Although marketers are beginning to approach Facebook and Instagram with a single platform strategy, it still “comes down to the particular strategy at hand,” Manas said.
While a video campaign aimed more at upper-funnel branding can leverage Facebook and Instagram simultaneously to maximize the reach and frequency of user targeting, the closer an advertiser gets to performance metrics like direct-response or a commerce-oriented campaign, the more it makes sense to be “channel-specific,” Manas said.
That said, Facebook has run a mirror-image partner program for years, so why not just integrate Instagram advertising partners through the pre-existing platform initiative?
“Because Instagram is a distinct ecosystem with its own acquired marketer skill sets,” said Manas.
The platforms that are “simplifying” matters by absorbing scale and tech stack capabilities are also, somewhat counterintuitively, the ones introducing massive new complexity, he said. “It’s the same with Google or Amazon. You can push into more of the funnel by adding other platforms. With more scale, data and tech there are just more levers to pull.”
Manas described it as an indirect win for agencies, which have discovered a strong selling point to brands as a necessary way to coordinate across these “walled gardens,” though he prefers not to use the term.
And as with all empires, there are always more borderlands to tame.
The sutures are still coming out of the hybrid Facebook-Instagram advertising operation, but nobody’s stopping to rest.
“The next opportunity on the platform for us is commerce enablement and what we’ll be able to do with Facebook Messenger,” said Manas. “From what we’re seeing [around] the customer engagement and relationship management, there is an exciting prospect if it can be tied in.”