Friday, October 25, 2013

Ads, ads, everywhere...but do you care...or even notice them?

Every time a web service decides to include advertisements on their screens, people seem to get up in arms. It happened to Facebook with Sponsored Posts, it happened to Google with Shared Endorsements. It also happened with Instagram when they indicated that ads would start appearing in the stream of photos.

Typically, the way this goes is that people scream and holler about how free services are getting overly commercial and messy with all of this marketing content. After a week or two things die down. After a little bit longer, people even stop noticing the ads.

Which, I guess, is a good thing for users if they can easily just ignore the marketing on a given page.

But from a marketing standpoint, the easy ability for someone to ignore ads is a bad thing. So much time and effort is spent to get a marketing campaign noticed. So much work goes into finding ways to place ads in the "right" spot on a webpage.

Well, there are a few ways to help avoid this pattern of users simply ignoring ads:

  1. Make the ads relevant and/or useful. I've written about that a number of times so I won't belabor that point.
  2. Make the ads really interesting. There are some TV ads that you just want to watch. You'll even pause/rewind your DVR to watch them. Believe it or not, those types of ads can even exist online.
And Point #2 is where I think & hope Instagram marketing is going. Take a look at some ads that Instagram hopes will pique its users interest and draw attention (and taps) to the sponsors:
This Is What Instagram Ads Look Like 

Skimming through the featured images, I think they fit well with what Instagram users are used to seeing. I mean they fit REALLY well. They look great in the square composition. They're thematically similar to what people tend to post on Instagram anyways (eg, vacations, food, fashion, selfies, or just cool lines/angles). Granted these are just initial examples and not every ad is going to fit so well, but I'd say that if Instagram works with marketers to help ensure this fit for the service, then users WILL notice them and they WILL care about them.

No comments: