cheering crowd at concert

Instagram Introduces Clickable Ads!


For the first time ever, Instagram is making its ads clickable! This is something that Instagram has always been reluctant to do – to drive traffic away from their own site to those of advertisers.

In October 2013, the company made some changes, allowing ads, and later due to increased demand, video ads were also introduced. Prior to Instagram’s latest change, advertising was used for the purpose of brand recognition and influence. Companies used the quirky photo-sharing app to increase their following and better their reputation.

Apart from using the app to lift their brand, advertisers use of Instagram does not drive consumers to their own site.

Instagram had good reason for its reluctance towards clickable links for advertisers. The purpose of the app is for users to share and browse photos, not to allow brands to direct traffic away from the app towards the web.

Pressure from advertisers has forced Instagram to allow more expansive ways to reach consumers.

Staying true to their photo-sharing nature, in the next few weeks we will see the app’s answer to this issue in the form of “Carousel Ads”. These advertisements will only take up one space on the users feed, but will allow the user to swipe from side to side to see more details of the product or service. While viewing these photos, there will be an option to “Learn More”, which will lead the user to the associated URL.

The initial purpose of these advertisements will focus on brand knowledge, allowing the user to learn more if they wish. Eventually though, brands will be looking for ways to monetize on this and turn the social network into a means for buying and selling.


YouTube’s Brand-Sponsored Video Rules Hit New Levels

touchscreen interface

YouTube is prohibiting the use of brand features by its video creators unless the sponsor is willing to sign up for an advertising package with Google.

The video site has a number of video creators who work directly with brands. Now, however, the company has decided to alter its ad policies in order to tighten its rules on this type of brand-sponsored videos.

With these new policy changes, video creators will no longer be able to have overlays of sponsor logos and branded products without the sponsor paying Google to advertise there. Google wants these brands to depend on Google instead of using independent video creators.

There is of course not a lot of enthusiasm from video creators about these changes. While YouTube are describing this change as an amendment of existing policy, others are saying that it is a clear change which affects the way popular YouTubers and larger channels have been using the network. No longer can they boost their rating by featuring popular brands without having to share some of their profits with Google.

In similar policy changes, YouTube has introduced “product card” that allows brands to insert a six second advertisement or endorsement that will appear before their own video. Video creators can avail of this new feature as part of standard media packages.

Ordinarily, YouTube video creators generate revenue by working with external brands to feature their products in their videos. YouTube’s new policies do not allow this type of brand integration anymore unless the producer purchases a media package, giving a portion of their revenue to Google.

With publishers being left with little option other than to invest in media packages in order to feature sponsored video content, YouTube will receive a large proportion, 45% in most cases, of revenue.

snapchat-discover IMAGE

Snapchat Discover


    Snapchat, once a whimsical photo-sharing app, appears to be transitioning into a go-to destination for news and entertainment. Last weeks introduction of Discover has signified that companies are targeting the social media niche, exposing its users to highlighted news stories day-to-day.

In true Snapchat fashion, these stories are viewable as many times as the user wishes for 24 hours. The 11 lucky companies to be chosen for this new feature are CNN, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, ESPN, Food Network, National Geographic, People, Vice, Yahoo News and Warner Music Group. Every day these companies select highlights to show to Snapchat users. After 24 hours their videos expire, prompting them to consistently provide their audience with up-to-date news and entertainment.

This advance is breaking into a previously somewhat untapped market for these companies. The Snapchat user wants quick, current and entertaining stories. Discover reaches an audience who may not keep up with their other news outlets, and does so in a fun and quirky way.

                      snapchat-discover IMAGE


You Can Now Upload Your Own Video Clips to the Viddyad Editor

Our development team have been working on some major updates over the last month and we’re proud to announce that our most requested feature is finally available!

You now have the option to upload your own video clips directly to the Viddyad editor

See how easy it is below:

Uploading your own videos and images and using them in your video ad is free of charge, why not mix them up with some of the millions of stock videos and images available on our site?

File types and sizes

    • Only clips of file type MP4, M4V, MOV, MPG or WMV are accepted.
    • For medium videos, clips with a width of 640 and height of 360 pixels or higher are recommended.
    • For HD videos, clips with a width of 1920 and height of 1080 pixels or higher are recommended.

What kind of videos can I upload and include in my video ad?

The possibilities are endless, we have compiled a list of some of the ways you can include your own videos and images into your commercial. Remember, if you’re going to use your customer’s pictures or other types of content, ask their permission first.

    • Include fan content in your video ad – this could be a positive tweet they’ve tagged you in or an Instagram photo with a customer using your product or service.
    • Testimonial videos are a great sales driver, why not take some shots of customers giving feedback with your smartphone in store and include it in your video ad?
    • Show how your product is made, e.g. if you’re a burger bar, take some quick shots of a burger being cooked and include it in your ad.

Can I edit my uploaded video?

You can put text over your uploaded video and add the below images effects to your video clip.

Clip Options on Viddyad

So what are you waiting for, give it a try!


An Overview of Instagram Ads

Back in June 2013, Instagram launched their 15 second video feature and it immediately took off. Within 24 hours of its launch, 5 million videos were uploaded.

As of July 2014, photos are still the dominant content format on the network:

Currently the average photo receives an average of 37 interactions per 1,000 followers, while videos are behind with an average of 24 interactions per 1,000 followers. – source

How did Instagram advertising start?

Only months after launching the video feature, the advertising rumor mill swirled with “will they/won’t they advertise” articles popping up all over the internet. In November 2013, Instagram published this blog post letting their users know they would be introducing image advertising. Days later, it was followed up with a post on what these ads would look like – below is an example of an Instagram image ad:

Sponsored Instagram ad example

Testing Advertisers

Michael Kors Instagram profile

Michael Kors was the first brand to advertise on Instagram, they chose to launch their campaign with the below picture update. As with every new feature of any social media platform, there was some resistance, but overall, the ad was very successful. Here’s 3 quick stats on the ad, courtesy of TOTEMS:

  • The sponsored ad received 4 times as many likes as a regular update
  • The ad had an estimated global audience reached of 6.15 million
  • It received 218k likes within 18 hours, a 370% increase

Michael Kors instagram ad

Michael Kors was part of a test group of companies that were selected for Instagram advertising. Others were Adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, Burberry, General Electric, Levi’s, Lexus, Macy’s, PayPal and Starwood. A diverse bunch, their sponsored updates reflect their diversity well:


Levi's Instagram ad

 Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry's Instagram ad

In early October 2014 Instagram launched ads in Australia with the brand Vegemite. Canada is next on the list so watch this space.

Vegemite Instagram ad


Instagram advertisers may be varied, but their ads have one thing in common – they are some of the most creative online. This is down to the selection process for Instagram advertisers and the creative collaboration between Instagram and the advertisers, which produced the above ads:

“We work together from the beginning of a campaign—from the concept phase to production to final edit before a campaign goes live,” – Jim Squires, Instagram’s director of marketing.

Video ads

So far, advertisers can only use images in their ads. But video is on the horizon and may well be here in time for Christmas (which is a mere 4 months away). Again, the rumor mill is churning away, but it does look like they are testing video ads with some high fashion brands. The selection process will most likely remain the same.


Cost is a massive factor when advertising on any platform, Instagram are notoriously cagey about prices, but it’s obvious, the ads do not come cheap. Most articles on the cost of ads will put the price at a 6 figure sum.

What about small businesses?

Again, with the selection process and price, it’s not likely that ads will be available to many small businesses. The below quote confirms this:

 “We are focused on that high-end brand side” – Jim Squires, Instagram’s director of marketing.

But the rise of online advertising confirms what we already know – Advertising and video commercials are a key part of the branding strategy of any modern business.

Viddyad - Videos are everywhere