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Study: New Instagram Ad Call-to-Action Buttons are Driving Up ROI for Marketers

Written by: Andrew Waber, Market Insights and Media Relations Manager

Since Instagram advertising became widely available to marketers in August 2015, the company has been quick to optimize ad formats and capabilities to unlock higher returns, particularly for direct response advertisers. One recent change to Instagram ad formats is a new call-to-action (CTA) button format, introduced with the goal of increasing conversion rates for performance marketers driving mobile app downloads, online purchases, and more.

The new CTA format, which replaces a two-step overlay click experience, is a full-width button that appears directly below an ad’s image or video. The new format also moves the CTA text (like Shop Now or Install Now) to the left-hand side, where Instagram users are already accustomed to looking to like or comment on a post. Presumably, the proximity of the redesigned button to other interactive, next-step elements streamlines the act of conversion.

Instagram Ad CTA Button

The CTA button appears just above the like and comment icons, spanning the full width of the screen. When a user taps the ad’s image, the CTA button highlights blue, confirming their intent to click off Instagram.

Since Instagram introduced the new CTA format in June 2016, how has direct response advertising performance been impacted?

To find out, Nanigans analyzed performance across our base of game advertisers — one of the segments that has been the quickest to adopt and scale Instagram advertising. We compared Instagram ad metrics from the months before and after the new CTA design went into effect. To maintain consistency in advertising objectives, we looked specifically at image-based mobile app install ad campaign spend, sampling the associated 20 highest-spending advertisers. Month-over-month changes are expressed in aggregate as a weighted average based on a company’s total sampled ad spend.

Our study indicates that Instagram’s new CTA design is having a significant and positive effect for game advertisers, both in terms of click-to-install conversion rates (CVR) and cost-per-install (CPI). Ad click-through-rates (CTR) also showed moderate increases after the change was introduced.

The average increase in click-to-install conversion rate improved by 32%, while CPIs improved an average of 12%. With the new CTA design, CTRs rose an average of 6%.

After the introduction of Instagram’s new CTA design, game advertisers using Nanigans saw significantly higher performance


increase in click-to-install conversion rates (CVR)


improvement in cost-per-install (CPI)


increase in click-through rates (CTR)

Instagram CTA redesign GIF

While it’s only been one year since Instagram opened up its advertising ecosystem, it’s clear they are taking a page from Facebook’s playbook for constant iteration on ad products to maximize returns for marketers. Since the CTA tweak in June, we’ve already observed additional testing from Instagram, with the button becoming automatically highlighted after a short period of time for certain users.

During the early days of Facebook advertising, the company made regular tweaks to the placement, design, and functionality of ad units to optimize performance for all advertisers. Constant iteration proved to be a winning strategy, as advertisers enjoyed ever-increasing returns while user growth continued to soar. Instagram’s CTA update — and the resulting performance improvements — is a sign that the company is on a similar path to success.

For advertisers that have not yet scaled their efforts on Instagram, the introduction of this new high-performing CTA design is the perfect time to get started. Instagram will only continue to innovate their ad offerings to better serve both users and marketers, so the upside and growth potential on the channel is huge.

To learn how Nanigans advertising automation software can help you launch and scale profit-driven Instagram advertising, request a demo today!

Instagram Advertising: The Performance Marketer’s Guide to Finding and Scaling SuccessFree Guide: Find & Scale Instagram Advertising Success

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