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Will Instagram’s New Clickable Carousel Ads Increase Click-Through Rates?

Published: March 11, 2015

In an apparent response to growing demand from advertisers, Instagram has recently begun to allow clickable ads within its new multi-photo carousel ad product. Instagram has never allowed the use of clickable ads until now, preferring that members of its popular social photo and video sharing application browse on-site images rather than encourage them to browse off-site Internet destinations.

The new linking capability is presently only open to advertisers who opt for Instagram’s carousel ad unit, a “storytelling” ad format that takes the audience through a sequence of four branded photos. Videos are not currently allowed, but this may change as the new carousel ad format continues to roll out nationally. A “Learn More” button displayed on the last image opens a link to an internal browser that takes members to an advertiser’s mobile site. With a single tap to the top bar, members are brought back to the Instagram app.

Instagram’s New Emphasis on Improving Advertiser’s Return-On-Investment
Instagram began offering advertisers the ability to tell their story with sponsored posts in November of 2013. Lacking the clickable element that enables viewers to access additional brand and product information, these ads were primarily intended for building brand awareness. With the new carousel ad unit, advertisers will have the opportunity to broaden their advertising strategy to feature ads that can drive clicks to a targeted landing page.

Carousel advertisers will be able to better measure the results of their Instagram ad spend beyond the traditional metrics of number of impressions, likes, and comments – with additional data on the number of viewers swiping through multiple images and clicking through to the advertiser’s site.

The Instagram Story

  • Instagram debuted to critical acclaim across the social media community in October of 2010.
  • In its first two months, Instagram attracted over one million members.
  • Instagram currently has an estimated 300 million monthly active members.
  • Over 70 million photos are shared on Instagram each day.

A New Way for Brands to Tell Stories on Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo.

How to Set Up Your Instagram Business Account
1. Select your Instagram username. If at all possible, use the same username for all of your social media accounts. Your username should be recognizable and easily remembered. Try to keep your username short, and don’t use special signs such as underscores.

2. Optimize your business profile. Keep your bio information under 150 characters. Use your main website URL unless you’re hosting a special campaign with a targeted landing page. Your logo image should measure 110 by 110 px. Your cover mosaic will be created after you have shared at least 7 posts. The largest image size in your cover mosaic is 409 by 409 px; standard Instagram photo size is 612 by 612 px.

3. Integrate Instagram into your overall social media strategy. Familiarize yourself with Instagram’s Terms of Service and define your strategy before you start to post. Vary your posting times until you determine the optimal schedule for maximizing engagement. Link your Instagram account with your other social media networks.

Growing Your Instagram Presence
You need to create an appealing account in order to increase your Instagram following. Share regularly and at the best times. Your content should be engaging and of the highest quality possible. Encourage engagement by reposting your follower’s best content and replying to comments.

  • Use a call-to-action, such as a contest, to drive engagement.
  • Promote your new Instagram account to your other social media networks.