New Direct Response Ad Options Within Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is Facebook’s most successful Snapchat imitation - the other two less successful ones being WhatsApp Status and Facebook Stories. We'd seen stats around the end of April that showed Instagram stories hit 200 million daily active users surpassing Snapchat’s.

If you noticed, towards the end of last year, we had started seeing stories with the ability to swipe up for more information. Facebook had rolled out the ability for select profiles (verified profiles and profiles with more than 10k followers) to insert links in their Instagram Stories. These links came as a swipe up to  “See more” feature and according to Facebook reports, almost a month after the launch, they recorded that 15 to 25 percent of the people who saw the links were swiping on it.

With all this, it made total sense to see that Instagram Stories is starting a gradual roll-out on direct response ads worldwide.

This would allow brands and small businesses that haven't quite gotten enough following or the blue tick have a go at reaching a wider audience with specific CTAs per campaign objectives.

These ads would appear between stories as a single vertical photo or a vertical video of up to 15 seconds in length and would look basically like the "See more" feature above except with different Call To Action prompts. The expected Call To Action prompts include:

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Donate Now
  • Download
  • Learn More
  • Send Message
  • Request Time
  • Start Order
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch More


  • An extra channel to test efficiency in running conversion campaigns for your brands
  • Small business who already use have been using stories organically and getting results have a chance to scale up significantly


To create ads on Instagram stories; you can use Ads Manager or Power Editor. Please note that only 9:16 vertical images and video can be used for ads on stories, and will only be run on Instagram.

In Ads Manager:

  1. Go to Ads Manager
  2. Click Create an Ad
  3. Select the Reach, Video views, Conversions, App installs or Traffic objective
  4. In the Ad Set section, click Placements
  5. Select the Edit Placements, then select the Instagram placement
  6. Click Stories
  7. Follow the rest of the steps to continue building your ad campaign
  8. When you're ready, click Review Changes to publish your changes

In Power Editor:

  1. Go to Power Editor
  2. Select the Reach, Video views, Conversions, or Traffic objective
  3. In the Ad Set section, click Placements
  4. Select the Edit Placements, then select the Instagram placement
  5. Click Stories
  6. Follow the rest of the steps to continue building your ad campaign
  7. When you're ready, click Review Changes to publish your changes

Ads in Instagram Stories use the same targeting and measurement tools as ads that run in Feed on Facebook and Instagram. You can capture audiences who have seen ads in their stories and target them on Facebook or Instagram feed. You can also run stories ads targeted at audiences that have seen your ad on Facebook or Instagram feed.

Can't wait to see the first set of brands and businesses that would be trying this out. What do you think?




An analysis of two campaigns that went viral in Nigeria.


At my first real job, there was always a standard thing. Every time we convened to discuss campaigns ideas towards cracking a client’s brief; our ideas always needed to be towards virality. Nothing less.

The idea behind this (outside bragging rights, of course), is the same idea behind viral marketing; having people spread your message for you will have much more impact than when you have to share it yourself. 

Now, the million dollar question is; with the exceptionally high amount of content uploaded and shared on the internet every day, what are the chances of creating a campaign with such compelling content that can literally stop people in their tracks and cause them to do something?

While a number of people who would say that a lot viral content are random occurrences. Saying it's probably out of baby luck, and they would be right. There’s also an undeniable element of strategic planning and implementation that you can see in many viral campaigns, that brings the realization that there’s a lot more going on than luck. These are 2 campaign proofs:

I Don Port

 The amount of views on this video does no justice to how viral this campaign went at the time. This was a 2013 campaign MTN ran when the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) approved the mobile number portability.

The first underlying element to this campaign was the pro activeness that came with it. NCC launched the portability service on the 22nd of April, 2013 and that morning, we were served with this awesomeness from MTN. Next, was the beautiful element of surprise in it – seeing Saka (the guy with the funny leg dance), on an MTN ad. Little back story here; Saka  was on Etisalat’s campaigns prior to this ad. Then there was all the tiny elements; like his dress changing from green to yellow, the music, the humorous dance and the overall look and feel of the ad.

The virality of this campaign had cut across many sects; there were the advertising junkies who saw it as the best of brand wars we’d had in this market in ages. Then we had the music junkies who couldn’t stop the jingle from playing in their heads. And finally we had the wacky ones (my sect!) who tried hard to get the Saka dance. (Oh! We had the haters too, but they don’t count K).

All of these sects, went online and talked endlessly about this ad. And every talk on the new portability service was hinged on it.


I said I would blog about this campaign here , so yay, here we are! #Ikeepmyword! ;)

We know the Share A Coke initiative was a multinational campaign, so we cannot tie any rights to it being “Nigerian”. However, because it was just as successful in this market (trust me, it could have flopped), we shall assume – for the benefit of this post - that it was straight outta compton here.

Coca Cola basically replaced its iconic logo with all the popular Nigerian names on all its packaging. Giving consumers an opportunity to connect to the brand. They started by sending customized bottles packed in pretty boxes to as many celebrities as possible, and of course these ones took it to social to begin the #ShareACoke hashtag in Nigeria. This built anticipation in everyone before the customized bottles and cans eventually hit the stores (market).


When the customized bottles/cans hit the stores, we saw a seamless fusion of online and offline. The bottles were strategically placed in stores, it was literally the first thing you saw when you walked in. Then, we saw people excitedly take pictures and share it across platforms using the hashtag.

The Takeaways

There were too many viral touch points in this campaign. First, the backbone of the campaign. the emotional connection stemmed from finding you name on the bottles/cans; everyone was talking about that! Everyone was helping everyone else they knew to find their names. Everyone wanted everyone to know they had found their names. It was some sorta social chatter that no one got tired of. People even started sharing well crafted stories on the journey it took to finding their names or how long they intended to keep theirs. (I was one of the latter and I still have my can even though the coke in it is expired :D )

img_14092016_123042Next was the fact that this backbone nestled nicely on the impact User Generated Content (UGC) can have on any brand. Everyone knew the hashtag, everyone wanted to jump on it. Plus, Coca Cola went a step forward and gave people who could not find their names an opportunity to still have something to share online by sharing a link to a customized can generator where people could create virtual customized cans with their names and share online.

Finally, they pulled everyone in! They went to every neighborhood and made instant cans with desired names for everyone who walked up to their stand.

This campaign literally exploded.

According to Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On; "There is a science behind why people share. It's not chance, and it's not random, if you understand the underlying science of human behavior, you can predict what people are going to pass on, and you can craft your own contagious content--whether it's messages, products or ideas--that people are more likely to spread."

Know any other campaigns that went viral in Nigeria? Drop me a comment in the comment box below

nuli juice and uber

Understanding partnerships that matter: UBER Nigeria & Nuli Juice


This is a multifaceted post that I intend to use to touch on brand affinity & perception, the power of social/viral content and business partnerships. Stay with me ☺

So, last week, a rising SME; Nuli Juice, who had only just opened a store in Ikoyi couple of weeks ago, shared a harrowing video on their Instagram page showing policemen and local government officials standing around waiting to demolish the shops on the street (including theirs).

In the wake of this, UBER Nigeria did this:

Here are quick take outs from this effort:

Brand Affinity & Perception:

“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room” - Jeff Bezos

Amongst the many elements that determine the success and thriving of any brand, is how likable it is. If your brand were human, would people flock around to say hi and sit down to have a quick chat?

While social media is now one of the easiest ways to build your brand, there’s a general misconception that it is enough to make you likable. But it’s not.

Building likability for your brand should focus on four critical elements:

  • Realness: this guarantees your authenticity
  • Friendliness: communicate liking and openness to your customers
  • Relevance: connect with their interests, wants, and needs
  • Empathy: recognize, acknowledge, and experience their feelings

UBER Nigeria really just got more likable for this one post. Really. And it’s fair to say that if you did a survey on brand perception before and after this post, you’d see a hike in positive sentiments.

The Power of Social/Viral Content

The ability for any form of content to go viral is hinged on its trigger, that thing that gets people talking. In addition to that, emotion is on factor that drives sharing. Nuli Juice sharing their distress on social media brought the following:

  • Caused the video to go viral because it fired up anger with people which caused them to share
  • Unfettered brand awareness to Nuli Juice based on the earned media generated from the virality of their shared content (I, for one, didn’t know them till now)
  • Empathy and likability to the brand because their distress brought an human element to the business
  • Most probabaly birthed a new army of loyalists who would be willing to fight for the brand till it’s back on its feet again

Business Partnerships

UBER Nigeria’s partnership with Nuli Juice is quite a beautiful win-win, why;

  • They’ve both marketed to new customers who would most likely convert - the sect of Nuli Juice’s loyalists who don’t have or use the UBER app and the sect of UBER Nigeria’s loyalists who have never had anything from Nuli Juice (and are probably on the fitfam movement)
  • In a way, this also reinforms people that UBER can be used strictly for deliveries as well.

From these takeouts, as an SME, it’s important to:

  1. Create and build your brand like it’s a person and you want her to be likable. This ranges from customer service to packaging and importantly; communication on social media. It’ll go a long way in helping with gaining loyal customers.
  2. Give your content a human touch; a video showing random activities about the brand in a day or what happens before delivery. Anything that simply fosters a seeming personal relationship between the audiences and your brand.
  3. Look for partnerships that your brand can pull influrnce from and still give a brand benefit in return.

Are there any extra tips you can pull out from this fusion? Let me know in the comment section below!

checklist for new social media channel

5 questions to ask before getting on a new social media channel

Every social media manager has been here before.

Just when everything is going great with your brand’s social pages and your engagement rates are on fire, someone pops in and says “Hey, everyone is on this social media channel, even brands are doing great on there, why isn’t your brand leveraging on it?” and in a whim, the rat race begins to get in there ASAP!


Like Mobile, social is the future. Social networks keep changing, but not as fast as user behavior and content do, and that’ll lead to completely new networks that disrupt the status quo.

So, for a fact, there would always be new developments around this sect as the years go by. And while it is great to go with the times and be up to date as a brand, you do not need to be everywhere.

Social media explained with puff puff

Social Media explained using Puffpuff.

The key thing in this game is to consider where your brand strengths would shine the most and work at being a hundred percent there. There’s no point being average on 7 social media channels, when you can be upbeat on a random few, yes? So, how can you decipher where to play when considering expanding your social presence? Here are 5 questions to ask:

Are my target audience on this channel?

The second most important thing after understanding the need your brand was created to address, is to identify the businesses or individuals who will buy it and where to find them. The ability to identify these people is what helps in making right marketing decisions. In this case, different social networks have different user bases. For example, we know for certain that there are far more older adult internet users on Facebook (your parents and mine ;) ) than you can find on let’s say Snapchat. So if your brand was a solution for the older generation, you sorta have no business being on Snapchat.

Also, each of these networks attract users for different reasons and to cater to different user behaviors, hence, it’s important to keep in mind that the target audience for your brand might differ between departments. Your HR department might need you to be active on LinkedIn to sell the company as a whole as opposed to your marketing department who would need you to create brand affinity to drive sales.

You want to know where your target audience are enganging on social media and figure out a strategy to connect with them. So, is this new channel going to do that for your brand?

Can I create the right content for this channel, consistently?

Social media is really all about content. It is having relevant, interesting and consistent content that can be engaged with. Consistent, relevant content is what keeps your brand top of mind on any social channel, as well as, what brings in the views, interactions and leads. Every brand has that social channel that fits perfectly for their marketing endeavors.

For example, if your boss pops in and says, “Why aren’t we on Snapchat?” You want to consider how creative you can be with 5 seconds, if it can sell your brand in the way that you want it to, and how often you can make it happen. So here, it’s important to consider if a channel fits your message, where you will be getting content materials and how well you can sustain putting in the creative posts multiple times a week.

Will this channel fulfill a need different from my other channels?

Let’s say for example, you already have 2 existing social pages (most likely Facebook and Twitter) and then you get prompted to hop on Instagram. You definitely want to ask yourself if being on Instagram is going to project another brand angle that the other two aren’t already doing.


When you start another social channel, you’re building an audience (that you probably already have on two existing channels) all over again. Now, there really is no point if a user is following you on three different channels, only to get the same message said in three different ways (and many times it’s said the same way, because social managers try to find an easy way out and link the pages. IT’S WRONG!)

Unless there is a different content sect that your audience cannot receive on the existing channels and you feel the need to share, or you want a totally different audience from the already existing ones, there is not enough reason to launch a new channel.

New channels should serve a unique function from your existing ones.

 Do I have marketing budget to scale up on this channel?

When you consider how many social channels are going with Facebook and making new posts on newsfeeds algorithm-dependent, you’d understand the need to have a budget for your social channels.

So, Facebook for example, recently updated their newsfeed ranking to help users see more posts from friends and family on their pages first. Now, with the extent to which people share stuff, you find yourself clicking in and out of your newsfeed to view the content. Before long, you finger starts to hurt, you’re done with the scrolling and you get out. Wherein lies the chance for a new brand to be out there on this channel?

Advertising (and of course, smashing content)! With even a little spend, you get to boost your posts, thereby putting yourself in front of new followers. In additon, if there is budget available, ensure you have well defined goals before starting out.

What is the goal of being on this channel and what would mark as success?

Finally, and very importantly, you need to define the goals. Here, you want to ask yourself what value exactly would this channel bring my brand? Would it boost sales? Or create a stronger brand affinity? Would it foster a closer talkability with my target audience? Or reach a broader unreached sect of the target audience? The questions are as endless as they are important.

If there are no clearly defined goals for jumping in, there’s really no point taking the leap.  However, if these goals can be defined, you want to go a step further to set KPI’s that would determine that taking the leap was successful. For example, if a brand is joining Instagram because word out there says businesses thrive on that platform, the defined goal would be sales. KPI’s that determine success could be getting 20 sales leads per week and converting at least 70% of them.

When everything is taken into consideration, you have the final say J If all of these questions tick just right for you, by all means go ahead and jump in that channel (Snapchat?), if not, you could reconsider and realign to find the perfect way to fit you brand in or just leave it altogether.

How many social media channels does your brand have? Which of them do you find most effective or unnecessary? Let me know in the comments section below!

Creating strategies that work – Case study of Pepsi’s #ThingsILongThroatFor.

There are a number of reasons I could point out as to why the Pepsi #ThingsILongThroatFor campaign that ran between November and December last year totally worked for me; from the localized hashtag that resonated appropriately to this market to the pretty good use of media… it was plenty. However, for the purpose of this post, I would be picking out relevant aspects of this campaign to talk you through creating strategies that work.

Basic brief:

Pepsi Co wanted to get a higher cola market share (especially after the Share A Coke campaign – which was lit by the way! Still have a can with my nickname! – would blog on this soon enough). So they decided to give more value at the same price and introduced a new pet bottle size for their range of products into the Nigerian market. Now, they needed the most creative and effective way to drive this.

Let’s imagine you got this Pepsi Co brief and you were supposed to get back to them with a kick ass idea and strategy for this launch, what would be your first action?

Chances are that you would share the brief amongst the necessary people and all’a y’all would gather in the board room for a brainstorming session. Then, you would split the campaign in three; Pre-launch (build curiosity), Launch and Sustenance. You would probably have these scribbled on the board as individual headings, then ask everyone to start dropping ideas like it’s hot.  LOL.

While this isn’t necessarily wrong, I’ve learned that all the most successful campaigns (in the world!) followed a specific course of action and I will be sharing that with you! So,  first, when y’all are gathered in the board room, rather than go straight to the hot ideas, you want to:

1. Talk about the (target) audience:

 The thing about collectively talking about the brand’s audience is that it gives you further insight to who it is exactly you’re trying to reach with your idea.  It’s important that all the necessary information you can think of these people is laid out, as it would factor in the type communication you want to put out there and help you work the ideas in that direction.

image 2


In the case of this campaign, we saw that one of the biggest sects of Pepsi’s audience are the millennials and we know for certain that these ones are aspirational and  increasingly familiar with digital trends, hence, it was a perfect fusion when we noticed that the pre-launch phase of the campaign capitalized on these factors by starting a conversation on Twitter asking for the objects of their desire.

 You only get to this type of nitty gritty by extensively profiling your audience and detailing their most likely traits and how to get to them. This brings me to the next step.

2. Think Media 1st! (Or second?):

After you have profiled all the different sects of your audience, you want to play in their world for a bit, visualizing every type of media or digital channel (when it’s a strictly digital campaign) they’re exposed to on a day to day or even per time basis. This informs the decision on the media you would be adopting for each phase of the campaign and it helps fine tune the hot ideas to fit appropraitely. There’s nothing worse than “cropping” ideas to fit into multiple channels. (This happens a lot with creatives in this market weeps)

Still on the prelaunch phase of the Pepsi campaign, along with the banter on Twitter, there were multiple radio shows randomly asking people things they were longthroating for.  Of course, this raised further curiousity with the millenials, but bigger than that for me is that it also pulled in the extra sects of Pepsi’s audience who are accessible via that form of media, into the prelaunch phase.

 P.S.: 360 campaigns would always be BAE.

3.Change the Rules:

This is where your hot ideas come in :)

Saying “Think out of the box” is probably the most cliché sentence used during brainstorming sessions, but really, think out of the box. There’s more to marketing campaigns than splashing well done creatives on all the relevant media, there should always be a well rounded strategy around it. Ideas need to always pull or push something with your audience. Push; would be driving participation while pull could be getting them to get something out, nostalgia perhaps? (I’m not allowed to say this here – because strictly Nigerian content – but guys, Oreo has the best campaigns! They ALWAYS change the rules! You should look them up)

So with Pepsi, I think what I found different was, they sorta conveniently played on the biggest field where you can catch Nigerian users without having to put up any commitments. So it’s generally a thing in this space on social media especially, that to get people talking to your brand or trying something you really want them to, you need to give them some sorta reward. You know it and I know it too :)

 Now, the #ThingsILongThroatFor campaign started out with Pepsi’s ambassadors and random influencers asking people the objects of their desire. A lot of  other celebrities were on it as well, that was okay I guess. But then, Seyi Shay, jumped on it and said a host of things she longthroated for, one of which was to be a Pepsi ambassador (All of this was in the prelaunch phase). Then, suddenly, we see a tweet showing that Seyi Shay had been granted what she longthroated for and had been made a Pepsi ambassador!

What does this say to you? Be honest.


I wouldn’t know what your answer is but it did make a host of people think they might get what they might “suddenly” get what they longthroated for and this drove participation extensively and got the hashtag trending organically. 

4. Understand the roles of Owned, Paid and Earned Media

In case you aren’t already familiar with these terms, in one liners;

  • Owned media is any web property a brand owns, talk about websites, blogs, social medis channels etc.
  • Paid Media is advertising basically; PPC or display ads, social media ads, paid influencers etc.
  • Earned media is the fruit of both of them J It’s online word of mouth. All the engagement that comes from your owned and paid media in form of shares, mentions, likes, reposts, reblogs and sometimes “virality”. All earned media.

Now, campaigns always need to aim towards having the sweet fruit called earned media. I mean, there’s nothing sweeter than seeing people actually feeling your idea and talking about it in as many ways as possible.

However, all three of these elements are important to a digital strategy and it’s up to you to evaluate and decide where to allocate your resources bearing in mind that earned media is the fastest vehicle that drives sentiments around your brand.

The earned media the long throat campaign garnered was totally off the hook and even greater was it moved the number of followers on their twitter handle from less than a thousand to over 40,000 in two months.

5. Define KPIs

The end goal of every marketing endeavor is sales. Always put the end goal in the picture. It’s great to have all the buzz but is it translating directly to sales? Would there be an upward shift for the brand after the campaign is over and done with? It’s important to analyze this and the best way is to define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) early enough. You would need to consider if online brand affinity or better still, virality, would result in in-store purchases, and if not, how best to make it happen.

KPIs range from getting virality to number of lead conversions from specific channels, they would always be campaign specific and most importantly, they help you to continually observe, measure and optimize the campaign to ensure the set goals are met.

I feel like I could have touched more extensively on this, but it’d have turned into a term paper, so instead, if there’s some part you want to ask about, hit me up in the comment section below. Also, if this campaign didn’t gel with you, I’d love to know why, and, if  it did and there are extra elements I haven’t touched that you loved, please let me know too!

Oh, by the way, I really hated the creatives. I thought the ambassadors looked creepy with the overstretched necks.

Now, go forth and conquer those briefs! ;)