Instagram (Instant Camera + Telegram) has been a real social media darling for the past few years. A true mobile platform, one which everyone has readily available in their pockets, it has dominated the content sharing landscape and has become the “go-to social network” for everyone from 17 to 70 years old. It is so simple, yet so powerful as a messaging and communication medium and one which had yet to be ruined by marketers. That was until the platform rolled out ads earlier this year, right?
When they first came out (only to a select group of massive brand advertisers) it was met with a lot of skepticism. It was sure to destroy the purity of ‘the gram’ and users would start fleeing right away. Well that didnt happen, and the platform opened up to the masses, but many didn’t jump in at first (Sircle and our clients included). As the year went on we began to dabble with the ad units and started to see some real improvement and results, and now we are big buyers of IG Ads. Remember, Instagram is owned by Facebook which has an incredible ads platform with insane targeting capabilities. The ads are integrated right into the same dashboard, making it very intuitive and powerful if you are well-versed in Facebook ads.
Studies have shown that organic reach on IG is down and it is becoming a ‘pay to play’ platform now too. While others are up in arms over this, we think it is great, because you are able to do some excellent things at very competitive costs. As an example we took the below creative and ran some tests with it. Organically this post received 40 likes, but when we put some money behind the same piece of great looking content, we were able to earn 412 and 334 likes (split audiences) with a $3 CPM. Even better, the target was to two different, hyper-local audiences (where the client is available for purchase) and made up of fans of direct competitors.
When we ran the same piece of creative as a dark post on Facebook, (with the same audiences) we had a CPM of $7.68 and very little engagement of any kind. The Instagram ad was less expensive, earned them many more impressions and 748 likes. At Sircle, we are all about content, engagement and growth as the foundation of social. Here we created a beautiful piece of content and found a way to cost effectively garner engagement, while seeing a huge uptick in reach. = Winner.