Does Instagram Have the Answer for Effective Social Media Advertising?

Instagram Enter AdvertisingAdvertisers running campaigns on the Internet and through mobile apps have to wonder just how effective these platforms can be.  Faced with rising concerns of sophisticated ad-blocking technologies, extremely low advertising click-through rates, and click fraud attributable to automated software, the decision to invest big advertising money in these platforms is not an easy one.

But there is another problem that also concerns advertisers – the value of the online and mobile properties on which ads appear. It is logical to assume ad placement on websites and apps is only effective if users are receptive to the advertisements. If users don’t pay attention or interact with an ad, then advertisers have to wonder what is the point of spending money placing the ad. This concern is especially an issue with social media.

If there is one question that has dogged social media since its inception, it is how these properties will make money through advertising. Social media users have historically not been receptive to advertising, at least not receptive given the number of interaction users have with Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and others on a daily basis. Maybe the ineffectiveness of advertising on social media can be blamed on the small screen size most people use to access social media (i.e. smartphone). Or maybe people using social media just want to communicate with others and are not necessarily looking to satisfy a specific need, which is what advertisers want and why they advertise.

Social media sites understand the challenges facing advertisers and are addressing how ads can be delivered in order to yield better response. For example, according to this Fortune story, Instagram (owned by Facebook) has big plans for generating advertising revenue by allowing almost anyone to advertise. For advertisers, they are offering special options, including video, for targeting customers.  It seems, that in some ways, their advertising options may be much more advanced than what other social media outlets offer.

The story indicates click-through rates for the early “test” advertisers were quite high. However, this is likely not going to be the case as thousands more advertisers try out Instagram and users become flooded with ads. Consequently, whether Instagram’s methods are a breakthrough for social media advertising remains to be seen.

Image by JAMoutinho

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