76 years ago the world saw its first TV ad
76 years ago the world saw its first television ad. "America runs on Bulova time." That was it. It was all they needed to stand out. No music, no moving parts. Simply a graphic of the US with their logo. The ad cost Bulova $9 to air.
In 1922, New York radio station WEAF broadcast the first paid radio commercial for the Hawthorne Court Apartments in Jackson Heights.
We live in a much noisier world now. Our attention is split so many different ways, it's easy to become numb to the incessant barrage of companies vying for our attention. There are hundreds of ad platforms to choose from. But which one is right for you?
The obvious answer is to go where the people are engaging the most. This is constantly changing. One day it could be Google, the next might be Facebook. If you're not paying attention, you could be wasting your time on a platform that isn't performing well.
The Platform You Need To Be On
Instagram has over 400 million users now. It's massive and still growing. 80 million photos are shared daily. Engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter. It's currently the obvious choice. Without engagement, you are simply making noise.
Michael Kors was an early adopter of the Instagram ad. Their first ad brought them, 40,000 new followers. Comparatively, their unsponsored post pulled in roughly 16x fewer followers.
Same Thing, Different Platform?
Not exactly. Instagram is unique when it comes to its ad platform. What worked on Google or Facebook, won't work on Instagram. Users of Instagram expect a different experience.
Tell Your Story
Use Instagram's platform to tell your brand story. Because of its more intimate nature, you have the chance to be the only thing on the user's screen, if only for a second. People are on Instagram because they care about their friend's stories. Don't mess it up by shoving pricing and features down their throat. Focus on the benefits of your brand and the engagement will follow.
Don't Stand Out
We're trained to think whoever is the loudest and most "unique" will get the click. Quite the opposite on Instagram. When you're scrolling through your feed of friends and family posts, you see photos and collages. What happens when you see a post full of words? It screams "advertisement" and is quickly dismissed.
In contrast, you're scrolling through and see a video or photo of a guy in a suit or a woman wearing a beautiful sun dress. Then you look to see who posted it, only to find out it can from your favorite clothing brand company. It looks like any other post which allows customers to engage without feeling like they're being sold.
Really think about you want from your ad. Are you selling a product? Are you trying to build a following? Whatever your goal may be, it is crucial you stay focused. Don't try and do everything in one ad. For example, if you sell clothing, focus on promoting one dress or one pair of shoes. Have the post link to a page specifically supporting your ad. Somewhere they could easily purchase your shoes or quickly browse similar items. You will quickly lose your customer if your advertisement links to your home page without any kind of call to action.
If you're considering your next advertising move, Instagram is definitely worth exploring. With its extremely high customer engagement, you can't go wrong with the right ad.