Instagram Paid Ads: What Does This Mean for B2B Marketers?

4 minute read

Upland Admin

The 15-second video could be one of the most influential pieces of content you create in 2014.

In recent months social media juggernauts Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram have shifted to make short video clips a high-commodity in the content world.

The first change occurred at the end of 2013. Facebook revamped its format to feature select video content in an auto-play format. The company decided to highlight its own content so that videos produced in the Facebook platform receive auto-play integration, while videos stemming from YouTube were reduced to thumbnails and must be clicked to play. This seemingly slight adjustment is actually considered the biggest change to the Facebook product in years.

The second chance occurred last week when Facebook-owned Instagram inked an ad-contract with Omnicom, a global advertising company whose more than 5,000 clients include big-time names like Pepsi, Bud Light, and AT&T. The contract won’t spur a shockwave. And user’s won’t see their Instagram feeds suddenly blow up with kitschy ads.

But together, the $100 billion social media company has effectively readied the turf for a huge surge in paid-video revenue.

Sponsored autoplay video posts are expected to be the “next great revenue stream” for Facebook. Digital video ad spending is expected to grow 40% next year to $5.72 billion, a huge gain on the total digital ad space which grew by only 23% last year and is expected to shrink, according to eMarketer.

In our opinion—because video outperforms virtually every other medium in terms of user-engagement—we think the 15-second video really might be the next big investment.

What Can You Do As A Content Marketer?

Photo Credit @jimmychin of Instagram

Get Ready.

If you haven’t hired an in-house videographer, consider doing so. Or get connected with a reliable freelancer. As soon as Facebook and Instagram open a new door for advertising, brands will rush to throw down some serious cash to get involved.

Already, the new paid platform is showing the kinds of results marketers drool over. In the first paid advertisement ever on Instagram, engagement tripled for ad spearhead Michael Kors. In their debut ad, Michael Kors received 150,000 Instagram “likes” in just a few hours, dwarfing their average 50,000 like-per-post average.

And that’s a “bad example.”

Other B2C brands who were given early access to Instagram’s paid ad feature (such as Ben & Jerry’s, Lexus, Levi’s, and GE) reported 5X to 88X engagement as compared to the brands’ typical posts, according to Curalate, a marketing and analytics company.

Consider Your Video Personality.

When starting to produce videos ads, consider your video personality. Video ads posted on Instagram should underscore a brand’s charm.

“If social media gives brands a voice, then Instagram gives them a personality,” says Kapost’s Chris Boulas senior online marketing manager.

Boulas, who’s spent 10 years in digital advertising, advises brands to build community through earning the attention of your audience rather than asking for it. Successful Facebook or Instagram video ads will be similar to all social media content: they need to be novel, authentic, real, tangential to user’s interests, and, at their very core, interesting to users.

Finally, Be Innovative.

15-seconds isn’t a lot of time. But it’s more than double the space that Vine allows, and plenty of time to make an impact on a future new customer. B2B marketers will need to really strap on their thinking caps in order to produce valuable short videos for their audiences. But the effect could be substantial. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Create videos at live events and conferences
  • Give a visual tour of your B2B space. Can you animate it? Can you make it into a series?
  • Develop a “15-Second Sound-Bites Series” of education information in your vertical
  • What about a video-based timeline of your vertical? What did the technology sector look like 10 years ago and how has it morphed?
  • Compile user-generated content into a video to tell a story about your user-base

Need More Resources?

Video as content is nothing new. But we can imagine as video demand increases, racking our brains for fresh, imaginative B2B marketing content could be tough. Help a marketer out and share your ideas for video content! Tweet at me (@jeanwrites) to share an idea, borrow an idea, or just join the conversation.

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