In early March, Instagram and global advertising agency Omnicon agreed to a deal worth about $40 million. This deal created frenzy among the social and advertising worlds because up to this point, Instagram has been very cautious about their distribution of advertisements.
Instagram was acquired by Facebook in April of 2012. After this acquisition, most people assumed that Instagram would begin to show ads on a regular basis. However, Instagram has only been showing ads in users feed since November 2013.
The social picture and video sharing network has worked hard to make sure that their ads stay true to the spirit of the Instagram community. What they’re really saying is that they want the ads to be high quality, engaging and add value to their users. Instagram selects what ads to display on peoples’ feeds by using information about you found on Instagram and Facebook. This might include who you follow, pictures you’ve liked, or your interests listed on Facebook.
Currently, Instagram has about 200 million monthly active users. This number might be far behind Twitter’s 243 million monthly users and really far behind Facebook’s 1.23 billion users, but companies are still itching to advertise on Instagram. One of the reasons why companies want to use Instagram to advertise is because it’s growing extremely fast.
Some of Omnicon’s largest clients are companies that are very prevalent in the advertising world. This includes the likes of AT&T, Pepsi and Bud Light. Many people wondering how these traditional advertisers are going to deliver ads that add value. The answer is native advertising.
Regular users of social media can easily tell what’s an ad and what’s not. Whether it is the sponsored ads in the right hand column of Facebook or promoted ads on Twitter, it’s easy to distinguish paid content from natural content. This is where native advertising comes in. Instagram wants brands to create ads that will blend into user’s feeds. This means that brands will have to get creative and make aesthetically pleasing pictures and videos worth clicking on or watching.
The new Instagram and Omnicon deal is an excellent lesson for companies of all sizes. Your advertising, especially on social media should add value to users. The average internet user is bombarded with content so you must make yours stand out one way or another. If you’re company is having trouble pinning down a good content strategy, contact inSegment’s social media team to help you improve your social presence.