Today’s modern marketers are welcoming Facebook and Instagram's new Branded Content Ads as a means to bridge the gap between organic and paid social. No longer is there a divide between influencer marketing and ROI. Now, creativity is measurable and success is scalable. It’s a marketer’s dream.
So what exactly is a Branded Content Ad?
In its simplest form, a Branded Content Ad is a social ad format that allows marketers the ability to turn their top-performing influencer posts into an ad that’s more targeted, measurable and built for conversion.
Which formats are available?
The fantastic thing about a Branded Content Ad is that they can run in multiple formats across Instagram, Facebook, Messenger and Marketplace. See our visual guide here. In Instagram specifically, we’re talking feed, Carousels and currently the most effective of formats: Stories.
Why do Stories make outstanding Branded Content Ads?
THEY'RE MORE COMPELLING
The best thing about a Story is its ‘screen estate’ - we’re talking a full-screen takeover with zero distractions. It’s also the ideal format for video; and since videos hold our attention FIVE TIMES longer than a still image, it’s a more effective way to market your brand.
Not to mention, 60% of Stories are viewed with sound on, while in feed posts the sound is OFF by default.
THEY'RE MORE INTERACTIVE
Stories don’t just have to be an advertisement for your brand. The interactive polling sticker can be used to start a conversation and engage with your customers. Want to launch a new feature? Ask your customers what they want first. Dunkin’ Donuts nailed this when they used a poll to find out which donut consumers love more. The poll had a 20% response rate.
THE DIRECT RESPONSE RATE IS HIGHER
A Branded Content Ad in the feed has multiple ways a consumer can interact - they can Like, Comment or Tag a friend. Stories have only one form of interaction - a Swipe Up - meaning the direct response rate is higher leading to faster path to purchase.
The key difference between a Branded Content Ad and a regular ad from a brand is whose account the content is displayed from. A Branded Content Ad actually appears from the Influencer’s profile as it is technically their post that you have simply promoted. Therefore as a brand, you don’t have the power to manage comments or likes on their feed post. This means if you’d like to have more control, a Story - where consumers cannot publicly respond to - is the safer option.
Story ads are said to be less expensive than feed ads, but it takes just one look at Instagram’s abundance of case studies to believe it. Michael Kors saw a 60% lower cost per click when using Stories compared to other ad formats while Lancôme Turkey saw a 66% lower cost per lead with ads in Stories. It’s simple. A Story ads gets your more bang for your buck, especially on a tight budget.
THEY'RE HARD TO MISS
The Stories feature sits right at the top of everyone’s Instagram feed. Therefore your Branded Content Ad may have a greater chance of being seen than a post that may be further down feed.
THEY RESONATE BETTER WITH CONSUMERS
According to Stackla, 86% of consumers say authenticity is important “when deciding what brands they like and support”. Stories allow your brand to be more unpolished and human in your communications with consumers, without looking sloppy or unprofessional.
THEY CAN BE EASILY OPTIMISED
Facebook’s Video Creation Kit offers templates you can use when creating a video ad in Ads Manager. These creative templates can be used to optimise for Stories’ Branded Content Ads. Plus, it’ll outperform the automatic default template by 68% (Instagram for Business Brand Building Playbook 2020).
THEY REACH A WIDER AUDIENCE
Instagram Stories are used by 500 million users every day, with one third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories being from businesses. Great odds if you’re thinking of running a brand campaign on the platform.
So when you’re ready to elevate your influencer marketing strategy with Branded Content Ads, give Stories a go and judge for yourself.