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What are Click-to-Experience (CTX) Ads?

Fara Rosenzweig
What are Click-to-Experience (CTX) Ads?

Picture this: You’re browsing Instagram, and you come across an ad that doesn’t just ask you to click a button but promises a full-blown experience.




That’s exactly what Click-to-Experience (CTX) Ads are all about!


CTX ads are an innovative form of digital advertising that goes beyond the traditional click-to-visit approach. Instead of directing users to a landing page, these ads create an immersive customer experience in the social messenger. Think interactive content, mini-games, quizzes, or even augmented reality features. It’s like taking your audience on a mini-adventure – all within the ad itself!


Why Should You Care About CTX Ads?

Let’s face it: Traditional ads can sometimes feel a bit… meh. CTX ads, on the other hand, are all about engagement and fun. Here’s why they’re a game-changer:

  1. Higher Engagement: By offering an interactive experience, CTX ads keep users hooked. The longer they engage with your ad, the better your chances of converting them into customers.
  2. Memorable Impressions: Experiences are more memorable than static ads. CTX ads help your brand stand out in the crowded digital landscape.
  3. Driving Sales Faster: CTX ads streamline the customer journey, providing an engaging experience that leads directly to a purchase. This fast-tracks the sales process, turning curious browsers into loyal buyers more quickly.
  4. Enhanced Shopping Experience: CTX ads integrate shopping directly into the user experience, making it easier for customers to explore products, make informed decisions, and complete purchases without ever leaving the social platform.
  5. Better Metrics: With CTX ads, you can track user interactions in real-time. This means more detailed insights into what works and what doesn’t.

Note: CTX ads sometimes may be called Click-to-Messenger Ads or Click-to-DM Ads.

The Rise of CTX Ads on Social Media

Social media platforms, especially Instagram, have become fertile ground for CTX ads. With their visually-driven content and highly engaged user base, platforms like Instagram offer the perfect environment for immersive ad experiences. Instagram’s features, such as Stories, Reels, and in-feed posts, provide multiple touch points for CTX ads to thrive.


How to Run CTX Ads Like a Pro

Ready to jump on the CTX ad bandwagon? Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:


1. Define Your Goals


Before you start crafting your CTX ad, ask yourself: What do you want to achieve? Whether it’s boosting brand awareness, driving sales, or gathering user data, having a clear goal will guide your creative process.


For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, you might focus on creating a fun and memorable experience that users will want to share with their friends. On the other hand, if your goal is to drive sales, you might design an interactive product demo that highlights the unique features of your product.


2. Know Your Audience


Understanding your audience is key. What are their interests? What type of interactive content will they enjoy? The more you know about your target audience, the more effective your CTX ad will be.


Instagram provides valuable insights into user demographics, interests, and behaviors, making it easier to tailor your CTX ad to the right audience. Utilize Instagram Insights to gather data about your followers and create personas that represent your ideal customers.


3. Craft an Engaging Experience

This is where the magic happens! Create an experience that’s not only fun but also aligns with your brand message. Whether it’s a mini-game, a quiz, or an interactive video, make sure it’s something that will captivate your audience.


Here are a few ideas:

  • Interactive Quizzes: Create a quiz that helps users discover something new about themselves or your product. For example, a beauty brand might create a quiz that recommends the perfect skincare routine based on the user’s skin type.
  • Mini-Games: Design a simple game that showcases your product or brand in a unique way. For instance, a food brand could create a cooking game where users collect ingredients to make a recipe featuring their products.
  • Virtual Shopping Tours: Create a virtual shopping experience where users can explore your store, view product details, and even make purchases directly within the ad. This can be particularly effective for fashion and home decor brands.


4. Choose the Right Platform


CTX ads can be run on various platforms, but Instagram is a prime choice for many brands due to its visual nature and active user base. Choose the platform that best suits your audience and campaign goals.


Instagram Stories are particularly effective for CTX ads due to their immersive, full-screen format. These features allow users to engage with your ad without any distractions, making it easier to create a seamless and engaging experience.


5. Test and Optimize


Like any marketing campaign, testing is crucial. Run A/B tests to see which versions of your CTX ad perform best. Use the insights gained to tweak and optimize your ad for better results.

Pay attention to metrics such as engagement rate, click-through rate (CTR), and conversion rate. Instagram provides detailed analytics for each ad format, allowing you to track performance and make data-driven decisions.

Real-Life Example: CTX Ads on Instagram

At, we’ve seen firsthand how powerful CTX ads can be, especially on Instagram. Let’s walk through a hypothetical example to illustrate how you can create an engaging CTX ad campaign.


Campaign Objective: Increase brand awareness and drive engagement.


Target Audience: Millennials and Gen Z users interested in clean beauty products.


Ad Format: Instagram Feed Ads


Creative Concept: An interactive quiz that matches users with their ideal beauty product based on their preferences.



  1. Teaser Story: Start with an ad that piques users’ interest. Use eye-catching visuals and a compelling call-to-action (CTA) to encourage users to click and take the quiz.
  2. Interactive Quiz: Once users clicks, they’re taken to an interactive quiz within the Instagram DMs. The quiz features a series of fun and engaging questions about their preferences and needs.
  3. Personalized Results: After completing the quiz, users receive personalized results that recommend the ideal beauty product for them. The results include a link to the product for the shopper to purchase right away. 
  4. Shareable Content: Encourage users to share their quiz results with their followers. Provide an easy way for users to share a custom graphic that highlights their recommended product and includes a branded hashtag.


See how JCPenney drove 3.8x high conversions. Check it out

Measuring CTX Success

To measure the success of your CTX ad campaign, track the following key metrics:

  • Engagement Rate: The percentage of users who interacted with your ad. Higher engagement rates indicate that your ad resonated with your audience.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of users who clicked on your CTA. This metric helps you understand how effective your ad is at driving users to take action.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of users who completed a desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. This metric indicates the overall effectiveness of your ad campaign.
  • Share Rate: The percentage of users who shared your ad or interactive content with their followers. A high share rate can amplify your ad’s reach and increase brand awareness.

Bringing CTX Ads All Together

CTX ads are more than just a buzzword – they’re a fresh, exciting way to connect with your audience on a deeper level. By offering an engaging and memorable experience, you can make your brand stand out and achieve your marketing goals more effectively. Plus, with the added benefit of enhancing the shopping experience, you can drive sales faster and more efficiently.


So, why not give CTX ads a try on Instagram? Your audience will thank you for it!


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