Instagram in-stream video ads driving more purchases than Story Ads: Report

  •   September 26, 2019

Advertisers wanting to drive more purchases on Instagram may want to focus on in-stream video ads over Story Ads, according to a recent report from Wibbitz. The online video editing platform surveyed 1,000 consumers in the U.S., UK and France to get a broad overview of user behavior on the platform. Of the 1,000 people surveyed, 73% said they were Instagram users.

In-feed Video ads versus Story Ads. Of the 73% of respondents who said they were Instagram users, 31% said they had purchased a product directly after watching a video on the platform. When digging into the types of video ads that resulted in a purchase, 27% of the respondents reported they bought something directly after watching an in-feed video ad, while only 12% said they had done the same after watching a video ad within an Instagram Story.

The survey includes a fairly small pool of Instagram users — less than 1,000 spread out across three countries — but the fact that twice as many of the survey respondents made a purchase after watching in-feed video ads versus a Story ad is notable.

Driving engagement via the Explore tab. Per Wibbitz survey, 26% of the Instagram users polled said they follow new brand accounts discovered via the Instagram Explore tab (a section on the app with curated content and branded accounts based on a user’s interests), at least, once a month. If you overlap this finding with Instagram’s own numbers — that more than half of its billion users visit the Explore tab every month — it translates into the Explore tab potentially driving a measurable amount of engagement for brands.

Also, in June, Instagram introduced Explore tab ads. At the time, the company said it was rolling out the ads “slowly and thoughtfully,” first testing them with promotions for the platform’s own IGTV and then, over the coming months, making them available to a handful of brands. (We’ve asked Instagram if more advertisers have received access to the Explore tab ads, but have not received a response.) With the amount of traffic the Explore tab is getting — and the number of followers it is helping brands collect — the Explore tab ads could offer an alternative to the already saturated in-feed ad inventory on Instagram.

Organic content: What videos to post and when to post them. How-to tutorials ranked as the most popular form of video content being watched on Instagram. They were far ahead of the second most popular content type which was behind-the-scenes type footage (80% compared to 66%). Of the top six most popular video themes, which also included interviews, news coverage and creative inspiration, motivational posts ranked last.

Of the 73% of survey respondents that said they use Instagram, 69% said they spend most of their time on the platform watching videos. And, the biggest majority of the Instagram users (33%) watch the most video between 8:00 pm and 10:59 pm. In other words, brands seeking more organic engagement on Instagram should be investing in more video content and sharing later in the evening when users are more likely to be scrolling through their feed.

Why we should care. Instagram consistently ranks as the preferred social platform for younger audiences. Ninety-five percent of the Gen Z respondents surveyed by Webbitz and 85% of the Millennials use Instagram. Knowing how younger audiences engage with brands on the app — and the type of content that is most likely to drive interactions — is key insight marketers need to optimize both their ad dollars and organic posts on the social network.


About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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