Instagram more effective for advertising than other social networks?

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Last month, Instagram changed its advertising API to allow mobile marketers to start buying Instagram ads and plan their marketing campaigns on the social network in a more automated way, and through third-party software.

Since then, Kenshoo has been analysing a number of advertising campaigns run through the Instagram Ads API, and found some positive early performance data, including an average click-through rate (CTR) of 2.48% for the ads analysed.

In contrast, Facebook CTR rates are said to currently hover somewhere around the 1% mark.

As a result of their analysis, Kenshoo has revealed a number of recommendations and top of the list is the need for ad copy and creative to be “unique and compelling”, with the study highlight that auto-importing ads from other social media campaigns doesn’t cut it with Instagram users.

Conversely, Facebook targeting parameters (such as Lookalike Audiences) are said to be effective in driving ad engagements, but Kenshoo Product Manager, David Zelniker states their early research shows that marketers will need to invest more time to reap the rewards of advertising via the image sharing service:    

“It’s obviously early days in the life of Instagram advertising but the initial performance indicators show there is good potential – for example with CTRs around two and half times that of the industry average for social ads."

“We’ve picked up a number of best practice tips for running successful Instagram advertising by analysing more than 25 active campaigns from a sampling of global advertisers. We found for example that ad copy and creative needs to be unique and compelling for an Instagram audience.  This makes sense because of the audience’s focus on the visual, meaning ads need to be visually appealing and use high-level creative. Ads created for other social platforms may not translate well to Instagram. So auto-importing ads from Facebook campaigns doesn’t cut it, especially as they’re different sizes anyway.

“On the other hand, Facebook targeting parameters (such as Lookalike Audiences - which creates a new list of Facebook users that share similar interests and demographics to your existing targets) are effective in driving ad engagements.

“CPM is still low compared with other social platforms, so there is an opportunity for early Instagram advertisers. But this could change as the program expands and competition increases.

“Overall it’s going to be important for Instagram advertisers to be prepared to invest time and resources to testing and optimizing their ads and ad targeting based on performance data to help them learn what works and what doesn’t work on the platform.”

Kenshoo’s early performance data is as follows:

  • Average cost-per-install (CPI): $6.30
  • Average click-through rate (CTR): 2.48%
  • Average cost-per-click (CPC): $0.51
  • Average cost-per-thousand (CPM): $6.70
  • CTR 2.5Xs higher than social advertising industry averages

Instagram recently announced it had opened its platform to most advertisers across the globe, as the photo-sharing app ups its game in the attempt to increase its advertising revenue. 

About Chris Ward

Chris Ward

Chris is Editor of MyCustomer. He is a practiced editor, having worked as a copywriter for creative agency, Stranger Collective from 2009 to 2011 and subsequently as a journalist covering technology, marketing and customer service from 2011-2014 as editor of Business Cloud News. He joined MyCustomer in 2014.


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