2016: The Year of Instagram

Following the global launch of Instagram ads in late-2015, Instagram is tipped to be the hot social media trend for 2016. Last year, the Facebook-owned social media platform announced that its Australian users are of the most active in the world – with 70% accessing their accounts daily.

While Facebook remains the global dominator of social media, user trends are shifting toward Instagram at a rapid rate, acquiring more than 1 million new Australian users in 2015 alone. A network that is not dominated by ads unlike its parent, the Instagram News Feed will be prime advertising space in 2016 a reasonable cost-per-click or cost-per-impression.

Instagram utilises Facebook’s algorithms to serve ads based on the targeting selected by the advertiser. Ads appear as if they were any other post, as a photo or video shared with a brief description. There are only two small differences that suggest a paid posts: the word ‘Sponsored’ appears about the photo or video, and the description can feature a call to action, often a website link or app download.

With an average brand engagement rate of 2.3% – compared to Facebook’s 0.2% and Twitter’s 0.02% – the use of Instagram’s ads is one of the most effective ways to promote a business via social media right now. Instagram’s user demographic is female-skewed and strongest in the 18 to 24 years age bracket. Unsurprisingly, this is demonstrated in the most popular interest categories including food, fashion, music and fitness.