Video of the Week: Steve Blank Evidence-based Entrepreneurship

For our video of the week, watch Steve Blank, Evidence-based Entrepreneurship at The Lean Startup. Steve is the author of The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company and one of the most influential thinkers around modern entrepreneurship (see 11 Great Ideas from Steve Blank). Enjoy!

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Vertical Ad Format Now Available on Instagram

Starting today, you can create photo and video ads on Instagram in the vertical format. You can now upload up to 4:5 aspect ratio format on Instagram feed for photos and videos.

Since the beginning, we’ve been thoughtful about rolling out ads on Instagram to give businesses and consumers the best experience possible. And ad formats are no exception. Portrait has long been available on the platform for posts, and is a common format for consuming mobile content. Knowing this, we wanted to give advertisers everywhere greater creative flexibility by bringing the vertical format to Instagram ads.

Advertisers around the globe like Mulberry (@mulberryengland), Guaraná Antartica (@guaranaantarctica) and LG USA (@lgusamobile) are already taking advantage of this new format.

And in initial tests, businesses are seeing better view rates using this ad format. For instance, Brazilian soft drink manufacturer, Guaraná Antarctica, ran a vertical video ad showing the history of Guaraná. “Vertical formats in mobile advertising are of great interest to us. With Instagram being such an important platform for our brand, we were really excited to test. First results seem promising!” — Richard Lee, Guaraná, Digital Manager

In the US, LG USA Mobile ran a video ad in the vertical format showcasing its LG V20’s new audio features.

While these examples show that Instagrammers respond to vertical ads, we encourage you to experiment and find out which format — vertical, square or landscape — works best for the story you want to tell.

We’re excited to offer more flexibility for advertisers creating on Instagram, and can’t wait to see what you’ll create.

Vertical Ad Format Now Available on Instagram

Starting today, you can create photo and video ads on Instagram in the vertical format. You can now upload up to 4:5 aspect ratio format on Instagram feed for photos and videos.

Since the beginning, we’ve been thoughtful about rolling out ads on Instagram to give businesses and consumers the best experience possible. And ad formats are no exception. Portrait has long been available on the platform for posts, and is a common format for consuming mobile content. Knowing this, we wanted to give advertisers everywhere greater creative flexibility by bringing the vertical format to Instagram ads.

Advertisers around the globe like Mulberry (@mulberryengland), Guaraná Antartica (@guaranaantarctica) and LG USA (@lgusamobile) are already taking advantage of this new format.

And in initial tests, businesses are seeing better view rates using this ad format. For instance, Brazilian soft drink manufacturer, Guaraná Antarctica, ran a vertical video ad showing the history of Guaraná. “Vertical formats in mobile advertising are of great interest to us. With Instagram being such an important platform for our brand, we were really excited to test. First results seem promising!” — Richard Lee, Guaraná, Digital Manager

In the US, LG USA Mobile ran a video ad in the vertical format showcasing its LG V20’s new audio features.

While these examples show that Instagrammers respond to vertical ads, we encourage you to experiment and find out which format — vertical, square or landscape — works best for the story you want to tell.

We’re excited to offer more flexibility for advertisers creating on Instagram, and can’t wait to see what you’ll create.

Jobs to be Done Framework

Clayton Christensen, author of the The Innovator’s Dilemma, also invented the “Jobs to be Done” framework.

From the Clayton Christensen Institute:

The jobs-to-be-done framework is a tool for evaluating the circumstances that arise in customers’ lives. Customers rarely make buying decisions around what the “average” customer in their category may do — but they often buy things because they find themselves with a problem they would like to solve. With an understanding of the “job” for which customers find themselves “hiring” a product or service, companies can more accurately develop and market products well-tailored to what customers are already trying to do.

Too often, entrepreneurs think in terms of features. If our product does X,Y, and Z, then people will buy it. Instead, think about the job that needs to be performed and how the solution will fit it. Think solutions to jobs, not features.

What else? What are some more thoughts on the jobs-to-be-done framework?

Jobs to be Done Framework

Clayton Christensen, author of the The Innovator’s Dilemma, also invented the “Jobs to be Done” framework.

From the Clayton Christensen Institute:

The jobs-to-be-done framework is a tool for evaluating the circumstances that arise in customers’ lives. Customers rarely make buying decisions around what the “average” customer in their category may do — but they often buy things because they find themselves with a problem they would like to solve. With an understanding of the “job” for which customers find themselves “hiring” a product or service, companies can more accurately develop and market products well-tailored to what customers are already trying to do.

Too often, entrepreneurs think in terms of features. If our product does X,Y, and Z, then people will buy it. Instead, think about the job that needs to be performed and how the solution will fit it. Think solutions to jobs, not features.

What else? What are some more thoughts on the jobs-to-be-done framework?

New to Instagram Stories: Boomerang Mentions and Links

Today, we’re introducing a few new tools to help you make your story even more fun: Boomerang and mentions. We’re also starting to test links inside some stories.

Boomerang

Boomerang lets you turn everyday business moments into something fun and unexpected. Now you can easily take a Boomerang right inside Instagram.

Swipe right from your feed to open the stories camera. A new format picker under the record button lets you select “Boomerang” mode. Tap record and the camera will stitch together a burst of photos into a mini video that plays forward and backward. Then share it to your story.

Mentions

Share who you’re with or who’s visiting your business by mentioning them in your story.

Mentioning people in stories works the same as it does in captions and comments. When you add text to your story, type “@” followed by a username and select the person you’d like to mention. Their username will appear underlined in your story. And when someone taps the mention, they’ll see a pop-up that takes them to that profile.

You’ll receive a notification in Direct when you’re mentioned in someone else’s story. Just tap the preview to go straight to the story for as long as it’s live. If someone you don’t follow mentions you, you’ll see the notification in your message requests.

‘See More’ Links

You may begin to spot “See More” links at the bottom of some stories. This is a test that lets verified accounts add links so it’s easy to learn more. From finding tour dates for Chance the Rapper (@chancetherapper) to learning about a new movie starring Dwayne Johnson (@therock) or reading a related article from Bustle (@bustle), tap “See More” or swipe up to view the link right inside the app.

To learn more about today’s updates, check out the Instagram Help Center.

These updates for Instagram Stories are available as part of Instagram version 9.7 available for iOS in the Apple App Store, for Android in Google Play and for Windows 10 in the Windows Store.