Instagram and Snapchat Test New Ad Features — The Potential Impact on Influencer Marketing

Instagram and Snapchat Test New Ad Features — The Potential Impact on Influencer Marketing

January 30, 2017 7:06 pm

Instagram and Snapchat are two of the most engaging platforms used in influencer marketing campaigns and they’re only going to continue to grow.  According to SmartInsights, in 2016 Snapchat was the “only brand to make major gains when compared to 2015,” as it moved from 4% users to 8%. 

Instagram held steady at 7%, but remains the most popular social network for passion-focused content. With 600 million monthly active users, its reach is significant.  The graph below showcases Snapchat and Instagram’s prominent places in the social network pecking order:

Social Media Brands Used Most Often-Instagram and Snapchat

Both companies continue to capitalize on their growth by testing new ad products that, if they stick, will impact the future of advertising in several ways.

Instagram Ad Features

Instagram has begun testing video ads inside its Stories section.  An extension of parent company Facebook’s “Live Video,” these video ads would allow advertisers the option to serve their ads into live and “formerly live” videos.

These video ad features, known as “mid-roll video,” would appear inside organic stories, bolstering the section created to compete with Snapchat.  They will auto-play between different stories and will last anywhere between 5 seconds for a photo or 15 minutes for a video.

Snapchat Ad Features

Snapchat’s latest additions include deep-linking and web auto-fill.  Deep-linking, which will appear in the platform’s between-stories video product Snap Ads during testing, allows consumers to get into a new app from Snapchat by swiping up and tapping a link.  That app could be a product page or a music playlist.  Deep-linking isn’t new with both Facebook and Instagram having used it for some time.  It has long been the wish of ecommerce brands and retention-focused advertisers to give them options for their spend.

The new auto-fill feature will allow viewers to fill out an advertiser’s lead generation form after seeing an ad with a simple tap.  To alleviate privacy issues, viewers are asked if they’d like to use the feature every time to protect against opting in to lists accidentally. It isn’t always an easy task to get consumers to spend their time providing personal information. Snapchat is banking on this new feature being a much simpler way for users to complete a form from their mobile device.

New Ad Features and the Future of Advertising  

Snapchat’s new ad features have the potential to completely change the face of advertising, at least according to eMarketer analyst Yory Wurmser:  “Snap’s new features make its advertising platform more amenable to the type of direct response advertising that could make it a social commerce player,” said. “Mobile retail above all is about relevant, compelling images and simplicity.”

Instagram’s new Stories ads have some brands concerned because they may not have control over the type of social videos their ads are attached to.  Without that control, they have no say over how or on what their ads appear.  One solution to this problem would be utilizing tagging like Facebook Live, where publishers can categorize what they make so brands know what’s in them.  While this idea has been discussed, Instagram has not yet decided to use a tag system, but plans to monitor the feedback they receive to determine how and how often the ads will appear.

There are other opportunities for advertisers to capitalize on this unique feature. Instagram will be more engaging than regular in-feed ads, improving the user experience.  And, users are more likely to watch the ads and take an action based upon what they’ve experienced.

Instagram and Snapchat Implications for Influencer Marketing

Snapchat’s new features have the potential to benefit influencers by broadening their relationship with ecommerce brands and retention-focused advertisers.  Snapchat’s features could also give marketers and brands a reason to buy Snapchat ads, helping them level the playing field with other social networks for a piece of the social commerce pie. That in turn could result in brands hiring influencers to shoot, creative burst campaigns to showcase a product or service.

Instagram’s Stories ads are tougher to forecast for influencers who create their content.  The ads will be inserted in the middle of a video rather than the front, making it more likely to be seen by viewers.  However, Instagram will not share revenue created with publishers, offering them no monetary incentive to showcase their work and monetize it.

For more information about Snapchat and Instagram, and how they can be used in influencer campaigns, contact Trending Family today!


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