Channel Surfing

Do you have a great ad? An ad which really captures your brand, has a strong call to action and has been perfectly targeted to your audience and you are ready to roll it out? Those are all the marketing boxes ticked. Right? Wrong. Is it targeted to your channel?

Instagram Advertising

As advertising channels segment further, marketers are faced with the prospect of using many different channels through which they build relationships, develop brands and sell tickets. More than ever before in the past. Print covers an ever increasing group of newspapers and magazines which are constantly developing their advertising offerings. Television now has new options for on-demand alternatives. And digital . . . Don’t even get me started. That really is a never-ending story!

Instagram is one of the latest updates when it comes to ‘pay-to-play’ advertising.

Facebook conquered this barrier a long time ago with brand pages constantly dealing with organic posts which reach 1% of their followers. But Instagram is yet to get there. (Emphasis on the ‘yet’. They are owned by Facebook after all and it is only a matter of time!).

There has recently been a large amount of noise around Instagram advertising. This new update allows brands to move their Facebook advertising across to Instagram and provides endless opportunities for re-targeting users as they move from one app to the other. While some brands juggle these two social mediums really well, others are breaking the one cardinal rule constantly.

What is that rule, you ask?

Thou shalt not roll out the same ad across both platforms.

Just as you would change your ad for television and print, Facebook and Instagram need to be treated as completely different channels because that is how customers approach them. You may have followers who have liked your page on Facebook and followed your posts on Instagram, but they don’t want to see the same style of ads on both platforms. There is a reason why they have opened up the Instagram app and not Facebook.

Instagram is based in pictures. It’s users want to see ‘thumb-stopping’ visual imagery. Imagery which helps them escape from their daily lives. That is not what users are looking for on Facebook. They are searching for information, updates, and click-throughs. So imagine if you moved your typical Facebook sales advertising over to Instagram. Photos which have been plastered with discount star bursts and beams signifying a special offer. While users are used to seeing these kind of calls to action on Facebook, it is the quickest way to get blocked on Instagram.

Because that is not why users are using the platform – and they are not yet ready to have their Instagram feed flooded with paid content.

Want to know the secret? It all comes back to re-targeting. Build your brand on Instagram with plenty of beautiful visual imagery, subtle product placement and thumb-stopping imagery. Then hit them up over on Facebook to click through and make the purchase.

You would never send a 30-second television commercial to The Age to print in their ad space. So why would you send your Facebook ad to Instagram?