Instagram ads seem to be following in Facebook’s footsteps with its new multi-image carousel ads. In a recent blog post, Instagram announced the new ad format that allows advertisers to present several images one after the other.
The Google Display Network also revealed display ads last year, so Instagram’s version of the dynamic display ad is clearly part of a larger trend towards dynamic content that makes more efficient use of existing ad space.
In this article, we’ll look at these display ads and explore their significance for the advertising industry and the marketing professional.
What The Carousel Ads Are
In their post, they claimed that ever since Instagram began offering advertising in 2013, advertisers have been wanting to tell “sequenced stories in beautiful, compelling ways that lead to meaningful results for their business.”
Users simply need to swipe left to cycle through the images.
Instagram compared these ads to multi-page print ads in magazines, with the added benefit that brands can include hyperlinks to other websites. This is perhaps one of the more important features of the ads, since, previously, Instagram ads wouldn’t allow outbound links in Instagram posts.
In the past, the most popular workaround has been placing internal links to Instagram profiles – the only place on the site that allows outbound links.
Over the next few weeks or months, expect to see a few variations on Instagram’s carousel ads as they test performance and obtain feedback from advertisers and users.
Dynamic Display Ads: From Facebook to Google
When taking in the big picture, we are clearly seeing the start of a trend towards dynamic display advertising…
Instagram ads aren’t too different from Facebook’s recently revealed product display ads.
Instagram’s multi-image carousel ads follow close on the heels of Facebook’s dynamic product ads.
Facebook’s new carousel ads share several features with the Instagram ads:
● Businesses can showcase several images or products at once.
● More images and products are likely to increase conversion rates.
● Showing off more products in the same ad space while increasing conversion rates will reduce costs for businesses.
Instagram’s carousel ads are rolling out later than Facebook’s. And they haven’t revealed as many details about the development process.
While Instagram is owned by Facebook, it certainly doesn’t have the same robust analytics and ad creation tools that Facebook has. For instance, Facebook’s carousel ads are specifically designed with ecommerce in mind: the ads can be integrated with product catalogs and real-time inventories.
Both Facebook’s and Instagram’s ads are similar to Google’s own dynamic display ads.
Like Facebook and Instagram, Google has also realized the value of dynamic display advertising. Google Display Network allows advertisers to include dynamic ads as part of their remarketing campaign.
These dynamic remarketing ads, which were rolled out in October, automatically feature products that were viewed within the Google Display Network.
Their “dynamic creative for remarketing” has much in common with Facebook product ads:
● Businesses can customize the look of ads based on pre-defined templates, then tailor the look and feel quickly and easily.
● Like Facebook’s ads, these dynamic remarketing ads take advantage of data that is designed to enhance click-throughs and conversions.
● These display ads are focused on remarketing products that have already been viewed by users.
What These Ads Tell Us About Industry Trends
The ability to react effectively to the curve relies on our ability to predict what happens next. And, as mentioned elsewhere on the CodeFuel blog, display advertising is trending towards dynamic, mobile, and video.
In order to keep up with the industry’s evolution toward personalized, dynamic marketing, advertisers and publishers will need to evolve their own campaigns to keep up.
Specifically, advertisers will need to keep up with these major industry trends:
Search and text ads are losing ground while display ads are gaining ground. People’s attention spans are shortening the more that we are bombarded with multimedia content every day. Images are easier to digest, they convey information immediately, and they are slowly eating up search ads’ market share.
People don’t just like pictures – they like moving pictures. Display ads are turning into video ads. Autoplay videos and video ads have already hit major social media networks, from Facebook to Tumblr to Twitter. And we’ll only see these trends continue over time.
Hardware will keep pushing the industry towards more dynamic display-oriented content. We’re already seeing big advances in augmented reality and virtual reality technology. These two technological trends will only end up increasing available screen size while decreasing hardware size. Mobile will take on a whole new meaning when content and ads can be displayed in 3D in virtual space directly to a customer’s mobile device…
For marketers to keep up with the curve, it’s always vital to watch the big picture and understand which way the technological wind is blowing. Marketers need to keep up with hardware developments and advertising trends – and the customer demand that is driving those trends.
So when new ad formats hit the market, the savvy marketing professional can take advantage of them fully knowing how to fit them into their existing campaigns and evolving strategies.