Back in March, Instagram introduced a new format of advertising on the social media platform in the US, allowing for multiple images within ads. Now, Instagram are bringing the carousel ad format to the rest of the world.
What are carousel ads?
Instagram calls it a way for brands to “tell deeper stories and share more images with people interested in their posts”. Basically, it means that these ads will appear in the Instagram timeline as normal image posts do; but will allow for users to swipe left and right to form a “carousel” of images.
If a user chooses to swipe left on an ad of their choice, they will see these additional images which will link through to the website the brand has chosen, in order for the user to learn more about the brand in question.
What makes carousel ads so good for Instagram?
Users tend to be more captivated by their image feed, as users do not post full albums with an overwhelming number of images. Instead, users usually upload one or two specific images to show off what it is they’re up to, meaning there is less noise, and more quality images as chosen specifically by users.
These carousel ads will make great use of this, as already the sponsored posts seem to fit seamlessly into the home feed, without causing too much distraction or annoyance. They are placed in full view of the user, and are not off to one side which a user may ignore entirely.
For the user, it’s not all too annoying, as they can simply keep scrolling. They may even not realise that this isn’t a brand they have followed. If they like what they see, then of course they can tap through and engage with the brand, and see what they have to offer.
The benefit of a carousel advert is that it offers more opportunities to captivate the user, by offering a few more images to entice them. Swiping left and right is a novelty within itself on a network that only allows to scroll up and down; and so it can work very effectively when brands put time and thought into their social media marketing campaign.
Another big benefit is that Instagram images do not allow for linking through to images through posts; only through the profile description. However, these carousel ads will allow for people to click through to a website that the brand chooses.
Why should brands be on Instagram?
There are a whole host of reasons as to why brands should consider having an Instagram account, and perhaps advertising down the line. Despite the fact the platform is not yet regarded to have the same status as something like Facebook or Twitter, it’s growing rapidly; and it looks set to become what made Facebook so popular in the beginning.
The fact is, that Instagram is actually owned by Facebook; meaning it has a lot of money and power backing it. Mark Zuckerberg and his team are not going to let the $1 billion they spent on Instagram go to waste.
Instagram is incredibly popular with teenagers and young adults, with high engagement rates and a format which by nature captures the audience. If you’re still not convinced Instagram is the place to be, check these startling statistics:
- Highest brand engagement rates: 4.21%
- 26% of adult internet users have an account
- 70 million photos and videos shared per day, with 300 million active accounts, which is more than Twitter
- 75 million users use Instagram everyday
- 30% of teenagers consider it to be the most important social network
- 2.5 billion Instagram likes occur every day
- 70% of users log in once a day, with 35% checking multiple times a day
- Instagram has 50x the engagement of Twitter
These statistics alone should be enough to convince that your brand should at least consider a presence on Instagram, if it has the right image.
Instagram offers a very unique opportunity for brands with a visual focus to showcase what makes them special, and put it in front of a highly engaged and captivated audience who would love to see what your brand has to offer.
For more information, be sure to check the post on “Carousel Ads Go Global” over on the Instagram for Business blog.