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Brand Networks Charts Surge In Instagram Video

Everybody talks about how Instagram and Snapchat are reshaping video advertising but a new report from Brand Networks puts some interesting numbers to the trend, and the numbers are up, dramatically. As a matter of fact they’re up so much that as a preface the meat of the report. Brand Networks more or less asks, “What’s next?”

“The data in this report should not be compared to any prior or future analyses due to the fast-changing landscape of Instagram advertising, where ad types, metrics definitions, advertisers, and audiences are evolving rapidly,” the report says, directly before doing just that.

Brand Networks, an early member of the Instagram Partner Program, looked at 2.2 billion ad impressions by its clients in Q1 and discovered 58% of them were videos, not the still photos Instagram was built on. The build went from 43% in January to 59% in February and 65% in March. That’s awesome. In December, by comparison, that percentage was just a bit over 30%.

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Obviously Instagram noticed which way the wind was blowing, too. In late April, it upped the limit for Instagram videos to 60 seconds from just 15 seconds. It also did it armed with the knowledge that video viewing on Instagram has soared 40% in the six months prior.

So far. Brand Networks advertisers have been using Instagram mainly to build brand awareness, the company says, but it’s also noticed there are different strokes for different folks within categories. The fashion industry, Brand Networks notes, is leaning heavy on video ads, which makes up 71% of its total spend.

Retail and consumer packaged goods are using Instagram video in ways to lower their total CPMs.  According to Brand Networks, CPMs fell for clients in most major categories except  travel and telecommunications, and in the latter category, Instagram was the beneficiary of big spending because of a glut of sports events where telcoms wanted to be.  Live sports programming ought to be a big driver for Instagram this year, particularly because of the Olympics this summer.

What seems apparent, though, is that big ad growth on Instagram and Snapchat and Facebook is divvying up the pie like never before; what’s more, Instagram and Snapchat have perceptively younger audiences and that usually gets advertisers’ attention.  

Those two social media sites do the majority of their business via mobile devices, as do younger users, and that’s all good news for Instagram and probably for Brand Networks, whose customers including half of the Fortune 100 and whose turf is using social media for its clients. The Brand Networks report says the next step for video on Instagram might be a bigger push into “integrating direct response” into the mix. 

pj@mediapost.com

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