Sunday, 8 November 2015

Instagram Ad Spam

There are many places I don't mind being advertised to, in fact there are many places I expect to be advertised to. Everywhere from my work, to my home, to my deathbed.

However, I don't enjoy being advertised to on Instagram. 

Instagram is a very personal app. Users are selective about who they follow, and weigh up whether they really want to commit to having certain content be part of their news-feed. Instagram is one of those rare social media sites where people are looking to discover; to search out their passions and be inspired. Users care about the content they are seeing; they will check their news-feed when they can dedicate the time to appreciate the content, and they will most likely scroll down until they reach the last photo they viewed, so as not to miss anything.

Unlike Facebook, users won't put up an album of photos, they'll choose that one special one which sums up the whole night. Unlike Twitter, they won't post every time they have a thought, they wait until it's something worth talking about. 

Now, does this sound like a place where people won't mind seeing an ad about toilet cleaner??

Basically, THERE ARE RULES. Brands can't rudely come into our news-feed with shit ads that don't look like Instagram-esque content.

Case in point (and what led me to write this post) was that this morning as I was checking my feed, longing to find out what I'd missed out on during the 8 hours I was foolishly asleep, and I saw FOUR sponsored ads.

The worst was this: 

Emirates decide to put their full-length TV ad on Instagram - a place where we only enjoy watching 15 second videos because we don't have the attention span for anything longer. 
Why have they just shoved the TV ad on Instagram instead of re-purposing it for Instagrammers?

This one was quite bad because it was just a boring ad.
Most users on Instagram use it to see content which is:
- Amusing
- Beautiful
- Creative
- Funny

Samsung - your ad ticked no boxes, therefore annoyed me.

This ad wasn't bad....

I follow 'I Fucking Love Science' on Facebook so this is appropriate targeting for me. The video wow-ed me by showing quick chemical reactions. However, when I went on the 'Science' profile, I was hoping for more fun videos like this, but there weren't, so I didn't follow. Users will often view Instagram profiles before following, just so they know what kind of content to expect. "Will you provide me with this kind of cool shit every day?" No? Then I'm not altering my follow/followers ratio for your brand.

This one was quite good actually:

You can't really go wrong with food on Instagram because, and I'm sure you're aware whether you use Instagram or not, photos of food and meals are hugely popular on the app.
This was cool because a video hand went into the photo of the profiteroles and picked one up, creating a 3D visual experience. 
Iceland are on the money with this ad because it's creative, something I haven't seen before on Instagram, seasonally relevant, tasty-looking and aesthetically pleasing (an important aspect for an app that has so many artistic users).

Murad Osmann & his wife became Instagram famous with their photo series; encompassing fashion, travel and beauty. Click here to view more.

Brands could be so much cleverer when it comes to social media. Instead of using it to blanket the same content over all channels, they should understand what consumers want from each channel, and then produce content which is relevant to users of that channel. For example, Twitter users might want to be more informed about current events, Facebook users might want to see things that is entertaining or informative... in this case, Instagram users want to see content that feels like Instagram. Brands have to stop acting like brands, and start acting like content producers; start acting like an Instagrammer.

Illy Coffee


Herschel Supply

 Brands have more data than ever available to enable them to tailor content to their consumer's passion points - the most powerful way to tap into their behaviours. Use these insights to produce meaningful content that fits with their lifestyle, bespoke for the platform you are advertising on.

That way you won't piss everyone off. (well, most people)

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