What Carousel Ads mean for your Business on Instagram

5 March 2015
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A New Way for Brands to Tell Stories on Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo.


Good news for the businesses that make up the 300 million + on Instagram: yesterday the company announced on its business blog the release of its new advertising feature, Carousel Ads, set to roll out in the very near future. While the newest trait will only be available on a limited basis to test which formats work best visually, this is HUGE for businesses on Instagram.

As you remember, in 2013 Instagram released a similar announcement informing users that they would start to see promoted posts in their Instagram feeds. So how are these advertisements different? The company writes in the blog “Carousel ads give brands more flexibility in telling their stories by allowing people who view their ads to swipe left to see additional images and link to a website of the brand’s choice… carousel ads bring the potential of multi-page print campaigns to mobile phones – with the added benefit of taking people to a website to learn more.”

Cue advertisers everywhere to start screaming jackpot. The implications of this new feature exponentially increase the value of Instagram from a ROI standpoint for businesses on the social photo-sharing platform. Ads will for the first time in #InstaHistory feature interactive, clickable photos. And according to Tech Crunch, “now Instagram’s advertisers will know not only if someone saw, liked, or commented on their ad, but also if people swiped through multiple photos and clicked through to their site.” Great advertisers know that the basis of a campaign comes from measurement, so it will be interesting to see the success rates for these new Instagram Ad campaigns as they roll out in the next few weeks.


So what does your business need to do to prepare for the possibility of being featured in a carousel ad?

1)    Figure out your brand story- coming up with a strong brand voice through the power of story telling will be more important than ever when it comes to creating carousel campaigns. By now you know the importance of storytelling and its influence as a trend to stay in 2015. With the new Instagram feature, brands now will be able to communicate stories as opposed to snapshots in time without flooding users feeds (huge turn off). If you haven’t already, find out what differentiates your brand from competitors. Personify it. Give it a voice, tone, and relationship that the audience will want more of.

2)     Discover how you can make the photo sequence engaging and exclusive to your brand voice– The entire point of the Carousel-Ad is to draw the audience in to learn more about whatever it is that you’re advertising. Think of it as a multi-paged ad in a magazine, but make sure to execute it for the digital audience. Figure out ways to make your audience NEED to learn more. How? Give them what they want to see on their phones. This means more target audience research, businesses!

3) Be Creative- Instagram CEO Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom gives final approval on all ads allowed on the platform, so when contemplating campaigns for when the feature becomes more mainstream, think outside of the box. Pretend there isn’t even a box. Do something so different that people will HAVE to stop and look at the ad.

Stay tuned as we follow the analytics of the newest feature, and hit us up if you need an agency to come up with an awesome Instagram campaign for your business!

About Morgan Jones

Morgan is a graduate from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a BA in Communication Studies and a minor in journalism. She brings to the table a vivacious spirit and unique creative energy that she uses in all things SayItSocial. When she isn't being an awesome Digital Account Executive, you can find her running the Wrightsville Beach loop with her dog Grizzly, out on the beach, or on her front porch reading her nook.

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