In early November, the first ads started appearing on the beloved Instagram platform. Cue the exclamation-laden industry headlines, unreasonably passionate consumer backlash, and excruciatingly elaborate analyses of early adopter campaigns. We've all seen this dance before around other platforms that enter the advertising fray, and it's playing out for Instagram as history suggested it would.
With only a few weeks under our belts and only a small handful of case studies to examine, it's hard to provide a definitive guide for the do's and don'ts of Instagram ads (though dammit if we marketing writers won't still try). However, in an industry where shiny objects lose their luster increasingly quickly and first movers get all the glory, you'd be doing your brand a disservice to not already be considering if and how this new opportunity might benefit your broader paid, owned, and earned media strategies.
Here are some basics to keep in mind as you eye this new visually rich ad option.