How Facebook and Instagram advertising come together and how they differ

As of now, Instagram is home to over 500million active monthly users and more advertisers than Twitter. It is also home to the vast advertising capabilities and targeting options passed down from Facebook, increasingly blooming into an advertising powerhouse. So where is Instagram advertising converging with Facebook advertising, and what are some of the key differences that marketers and advertisers must take into account?

We have already seen some successful features be transferred from Facebook to Instagram, starting with concise message- although the messaging was not adjusted for each platform, the brief and short nature of messaging has worked brilliantly on Instagram as it has on Facebook. Another way they converge is with creatives, top-performing Facebook creative can be entirely repurposed on Instagram. It may require mild adjustments for the form factor, but there is no need to go too crazy. If something works well on Facebook, it is safe to assume it will work well on Instagram, as both platforms share the same targeting. By repurposing your best Facebook ad images, Instagram ads can also draw the same impact, intent, likability, and relevance. On to a more speculative point, although Facebook’s highest performing ad types- product ads and video for carousel ads- are not yet available on Instagram, they are said to be well on their way, and many Instagram campaigns have proven that video and carousel ads benefit advertisers greatly.

However these platforms certainly differ, and surprisingly they may differ in as many ways as they converge. Some of these differences can be traced to Facebook’s greater time in the game as a platform; some are due to differences in audience composition. Mobile is extremely relevant for Instagram- it has grown to represent the largest share of Facebook’s ad revenue- and it’s 100% Instagram’s. Instagram’s landing page experience must be 100% mobile optimized to give advertisers a chance at high conversion rates. Another difference is that performance metrics don’t generally coincide, often, advertisers see better click-through rates than they do conversion rates- which can be linked to a bad landing page experience. When the experience is optimised for mobile, conversion rates can come close to Facebook’s, but in general terms, conversion rates have always lagged on Instagram. Finally, reports published that 90% of Instagram’s user base is under the age of 35.Not only is this astoundingly young, it also indicates that majority of the audience has lower purchasing power than Facebook’s more evenly aged audience. Calls to action phrased as “Learn More” and “Sign-Up” are more effective on Instagram rather than purchase call to actions, as Instagram users are more focused on engagement than purchase.

While there is plenty of developing potential for Instagram, there are a few cut-and-paste Facebook advertising features that serve Instagram perfectly just as they are. However, thanks to Facebook’s incredible advertising features such as targeting, segmentation, and top creatives- has a huge head start on ROI-positive Instagram campaigns. Undoubtedly new features are on the horizon, so keep an eye on new releases, tailor your conversion goals to your audience, and remember to test before across the platforms and tailor accordingly!