Instagram expands ads, offers up more targeted formats

Social media platform will expand ad targeting options as well as utilise Facebook infrastructure and consumer insights to improve advertising

Instagram says extending its advertising offering to more brands, as well as launching action-oriented formats, are big steps forward in helping advertisers better target consumers.

The social media site announced this week that it is opening up advertising to all businesses following 18 months of strong results with pilot partners. To do this, the company said it will offer action-oriented formats, enable more targeting capabilities, and streamline the way businesses buy ads.

Instagram pointed to Nielsen Brand Effect measurements across 475 campaigns on its platform globally, which found ad recall of the sponsored posts was 2.9 time higher than the average for online advertising.

In a blog post, Instagram said it will now evolve ad formats to serve a range of goals advertisers are looking to meet, from awareness and message association to website visits and offline sales.

“This will not only help advertisers, but the community as well, as people will be able to learn about a product or service and then take action directly from an ad to sign up on a website, buy a product, or download an app,” the company stated.

Later on this year, Instagram will also expand ad targeting options, working in partnership with Facebook and leveraging its infrastructure for managing and measuring ads to better reach consumers based on their demographics, interests and behavioural insights.

It’s also planning to make advertising available through Instagram Ads API and Facebook ad buying interfaces in coming months. The first step will be opening the Instagram Ads API to select Facebook marketing partners and agencies, before expanding access globally later this year. More than 2 million advertisers are currently using Facebook.

At the same time, Instagram said it is improving feedback within the platform to better enable users to control and improve the relevancy of ads they see.

Just last week, Instagram officially rolled out its carousel advertising to Australian brands, allowing advertisers to include multiple images within one post, as well as link directly to their websites. The first brands locally to sign up include Destination NSW, Kathmandu and crown Resorts.

Instagram first announced its intention to bring ads to the platform in late 2013, rolling out a proposed look and feel with the first wave of advertisers, which included Adidas, Lexus, Levi’s and Burberry.

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