Instagram’s redesigned call-to-action button on its direct-response ads has contributed to higher conversion rates at lower effective costs for certain advertisers. And now it’s getting even more attention-getting features from Instagram in hopes of eliciting even more clicks.
In the month after Instagram reformatted the call-to-action from a right-hand button to a full-width bar in June 2016 — before and after photos available below — 20 gaming advertisers running image-only mobile app install ads saw the share of people who click on the ad then proceed to install their apps increase by 32 percent compared to the month before the change, which has helped the amount of money these marketers pay Instagram for each app install to drop by 12 percent over the same time frame, according to Nanigans’ findings.*
I had some question about these numbers that you might have, too. 1) Are gaming advertisers’ experiences with their mobile app install ads applicable for non-gaming advertisers running other types of direct-response campaigns on Instagram? 2) Why did Nanigans choose to zero in on gaming advertisers only and image-based mobile app install campaigns only? 3) Why did the click-to-install rate go up by 32 percent but the impression-to-click rate only by six percent?
All valid questions. Here are my speculative answers.
1) I wouldn’t count on it. While Nanigans’ findings may indicate a trend that could apply to other types of advertisers and/or Instagram’s other direct-response ad formats, Instagram’s mobile app install ads already outperform those other formats when it comes to getting clicks, according to agency execs.
2) Because gaming advertisers have been using Instagram’s click-based ads for longer, there are more image-based mobile app install campaigns to examine than video-based ones, and app-install ads provide a more consistent objective than an e-commerce brand promoting links to different products on its site, according to Nanigans Market Insights and Media Relations Manager Andrew Waber.
3) No idea.
Let’s spend some more time on #3. It’s a weird stat. A redesign that intended to draw more attention to an ad’s click-to-action button, as well as clicks, did an okay job drawing more attention and clicks, but an even better job driving after-the-click actions. Again, zero idea why that is. But here’s a guess: Maybe instead of eliciting more clicks in general, what the redesigned button is really doing is getting better noticed by people who are more likely to click on it and weren’t aware of that option.
Instagram is now trying to draw even more attention to these call-to-action buttons with new features that began rolling out earlier this month and were officially announced on Thursday. Now when an ad appears on someone’s screen for at least four seconds or when someone taps on the profile name above an ad, the call-to-action button’s background will turn from white to blue, effectively calling out to the person, “Hey, look at me, you can click me!”
Instagram will also highlight more information within the call-to-action button, such as a featured product’s price, the domain that the ad links to or a mobile app’s app store rating. This also appears designed to make it more likely that someone will not only click on the button but complete whatever the intended action is, like buying the product or installing the app.
And now, if the call-to-action button links to an advertiser’s site and is attached to a video ad, when someone clicks on the video to watch it with the sound on, Instagram will open the corresponding link and display the page underneath the video while it plays.
*If you’ve read this far, then you’re probably interested in the nitty-gritty of how Nanigans calculated its stats. The company weighted each figure based on how much money an advertiser spent on a campaign, meaning a click or install for a bigger-budget campaign was worth more than one for a low-budget campaign. Nanigans did this because smaller-budget campaigns can often see better-looking results given their smaller audiences, so this weighting is supposed to mitigate that effect, according to Nanigans Senior VP of Business Development Ben Tregoe.