As consumers spend more time glued to their smart phones and multi-tasking during commercial breaks, direct response advertisers are experimenting with taking their content online. And it's no wonder—a Nielsen survey we cited in 2015 found that simultaneous Facebook targeting and on-TV advertising produced increases in ad recall, brand linkage, and likeability of the brand.
As Instagram gets ready to roll out in-story vertical video ads, direct marketing media buyers are no doubt keeping watchful eyes on how mid-roll ads perform in this unique space. First, video production companies will have to take into account how to 'make the sell' on this unique platform. Harnessing video to drive direct purchase is how the DRTV industry has pioneered for years, but Instagram stories are ephemeral and fast-paced, and the ads will max out at fifteen seconds before disappearing into online ether. It will not be enough to simply repurpose DRTV ads for Instagram stories.
With 150 million users on stories every day, and the ability to hyper-target consumers based on Facebook insights, story spots would appear to be a marketer's dream. But while the app's user base and demographics profiles have spread over the years, the majority makeup is still largely women 18-29. It may take a lot of trial and error to see real results on a platform that, for all its ubiquity, is still niche. It will matter who the brand is targeting just as much as how it makes the sell.
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