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    What’s happened? 

    Have you heard the latest ad news from Instagram? Instagram has launched 4 new ad types; explore ads, profile feed ads, AI-powered multi-advertiser ads and AR ads. That’s a lot to take in – let’s go through all the updates in more detail. 

    What are the ads? 
    • Explore ads – surprise, surprise, these show up in the explore tab. They’re designed to help brands connect with their audience at the beginning of the funnel, when they’re interested in discovering, or ‘exploring’ new products and services. 
    • Profile feed ads – these sit in the profile feed (when a user clicks on an Instagram profile and scrolls through their feed). The beauty of these ads is that you can make use of your existing creative. Users simply click on an ad within a feed and will be directed to your landing page. Profile feed ads help brands reach their target audience by understanding where their audience spends their time online – and reaching them on those profiles.
    • AI-powered multi-advertiser ads – this ad format uses machine learning to recommend promotional content when a user engages with an ad. They aim to increase the discoverability of brands when shown another product or service. Your advert might be shown next to a related product; a birthday cake service next to a birthday party venue, for example.
    • AR ads – augmented reality is super popular, especially when trying out new products. Instagram has now launched it’s own version – only years after other social platforms!

    Now you know what the latest updates are, how can you integrate these new ad formats into your advertising strategy?

    How can brands make use of these ads? 

    Explore ads

    According to Instagram, 83% of users discover new products and services on Instagram, making the explore page a vital resource for brands looking to boost their reach and awareness. 

    This is Instagram’s attempt to ‘develop more meaningful connections with their audience and get discovered by people who want to deepen their interests by branching out from the accounts they already follow’.

    Explore ads will allow brands to reach potential customers at the earliest touchpoint possible, starting that nurture journey. We recommend you use your strongest brand awareness creative in your explore ads – as this might be the first touchpoint you have with your future customers. And, as we all know, first impressions matter. 

    Profile feed ads

    Brands should make the most of this ad to repurpose existing creative, while adding a personal touch where possible. It’s important that your adverts enhance the user experience, rather than taking away from it. That said, we recommend brands conduct thorough research into the existing content on Instagram profiles where your ads may show up. 

    Then, create native adverts (in other words, those which fit in with the platform). If you can create ads that match their surrounding content, you’ll be much more likely to engage your audience. 

    *Note that this feature will not be integrated into teen or private profiles, so there are limitations. If teenagers are your target audience, then this might not be the right ad type for your brand.

    AI-powered multi-advertiser ads

    If your audience is in the shopping mindset, you’ll want to use these AI-powered multi-advertiser ads to nurture them to conversion. 

    Once a trending hashtag #InstagramMadeMeBuyIt, people are now actually curbing their impulse purchases – mainly due to the rising cost of living. Studies have found that nearly half of UK shoppers claimed not to have made any impulse purchases in the first half of 2022. That means you’ve got to work harder to get your audience to hit that ‘buy’ button. 

    This new ad format allows businesses to help each other out. If you’re a bakery advertising wedding cakes, your ad might appear next to ads from wedding dress shops. Of course, there is the worry that similar, competing brands will have their ads placed next to each other, which may cause your audience to spend longer in the consideration phase, rather than moving through the funnel to conversion. 

    It’s down to machine learning to place complimentary ads alongside themselves. We’re uncertain how this will work in practice, but we’ll keep you up-to-date. In fact, follow us on LinkedIn where we post the latest updates. 

    If you are interested in giving this ad format a try, we recommend testing a small amount of budget on your AI-powered multi-advertiser ads and monitoring the results carefully. If it contributes to your advertising goals, put more budget behind those ads. If not, simply channel your spend into another ad type.

    AR ads 

    AR, or augmented reality, is an interactive experience that combines the real world and computer-generated content.

    It’s no secret that Instagram is late to the game with the introduction of AR ads. Snapchat’s got them, TikTok’s got them and even Facebook. At least Instagram has finally caught on as AR can be a useful tool for increasing conversions. In fact, 2 in 3 customers would purchase more products if they used AR. So, what do you need to do to increase engagement with your AR ads? 

    We recommend you:

    • Use a memorable hashtag alongside your AR ad
    • Give your AR feature a strong purpose. Is it meant to entertain, start a conversation, start a trend or be useful and convincing to those looking to purchase a product? 
    • Make your AR element easy to use – remember people might be using their phone at their desk, their family house or in a car. What can you create that’s accessible, no matter where your audience is using it? 

    Would you like help implementing any of Instagram’s new ad formats? Talk to our multi-award-winning team who are experts in implementing and optimising campaigns and producing kick-ass creative that’s sure to capture your audience’s attention.

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