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Lessons You Can Learn from the First Instagram Ads

Toward the end of last month, Instagram started rolling out their advertising system. The system displays relevant ads to users’ photo streams based on the photos they liked and the interests they listed on Facebook. The initial ads were limited to only a handful of “Instagram-savvy” brands, including Michael Kors and General Electric.

Michael Kors released its first ad, on November 1, while General Electric released its own on November 4.

Michael Kors’ first Instagram ad

One of the first Instagram ads by Michael Kors

General Electric’s first Instagram ad

General Electric’s first Instagram ad, posted on November 4

Both ads were met with a mix of good and bad feedback, but the resulting amount of likes, follows, and comments show how promising Instagram ads are. Michael Kors’ ad generated 33,000 new followers and more than 218,000 likes within the first 18 hours. GE’s ad resulted in 59,000 likes and 1,800 comments.

Graphs showing the number of followers Michael Kors received for an ad and a regular post

These graphs show that there is a significance difference between the number of followers gained through an Instagram ad and through a regular post. (Original images from Nitrogram)

Social media marketing companies and business owners can learn a lot from the results of these two brands’ initial ads. Here are a few tips to help you develop a solid Instagram advertising once the system is fully implemented.

Always Maintain High Quality Standards

Instagram is all about photos, and uploading an ad with a heavily filtered and unappealing image is a guaranteed way to annoy everyone who sees it. GE and Michael Kors know the kind of quality users look for in Instagram posts, and have been using that knowledge to create great-looking ads.

Avoid In-Your-Face Ads

You might want to avoid blatantly adding your brands’ logo or name to the images you post. If users are reacting negatively to simple ads that have no in-your-face branding on them, how do you think they’d react if you start posting blatant ads?

Learn through Observation and Experience

Keeping track of the initial Instagram ads’ performances can help you figure out what might work best for your brand when you start posting your own ads. When you start your own Instagram ad campaign, don’t be afraid to get creative and test the waters to see which photos resonate with your audience best.

We always stay on top of the latest social media trends and best practices. Keep reading our blog or talk to us to learn how we can improve your social marketing campaigns.

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