What Is Thumb-Stopping Creative?

A photo of a hand giving a thumbs up

How Instagram wants us to create engaging content whilst giving them our money.

The Simply Measured LIFT Conference in Seattle came to a close with a keynote from <American Buzzword> Head of Monetization </American Buzzword> at Instagram, Vishal Shah. Whilst it wasn’t the most inspiring speeches of the whole conference, there was a key takeaway that we now know Instagram are after from advertisers: Thumb-stopping creative..

This term, now a regular in my social media marketing vocabulary, describes and summarises what all marketers want their audience to do – it epitomises the primary objective to any campaign on Instagram: to be noticed.

As we scroll down the feeds of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, what is it that makes our thumbs pause? Is it an interesting headline? Is it a video title? Is it the content? What was it about the content that made you stop? If you notice on Instagram, the captions aren’t the first thing you look at, it’s all about catching the eye.

According to Shah, there are three best practises we need to follow as marketers to be effective on Instagram:

  • Capture the imagination
    1. Be immersive in the platform
    2. Be relevant to your audience
  • Design for the frame
    1. Think visual first – that is the whole point of Instagram!
    2. Mobile first – Instagram is first and foremost a mobile app so always keep that in mind when creating content
  • Turn Inspiration to Action
    1. According to Shah, there shouldn’t be a divide between your brand and direct response.
    2. <buzzword> Story-selling</buzzword> is telling a story to sell your campaign.

So how is DTW going to use this new information for our clients?

With creativity at our heart, and amazing designers in house, we plan on continuing to capture the imagination of our client’s audience through creative, immersive content. As we talk to clients about their objectives, this thumb-stopping creative will be at the front of our minds.

seattle sunset Senior Strategist Jess Volpe went to Seattle and had a blast!