Instagram’s growing user-base and status as the 2nd most engaged with social network (2nd to Facebook) make it a clear favorite among advertisers looking to market to a tech-savvy millennial audience. The platform offers a variety of ad formats and targeting criteria that allow for brands to deliver timely, relevant, and image-based ads right to their target market’s news feeds – all managed seamlessly through Facebook Business Manager. As internet marketing continues to evolve, MyCity Social seeks to explore and report on the most cutting edge digital advertising techniques. Today’s focus: Instagram Carousel Ads.
Instagram Image Carousel Ads
Two years ago, Instagram introduced Carousel Ads as “a new way for brands to share more images with people interested in their posts”. Carousel ads initially appear as sponsored images in users’ Instagram feeds, but allow users to scroll through 3-5 images that are all part of the same post. Brands usually include clever calls to action within the post’s caption, and the posts can include links to a third-party website.
Carousel ad delivery through Instagram lets brands tell stories in a progressive fashion, showcase multiple products, and drive consumer action in ways that a single image cannot. About a year ago, the Instagram Business Blog showcased some ways that big brands used the carousel ads shortly after they were rolled out in its blog. There are seemingly endless applications for Instagram Carousel Ads that are limited only by the brand team’s creativity and content marketing abilities. Obviously, advertisers should follow Instagram ad best practices when creating & deploying carousel ad campaigns to ensure the highest ROI possible.
Instagram Video Carousel Ads
Internet marketing trends evolve at a breakneck pace, so it comes as no surprise that shortly after Instagram rolled out image-based carousel ads, that video carousels would follow. After Instagram noticed the superior effectiveness of carousel ads to single image ads, the platform added the ability for advertisers to incorporate videos into their ad carousels. With the addition of video to ad carousels, brands can share up to 5 photos or videos in any combination through Instagram advertising.
The integration of videos into Instagram Carousel Ads allows for increased engagement (videos engage consumers for longer periods of time & more often than photos), creative flexibility, and deeper storytelling. For example, Macy’s chose to use the integrated Instagram Carousel Ad to deliver a carousel containing a video featured as the first piece of content, followed by up-close images of the clothing worn in the video. The various options for different call to action buttons (examples: “Learn More”, “Visit Website”, “Shop Now”, etc.) that can be applied on carousel ads can inspire immediate action and in some case purchases.
The ability to choose the order in which photo & video content is displayed in Instagram carousel ads also allows for more attention grabbing content, progressive advertising experiences, and A/B testing to help advertisers determine optimal ad formats.
“Brands are excited about this because it gives marketers better creative flexibility,” said James Quarles, global head of business and brand development at Instagram. “The hardest thing to do is to capture people’s imaginations, and carousel can help advertisers better achieve that with five pieces of content. As we see people watch more video, we think this helps business bring messages to life more.” – Ad Age
Feeling overwhelmed by all of the Digital Advertising options available? MyCity Social can help your brand prioritize and execute its Internet Marketing needs. Contact Us today!