An Overview of Instagram Ads

Back in June 2013, Instagram launched their 15 second video feature and it immediately took off. Within 24 hours of its launch, 5 million videos were uploaded.

As of July 2014, photos are still the dominant content format on the network:

Currently the average photo receives an average of 37 interactions per 1,000 followers, while videos are behind with an average of 24 interactions per 1,000 followers. – source

How did Instagram advertising start?

Only months after launching the video feature, the advertising rumor mill swirled with “will they/won’t they advertise” articles popping up all over the internet. In November 2013, Instagram published this blog post letting their users know they would be introducing image advertising. Days later, it was followed up with a post on what these ads would look like – below is an example of an Instagram image ad:

Sponsored Instagram ad example

Testing Advertisers

Michael Kors Instagram profile

Michael Kors was the first brand to advertise on Instagram, they chose to launch their campaign with the below picture update. As with every new feature of any social media platform, there was some resistance, but overall, the ad was very successful. Here’s 3 quick stats on the ad, courtesy of TOTEMS:

  • The sponsored ad received 4 times as many likes as a regular update
  • The ad had an estimated global audience reached of 6.15 million
  • It received 218k likes within 18 hours, a 370% increase

Michael Kors instagram ad

Michael Kors was part of a test group of companies that were selected for Instagram advertising. Others were Adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, Burberry, General Electric, Levi’s, Lexus, Macy’s, PayPal and Starwood. A diverse bunch, their sponsored updates reflect their diversity well:


Levi's Instagram ad

 Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry's Instagram ad

In early October 2014 Instagram launched ads in Australia with the brand Vegemite. Canada is next on the list so watch this space.

Vegemite Instagram ad


Instagram advertisers may be varied, but their ads have one thing in common – they are some of the most creative online. This is down to the selection process for Instagram advertisers and the creative collaboration between Instagram and the advertisers, which produced the above ads:

“We work together from the beginning of a campaign—from the concept phase to production to final edit before a campaign goes live,” – Jim Squires, Instagram’s director of marketing.

Video ads

So far, advertisers can only use images in their ads. But video is on the horizon and may well be here in time for Christmas (which is a mere 4 months away). Again, the rumor mill is churning away, but it does look like they are testing video ads with some high fashion brands. The selection process will most likely remain the same.


Cost is a massive factor when advertising on any platform, Instagram are notoriously cagey about prices, but it’s obvious, the ads do not come cheap. Most articles on the cost of ads will put the price at a 6 figure sum.

What about small businesses?

Again, with the selection process and price, it’s not likely that ads will be available to many small businesses. The below quote confirms this:

 “We are focused on that high-end brand side” – Jim Squires, Instagram’s director of marketing.

But the rise of online advertising confirms what we already know – Advertising and video commercials are a key part of the branding strategy of any modern business.

Viddyad - Videos are everywhere

3 Quick Tips for Using Video in Your Email Marketing

What’s a better way to communicate with your customers than video?  Pair your video with a great email campaign and you’re on to a winner. Here we’ll share some quick tips on effectively incorporating video into your email marketing campaign.

1. Segment your list based on email client 

All of your customer will not necessarily have the same email client, segment your customer email list to reflect this.

Embedded Video Support



2. Work around video support on email clients

To overcome the lack of video support on some email clients – do the following:

Put an image into your email that indicates that there is a video included. Have the image linking to your video, so when the image is clicked your video will pop up – see example below:

Online video content








3. Subject line

Including video in the subject line of your email is proven to significantly increase open rates. Also consider putting in your most recent offer, this will inspire further interest. For some tips on subject lines, this post by Hubspot is helpful.

If you don’t have a video ad already, get started with Viddyad now and create your video ad in just a few minutes.

Viddyad - Create a video ad online in minutes

85% of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video in March 2014

ComScore have released their latest online video rankings. For the first time this year, Google has dropped out of the top 3 online video ad properties. But it maintains its lead in the video content properties tables, as it has done since February.

LiveRail capturing the #1 position with 3.9 billion ad impressions. AOL, Inc. came in second with 3.8 billion ads, followed by BrightRoll Platform with 3.1 billion, Google Sites with 3.1 billion

Some of the more interesting stats that came out of this month report include the following: 

Video ads reached 54.3 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 170 times during the month.
The duration of the average online content video was 4.3 minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.

Time spent watching video ads totaled 10.9 billion minutes, with AOL, Inc. delivering the highest duration of video ads at 1.7 billion minutes.

 March has been the best month for Video ads in 2014, the table below represent percentages that video ads views took from the overall number of video views online. 

Month Percent of all videos viewed being video ads Percentage of minutes spent viewing video ads
Jan 35.6% 4.5%
Feb 33.7% 4.5%
March 38.1% 5.2%


With the percentage of minutes video spent watch video ads at a steady rate, we could see it break the 6% barrier over the summer months.

Have you joined the video advertising revolution yet? Try making your own video commercial today at (it only takes a few minutes!).

Viddyad - Create a video ad online in minutes

Getting Started with YouTube Advertising

Here’s a quick step by step guide to get your YouTube video ad campaign started.

First click here and you’ll be directed to the YouTube advertising homepage. Click the ‘Start advertising with YouTube’ button, follow the instructions below and you’ll be advertising on YouTube in no time.

1. Copy and paste the link to your video ad in the box

Selecting your video for YouTube advertising


2. You’ll need to put in some ad copy and choose a thumbnail. Your ad copy should highlight any promotions or offers your running, launch of a new product or a short and snappy line differentiating your product from others.

Create your video ad - YouTube advertising

After you fill in your ad copy you’ll be asked to choose whether you’d like viewers of your video to be directed to your website or YouTube channel


3. Choosing your budget is next, it’s quite reasonable at €7.27/$10.00 per day.

Your budget - YouTube video advertising


4. Choose your audience. This YouTube keyword tool will give you suggestions If you opt into having your video shown on the Google display network, your commercial will appear on websites that are relevant to your target audience. With this in mind, it’s advisable to target your audience by interests so your CPC is kept low.

YouTube advertising - target audience 



After that you’ll be redirected to your AdWords account to fill in billing details and review your plan and you’re ready to go!

Google Simplifies TrueView Video Ads

Google recently announced that TrueView video ad formats will be changed from the current three formats to a more manageable two.

Whats the difference?

TrueView video commercials currently offer the following formats:

  • TrueView in-stream ads
  • TrueView in-search ads
  • TrueView in-display ads

This will be changed to:

  • TrueView in-stream
  • TrueView in-display

This move will combine both in-search and in-display formats.

How will it make TrueView better?

In their blog post, Google state that this update will do the following:

1. Organizes TrueView around how a user interacts with the ad

2. Advertisers choose where they want their ads to appear at the campaign level

3. Deliver more relevant ads on the YouTube search page

What this means for existing advertisers? 

As with all of Google’s updates, it will be a seamless process and from May 15th, existing advertisers will be able to upgrade their current videos in a dedicated upgrade center. After April 15th, all new campaigns will use new TrueView settings.

Viddyad - Create a video ad online in minutes