Mad Men‘s Donald Draper said it best when the character from the renowned period drama told Peggy Olson, “You are the product. You, feeling something.”
The feeling—the experience—that users take away from Instagram is what makes the platform the perfect hub for advertising. Advertising should inspire action, and the best way to inspire action is to elicit the emotions that drive us towards something. What triggers emotions? Visuals that mean something. Visuals linked to experiences.
In the days of Andy Warhol, it was the mass production of aesthetically-pleasing print art that pushed customers to purchase a product or buy a service. Today, Instagram is the imagery-based social experience that continues to grow as the most-used advertising tool. It appeals to the masses. Through Instagram, advertisers, by being spontaneous, can encourage user spontaneity.
Instagram now has 700,000 million monthly users. That number of individuals more likely to react to an ad—all it takes is a tap or swipe of the screen—is a whole lot larger than the ratio of customers likely to react to a print ad from the days of yore.
“Strengthening Relationships Through Shared Experiences”
Instagram’s mission—”strengthening relationships through shared experiences”—is exemplified in the network’s Instagram Stories. With Stories, users can strut their spontaneity through live video of their everyday lives. When advertisers are able to share in those real-time moments, whether the user is aware of it or not, they share a moment on a social level—no matter how minor it might be.
For example, as a user scrolls through Instagram Stories while spending an enjoyable summer day at the beach, a Ben & Jerry’s video ad may pop up. Whether or not that user clicks the ad or is persuaded to purchase a Ben & Jerry’s product, in that instance, the advertiser and the user share a brief moment. For a moment, Ben & Jerry’s is on the beach with that user.
Additionally, something about Ben & Jerry’s (or any ad) popping up in a user’s social feed sends a clear message that the user is in control. The user is the one with the power to take action. That understanding makes users more accepting of ads that pop up in their feed.
For your next campaign, when considering exactly what action you want consumers to take, your leading question should be this: What do you want them to feel? And how can Instagram help?