Instagram puts emphasis on ads with new business tools

With hire of new ad chief, and launch of analytics tools, Instagram is making ads a high priority

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
August 21, 2014
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/38c0

Over the last couple of weeks, Instagram had made it clear that, going forward, advertising is going to be a major priority.

Last week the Facebook-owned company hired its first ad chief to manage its sales and marketing efforts, and now Instagram is finally giving businesses the thing they need, and have been asking for, to ensure that their campaigns are a success.

Instagram unleashed a new business suite on Thursday, consisting of three new tools to help brands who run ads on the service to maximize their potential.

The first is account insights, which allow businesses to see how they’re increasing brand awareness on Instagram through impressions, reach, and engagement. Businesses will also have access to ad insights, which shows them the performance of paid campaigns with brand analytics, such as impressions, reach, and frequency, for each individual ad delivered to the target audience.

And, finally, Instagram is introducing ad staging, which allows advertisers to preview, save, and collaborate on ad creative for upcoming campaigns.

By using these tools, advertisers will gain insight into not only how the audience is responding to each of their ads, but also when the best time of day would be to run said ad.

"We’ve heard from brands that having more insight into how people engage with and respond to their photos and videos is an important part of evolving creatively," Instagram wrote. "The new tools will help brands monitor their posts and campaigns by providing information on reach, impressions, and engagement."

Instagram will be rolling out the new tools "over the coming weeks and months."

Ads on Instagram

The ads that the site runs are called "sponsored photos." They are meant to look are meant to look like any other Instagram picture that you might see, the only difference being a big blue "sponsored" label in place of the time stamp. 

Instagram's first ad, which began running in November of last year, was a picture of a gold watch, on a table, with some macaroons next to it from designer Michael Kors, was a big success: it brought Kors a slew of new followers; 33,000 of them to be exact. That means that his number of followers jumped 16 times, from the 2,138 he was gaining on average.

In March Instagram signed its first deal with an ad agency, a yearlong commitment from Omnicom to spend up to $100 million. 

For Instagram, there is a huge opportunity for the company to make buckets of money off of advertising in coming years.

Worldwide mobile ad spending increased by 105.9% in 2013, to $18.16 billion, according to an eMarketer report. By 2017, it is projected that advertisers will spend $72.32 billion on mobile worldwide, nearly 10 times what was being spent in 2012.

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the increase has been Facebook, which, last year, became the second largest digital ad seller in the United States. 

(Image source: blog.business.instagram.com)

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