Instagram Carousel Ads

If you have been paying attention to your Instagram feed, every once in a while you have probably noticed an image from a brand you do not follow.

These are Instagram Ads. They come with a lot of scrutiny from the Instagram community as most of the comments on these ads are negative. We do not mind them- a lot of people do. Recently, they just announced a new advertising method for big brands: Carousel Ads. 


What are Carousel Ads?

Carousel Ads allow the user to scroll to the left to view more images of the brand. If you’re Mercedes Benz, which by the way CRUSHES it on Instagram, maybe you show 4 images of features on the new MLK. The best part is the “Learn More” button which allows the user to go directly to a landing page. Sure beats the heck out of telling your fans to go click the link in your bio! This feature offers brands an opportunity to direct sell to customers on Instagram which has been pretty difficult to do.

What does this mean for marketers?

Last night I had a phone conversation with Leah Mackey Shultz, Social Media Manager at Papa Johns International, and we discussed what Facebook and Instagram can do with their advertising efforts. We both agree that allowing Facebook and Instagram to interact with action based ads would be a big step up. Action based ads are triggered when someone views or engages with content on one platform and triggers an ad on another. Currently, only big brands with deep social media advertising pockets are allowed to place ads on Instagram.

See related post: Instagram Conversion Case Study

But for smaller brands, it would be really awesome to retarget fans and engaged users from Instagram content on their Facebook newsfeed. If you’re Joe’s Taco Shack in Birmingham, AL, engaged Instagram users on a picture from Tuesday taco night could receive a video in their FB newsfeed showing all the fun people have with their family and friends on Tuesday. That’s a basic example but hopefully you get the picture. When you think of each fan holding a book with your story, what are they going to see when they turn the next page? Creating content based on the customers persona but also their behaviors across multiple channels deepens the connection and story line for each fan. With ads, you have better control over what story they see next.

This is all new stuff, so what do you think about Instagram Ads? Or the ability to play back and forth between Instagram and Facebook?