Georgie Wicks
April 23, 2021

Instagram will start testing ads on reels

Instagram is bringing ads to reels as more components of the eCommerce purchase journey are quickly being integrated into social media.

We are seeing a rapid expansion in social commerce. Shoppable formats and storefronts are maturing on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, all the while Instagram has just introduced ads to reels, only 12 months after launching the short-form vertical video format.

The ads will be mobile-first, vertical, and full-screen, similar to ads in stories. They will also mirror organic reels content, and can be up to 30 seconds long with users being able to comment, like, view, save, share, and skip. 

Australians are embracing short form video and advertisers are quickly gaining more opportunities to engage with audiences using video tools. It’s also easier than ever for Australians to make a purchase through social media. Instagram Shop was only introduced early in 2020 and posts on new features like Instagram Reels were made shoppable just a few months later. A couple of clicks is now all that is required for the 80% of Instagram users that follow a brand to make a purchase.

More than ever, shoppers want a friction-free purchase experience. According to a recent Deloitte report, 29% of social media users are likely to make a purchase on the same day they discover it on the platform. 

Social commerce is giving brands the ability to inject their products into a customer’s research journey and create a shortcut in the meandering path to purchase. It also taps into the power of social influence. PayPal’s mCommerce Index recently showed that 33% of Gen Z mobile shoppers make purchases when socialising with friends and more than half have made a spontaneous purchase, which is directly in line with social commerce’s “right now” promise.

It’s a strong proposition: meet customers where they hang out. 

How to make the most of ads in Instagram reels?

While convenience is still the most enticing factor of online shopping, 29% of consumers say that an entertaining shopping experience would encourage them to buy a product when buying online. 

Consumers want the convenience of digital blended with all the best elements of in-person interactions: connection, conversation, and personalisation. 

Be sure to make your campaign memorable, authentic, and engaging, without being disruptive. Tap into your audiences unique interests as they are leaning into the reels experience.

Enhance the entire social commerce experience. 

Also put your best face forward by ensuring your Instagram storefront is merchandised in the same way you would a physical or online store.

Make it easy for your customers to explore your product range and use product sets to give you more organisation and control over your feed. For example, showcasing product sets like tops, dresses, or new arrivals allows customers to quickly navigate to the most relevant category. It also allows you to lean on automation to ensure that your onsite promotions are reflected in your Facebook and Instagram shops. Don’t be afraid to start setting up your product feed, as the process has been simplified by most major eCommerce platforms. Also use colour and font customisations to help your shopfront to align with your brand and we expect these presentation features to advance further with time. 

The friction-free and entertaining nature of social commerce provides an exciting opportunity for brands to connect with their audiences, and every day brands are continuing to find innovative ways to leverage short form video. 

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