Social media platforms are constantly creating new ways for users to make and engage with content but also for brands to make money.
With Instagram, it started with Instagram Stories – quick, temporary ‘in the moment’ snapshots that could be shared without a second’s thought. Stories were quickly monetised as ads were introduced between stories.
Then, Instagram launched Instagram Shopping and in-app payments. These features transformed Instagram into an ecommerce platform and is a perfect example of a new feature being introduced to help brands and influencers monetise the platform.
Now, Instagram’s latest feature, Reels, is introducing ads. So, what does this mean for influencer marketing and how can brands use Reels and ads in Reels to increase brand awareness?
What are Instagram Reels?
According to Instagram, Reels allow you to record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools, in a very similar format to challenger platform TikTok. So far, Reels are not sector specific and many brands and influencers have started to use Reels to produce innovative, creative content to showcase new products, build brand authenticity or to simply get the word out. For example, make-up brand Sephora recently used Reels to showcase make-up swatches on the back of a model’s hand, allowing viewers to ‘experience’ the product through a quick 15 second video.
What does ads in Reels mean for social media marketing opportunities?
Brands that engage in social media marketing will see ads in Reels as another way to engage with potential and current customers. This new feature will help a brand’s ad reach a greater audience as Reels are found in the discovery part of Instagram. This means people browse and watch Reels from a variety of different accounts that they don’t follow, therefore exposing them to new brands that might not have heard of.
Ads in Reels are not enough for brands…
There’s huge potential for brands to reach a greater audience when it comes to ads in Reels but to be successful, brands need to think of innovative and creative content ideas to capture the user’s attention. Catchy audio tunes, topical conversations, nice animations are what will attract attention to a brand’s ad placed in Reels.
To drive even more awareness, brands need to pair their ads with other forms of social media marketing, for example influencer marketing. Using influencers, alongside in app ads, can help brands better capture the attention of their target audience. Reels has allowed many influencers to demonstrate their creative flair and showcase brands in new, more enticing ways. For example, Dior make-up partnered with luxury influencer, intothefrow, to showcase its limited-edition make-up line through a fun Reel which was bound to capture any makeup enthusiast’s attention.
Partnering ads in Reels with influencer marketing allows brands to target specific consumer demographics engaged with a certain type of influencer whilst also exposing new audiences to the brand through ads. This two-pronged approach can help widen the reach of a campaign and grow brand awareness while also generating sales and consumer intent to purchase.
The launch of ads in Reels is the latest in a long line of e-commerce capabilities that Insatgram has developed as it continues to transition into an online shopping channel for brands as well as a social media platform. There’s always going to be an exciting new feature on Instagram for brands and influencers to use but it’s how well they use them which will make a difference. Using new features alone is not enough in order to increase brand awareness, brands need to use new features alongside existing social media marketing strategies to truly benefit.