Adventures in Instagram Advertising
We’ve been working with Twenty Four Seven Convenience Stores for nearly three months now. It’s not often that you come across a client that gives you the space to create, experiment and hone your own skills as an agency, but with TFS, we got to do just that.
“So have you ever run ads on Instagram?” they asked us in one of our early meetings.
Instagram advertising was relatively new at the time. We’d had a crack at demystifying the seemingly complex machinery of Facebook’s Power Editor but hadn’t been given the chance to use it.
So when TFS put that question to us, we admitted we’d never done it before, but were itching to give it a go. We knew our way around the Power Editor well enough, and that was all they needed to hand us the reigns of their social media marketing campaign for Diwali.
Our approach to Instagram advertising wasn’t very different to how we handle Facebook advertising. We established a goal right from the start: our ads would aim to increase footfalls to physical Twenty Four Seven Stores by leading people to the store locator on the TFS website. We would do this through a series of posts positioning Twenty Four Seven as the one-stop shop for all your Diwali needs – we’d target specific products, offers and deals that were unique to TFS. This task was made easier by the fact that there were a number of products available at Twenty Four Seven Stores that we knew people would be interested in but may not know where to find.
One of the key products we focussed on were TFS’s long-lasting smoke-free diyas. We decided to do a little bit of A/B testing and created two different posts for them.
The first was an illustration that called on the user to adopt a diya – we presented the diyas as little characters looking for a home.
The second was a more straightforward design that simply laid out the diyas in the shape of the number 8 and declared their features outright: ‘Go smoke-free this Diwali with long-lasting diyas’
We noticed that while the quirky ‘adopt a diya’ creative got more likes, the straightforward approach got us more responses – users tagged their friends, while others asked us where they could find these diyas (giving us the chance to lead them to our store locator!)
We have to admit, we were quite surprised ourselves to see the response our post on Soya kebabs – part of a series promoting TFS’s new range of kebabs – garnered. Like its Facebook counterpart, it was one of the posts that had the highest conversions in the form of clicks to the website, but it also got a lot of people talking in the comments. While we had promoted 3 different types of kebabs on Instagram, what was it about this particular post that got it the most attention?
We realised it came down to the uniqueness of the products. Kebabs are seen to be the domain of the hardcore non-vegetarian for whom they are an ubiquitous commodity. But what’s on offer for the vegetarian apart from the odd paneer tikka? (also available at TFS, by the way)
There’s not much, which is why with this creative, we found ourselves communicating with an audience that frequently feels overlooked when it comes to conversations around food – vegetarians. With this post, we had vegetarians (and non-vegetarians!) tagging friends with messages like ‘this is for you’ and ‘for all you shakahari people.’
But the real star of the campaign was a post we created to promote a TFS offer exclusive to their stores in Chandigarh. We marketed this post promoting a buy-one-get-one-free deal on hot dogs just like any other, but the response was incredible! Instagram users tagged their friends and made plans to meet at their nearest TFS stores. Others asked their partners to pick up a hot dog for them on their way over.
We think what made this post work was the fact that it talked about a tempting offer that was easy to avail AND depicted an aspirational situation in the creative. Having a snack with a friend on a weekend is something anyone can relate to, and the creative and supporting text made it easy for the reader to understand instantly what the deal was, and how he/she could claim it, along with a call to action to share it with a friend.
Playing with the Power Editor and Instagram advertising helped us learn a lot, not only about what kind of content and messaging works and elicits the most conversions, but also the kinds of people who were most active and engaged on social media. In this case we found that, even though we targetted an audience between the ages of 16 to 45, it was mostly young people between the ages of 16 to 25 who actively engaged with our posts and made plans to visit a physical store. We also found out that they were most active on weekends, including Fridays and Mondays – a surprise, considering how we are so used to people being most active on social media on weekday evenings.
So what’s next? Well with Christmas coming up, we’re ready to take what we’ve learned and kick off our next marketing adventure. You can follow our exploits over on Twenty Four Seven’s Facebook Page.