UPDATE: The wait is over. Earlier this month, Instagram switched on its API for ads, meaning anyone is now able to launch ad campaigns on the Facebook-owned social network.
And if you decide to utilize Instagram as a paid social channel, you won’t have to go through a dedicated sales rep (as was formerly the process). Creating ads with Instagram is now as simple as logging into third-party sites to create, target and place ads. The new process should have a familiar feel similar to Facebook’s Ads platform user experience.
Have you considered including Instagram ads as a part of your recruitment marketing strategy?
With over 300 million active users, Instagram is one of the most popular social networks in the world.
Recently, the Facebook-owned photo and video-sharing service announced an exciting update to its quickly booming Ads platform: Buy buttons, Interest Targeting and a public API.
Consumer brands rejoice!
But could these new advertising features also yield benefits for Talent Acquisition brands? Can recruitment marketing strategies leverage the power of a “Sign Up” or “Learn More” button on Instagram? We think so.
What the new features do:
Instagram’s new interactive buttons (which include Shop Now, Install Now, Sign Up, and Learn More) are designed to help advertisers accomplish more – “from awareness and message association to website visits and offline sales.” These new direct-response ad formats are currently being tested by a smaller pool of brands, but will eventually roll out to “large and small” businesses on Instagram.
Why it’s exciting:
This major announcement comes a year and a half after Instagram first launched in-feed ads – and marks the first time Instagram users will be able to interact with content beyond simply liking or commenting on a photo or video. With a massive user base (which continues to grow) and no organic reach challenges for brands, there’s no reason not to leverage Instagram as a marketing channel.
Why you should care:
While we don’t yet know everything about pricing tiers for Instagram’s new ad formats, there is no question that hundreds of millions of people are downloading and actively using the app every single day. If you’re considering a unique opportunity to create and share engaging, original content with potential job candidates, you need to move Instagram to the top of your list (sorry, Google+).
Who should use it:
Instagram has promised that brands of all sizes will have access to its new interactive buttons and Interest Targeting features (at a price, of course).
So should your brand use Instagram ads as a marketing tool?
Given Instagram’s popularity, its longevity as a Facebook-owned network, and its focus on connecting people around great visual content, the short answer is yes.
The longer answer involves research around your target audiences (“Are they on Instagram, and are they active users?”), an analysis of your visual content strategy (“Are you able to develop consistently engaging visual content for Instagram, and what would it look like?”) and a re-allocated paid social media budget (“How much money do we want to spend on Instagram – and how much are we currently spending on other social channels?”).
How you can use it:
For recruitment marketers, we think the Sign Up and Learn More buttons are most applicable as calls to action on Instagram. There are a few interesting ways to use these tools:
Promote your Talent Network on Instagram with the Sign Up button:
Consider sharing photos or videos of employees, office spaces, or something else unique to your company culture that would get users interested in learning more about your open jobs. With the Sign Up button directly below this content, potential applicants are one tap away from your brand’s Talent Network.
Use geo-targeting and the Learn More button to promote an upcoming hiring event:
Data shows that the majority of job candidates are very unlikely to actually apply for a job on mobile, so sharing individual job reqs on Instagram probably isn’t the best strategy. Instead, use the Learn More button to create awareness about an upcoming event: users can tap the Learn More button and visit an event landing page or micro-site generated within Instagram, and either RSVP (make it quick and easy to do) or bookmark the event/add it to their calendar on their mobile device.
What you can expect from it:
Job candidates aren’t applying to jobs on mobile (mostly because the right user experience doesn’t exist yet), so we don’t see Instagram – a mobile-first social network – as a reliable way of increasing the number of applications. Think of Instagram’s new ad products as valuable brand awareness tools. Use Instagram’s Interest Targeting to deliver engaging visual content to potential candidates. Drive career site traffic and encourage event RSVPs using the Sign Up and Learn More buttons. Experiment with different types of content and how Instagram’s new interactive ad formats can benefit your recruitment marketing strategy.