Instagram Advertising Case Study | Unified | Data, together.
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Renowned Auto Brand Drives More Engagement and Efficiency With Instagram’s Square Format

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Challenge

As any marketing professional will tell you, creative is at the heart of marketing. In fact, 65% of marketers believe that visual assets are critical to effectively communicating with consumers. Creative is even more important when a brand advertises on the industry’s most visually obsessed channel—Instagram. In contrast to users on other social platforms, Instagram’s 500MM users are laser-focused on photo and video content only, sifting through more than 95MM posts every day. So how can a brand successfully connect with customers and stand out from other companies on an app flooded with visually attractive content? This was the challenge that a Renowned Auto Brand decided to take head-on. Leveraging Unified’s experts and software, The Brand explored Instagram’s new landscape option to uncover key learnings about orientation and engagement.

Strategy

Can the smallest of details—such as photo size—make a big difference? With Instagram launching the landscape format in addition to the original square, The Brand aimed to answer this very question and determine whether or not the orientation of their creative would influence the ultimate success of their campaign. With the help of Unified’s team of experts, The Brand leveraged the Unified Platform’s unique campaign categorization to efficiently A/B test both formats using the following tactics:

CREATING CLEAN CREATIVE

For the A/B test, the creative was identical with the exception of using a square versus using a landscape format. As a secondary measure, the brand added a call to action encouraging users to click off-site to learn more about purchasing the car. If a simple change in orientation could go beyond awareness and engagement to impact user conversions as well, format would have much more force than previously thought.

REACHING FAR, BUT NOT FREQUENTLY

The Brand ran both campaigns with Facebook’s relatively new 24-hour reach and frequency feature. The short flight allowed marketers to do three main things. First, they could test their theory without risking a lot of budget. Second, they could guarantee a massive amount of reach without risking ad fatigue. Lastly, they could glean results quickly and use the learnings for an larger upcoming campaign The Brand was planning. The two campaigns ran concurrently to ensure that the time and date of the tests didn’t skew results.

TESTING THE TARGETING

True to A/B testing procedure, The Brand used the exact same targeting for both the square and landscape formats. In order to keep targeting low-risk as well, The Brand deployed a mix of broad and specialized tactics. The broader approach, which included wide-ranging age span and gender targeting, ensured a sizable reach that would level out the results. The more specific targeting, which included competitive conquesting, car interests and brand fanship, was included to allow analysis of which of the highest-value users were most deeply affected.

Results

26.1% Lower CPE With Square Compared To Landscape
30.3% More Engagement With Square Compared To Landscape

Conclusion

In this instance, a combination of simple creative, Facebook’s reach and frequency feature (heavy on the reach, light on the frequency), and broad targeting with a sprinkle of specified targets pushed The Renowned Brand to a successful campaign. As this case proved, manipulation of creative in subtle ways is clearly noticed by Instagram’s highly visual community and can have a visible impact on engagement. In fact, marketers should consider doing this kind of testing on Instagram’s sister channel Facebook as well to pinpoint what little changes can make a large difference for multiple audiences.

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