Instagram rolled out its very first sponsored post on 1 November 2013.
Following Pinterest’s lead in trialling promoted pins earlier this year, Instagram has given fashion designer Michael Kors the opportunity to run the first advert on the photo sharing site.
This could be a mixed blessing.
Nitrogram has worked out a few metrics to uncover how successful this inaugural run was.
According to Nitrogram’s research, the ad was shown once to a select demographic of US Instagram users, outside of Michael Kors’ followers. It was also displayed in-feed, the same way as standard Instagrams.
The ad achieved 218,000 likes within 18 hours, this is a 370% increase.
Engagement was four times higher than normal for Michael Kors non-promoted posts. Although interestingly the sponsored post wasn’t featured on Instagram’s 'most popular' feed, while later non-sponsored posts by Michael Kors were featured.
Obviously the knock-on effect worked for Michael Kors in the long run.
Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom stated that by November 6 "over 5% of the impressions led to Likes". Techcrunch believes this led to a global audience of nearly 4.5m.
Of course the number of likes doesn’t necessarily reflect positive engagement. 20% of comments left under the advert were negative while only a very small amount showed any positive support.
Only 20 people expressed a desire to purchase a product.
The major reward that Michael Kors can be grateful for are the 33,000 new followers it achieved in the 18 hours following the ad’s posting.
This is a very embryonic stage in sponsored Instagrams though. It’s difficult to tell how much of the above engagement was accrued just through the novelty, or notoriety, of being the first advert posted on Instagram.
The results speak for themselves in terms of increase, however time will tell how useful these new followers will be to the brand and what success other brands can expect in the future.
For more information on marketing on Instagram here’s the 10 most shared brands on Instavid.