Zalster’s Axel Storckenfeldt met Simon Myringer from Metro for the first time at “Instaday Stockholm,” a conference we arranged last fall regarding Instagram Ads. So, how is it going for the Swedish Metro-team with their Instagram Ads campaign?

    A bit morning tired I strolled away to a rustic café called Snickarbacken 7. There I met Simon, sipping his cup of tea. The weather was (like always in Sweden) a bit gray, but it didn’t affect Metros Digital Marketing Specialist. When I Met Simon at our conference in Stockholm, he was excited to get started with Instagram Ads, and he was almost as excited this time. If you understand Swedish, you can read the previous interview here.

    The big question everyone asked themselves previous to the launch was in what aspects this new marketing channel would be different from Facebook and other existing media. Many people, including Simon, have tried Influence marketing, but it’s always another story with paid ads. “We’ve noticed that it’s the ad quality that counts. You have to give the audience what they like and expect,” Simon said. I share the same experience, the most important thig is to think twice about the choice of ad images. Instagram is, as you know, a very graphical channel, which has to be endorsed.  On top of that, you’re competing for attention among artistic pictures of delicious dishes, pictures of your friend’s wedding and beautiful landscapes captured on vacations. It’s a hard job to break the fuzz with a sponsored ad.

    What campaigns will work on Instagram Ads?

    “We have seen that really specific or broad campaigns work the best. The things in between have shown none or very low ROI,” said Simon. He told me an example of a campaign with a very specific audience where they pushed that you could ask questions of the Swedish boy band “The Fooo” in a live chat. The campaign delivered excellent results. The CPC was under 3 cents which is incredible, almost unbelievable.

    He has also tried a broader campaign for a ski trip designed only for students. Because of the possibility of targeting only students, he knew that the ad would be appreciated among the entire targeted group. “Ski trips is something you like collectively, due to the student themed ad they feel a connection to the other peers that liked the ad. Almost gives it a community feeling,” he explained. The engagement was way higher on Instagram compared to the same ad on Facebook. We have seen the same phenomena on our other Zalster clients.

    What won’t work?

    As I said, it’s all about your ability to reach the targeted group. Instagram users are still not fully used to seeing ads in their stream. Therefore, it’s really important to show relevant ads. If you shoot from the hip, you might have a hard time getting the campaign going.

    “It’s impossible to ‘buy followers’ via Instagram Ads. We didn’t see as many new followers from the ads as we had hoped for,” said Simon with a sorry voice. I think that the explanation lays in the lack of functionality from Facebook’s Power Editor. You can’t choose new followers as a campaign goal. If you choose your profile link as CTA, it will open in the mobile web browser instead of in the app. Not many people are logged in on their browser if they have the app installed; therefore, there’s a high threshold to get by. But of course, you can still get new followers if they “of their own initiative” click your account name or picture from the ad and click “Follow.”

    Did Instagram Ads meet your expectations?

    “Instagram Ads is a very powerful way to reach out if you have the content for it. But it’s not a solution that fits every campaign,” he said. Facebook is a more commercial channel where you can easily encourage the user to take a wanted action. On the other hand, Instagram is much better when it comes to creating engagement and building relations with the user for a long term effect.

    After some other general conversations about marketing, the breakfast at Snickarebacken 7 came to an end. Axel and Simon walked their separate ways down the snow-filled streets of Stockholm.