Introduction to Instagram Advertising

Social media marketing, and in particular advertising, now forms an integral part of the overall digital media mix. Instagram, with its emphasis on photo and video sharing, offers huge opportunities for businesses to reach new and highly engaged audiences. 

Launched in 2010 and acquired by Facebook in 2012, Instagram now has more than 500 million monthly active users globally. In 2015 only 36% of marketers were using Instagram, but increasingly brands are turning to this platform to maximise audience engagement. Latest Ipsos MRBI research showed 55% of Irish people use Instagram daily, which is a much larger compared to Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or LinkedIn.

How do I advertise on Instagram?

Businesses who are already using Facebook ads will be familiar with the formats. To create and run Instagram ads, you will need a Facebook ad account and a Facebook page. An Instagram account is not actually required to create ads for the platform. From Facebook, you can promote your brand to Instagram audiences, test and refine the approach, before committing to setting up your own Instagram channel. 

Let’s take a look at the key steps in creating and running ad campaigns on Instagram.

Using either Facebook Power Editor or Facebook’s ad creation tool, you firstly need to define your advertising objective. From brand awareness to conversion, there are various options available to you:

Instagram advertising objectives

  • Clicks to Website–if you want to send users to a specific page of your website, e.g. to special offers on an e-commerce site
  • Website Conversions – if you want users to take a specific action, such as email registration or buying a product
  • Page Post Engagement – if you want more users to see and engage with your post. You can implement custom audiences and optimise the reach to get more likes, comments and shares
  • Mobile App Installs or Mobile App Engagement– use this objective if you want users to install an app or engage in some way with your mobile app.
  • Video Views – if you want to encourage users to watch a video about your brand or product 

Similar to other social media advertising, Instagram lets you define the audience parameters so that you pinpoint the location, age, gender, language and other key demographics of your target audience. This allows your business to reach the people who are most likely to engage and ultimately convert.

When you have confirmed the ad parameters, you then set the schedule and budget for your campaign, before choosing your creative. Your content can take the form of a single image, video or carousel post, giving you options to promote your brand story across several formats.

Quick tips for your ads

  • Opt for the Cost per Click instead of Cost per Impression – this way you will only pay for the ad when someone clicks on it
  • Spend time deciding the most compelling images to use for your ad – you literally only have seconds to grab someone’s attention in a crowded space
  • Likewise go with a short, snappy and fun video, and think about how the thumbnail looks when it’s not playing
  • Think about sound for your Instagram video ad – often users will have sound turned off so the video ad needs to work both silent and with volume
  • Link into existing and relevant hashtags to join with live conversations and appeal to wider audiences
  • Alternatively, create new hashtags for your brand so that you can build momentum across ads and social posts

Why should businesses advertise on Instagram?

  • Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms, with a huge worldwide user base. Advertising is open to all users, allowing businesses of all sizes to run campaigns. Instagram is a highly visual platform, where ads are unobtrusive next to organically shared images. Brands have the opportunity to get very creative with their content in a choice of formats. Furthermore, advert performance and spend can be easily managed through Facebook with native reporting tools. Ultimately, Instagram ads create plenty of new opportunities for brands to expand reach, build awareness and drive conversions. 

    If you’d like to find out more about how social media marketing can work for your business, get in touch with our Digital Marketing team today – we’d love to hear from you! 

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