Advertising on Instagram - The Need for a Clean Stream

Advertising on Instagram - The Need for a Clean Stream

Big Ideas

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December 18 2014
Big Ideas
Author: Stewart Moffatt
The days of an ad-free Instagram stream are over. Just as Instagram announced it had overtaken Twitter in terms of users, 300 million compared to Twitter’s 284 million – the photo sharing social media platform will be ramping up its advertising effort in Canada. 
Remember the days of clicking and playing a YouTube video without seeing an ad? Most people enjoyed watching what they wanted to without being bombarded with advertisements. I am of the view that few things are worse than the constant advertising “noise” that we are all accustomed to and subconsciously ignore. Advertising should be about building brand awareness and engaging an audience that is interested in your offering. As an avid skier, I don’t mind seeing a NorthFace ad before watching a ski video on YouTube. I like to be aware of the latest ski gear and technology. It gets frustrating when I go to watch a ski video and I see ads for air fresheners and cat food (I don’t own a cat!)
This is a huge takeaway for digital advertisers - we cannot spend enough effort improving our ad targeting methods. The only way to create music in an industry of manic noise is to engage those who want to be engaged with our brands.  Advertisers should be tasteful with how they advertise on Instagram. Check out Nike’s Instagram account - the posts are inspiring and the photography is fantastic. They know the platform and do it right!
As an Instagram user I welcome ads related to my interests but I will be using the (…) button to hide any unwelcomed ads. Instagram has stated that its goal is to provide users with a welcomed advertising experience. A few other social media platforms have stated similar claims without delivering. Will Instagram be the first? I hope so. 
I welcome basketball and sailing ads but if I see that Subway monkey show up on my phone I may need a new mobile.  
Stewart Moffatt

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