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Et Tu, Instagram? New Ads Take (Pictures Of) The Cake

The beloved photo- and video-sharing website debuted its first sponsored ads last week. Now, your feeds will include more than just photos of your friends’ latest pet costume. You’ll also see commercial material from brands you might not be following.

Love it or hate it, this inevitable decision to start advertising (what did you think was going to happen?!) now promises a whole new avenue for effective social media marketing campaigns. And studies can back it up: in September, an analysis of the 1,000 most shared Instagram videos found that 40% were created by brands. While they might not have been explicit commercials, the message was clear enough. Users don’t mind engaging with the likes of MTV, Starbucks, and HBO online.

Looking to the future, Instagram’s move to ads will likely increase users’ levels of social media engagement with companies. Inside Facebook reported that 71% of the world’s largest brands are on Instagram. Even better news for marketers? Engagement with top brands has risen 350% over the past year.

insta ad

Instagram’s new ad service will provide a potential goldmine for brands to interact with eager audiences. Even better, it will help them cultivate loyalty among their most socially plugged-in customers. And the most successful brands will be those who can identify the most influential people, generating the most inspiring content relevant to their product. These social media analytics will tell them exactly who they should be targeting online. Given the incredible number of Instagram users—an amount that is growing every day—it is vital that brands be able to cut through the social media noise and pinpoint their top social influencers.

Here’s our point: most people are somewhat averse to ads. But when it comes to Instagram, most people seem to enjoy the way businesses promote themselves.

 

What do you think? Will sponsored ads affect your Instagram experience?

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