Why I’m All In on Instagram Ads

This decision is based on instinct more than data, because frankly, there’s not enough data. For reference here is the data for the first 10 days of advertising on both platforms.

For our purpose we only need to look at the top 2 categories, these are the ones I was A/B testing. I used the same images and the same wording for the ad sets on Instagram and Facebook. Although I got a lot more clicks to my site from Facebook, I did not get any conversions.

Instagram on the other hand gave me 2 conversions (actual laundry orders) with only 65 clicks. I don’t believe 2 conversions tells the whole story, even with more than 35k reach. The Facebook ads must have a conversion rate, but I’m not going to dump any more money down the toilet to find out what it is.

The reason I prefer Instagram is what Gary Vaynerchuk calls the attention graph. The people on Instagram are paying more attention to their feed. They are curating their feeds meticulously. Whereas Facebook users are used to random click bait nonsense and spam.

This behavior is remnant of the desktop era. Facebook emerged in an era where banner ads and interruptions in content were the norm. People have trained themselves not to look at the ads on Facebook.

With Instagram, every picture matters. Thus even the ads garner more attention on Instagram. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Instagram advertisement with over 16k likes.

Another behavior of Instagram users is to “Like” appealing content, even if it is an advertisement.

This means that even if someone doesn’t engage with the ad by going to my website, they may still “Like” my ad. That is huge! I now have access to a potential customer inside the app. Naturally, I follow everyone who likes my ad and begin engaging with their content in my stream.

Some of them even follow me back and now can see my content in their stream. This dynamic allows for much more engagement than Facebook, where even if someone likes your page, the algorithm will prevent them from seeing most of your posts.

Not only do I have more conversions on Instagram, I also have much more attention. I have been able to gain 20 or so followers in 10 days through the ads in addition to the 65 website clicks and 2 conversions.

Going forward I’ve decided to go “All in” on Instagram and abandon Facebook advertising altogether. I will keep a presence there but my attention will be 100% Instagram. I plan on not just creating ads but maintaining a quality account that improves my followers’ feeds rather than interrupts them.

Each platform is different. I’m starting to understand the differences well. What may pass for good content on Facebook or Snapchat will not necessarily translate to good content on Instagram. I think Instagram demands a little more of its content producers and I plan on putting in the extra effort.

To Do List

  1. Document the back-end process from order to delivery including calendar.
  2. Create Welcome Packages for new customers.
  3. Write a template email for reaching out to influencers to offer free service.
  4. Build a habit of sending out emails to influencers.
  5. Obtain a virtual office address.
  6. Add business to Google and other search engine maps.
  7. Create a loyalty program.
  8. Go Organic — detergent, dryer sheets, linen spray.

This story is part of a series documenting the journey of a 2016 Dallas startup called Feather. For your reference here is the Table of Contents for the series.

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