions or potential customer service area. Try to keep track of the posts that receive most comments and continue to post more of that kind.
  3. Followers: Your Instagram followers should keep increasing all the time. On this platform, if you’re not growing, you’re doing something wrong. Measure how many followers you obtain per week to determine whether or not your campaign for that week was successful.
  4. Engagement: To measure the percentage of followers who engaged with a specific post- divide the number of likes and comments the post received by your follower count.
  5. Clicks: Track clicks using Google Analytics
  6. Mentions: Use hashtags to find out whether or not people are talking about your business on Instagram.
  7. Photos: Track which posts are driving the most traffic. There are several tools to help you determine this. One example is Iconsquare, which finds the top-performing images based on how many likes and comments the post has received.
  8. Times: Find the best times to post on Instagram.
  9. Followers: Analyze your followers and the content they are more attracted to. Interact with them to humanize your brand.
  10. Sales: Analyze whether or not your followers on Instagram generate sales and profit. Do they only engage with your? Or do they go to your webpage to purchase your products? One way to determine this is by creating a coupon, advertise the coupon through instagram and determine the number of coupons that get redeemed.

 

These 10 metrics are essential and the basis of determining the success of your Instagram account. Analyze these 10 metrics and then determine whether you need to change your campaign or continue doing it the way you have been doing it so far.

 

What other metrics do you recommend?Let us know what you think and follow us on IG @hashtag4thegram.