Instagram began as an an iOS app in 2010. Five years later it is one of the most popular social media networks, with 300 million monthly users.
But, with restrictions such as no discount codes or URLs to websites, brands have been limited in the functionality of this image focused platform. That didn’t stop them from creating successful Instagram campaigns though. According to case studies on business.instagram.com, Mercedes-Benz saw a 580% lift in site visits from their Instagram and Facebook ads. Chobani saw a 7-point lift in people who would consider Chobani at any time of the day. Taco Bell saw a 29-point lift in ad recall. Ben and Jerry’s helped 17% more people to become aware of a new flavor.
In 2013, Instagram started selling adds to top brands. Six months later they began selling video ads. Now Instagram has introduced a feature for advertisers called “Carousel Ads”, which will help users to learn more about products they are interested in. They were designed specifically in response to marketers asking for a better way to tell their stories.
What are Carousel Ads?
Carousel Ads enhance advertising capabilities by allowing for multiple images and for clickable ads. Carousel Ads allows users to expand featured posts by swiping the image to the left. This shows them additional information, a learn more button and a link to the brand’s website. The ads also let the users swipe through multiple pages. This allows brands to create a full campaign instead of focusing on just one image. Instagram gave examples of how this could be used on their blog; a fashion brand could show individual pieces of a “look”, a car company could show different features of a new product model, or a food company could show the different ingredients that go into a meal.
If a user is not interested in what the brand is showing in their Carousel Ad they can just scroll past it. So as to not bombard users with this new format, Instagram is introducing it on a limited basis over the next few weeks.