If you've recently scrolled through your Instagram feed, you've likely noticed an increase in the number of ads from brands that you may or may not already be following. This is because Instagram recently opened up its social media advertising offerings to businesses of all sizes.
Instagram is not new to offering paid social media advertising as an option for brands. The mobile social media site initially launched its advertising platform in November of 2013, but limited its advertisers to select companies with large marketing budgets. But now, as of September 2015, businesses with advertising budgets large and small can run campaigns on Instagram. This offering is currently available in 30 countries across the globe, and even more countries will have access to Instagram advertising by September 30th.
We definitely have seen this change in Instagram's social media advertising coming, especially since parent company Facebook has been wildly successful with its paid advertising options. In fact, the social media giant is on track to make more than $4 billion in revenue from its advertising services.
One thing that marketers appreciate about Facebook's advertising services are the highly coveted targeting tools. For example, Facebook allows marketers to target ads based on location, demographic, and other information included in Facebook profiles such as specified interests. The good news is that Instagram will leverage the best of Facebook's advertising infrastructure to allow marketers to more effectively reach their audience on its visual content sharing social media platform.
You should also be made aware of these other Instagram advertising features that will be rolling out in the coming months:
Landscape photo and video
As Instagram users, we have all become so accustomed to the square shaped images that fill our newsfeeds. However, Instagram will now offer the ability for marketers to use landscape photos and video in ads, which will help to unlock new creative opportunities and allow these ads to really stand out.
Increased video length
While the max length of an Instagram video has historically been 15 seconds, advertisers can now share a video that is up to 30 seconds long. This will help brands to be more effective in engaging their audience through the storytelling process.
The introduction of Marquee
This is a new premium advertising product that Instagram will be offering, and its goal is to create mass awareness for your brand in a short period of time. While this option may not be necessary for every brand, it could be ideal for marketing a new product launch.
Wide breadth of delivery and optimization tools
Instagram advertisers will benefit from having a number of deliver and optimization tools at their fingertips to more efficiently manage both Instagram and Facebook campaigns.
As you can see, this is big news that Instagram will be opening up its advertising services to businesses of all sizes. However, for a social media platform that has historically had very few ads fill its users' newsfeeds, it will be interesting to see how this change affects Instagram usage.
What do you think about this new introduction of Instagram advertising to businesses of all sizes? Is this something that your business would be interested in using?