On this episode, I talk about the current state of affairs on Instagram. Organic reach in the feed is way down and brands need to be smarter about how they are adjusting to that fact. Some quick takes:
1- Posting more, is not the answer. In fact, it seems to accelerate the fall off in organic reach and impressions.
2- Stories are the jam. If you want to post more, just post there instead and watch the numbers.
3- Video View campaigns are cheap and effective.
Instagram is the place to be for brands, but the game has changed a bit for sure. Don’t be romantic about what got you here (i.e. Instagram Follower count, measuring likes and comments per post) and instead, go to where things are moving.
In this episode, we go a bit deeper into our current POV on Instagram. We have recently shared our take on what matters on Instagram, as well as why we love Instagram Ads so much right now. Here we frame how to rethink your strategy for the platform and be able to better explain the right approach to retailers, investors and/or even yourself.
Instagram (just like Facebook before it) has given away a lot for free to build their brand and user base. Now they are saying to brands that if they want to reach people and leverage the platform, they will need to pay. This is a good thing and if done right, it actually provides much more value than your follower count OR how many likes your last photo received ever did.
Hope this helps shape the conversation a bit more…
Instagram Advertising works people and it is time to get with the program. You should be firing up Ads on The Gram right away and experimenting with all different formats. Attention is there, CPMs are low and consumption is real.
If you are trying to sell products or services of any kind, you need to be creating video content, posting it natively to Facebook AND putting money behind said content, to promote it on the social network. In the video above we talked about the importance of video in your online storytelling efforts, and in this post we talked about the benefits of posting it directly on Facebook.
If you are making video and you are thinking about how to best distribute and/or use it, then you should read this report to learn about the compelling stats behind Facebook video that is posted natively Vs. linked elsewhere. The numbers are staggering and make a very strong argument to think Facebook first when creating. If you already have an inventory of videos, then you should be uploading the video file and not the link to the video on YouTube or Vimeo. Don’t compromise your results by doing the latter.
We also recommend that brands seriously consider allocating a unique budget to Instagram advertising right now, with video as the creative. We are doing this because we are seeing CPM’s that are very low, when optimizing for reach and this represents very underpriced attention on a platform where attention is the most likely given. The smart hack is to post creative content, seeking video views with an optimization for reach, because it is the best way to get the most visibility.
You earn really solid exposure, with low cost and you put some of your best content in front of targeted eyeballs. The added bonus with this tactic, is that it is a surefire way to get new followers (which everyone is looking for these days) as an ancillary benefit too. The reasoning being that with all of these new eyeballs, comes new followers once they see your content and learn your story.
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.
Instagram Ads are a hot topic lately and advertisers are intrigued. We have been seeing the ‘sponsored posts’ more and more in our feeds and with the amount of users and attention being paid to the platform it is a very sexy place to be for a marketer. At first it was only available to the big brands, but with a rollout to the masses now here it is time to start brushing up on your skills.
This piece by Social Media Examiner was just published today and it shows you how you go about setting yourself up to create Instagram Ads. It breaks down the how and the what behind the platform and really makes it very easy to follow and understand. Give it a read and get ready to start marketing on “The Gram”.
Instagram Ads seem to be all people can talk about lately in the social media space. Larger brands have been experimenting with it for some time now and we are sure you have seen an increase in Ads targeted at you in your feed lately. The network is about to fully roll out their platform to companies of all sizes by October 2015 and brands have been anxiously awaiting its arrival.
As Gary Varynerchuk always says,”marketers ruin everything” and the hope is that this will not be the case on ‘The Insta” too. MANY eyeballs are on the platform and Ad dollars will always go where the people are – this is nothing new. This platform has been able to remain pure for a long time and thus has been a safe haven for people from all walks of life, to engage without brands and businesses bugging them. Now we are embarking on a new chapter and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
From a marketer’s POV (since that is what we do) we are (at least for the now) buyers. We love the idea of advertising here, since you have access to attention from a lot of people. We also love that Facebook (Instagram’s Owner) will be driving the functionality and targeting foundation making it a smart and intuitive interface. We plan to experiment with reach and pricing and then report back after we have some experience under our belt. Stay tuned…